Sign In

414 Walnut St. 11th Story
Cincinnati, OH 45202

(513) 621 - 0717

Anyone can visit Closed Today arrow

Sign In purse
ask a librarian

You might already know this, but books are heavy. Thousands of books in one space-- really, really heavy.

Our collection contains about 85,000 volumes. And we’re adding more all the time. Deciding where books (and the stacks that house them) go has been one of the biggest parts of planning the 12th Story Project.

We know where they’ll go, but first the floor has to be reinforced.

Just as the floor of the 11th Story was reinforced when the Mercantile Library Building was under construction in 1903.

Read how the Cincinnati Enquirer described it in an article on January 6, 1903:

“The new Emery Building, which is to accommodate the Mercantile Library, is being specially constructed to carry its burden of books. The eleventh story, the whole of which will be occupied by the library, will have a floor of extra heavy iron, so that it may safely support the books. On the floor above will be an elegant chessroom and smoking room for the gentlemen. For many years the library has been a favorite place for ladies to meet each other down town to shop or attend the theater, and the ladies' drawing room, which is to be one of the new features will be appreciated. In the book department the Boston stack system will probably be adopted. This includes movable steel racks, with perforated shelves. The dust, instead of accumulating on these shelves, as has been the fashion from time immemorial, quietly sifts through and floats away, obviating the necessity for constant housecleaning.”

We kind of miss the chessroom, but not the smoke. And nothing can obviate 120+ years of dust.

Share This Page

Join Today

Join the Library Right Arrow

Want to Hear From Us?

We won't overload your mailbox.