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Residents get sneak peak at new West Dayton library branch

Leila Goldstein
A painting by Dayton artist James Pate inside the new West Branch Library.

Local residents got a sneak peek of Dayton Metro Library’s new branch in West Dayton at a fundraising event over the weekend. The West Branch Library, with its tall ceilings and walls, decorated with art from local artists, will replace the Madden Hills and Westwood branches.

The new building has small tutoring rooms, a quiet reading room, a technology lab, an AV editing suite and a community room that will be accessible outside of library hours. An opportunity space will house a community organization for a long-term residency. The Westside Makerspace, an emerging cooperative that offers job-training and supports entrepreneurs, is the library’s first partner.

“The west side of Dayton is near and dear to my heart, having been raised here and grew up here,” said Marcus Smith, a member of the Westside Makerspace. “Very excited to bring back something that was once taken out of the community. The huge manufacturing industry taken out of the community, we’re able to bring it back.”

Leila Goldstein
The new West Branch Library will replace the Madden Hills and Westwood branches.

Tiffany L. Brown is a co-founder of the community organization West Dayton Strong, which will be working with children at the branch once it opens.

“What it means to have a library like this is a place for youth to come and experience literature and an awesome space that they can feel home in and be inspired by,” she said. “Based on opportunity maps that were drawn in 2015, West Dayton is low opportunity for education, for healthcare, for economics. This is a way to recreate, reimagine and reclaim opportunity in this space.”

Proceeds from the event will go towards percussion play equipment for children that will be installed outside the branch. A free, family-friendly grand opening of the branch is planned for early 2022.