Visit the refreshed Central Library!


Central Library, beloved by the community since 1913, is now open with modern enhancements for you to enjoy. This historic building maintains its charm while offering new updates to better serve you. The refreshed Central Library is now brighter and more open, with new modern features for library users. 

“Central Library in downtown Portland is a resource that is free for anyone to use and is heavily used by all parts of the community” says Central Library Manager Shelly Jarman. “We have all of this new seating, we have a ton of computers, we’ve doubled our outlets, so people can charge more devices, and then we have this beautiful collection of books and other materials. There really is something for everyone!” 

Inside Central Library in a large room with tall ceilings and windows

Upgrades include more comfortable seating, fresh paint and carpet, more than 100 new outlets to charge phones and other devices, and easy to read wayfinding signage.

Inside Central Library in a room full of bookshelves

Rooms now have lower shelf heights that provide more natural light and an easier browsing experience, with the collection including:

  • Newly published, popular, and browsable collections that are more accessible
  • 267,000 items in browsable areas; 220,000 items in closed stacks at Central 
Inside Central Library in the children's area

Families can explore the renovated children’s area. Teens also have a new dedicated area, and even a new meeting room.

Inside Central Library in a meeting room with comfortable chairs throughout

Construction updates include additional meeting rooms, upgrades to existing meeting rooms, and increased visibility into each room. 

Inside the gender inclusive bathrooms, it is a long room with doors to restrooms on the right and many sinks for handwashing to the left

You will find a new gender inclusive bathroom on the first floor, and additional renovations to the other restrooms. 

A regular library patron who uses a wheelchair even sought out a staff member to share his gratitude for both the new, lower shelf heights and the new bathrooms. He shared with library staff how both are tremendous improvements for him as a wheelchair user, and that they make the library much more accessible for him. 

Outside of Central Library, the new ADA accessible walkway to the entrance

The new outdoor terraces and walkways provide reconstructed and improved ADA access as well.

The outside of Central Library from the street

Among the additional improvements there is:

  • A new Friends of the Library store on the first floor
  • New fire alarms and air quality monitoring equipment
  • New high-speed gigabit internet connections
  • Automated materials handling to check in, sort and route books, reducing labor for library workers

Explore the virtual gallery and come take a look at the changes at Central Library.