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Annual Reports and Planning

Carmel Clay Public Library Announces West Branch

The Carmel Clay Public Library is excited to announce that it will be opening its first library branch in early 2019. Located at 12770 Horseferry Road in the Village of WestClay, the branch will expand the library's reach into the community.

The new branch will build on the services already offered at the library's current building and at its Digital Media Lab in the Arts and Design District. Expanding convenient access to library service on Carmel's growing west side is part of the library's strategic plan. "CCPL's current building was designed to serve a community of up to 85,000," says library Director Bob Swanay. "Since the population of Carmel has surpassed 90,000 and continues to rise, we are looking at ways of increasing our capacity to better serve the community now and in the future."

Library patrons will be able to browse and check out materials from a collection of popular titles at the west branch. They will also be able to place items from the library's main collection on hold and pick them up and return them at the branch. The branch will feature comfortable places to sit and relax both inside and out.

Other aspects of the Carmel Clay Public Library's strategic vision include reinventing space at the main library building through renovation and creating a mixed-use structure to increase parking and further expand services.

The Library's Next Chapter

The Carmel Clay Public Library is excited to announce a new long-range vision for library service.

The vision is the culmination of a year-long process in which the library worked with MSR, a leader in library architecture and the designer of the current library building. The library's facility and services were assessed, and opportunities for improvement were identified. Through surveys and visioning sessions, members of the community shared input about the library's future direction.

The library's vision for service includes three major components:

  • Expansion of services to the west side of Carmel
  • Reinventing space at the existing library building through interior renovations and building expansion
  • Developing a mixed-use structure to increase parking and further expand services
While the vision is a bold step forward for the library, it developed directly from the library's strategic goals. Those goals include enhancing service, increasing the library's presence in the community, building partnerships, and being a catalyst for learning and discovery.

Specific projects and timelines will be developed to achieve this vision. Through years of careful stewardship, the library's Board of Trustees and administration have positioned the library to take on such projects without having an impact on the community's tax rate.

Carmel continues to be a community that not only loves and values its library but also uses it heavily. Over 600,000 people visited the library in 2017, checking out over 2.1 million items. Demand for print books continues to be high, and the library's collection is often cited as a favorite feature of the library. Meanwhile, interest in digital materials is on the rise with ebooks, digital audiobooks, and other digital materials accounting for 8% of check-outs in 2017.

Library programs are also enjoying huge attendance. The library recorded over 80,000 visits to its programs in 2017, but space limitations can create difficulties. Many programs are filled to capacity, and the library is unable to host large community events. Lack of space also presents challenges for people who want to use the library as a place to gather, study, and work.

Looking ahead to the beginning steps of enacting the new vision, Library Director Bob Swanay said that he is "excited and encouraged after receiving an overwhelmingly positive response to the vision from the library staff, library Board, and the community." Swanay said that "there has always been a great deal of community pride regarding our library, so we look forward to not only continuing to meet that high bar of excellence in all future endeavors but to pushing library services forward in new and exciting ways."