Main Branch Transformation

In 2016, Durham County residents overwhelmingly voted to support a $43,000,000 bond for the transformation of the Main Branch in downtown Durham. When Main Library closed for total renovation, the facility was utilized beyond capacity with computer stations chronically full and inadequate study/collaboration areas. The much sought-after North Carolina Collection needed growing space and the latest in archival tools. Durham’s beloved library had reach the limits of technology that could be added in its current design.

Main Branch will re-open in spring 2020 with a reconfiguration of building entries and interiors designed for ease of use and enhanced visibility. Comprehensive literacy and technology centers will include two makerspaces, video/music studios, expanded financial literacy and small business entrepreneurship center, a 300 seat auditorium, an adjacent amphitheater, and ample public computer locations. Meeting, study and programming spaces will be available on all floors. Durham citizens can frequent the prominent outdoor public plaza for events. There will be a Sensory Room for people on the autistic spectrum and a Mother’s Room for nursing. In place of the original Main structure stands a library that can bridge traditional library services with high-paced demands of the digital media age and the needs of a growing population.

Campaign for Main

In July 2019, the Durham Library Foundation presented Durham County with a gift of $800,000 to complete the library of our future. Contributions over time and prudent investments allowed the County to purchase powered furniture, auditorium retractable seating, adult lounges and children’s area furniture, outdoor seating, and auditorium banquet tables and stacking chairs.

Durham Library Foundation continues its support for Main Branch transformation with a major gift initiative that currently holds $500,000 in received and pledged contributions. These funds and any additional contributions will be used for final equipment and technology purchases, ensuring that the building is fully equipped to open as a state of the art library. Gifts of any level can be made at Donate Now. Donors interested in major gift and naming acknowledgements should refer to the Donor Booklet or contact the Foundation office at 919-864-8047.

  • $125,000 - Jenny L.S. Koortbojian Trust
  • $100,000 - E. T. Rollins, Jr. and Frances P. Rollins Foundation
  • $75,000 - SunTrust Foundation (for Small Business Entrepreneurship Programs)
  • $50,000 - Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
  • $50,000 - Ann & Bill Kirkland
  • $25,000 - Sylvianne Roberge
  • $25,000 - Ann & Rhodes Craver
  • $10,000 - Victor Vines
  • $10,000 - Anonymous Pledge
  • $28,500 - Individual and small business donations – ($1,000 - $5,000)
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