With 18,200 square feet, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch was conceived as a regional branch, four to five times larger than the size of a regular branch library. Mrs. Louise Bolden was appointed Librarian in charge of Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch when it opened in 1970. Mrs. Bolden built a collection of African-American books including history, biography, anthologies, literature, sociology and reference material that was housed at the branch.
This branch is constructed of yellow brick with highly arched windows that allow natural light for the interior. A graceful arcade mirrors the windows’ shape and surrounds the building. There is a driveway on the north side of the building, a drive-up window and a spacious parking lot. Antique gates were donated by former library trustee, Mrs. Robert H. Jamison. The second floor is a gallery.
In 1970 the CPL board resolved that an important aspect of the new branch would include a Black Studies center and an urban center, having books and services related to urban problems.
Artwork at this branch comes alive each year when library staff members participate in Parade the Circle, a University Circle Inc. arts-themed event.