Akron-Summit County Public Library, Odom Boulevard Branch
The Odom Boulevard Branch Library has served its community since 1923, establishing a tradition of service and providing access to information through a variety of formats and programming. The building functions as a valuable community resource and meeting place. Because of community interest, our collection is particularly strong in black literature and religious studies.
Originally opened as the Wooster Branch in 1923 in a frame building on the old Akron Water Works property on Wooster Avenue, the branch moved to its present location in 1954. Constructed on part of Lane Field, the building featured a mural created by Woodrow Nash in the 1970’s that was highly regarded and admired by residents and visitors to the area. It depicted Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, and Malcolm X and was designed to symbolize their ideas.
In 1999, Odom Boulevard Branch was totally remodeled and expanded to 12,000 square feet — triple its former size. As it did in 1954, Akron City Council generously facilitated the acquisition of property for the building and expansion of the branch. The modern structure is enhanced by artwork in various media including sculpture, photography, stained glass, a quilt, and an interactive piece. In addition, two new murals were created to reflect the local and global contributions of African-Americans. The mural from the front of the old building was recreated to include the image of Sojourner Truth, reflecting the contributions of women to the struggle for human dignity and her participation in Akron’s history. A new mural was also designed by Woodrow Nash for the branch’s community room, bearing the images of black leaders and pioneers in Akron education, including Helen Arnold, Ed Davis, Shirla McClain, Martin Chapman, Ray Brown, Horace Stewart, and Vernon Odom.
We are open 6 days a week to meet your needs for education and information. Current library statistics show that Odom Boulevard Branch has a collection of 67,866 items and has 10,560 registered borrowers, and circulated 79,323 items in 2010.
Our friendly, skilled staff includes a branch manager, who is an adult services librarian and a children’s librarian, who serves young children from infants through grade three and their families. Our staff also includes public service assistants, student assistants, and a security guard.
At Odom Boulevard Branch Library you can find:
A diverse collection of books, magazines, newspapers, reference materials in CD-ROM formats, videotapes, DVDs, audiotapes and CD’s. Because of community interest, Odom Boulevard Branch has a multicultural collection. The branch houses a large number of African-American books and publications that serve as a resource for all users of the Akron-Summit County Public Library.
Programs for all ages
Service to meet a variety of needs
The Friends of Odom Boulevard Branch