Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in Five Points will close for renovations

The branch will close on May 28th and is expected to reopen in early 2023.
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Blair-Caldwell on voting day, Nov. 3, 2020. (Donna Bryson/Denverite)

The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library in Five Points is getting a major makeover for the first time in its 19-year history but that means the branch will be closed for several months.

Starting on Saturday, May 28th, Blair-Caldwell will be closed for renovations and is expected to reopen in early 2023, according to a Denver Public Library news release.

Blair-Caldwell is a nationally recognized public library that focuses on collecting and preserving African American history and culture. It's one of five research libraries attached to the public library system in the U.S. that focuses on Black history through collection archives, like the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York.

Senior librarian Jameka Lewis handles an issue of The Black Panther on the second floor of the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library on Welton Street. July 22, 2021.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Since the branch opened in 2003, the building has not received any major updates. As part of the Elevate Denver Bond, the branch will undergo a $2.8 million renovation that will include new heating and ventilation systems.

The first floor will get a new teen space, study rooms, a new front book drop and a redesigned children's area. The circulation desk will also be relocated. According to the release, artwork by Denver artist Sam McNeil will also be installed on the first floor.

While the branch is closed, Denverites can access the archives at the Central Library branch near Civic Center Park. Any holds placed at Blair-Caldwell prior to the closure can be picked up at the Ford-Warren branch in Whitter.

"We know how important Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library is to the community and that customers rely on our materials for research," said City Librarian Michelle Jeske in the release. "We're excited to introduce our customers to their new, modernized library space once construction is complete.

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