The civil rights leader's son will help dedicate the branch named for his father.
The oldest son of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. will be in Columbus for the grand opening of a new library named for his father.
Martin Luther King III will deliver a keynote address and cut the ribbon on the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s new Martin Luther King branch, 1467 E. Long St. The outdoor event will be held from 3:30-6 p.m. Oct. 18, with the library opening to the public at 4 p.m.
The original Martin Luther King branch, at 1600 E. Long St., was dedicated by Martin Luther King Sr. in 1969. That branch, the first public library named for the civil rights leader, closed Oct. 10. Its patrons were invited to sign a commemorative panel that is being installed in the new location.
A community open house for the new branch will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 20. The event will feature activities, entertainment, refreshments and the chance to sign up for a commemorative library card.
Highlights of the new branch, which at 18,000 square feet is more than twice the size of its predecessor, include a Ready for Kindergarten area, a larger interactive children’s area, teen area, a larger Homework Help Center, reading loft and meeting rooms.
The new MLK branch is part of a systemwide renovation program undertaken by Columbus Metropolitan Library, which has 23 locations around Central Ohio.
While King is in Columbus on Oct. 18, he also is scheduled to visit with students and read his book, “My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” at KIPP Columbus, a charter school on the Northeast Side.