Major Initiatives

New Albany Branch Library

In 2002, the Foundation collaborated with the Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) to endow over $1 million for book collections and technology enhancements for the New Albany Branch Library. CML is consistently rated as one of the top library’s in America. The success of the Foundation’s Library Fund cleared the way for construction of a new, regional public library. As part of its Library Fund Campaign, the Foundation hosted two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author, David McCullough, as a featured guest lecturer. The event was a success. McCullough returned in 2003 to dedicate the library. Since its dedication, the library has served the community in a myriad of ways, such as:

Branch Offerings & Community Usage

  • hosts Baby Laptime and Toddler and Preschool Storytimes weekly;
  • sponsors teen programs throughout the year;
  • hosts reading clubs for children, teens and adults each summer;
  • Job Help Centers: job hunters receive assistance with their search & preparation;
  • Toddler Storytime: Books, music and rhymes to set toddlers on the road to reading;
  • Preschool Storytime: Books, songs, stories and surprises intended to help preschoolers learn to love reading;
  • In 2008, the library received 568 requests to use the meeting room;
  • 2805 people attended.
  • In 2008, the branch hosted 370 events for 21,000 attendees;
  • Highest year-to-date increases in circulation, user visits and new borrowers for all of CML regionals;
  • In one year, the branch increased programming attendance by 60%.
  • Programs offered increased by 30%;
  • 2008 circulation was 979,920;
  • 2009: circulation projected to surpass 1 million.

Branch Profile

  • was established in 1998 at the New Albany High School through an creative collaboration between CML and New Albany-Plain Local School District;
  • The New Albany Community Foundation donated the book collection that helped the new branch library to be built;
  • The Foundation raised over $1 million toward the book collections and computers;
  • The Foundation hosted two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, David McCullough, for a fundraising benefit in October 2002;
  • McCullough returned to New Albany in October 2003, accompanied by his wife Rosalee, for the library dedication, during which he delivered key note remarks;
  • The library moved to its new building at Market Square in September 2003 and opened as CML’s newest regional facility;
  • Seating for 166 customers.
  • A multi-purpose room for 98 customers.
  • A loggia – grand covered entrance that overlooks “Market Square” and the “Village Green”;
  • Mother Earth Globe – a beautifully designed artistic focal point in the library;
  • The Family Room – a glass encased area in the children’s section where parents and kids can spend time reading together;
  • Enclosed Quiet Study Area as well as a Conference Room for up to 10 customers;
  • 21,052 square feet in the new regional library and a shelving capacity for over 120,000 volumes;
  • 17 original pieces of art work were donated from noted, national authors/illustrators from children’s picture books;
  • Special Collection: Roger Sahli Architectural Collection, unveiled in November 2006.
  • In December 2007 the building which houses the library was named in honor of Charlotte P. Kessler in recognition of a significant gift to the library and for her outstanding, long-time service to CML.


Year SCHOOL TOTAL PUBLIC TOTAL New Albany’s Annual Circulation
1998 9,546 55,582 65,128
1999 8,871 69,003 77,874
2000 10,427 82,224 92,651
2001 12,345 99,283 111,628
2002 21,556 116,829 138,385
2003 20,529 244,279 264,808
2004 706,147 706,147
2005 784,162 784,162
2006 868,032 868,032
2007 935,378 935,378
2008 979,920 979,920
2009 969,944
2010 872,277
2011 880,868
2012 891,082
2013 900,043