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Cleveland Public Library, located in Cleveland, Ohio operates the Main Library on Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland, 27 branches throughout the city, a mobile library, a Public Administration Library in City Hall, and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled. The library replaced the State Library of Ohio as the location for the Ohio Center for the Book in 2003.
Front entrance to the Cleveland Public Library's central location on Superior Avenue
|Location||325 & 525 Superior Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44114|
|Access and use|
|Director||Felton Thomas, Jr. (2009)|
In 1811, the idea behind the Cleveland Public Library came "out of small beginnings" when sixteen of Cleveland's sixty-four residents subscribed to its first library, established to distribute the rare printed book. The members read books such as the history of Rome, Lives of the English Poets, Goldsmith's Greece, and Don Quixote. 
In 1867, the Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Dayton Boards of Education petitioned the Ohio General Assembly for authority to levy a tax for the maintenance of free public libraries, permitting boards of education with populations over 20,000 to levy a tax of one-tenth of a mill for each dollar evaluation of their taxable property. Cleveland Superintendent, the Reverend Anson Smyth, who has been doubtfully called the "father of the Cleveland Public Library," supported this law in his Superintendent position, helping in the laws' development. 
The new law provided for a Cleveland library that was part of the school system, controlled by the Cleveland Board of Education throughout the first decade of the library's existence, except for the years 1871-1873. 
The Cleveland Public Library opened on February 17, 1869 on the third floor of the Northup and Harrington Block on West Superior Avenue, The library room was adjacent to the Cleveland Board of Education, and opened with approximately 5,800 books. 
Luther Melville Oviatt was the first librarian at Cleveland Public Library from 1869 to 1875. During his first year, patrons borrowed 65,000 books. Forwarding thinking in his views, Oviatt wanted to provide books that would interest both children and adults, the mechanic, businessman, and scholar. He had open shelves because, "without a catalog, the only way potential borrowers could ascertain what books were available was to look at them." Oviatt resigned in June, 1875, the victim of governing boards or their subsidiaries, who micromanaged daily operations of the library. 
In 1915, the Cleveland architectural firm of Walker and Weeks won a competition to design a new library building. Construction of their classical Renaissance design, delayed by the First World War, began in 1923 under Linda Anne Eastman. Eastman (1867–1963) was the first woman to head a major U.S. city library system and a pioneer in the modern library system. She opened bookshelves to patrons, replacing the New York Public Library system in which a librarian fetched the books.
The Main Library consists of two buildings. The older wing, completed on May 6, 1925 and renovated between 1997 and 1999, has five stories, each as high as two stories in most buildings. The renovations included the restoration of a large mural painted by Ora Coltman in 1934 for the Federal Arts Project. The work was done by the Intermuseum Conservation Association. The second building, named after former U.S. Congressman Louis Stokes, was dedicated on April 12, 1997. Stokes commented, "This is the most beautiful that I have ever seen." The $65 million structure of fritted glass panels and Georgia marble housed eight million items and two million titles on its grand opening.  The two buildings are connected by underground corridor below the Eastman Reading Garden, which was designed by landscape architecture firm OLIN, and includes sculptures by Maya Lin and Tom Otterness.
The Main Library's special collections include the Mears and Murdock baseball collections, the Cleveland Theater collection, the John G. White chess and checkers collection, a 130,000-volume children's collection, a 74,000-volume rare book collection, and collection of 1.3 million photographs.
The Cleveland Public Library has 27 neighborhood branches located throughout the city in addition to the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled:
In 2002, the Cleveland Public Library had annual attendance of 804,692 and an annual circulation of 1,698,928 items. In 2016, the library's collection totaled 10,557,336 items. The Cleveland Public Library is a member of CLEVNET, a consortium of 44 public libraries throughout northern Ohio. In 1947, it became a depository library for the United Nations Library network, holding documents for the state of Ohio. There are only 400 UN depository libraries worldwide.
In 2002, Northern Ohio library patrons had access to download digital books and periodicals through a new e-book system headquartered at Cleveland Public Library. The Clevnet consortium of libraries entered in a $50,000 setup-free agreement with the Cleveland based company OverDrive to allow patrons to download text from e-books to their personal computer. 
In 2012, the Library released a strategic plan focusing on communities of learning and preparing for its 150th anniversary in 2019.
Cleveland Public Library launched Tech Central on June 14, 2012, featuring a computer lab with 90 computers, tables encouraging collaboration, a 3D printer, and a MyCloud service. This $1 million dollar launch was funded primarily through the Library's existing budgets, in which the MyCloud service was partially funded through corporate partners. 
Cleveland Digital Public Library, along with four other Ohio Libraries (Columbus, Toledo, and Cincinnati), opened digitization hubs, with $1 million in funding dispersed among them, funded by Ohio Public Library Information Network and the Library Services Technology Act. Cleveland Digital Public Library debuted in February, 2015. As stated by Chatham Ewing, Cleveland Public Library's Digital Strategist, "It's a way for us to strike up some partnerships with local organizations that have historical objects they are interested in stewarding and digitizing."