Grand opening for the Central Library in downtown Austin

The Central Library in downtown Austin had its grand opening Saturday.


Families were invited to celebrate the milestone and encouraged to bring little ones to sign up for their first library cards. Austin Mayor Steve Adler opened the doors to the new Central Public Library and welcomed people from the community. "This library has everything but a welcome mate with your name on it and it says Austin welcome and come on in here,” said Adler.


During the ceremony, Mayor Adler noted the work of past and present leaders who made the project possible.


In 1997, State Senator Kirk Watson then mayor rallied behind the idea of a new library, packaging it as a civic opportunity for the Austin community.


After Watson, former mayor Will Wynn helped pass the Central Texas Bond election in the early 2000's.


That helped kick start funding and paved the way for future councils to collect additional funds. 


The project comes in about $35 million over the approved 2006 bond of $90 million and finishes nearly a year behind schedule. But that didn't stop thousands of Austinites from waiting in line to see the new space, and sign up for a library card.


Besides books, the new library features a 3D printer, a rooftop garden, a special events center and more.


The library is now open 7 days a week.

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