The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library 20th anniversary
Desiree Mathurin / Denverite
The branch got its first updates since opening in 2003 and is ready to welcome visitors again.
Jameka Lewis, manager of The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library, joined the Morning Set to talk about the re-opening of this library and renovations to their community spaces
Blair-Caldwell on voting day, Nov. 3, 2020. (Donna Bryson/Denverite)
The Denver Public Library (DPL) announced that the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library will reopen on Monday, August 7 after being closed since May 2022 for renovations.
DPL will celebrate the grand reopening of the branch on Saturday, August 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with refreshments and entertainment.
The Five Points branch opened in 2003 and it has since not received any major updates, according to a statement from DPL. The renovation was made possible through funding from the Elevate Denver Bond that voters approved in 2017.
According to DPL, the first floor was redesigned with an open floor plan. There are new teen spaces, study rooms and a new book drop. The circulation desk was also relocated and community meeting rooms were updated.
The nationally recognized Blair-Caldwell branch is one of five research libraries attached to a major public library system in the U.S. that focuses on preserving Black history and culture through collection archives, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York.
Librarian Terry Nelson catalogues issues of Jet Magazine that are part of the collection here at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library. July 22, 2021.
Kevin J. Beaty/DenveriteDPL added that cosmetic improvements were also made to the second and third floors of the building. That change was funded by Strong Library, Strong Denver, through the Denver Public Library Fund, a pot filled by a slight increase in property taxes approved by voters in 2022.
Through that funding, the branch will also have extended hours. Operations hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.