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Transformation Main

2016_dco_bond_referendum_logoBridging Durham through Discovery, Community and Literacy

Thanks to the passing of a bond referendum on November 8, 2016, Durham County Library’s Main Library is undergoing a major expansion and renovation. This much-needed transformation will provide additional space, updated facilities and enhanced technology to Main Library in downtown Durham.

Room reservations at Main Library

Thank you for your interest in having your meeting at Main Library! Main Library is still under active renovation and will be opening in April 2020. Information about our meeting rooms, including furniture and technology setup and seating capacity, will be posted after the library opens. Study and meeting rooms will be available to be booked after the library opens in April.

Where can I use the library?

View a map of all DCoL locations to find the one that’s closest to you while Main is closed.

The North Carolina Collection is now closed as we prepare for our move back into Main Library. It will reopen when Main Library reopens in April 2020. If you have questions, please call 919-560-0171. More about the North Carolina Collection >>

More about Transformation Main

Some of the Improvement Highlights include:

  • Reconfiguration of building entries and interior for ease of use and enhanced visibility throughout
  • Comprehensive Literacy and Technology Center
    • MakerLab / S.T.E.A.M.
    • Music / Video
    • Business Training
    • Teaching / Networking
    • Cultural Education
    • Additional Public Computers
  • Extensive program and collaboration areas for library and community use
  • Expanded and more accessible North Carolina Collection
  • Prominent outdoor public plaza for programming and events
  • Significant advances in energy efficiency as part of Durham County’s sustainability initiative

Transformation Main Fact Sheet – English     Transformation Main Fact Sheet – Spanish

Did you know that…

…15% of Durham Households do not have access to the Internet and less than 40% have broadband connections?

…approximately 27% of library computer users have searched for, applied for, or secured a job utilizing these resources?

…80+ students at the Main Library utilize free in-person and live on-line tutoring programs, with 30+ on waiting lists?

Libraries are one of the very few places that offer programs available to all community members free of charge.  Interested in discovering the value the library personally offers you, check out the calculator below.

Calculate DCoL’s Value to You

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Main Library being renovated?

The Main Library is 37 years old. We have reached the limits of the amount of technology we can add with the current design. In addition, the central staircase creates poor sight lines, and the building has very little natural light. The library also needs more room for programming and the North Carolina Collection. The renovation of the Main Library is the final step of the regional library plan implemented by the County Commissioners more than ten years ago. The new building will be LEED certified and built to accommodate the needs of our customers well into the future.

Will the Main Library stay in its current location?

Yes. The Main Library will remain at 300 N. Roxboro St.

How extensive will the renovation/redesign be?

The basic structure of the building is sound, so some elements of the current facility will remain. Where the 2009 design plan left much of that structure in place, and included an expansion of approximately 3,600 square feet to increase the overall footprint of the building, the new design will likely increase the size of the building from 65,000 square feet to approximately 84,804 square feet, to accommodate the additional space needs mentioned above.

Why are we renovating versus rebuilding?

The engineers and architecture firm worked together to determine that the foundation of the library is in very good condition.  The costs for a full rebuild with a new foundation, footings, and steel structural system would add approximately $2.26 million in costs.

What is the overall construction process and how does it work?

For an efficient scheduling process the project has been broken down into 2 packages (or phases) (A and B). Package A consisted of items that were immediate and long lead time (General Trades, Temporary fencing, Demolition, and Abatement & Elevators). Package A was completed in November, 2017. Package B consists of the remaining thirty-six (36) bid packages for the project. The Board of County Commissioners approved advancement of Package B December 11, 2017. Contracts have been executed for the Construction Phase. Contractors have been mobilized. This mode of bidding allows for the timely completion of construction activities and the opening of the facility, currently scheduled for early 2020.

How much will it cost?

The Main Library’s construction budget is still being finalized based on the design of the building.

Who is the architect/design team?

Vines Architecture of Raleigh has been selected to design the new Main Library. More information about Vines can be found at

When will the Main Library close, and when will it reopen?

Main Library closed on January 15, 2017 and will reopen in April 2020.

Where can I find more information as it becomes available?

Visit this web page for updates as they happen, or email with questions.