With more than 50 years of service in its current downtown location and even more years prior to that several blocks away, Norman Public Library Central has been a staple of the community for multiple generations in families.

And that tradition continues in its new site, as the new Norman Central library opened its doors Sunday, Nov. 3, with a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting.

The new Norman Central library is a three-story facility that will add significant available space in the library, featuring dedicated areas for a maker area, a Friends of the Library bookstore, a local history and genealogy research workspace, multiple meeting rooms and more. In total, it will have about 80,000 square feet of library space.

Funding for the library, as well as Norman East, which opened in summer 2018, came after Norman voters passed the “Norman Forward” quality of life package in a special election in October 2015. Voters passed the proposition for a half-percent sales tax increase by a decisive margin, with more than 72 percent in favor.

The library and City of Norman recently hosted a dedication event for the art piece “Unbound” that is located in the courtyard south of the library. Artist Paul Cocksedge attended from his home in London, and officials and representatives from the city, the Norman Arts Council, the library and dozens of community residents attended.

All items checked out from Norman Central, including those that normally are 7-day checkouts, will have a due date in November. Any other items customers have checked out from the library do not need to be returned until after the new building opens. Fines will not be assessed on any of these materials during that time.