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Construction of Dayton Metro Library's Newest 'West Branch' Underway

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Dayton Metro Library
Winnie Johnson, Westwood Branch Manager, speaks at the October 15 groundbreaking.

Dayton Metro Library has broken ground on their newest branch, in West Dayton. But, rather than using symbolic shovels, officials spread seeds at the site to signify the library’s growth.

Tim Kambitsch, Dayton Metro Library’s Executive Director, says this is the 13th library branch to be built or renovated since the passage of a 2012 bond issue funding the expansion.

“So, we have three more branches that we will open as a part of libraries for a smarter future," he says. "This one is probably the most significant of the ones that we have remaining because we've been waiting so long for this particular project to get started."

The large West Dayton library will replace the Madden Hills and Westwood branches.

Kambitsch says when it came to reimagining the library system's strategy, it became clear they would have to consolidate some branches in order to have all the amenities that people are asking for in libraries today.

"So part of our strategy was to take small branches that are relatively close to each other and try to build nearby those branches a much larger facility. And in this case here, the two branches, the Westwood branch and the Madden Hills branch, are about a mile and a half apart from each other."

The director says obtaining the new site was a challenge but he feels the communities that were served by the two former branches will be pleased.

The new facility will serve as a technology resource for those residents by offering training and support services, computers and laptops, lab space, and meeting areas for small groups.

The West Dayton library is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.