The library renovations are part of a larger capital improvement project at Civic Center Plaza that includes downsizing City Hall and building a new Active Adult Center between it and the library.

The library renovations are part of a larger capital improvement project at Civic Center Plaza that includes downsizing City Hall and building a new Active Adult Center between it and the library.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Madison Heights Public Library closes for renovations

Items still available for pickup via curbside service, partner libraries

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison-Park News | Published December 19, 2022


MADISON HEIGHTS — The Madison Heights Public Library closed its doors Dec. 16 and began curbside pickups by appointment only Dec. 19. While an exact date has not been determined, it’s expected that the building will reopen sometime in March 2023.

In the meantime, the library, located at 240 W. 13 Mile Road, will undergo renovations that include a new creative technology makerspace that library staff have dubbed “Creative TechSpace.”

There will be stations for a variety of tasks including 3D printing, media conversion, vinyl cutting, sublimation and more, designed for a range of skill sets and experience levels.

Each type of equipment will have one of three color-coded designations, denoting its skill level. “Green” is for patrons who wish to try the equipment on their own while consulting a staff member or informational video if they have questions. “Yellow” is for those who need to watch a training video or work closely with a staff member before using the equipment. “Red” equipment is for staff members to operate only.

Along with the Creative TechSpace, the renovated library will feature a larger teen area, and an additional room for small events and training sessions. The Friends of the Library will now have their own space to operate a bookstore, and the youth area will be more accommodating for children.

The facility renovations will cost the city about $800,000, which includes $490,000 in grant funding from sources such as the Community Project Fund through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

It’s also part of a much larger effort totaling $14.2 million that includes the downsizing of Madison Heights City Hall, located next door, and the construction of a new Active Adult Center connecting them, as well as renovations to Fire Station 2, which is located outside of the municipal campus on John R Road south of 11 Mile Road. The ongoing work represents the largest capital improvement project in the history of Madison Heights.

While the library is closed, a limited number of staff members will operate out of the back storage area, processing returned materials and items for curbside pickup, arranged by appointment only through the Brush Street entrance.

The library has also announced a new app called MyLibro, which was scheduled to launch Dec. 19 and allows users to place holds on materials, schedule pickup appointments for materials and printouts, and also provides a schedule of the library’s virtual events. After the renovations, the app will see additional use for booking study rooms.

The items available for pickup include new materials and technology items, such as Google Chromebooks and mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. There will also be interlibrary loans, which are items requested by a patron and sent from another library via a delivery service. Any Madison Heights items returned to the library during the closure period will also be available for pickup or loan at other libraries in the area.

Those libraries, part of The Library Network (TLN), include the Berkley Public Library, 3155 Coolidge Highway; Clawson’s Blair Memorial Library, 416 N. Main St.; the Ferndale Area District Library, 222 E. Nine Mile Road; the Hazel Park District Library, 123 E. Nine Mile Road; and the Royal Oak Public Library, 222 E. 11 Mile Road.

There are also libraries bordering Madison Heights that share items via MILibraryCard, including the Troy Public Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Road, and the various branches of the Warren Public Library, including the Civic Center Library, One City Square, Suite 100; the Dorothy M. Busch Branch, 23333 Ryan Road; the Arthur J. Miller Branch, 5460 Arden Ave., inside of the Warren Community Center; and the Maybelle Burnette Branch, 23345 Van Dyke Ave.

Madison Heights library users can access the TLN libraries using their current physical or virtual library cards. To use the MILibraryCard program, users can request a free-of-charge MILibraryCard label that is placed on their physical Madison Heights library card. Items borrowed using the label should be directly returned to the source library, while items borrowed using the TLN system can be returned to any library within the system.

To apply for a library card, visit

Vanessa Verdun-Morris, director of the Madison Heights Public Library, said via email that preparation for the renovations was quite involving. Much of the collection was palletized for onsite storage, and will be relocated within the building as the renovation crew works on different areas. When the work is done, the items will be removed from the pallets and placed in their new locations.

Staff workstations also had to be reconfigured to function out of the back storage and delivery areas. Three staff members have been assigned to assist at the Clawson, Ferndale and Hazel Park libraries, which Madison Heights residents can use during the closure. The remainder of staff will be at the Madison Heights library providing curbside services or working on special projects, such as testing and developing usage procedures for the new makerspace equipment.

“The renovation is in line with our city’s strategic goal of providing accessible and quality library services with sufficient technology, materials, hours and staff to meet community needs,” Verdun-Morris said. “Over the past year, the library has been converting desktops to laptops. The mobile computers and hotspots allow people to use library technology where it’s most convenient and comfortable for their needs. Post-renovation, space previously used by desktop computers can be used for technology that is not yet mobile, and requires a steeper learning curve, like 3D and sublimation printers.”

She noted that relocating the Breckenridge Room to the former City Council chambers has allowed the library to create a more welcoming area for teens.

“Despite being located near one of the city’s high schools (Lamphere), the library has not seen a huge amount of teen clientele,” Verdun-Morris observed. “By creating a section specifically designed with teens and tweens in mind, the library hopes to increase the number of teens using library services. Reconfiguring the children’s area with an eye toward early childhood development will provide families with children an educational but also enjoyable experience. Current plans include ensuring the storytime area of the children’s section has early literacy-appropriate toys.”

She also said there are goals for more collaboration with the Active Adult Center in 2023.

“In the past, the library has collaborated with the Active Adult Center for book discussions, and the Active Adult Center supplied the walkers that library patrons use while browsing the collection,” Verdun-Morris said. “The convenience for active adults being able to visit both the Active Adult Center (once the new one is built next door) and the public library in a single trip will save people time and transportation money.”

Melissa Marsh, the city manager of Madison Heights, said the changes are long overdue.

“Our residents have been asking for major renovation of the library for many years,” Marsh said via email. “I am thrilled to be able to make those much-needed changes.”