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The Facilities Master Plan

Cuyahoga County Public Library, OH
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Innovation Summary

The Facilities Master Plan is the largest, most significant building improvement program in Cuyahoga County Public Library's 90-year history. The $110 million Plan involves the replacement or renovation of 18 of our 28 branches and does not require us to seek additional taxpayer funding.

Problem Statement

Like so many libraries across the nation, Cuyahoga County Public Library has felt the big squeeze of decreased funding and increased demand. Since 2003, our circulation has increased nearly 72% and visits have increased 33% in part as a result of: o Customer friendly changes to our lending policies, collection development philosophy and procedure. o Increases to the amount of resources allocated for the purchase of print materials and public computers. o The adoption of a new model of library service focused on needs-based programs, customer convenience and innovation. At the same time, our revenues have decreased by $14.9 million due to state budget cuts and decreased property tax revenues. We recognize that our funding reality will not markedly improve in the future. We know that we must reduce our operating costs to ensure we can continue to deliver the same level of high quality public library service our community needs now and into the future.


With the Facilities Master Plan we have flipped the traditional model public libraries use to fund building projects on its head. We are not funding these projects by asking our taxpayers for additional funding. Instead, the $110 million Facilities Master Plan is being funded through $75 million in notes, existing capital funds and private donations. In June, 2010, the Cuyahoga County Public Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt the Facilities Master Plan, following a period of public comment. The goals of the Plan are: •To build new, flexible facilities that are much more energy efficient, cost-effective and accessible, saving Cuyahoga County Public Library millions of dollars in annual operating costs. •To reduce our dependence on state funding without adding to the local property tax burden. •To establish equity of service throughout our entire district. •To increase capacity to meet growing demand for our materials and services. •To enhance community revitalization efforts.


When it is completed, the Facilities Master Plan will save more than $4 million in operating costs annually by replacing inefficient buildings with new sustainable one-story buildings that cost less to operate. Our new and renovated branches will have the infrastructure to enhance our ability to deliver programs and services in support of our mission to provide an environment where reading, lifelong learning and civic engagement thrive. The first new building in the Facilities Master Plan program, the Warrensville Heights Branch, opened in April 2012. Since that time, circulation has increased 96% and customer visits have increased 110%. In 2013, we will open 5 new branches and two major renovations.