Flint, MI—After more than two years and over $30 million in renovations, the Flint Public Library is celebrating its grand opening May 19 – 21 with a host of events at its 1026 E. Kearsley St. location.

“Yes, third time’s a charm,” joked Wanda Harden, Flint Public Library Communications Manager, during a May 18 tour of the facility.

While Harden said supply chain shortages pushed the grand opening weekend back twice (the last anticipated opening was March 2022), she said staff can’t wait to serve Flint residents again—even more of them given the renovation.

“According to our architect, when they re-did their library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa usership went up by 30 percent,” Harden said, adding that FPL previously served around 500 visitors per day.

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Outside of the library building, there is now a courtyard with seating and an expansive view of Kearsley Street, curved conversation benches, and a mural full of story book characters by local muralist Kevin Burdick.

Inside, the space is equipped with plenty of comfortable seating, conference rooms, desktop computers and laptops, self-checkout stations, sensory areas for children, filtered water stations, and, of course, the library’s expansive collection of books, microfilm, DVDs, and CDs.

From preserving the original mosaic tile artwork to ensuring the library is fully accessible, Harden noted that every detail of the building’s new design was considered with the community in mind.

“It’s for the people of Flint,” Harden said of what sticks out to her most about the completed renovation. “This building is the only building in the Cultural Center owned by the people of Flint.”

The Flint Public Library’s renovation project cost $30.6 million and was funded by Flint resident approved bonds, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and capital campaign donations from individuals, families, and foundations.

The library is welcoming guests on Thursday, May 19 from 12pm – 4pm for self-guided tours of the building. Then, on Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21, FPL operations will resume as normal with other celebratory events sprinkled in.

More information on the Flint Public Library’s grand opening activities can be found here.

A view of the children’s section of the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The original Svea Kline mosaic tiles to the left and right of the children’s area fish tank were preserved from the original building’s design. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
A view of the children’s section of the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The original Svea Kline mosaic tiles in the children’s section seating area were preserved from the original building’s design. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
An ‘Everbrite’ wall lights up inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the children’s program room at the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. The mural in the courtyard was painted by local muralist Kevin Burdick. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
The courtyard outside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the Charles Stewart Mott Community Room at the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
An El Anatsui artwork from Flint’s Mott Warsh gallery hangs inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
A seating area inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
A seating area inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Graphic novels displayed inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
A portion of “The Hangout” area inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
A view of the Learning Stairs inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The stairs serve as a performance space and seating area for the library, which is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the Sky Salon—named after former Flint Public Library director, Gloria Coles—of the newly renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. Current communications manager Wanda Harden said the pattern of the chairs was designed based on an outfit Coles once wore on the cover of a magazine. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
A wall of rotating artwork from Flint’s Mott Warsh gallery, inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Conference rooms inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
A view of the Greater Flint African American Sports Hall of Fame inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The touchscreen (left) allows visitors to look through an alphabetical listing of Greater Flint African American sports figures. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
A second floor seating area inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside one of the newly-renovated Flint Public Library’s conference rooms in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside one of multiple kitchen areas in the newly-renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the Podcast and Digital Studio of the newly renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The studio will not be available for public use until July 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
A view of the laptop check-out kiosk at the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The laptops can be checked out and used within the library but will not function if removed from the premises. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Self-checkout stations inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the genealogy area of the newly renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library hosts the second-largest open-stack genealogy collection in the state. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the genealogy area of the newly renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library hosts the second largest open-stack genealogy collection in the state. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
The Flint Public Library’s Audubon sits in a glass case in the genealogy section of the Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. A page of giant bird species catalog is turned once every two weeks by the library’s Local History and Genealogy librarian, Michael Madden. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the genealogy area of the newly renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library hosts the second largest open-stack genealogy collection in the state. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the genealogy area of the newly renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library hosts the second largest open-stack genealogy collection in the state. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library is celebrating its grand opening May 19-21, 2022. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)
Inside the genealogy area of the newly renovated Flint Public Library in Flint, Mich. on May 18, 2022. The library hosts the second largest open-stack genealogy collection in the state. (KT Kanazawich | Flint Beat)

Kate Stockrahm

Kate is Flint Beat's economic development reporter. She joins the team as a corps member of Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered...