New library in the works for north Bend; board approves $1.35 million land buy


A new, larger Central Library is coming to the north side of Bend.

The Deschutes Public Library Board on Wednesday approved the $1.35 million purchase of nearly 13 acres of land west of Highway 20 near Robal Road.

“We are very pleased to secure this property for our future library,” said Board President Ann Malkin. “The location meets all of our top criteria. It is easily accessible from all areas of the county, highly visible and centrally located near neighborhoods, schools, shopping and other important services.”

The plan calls for a 95,000 to 115,000-square-foot facility, which would be significantly larger than the 34,000-square-feet flagship library in Downtown Bend.

The new Central Library will serve all of Deschutes County with expanded collections, a hands-on learning and a play center for children, flexible gathering spaces for a variety of purposes from business meetings to book clubs to DIY activities, a technology hub and a performance and art space.

“After several years of community focus groups, we believe we have a strong understanding of what services and resources best serve Deschutes County residents,” said Library Director Todd Dunkelberg. “We are eager to create a very bright future for Deschutes County.”

Dunkelberg said it’s too early in the process to say how much the new library will cost, but he does know it’ll take taxpayer help to fund it.

He said they plan to seek grants and community donations, but expect to go to voters with a bond measure as soon as November.

There are a couple of upcoming events where the public can weigh in on the proposed library and meet the architects behind the project.

Meet the Architects – Envisioning the Library’s Future
 Thursday, January 30, 2020 @ 12:00 PM
 Downtown Bend Public Library – Brooks Room

Meet the Architects – Envisioning the Library’s Future
 Thursday, January 30, 2020 @ 6:00 PM
 Bend – 10 Barrel Eastside Pub

Preview the library’s vision plan at:


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