Albina Library, Isom Operations Center and North Portland Library next up for transformative expansions

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Albina and Isom to close March 18 for construction; Albina will gain greater space, dedicated teen room and art for the community

PORTLAND, Ore. — February 14, 2023

Multnomah County Library’s transformative work to expand and modernize library spaces continues as two of the library’s iconic Carnegie buildings are up next for construction. Albina Library will close to the public beginning March 18 to begin its renovation and expansion. Isom Operations Center will also close on March 18 to begin its renovations. North Portland Library will follow close behind, closing to the public on April 5. 


The projects at Albina, Isom and North Portland are scheduled to be completed in 2024. To most efficiently and responsibly use taxpayer funds while following fiscal spending requirements, the libraries are closing for construction on similar timelines. Project leaders selected these locations to be completed first because they didn’t require new land purchases, which would have meant a longer timeline. 

A larger Albina Library

Albina Library, which relocated to its historic location on Northeast Knott Street in 2020, will be renovated and greatly expanded, resulting in a 30,000 square foot library for the surrounding community. The building will keep its historic Carnegie structure on Knott Street, while providing four times the current space, making it one of the largest libraries in Multnomah County. To start on these vital upgrades for the community, Albina Library will close for construction starting on March 18, 2023. Albina is scheduled to reopen in fall 2024. 

Albina Library’s new features will include:

  • Outdoor courtyard for community members to relax and connect.
  • Large community and meeting rooms.
  • A larger, more diverse collection, including a Spanish language collection.
  • Four new study rooms. 
  • Dedicated teen room with space for technology, homework and creative expression.
  • Updated technology and internet.
  • New art that represents the community.

Renovating the Isom Operations Center

Isom Operations Center is connected to Albina Library and will close on March 18 to begin its renovations. Isom is home to a number of services that support library operations in branches through outreach operations, and in other ways. 

The library will pause those services as they relocate to other facilities. The duration of service interruptions will vary from days to weeks, but the library will focus on minimizing disruptions to patrons, including delayed holds. Functions to be paused include materials receiving, sorting and handling; interlibrary loan; printing; outreach services to schools, shelters and other facilities; and other support services. The library will notify patrons about their specific hold status based on their pick-up location.

When Albina Library reopens in fall of 2024, it will be home to library administrative offices. The operational departments will eventually be housed in the new, efficient Operations Center which is scheduled to be complete in November 2023. 

A renovated and expanded North Portland Library

North Portland Library will be renovated and expanded, adding 1,500 square feet of space that will highlight the diversity and history of the community. North Portland Library will close for construction on April 5. It is scheduled to reopen in summer 2024. 

North Portland’s new, expanded features will include:

  • A Black Cultural Center for connection and a celebration of Blackness.
  • Outdoor space for community members to relax and connect.
  • A diverse collection tailored to the community.
  • Updated technology and internet.
  • New art that represents the community.

“Multnomah County Library is in the midst of a profound transformation for the communities it serves,” said Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries. “As Albina and North Portland are both historic Carnegie libraries, we’re excited to update these buildings for a modern era while maintaining their classic integrity. And we’re pleased to do this work alongside the community every step of the way.”

Albina and North Portland expect to have some temporary services available in coordination with local community organizations. Information about these services will be on the library website as they are set. . For help using the library, please contact us. The library routinely posts closure or schedule change notices at

Nearby libraries for Albina and North Portland are:

Belmont Library: 1038 SE César E. Chávez Blvd.
Hollywood Library: 4040 NE Tillamook St.
Kenton Library: 8226 N Denver Ave.
St. Johns Library: 7510 N Charleston Ave.

The library will share additional updates about services on its construction closures webpage.