1962 Stokes Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106
Manager: Toni Parker
Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch, located in University Circle, serves a diverse community and plays a key role as a partner with various cultural and civic organizations. The branch has a large meeting room, a gallery, and a teen tech room. The branch offers free wifi and public computers with Internet access. Printing, copying, scanning, and faxing services are available for a fee. Free parking is available in a lot with an entrance located off Stokes Boulevard.
Cleveland Public Library is in the process of holding an international design competition for a new Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch in the same neighborhood on Euclid Avenue. In February 2018, three design teams were named finalists; they presented their designs publicly on May 10. Read “Cleveland Public Library Unveils 3 Competing Proposals for New MLK Library in University Circle” to see the proposed designs. The winning design will be announced following a special board meeting in June.
The current branch located at 1962 Stokes Boulevard will remain open until the new branch is complete.
History & Architecture
At 18,200 square feet, the current Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch on Stokes Boulevard was conceived as a regional branch designed to be four to five times larger than a regular branch library. Mrs. Louise Bolden, who was appointed Librarian in charge of the branch when it opened in 1970, built a collection of African-American books including history, biography, anthologies, literature, sociology, and reference material.
This branch library is constructed of yellow brick with arched windows that allow natural light for the interior. A graceful arcade mirrors the windows’ shape and surrounds the building. There is a driveway on the north side of the building, a drive-up window, and a spacious parking lot. Antique gates were donated by former library trustee, Mrs. Robert H. Jamison. The second floor is a gallery.
- The branch continues to house a collection of resources related to African-American history and the Civil Rights Movement, as well as a vibrant collection of urban fiction.
- Cleveland Public Library’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Celebration is held at this branch and is a notable community event.
- Artwork at this branch comes alive each year as the branch collaborates with local artists with an exhibit that commences with the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration and continues throughout February. The gallery also hosts various art exhibitions throughout the rest of year.
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch works to serve youth and foster artistic expression through art therapy, creative writing and spoken word programs, gaming activities, and a chess program.
- Outreach and collaboration with seniors living in nearby apartment building, along with assistance to persons with special needs, are all a part of the wide array of services the branch provides.