Stanford L. Warren Branch Library is temporarily closed for building repairs. More info >

Main Library

Main Library

300 N. Roxboro St.
Durham, NC 27701
Directions

919-560-0100

This week’s hours

Sorry, we're closed right now
Sunday Closed Monday 9:30 AM - 8:00 PM Tuesday 9:30 AM - 8:00 PM Wednesday 9:30 AM - 8:00 PM Thursday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM Friday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM Saturday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM

Getting here

Bus routes

GoDurham 3 / 3B / 3C
GoDurham 4
GoDurham 9A / 9B / 9

Bike racks

Near the Liberty Street entrance. Main's bike racks are architectural - look for the metal loops coming up from the sidewalk.

Parking

  • Free lot with 100+ parking spaces. Parking may be limited during peak times and programs.
  • Parking decks and street parking are available throughout downtown.

Electric vehicle charging

Six stations available

Amenities

  • 24-hour exterior book drop
  • Drive-up book drop
  • Multi-stall single-gender restrooms
  • Single-occupant all-gender restroom
  • Infant changing stations
  • Lactation room
  • Bookable rooms
  • Early voting location
  • Election day voting – Precinct 17

Technology

  • Public internet access computers

    Computers with internet access are available for public use at all Durham County Library locations.

    Public internet access computers details
  • Wireless internet access

    You can connect your own device to the internet at any of our locations. Our wireless internet access is free and does not require a password. Look for the network named “DCo Library Public.” Heads up – our network is an unsecured network.

  • Hotspots for checkout

    Your Durham County Library card lets you borrow a mobile hotspot to take the internet wherever you go!

    Hotspots for checkout details
  • Printing

    You can print to printers at Main Library from your mobile device or home computer.

    Printing details
  • Scanners

    Document feeder and flatbed scanners are available. Our scanners can handle up to legal sized (8.5″ x 14″) documents.

    Scanning is free of cost. You will need a library card or computer use card to sign on to the scanner computer.

  • Copiers

    Copiers are available for public use. There is a small fee per page that can be paid by credit card.

    Copiers details
  • Fax

    Faxing is available at Main Library free of charge. There is a small fee for faxing at our other locations.

  • Poster printer

    High-quality prints for all of your poster needs.

    Poster printer details
  • Light-cutting machines – Cricut and Cameo

    Do-it-yourself machines that cut a wide variety of lighter materials such as papers, vinyl, and fabric.

    Light-cutting machines – Cricut and Cameo details
  • Laser cutter / heavy-cutting machine

    An easy-to-use machine that can cut, score, and/or engrave many different heavier materials such as wood, cardboard, and some plastics.

    Laser cutter / heavy-cutting machine details
  • CNC machines

    Machines that can carve and engrave heavier materials such as plastic, wood, and PVC.

    CNC machines details
  • 3D printing

    Create physical 3D models from digital files with printers that melt and extrude plastic layer-by-layer.

    3D printing details

Assistive technology

More assistive technology info
  • Zoomtext screen enlargement and screen reader

    Software that allows people who are visually impaired or completely blind to access the internet, send email, and use the Microsoft Office Suite.

  • BigKeys keyboard

    Helps with typing for people with mobility and/or visual impairments. This multi-colored keyboard has bigger than normal keys to make it easier to see letters and select just one key at a time while typing at a computer. The multi-colored keys also pro

  • Desktop magnifier

    Magnify mail, a book, or anything else printed on paper up to 45 times its normal size.

  • BigKeys keyboard keyguard

    Can be placed over the BigKeys keyboard to help in selecting only a single letter or key at a time.

  • Video relay services

    Video relay services allow you to sign to an operator over the internet who will interpret to the person you are calling. We have reference computers that can accommodate your own webcam for this service.

  • Trackball mouse

    This mouse is a handheld pointing device that requires little wrist or hand movement. You can control it with very limited finger movement. It can also be used to control an on-screen keyboard, available at every computer through Microsoft Office.

  • Keyboard type aid

    Fits over your hand to help select keys on a keyboard or turn the pages of an open book.

  • Handheld video magnifier

    Magnifies text and images, with the option of changing the color contrast for easy visual discernment based on your preferences. The magnifier can be held in your hand or placed on an open book.

  • Adaptive joystick

    A handheld pointing device that requires limited hand movement, with different grips available based on your preference. It can also be used to control the on-screen keyboard, available at every computer through Microsoft Office.

  • PCEye Plus Eye Tracking Hardware and Software

    Lets you control a Windows computer with your eyes.

  • Kurzweil 3000

    Software to help people who are blind or low vision use a Windows computer. Can also help people with dyslexia or other learning disabilities that make reading and writing difficult.

  • Eye Can Fly Software

    Games used with eye tracking hardware to help children learn to use eye tracking on a computer.

3D tour

Check out some of the spaces and features inside this location before you visit.

Did you know?

  • The 2017-2020 renovation process focused on being as environmentally sustainable as possible. In reusing existing structures, about 7 tons of steel were saved.
  • If you look up through the white waffle of the ceiling, you can see the existing concrete structure of the previous Main building.
  • Main Library is LEED Gold certified.
  • Including the North Carolina Collection, Main Library has approximately one quarter million materials in its collection.

Today’s events

STEAM Take & Make: NASA Paper Spacecraft

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 • All day

Main Library

Aim for the stars and build your very own paper model of NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). All you need is pair scissors and a glue stick. Kits are available on the 3rd floor by the Innovation Lab....

Ages: Intergenerational

Listen and Chat Escuchar y Charlar - con Molly y Monica

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 • 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Virtual

For 3 year olds to those in 3rd grade. TEXT 919-937-7528 to get the access numbers. Para los de 3 anos al 3r grado. Manda un TEXTO a Monica al 919-937-7528 para recibir los numeros de zoom.

Ages: Elementary School, Kindergarten, Pre-School

Durham Voices

Tuesday, September 21, 2021 • 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Virtual

Durham Voices is a fiction critique group for those serious about working toward publication. Space is limited, so please email Phil at plocey@dconc.gov to inquire about availability.

Ages: Adult

Check for more events like this > or See all events

Special features at Main Library

Teens using maker equipment at tables, a cart, and a sink. Large doors in the rear wall open to the outside

The MakerLab

A place for all youth to explore and create in various physical and digital fields. Come here for 3D printing and modeling, coding, robotics, digital design, and more! ***

Space with people using maker equipment and an assortment of small 3d-printed objects on some of the tables

The Innovation Lab

A place for adults and older youth to explore and create in various physical and digital fields. Come here for 3D printing and modeling, laser cutting, coding, robotics, digital design, and more! ***

Multi Sensory Environment

A specialized space that lets you control and manipulate aspects of the world around you, including light, sound, smell, and touch. Reserve your time online to use the space.

Sensory Calming Room

A quiet respite removed from the rest of the library. With open access during public hours, this room is available whenever you need a space to take a breath. It features calming equipment and furniture to create a quiet environment for a variety of sensory needs.

Space with cozy furniture, a wall of tall windows. and an area sectioned off with a curtain. Children and parents sit throughout

Children's programming room

Catch storytimes, craft programs, and more in this fun and cozy space just for kids. ***

Shelves of very old books on North Carolina topics

The North Carolina Collection

A unique archive of materials related to the history of Durham city and county.

Six-foot-tall light wall, with the Durham County Library logo and an abstract design created in light pegs

Inclusive Play Area

Found in the children’s area on the first floor, this space features an 8-foot-by-6-foot light wall, a magnetic tile wall, and other tactile play elements.

Outdoor area with furniture and concrete risers. A librarian holds up a picture book for people sitting on the risers to see

Outdoor Terrace

Take in views of downtown Durham from the large outdoor rooftop terrace. Open for programming and other events. ***

Long facade of the building with wooden riser-style seating

Outdoor Amphitheater

A lovely space to sit, read, and enjoy the great outdoors! You can also catch library programming and events here. ***

People working on laptops in a space including a range of booth and table seating with walls of tall windows

The Incubator

Space dedicated to small businesses in the Bull City and contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosphere of the city. Part of our business services offerings. ***

Two people sit at a table within a booth set into the wall. There is a screen on the back wall of the booth and another booth next door

Study booths

Comfortable seating with a generous work surface and electric outlets. Located on each floor, available first come, first served. ***

Large auditorium with rows of folded seats, a podium at the front, and a wall of tall windows to the side

Auditorium

Catch a library program in this inspiring space. ***

Assistive Technology Room

A variety of assistive technologies including tools and software - see the full list of what's available.

A microphone and mix board

Recording studio

Use this space for podcasting, recording music, or editing videos. You'll need to attend a training session before booking the studio.

Area with 4 screens on wall and kids near them with game controllers. Other kids sit at a table looking at a tablet and at a computer on a counter

Teen gaming area

Xbox, Playstation, and more. Join us for a program, or sign up for a time to play on your own. ***

Display wall

Catch historical photos, North Carolina maps, and more inspiring images on this larger-than-life display.

A large, purple, abstract sculpture standing in front of the building

Purple S.T.E.A.M.

The public artwork in front of Main Library, Purple S.T.E.A.M. is a 17-foot-tall 3D printed sculpture. ***

More about Main Library

The current Main Library is the latest in a series of flagship libraries for the Durham County Library system, each on the cutting edge of library services for its time. Durham’s first public library opened in Five Points in 1898. It was the first free, tax-supported library in North Carolina. The library quickly outgrew its original building, and in 1921, it moved to a new building on Main Street, funded by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation. Throughout the next decades, the library’s offerings evolved with the start of bookmobile service (another North Carolina first), the addition of a children’s reading room, and the opening of branch libraries. The collection continued growing throughout this time, and by the 1960s, the library had outgrown its building again.

In 1966, the library, which had been segregated up until that point, merged with the Stanford L. Warren Library to create a new integrated system. After the merger, a series of bond referendums to fund a new main library for the system failed. In 1976, voters approved a bond for the construction of a new library in downtown Durham. Ground broke for the project on Roxboro Road in 1979, and the new Main Library opened in 1980. The new building increased the library’s space from 5,000 square feet to 65,000 square feet. It included a children’s room, an audio visual room, and the North Carolina Collection.

By the 2000s, the community’s needs had evolved again, and Main Library was in need of renovation to keep up. Thanks to the community passing a bond referendum in 2016, Main was closed for a complete transformation in January of 2017. During the renovation, the existing building was taken down to the studs and foundation and completely transformed. The design, by Vines Architecture, won the NOMA Phil Freelon Professional Design Award and the AIA NC Merit Award. The building went from roughly 65,000 square feet to close to 100,000 square feet and from 3 floors to 4 floors. The renovation added specialized spaces and expanded the library’s capacity for community programming and events. The renovated Main Library will be a community-centered space for learning and innovation for years to come.

Featured location image and photos marked *** are courtesy of Mark Herboth Photography LLC

Manager

C. Aleman

Email: caleman-toomes@dconc.gov

Claudia was born and grew up in Los Angeles, California. She received her undergraduate degree from UNCG in communication studies and her M.L.S. from NCCU. Claudia has been a librarian with Durham County since 2013. She started as Head of Circulation in Randolph County then moved on to Durham County as a Reference Librarian. Claudia is bilingual in Spanish and English.