Once planning begun in 2012 to re-design and re-open the Q House, attention quickly turned to Stetson Library. Since the Q House’s closing more than a decade ago, Stetson has served as a much-needed community center and “hub” of the Dixwell and Newhallville neighborhoods—yet its meager 7,500 square-foot facility built in the 1960s is ill-equipped to meet the evolving needs of the community.

The New Stetson Library, the anchor tenant of the Q House, will include the resources needed to meet the demands of 21st century interactive learning and the promotion of multiple literacies: reading, digital, financial and cultural. The library will contain new and upgraded technology, equipment for DIY maker projects, an expanded collection of books and materials, and spaces to work, play, explore and collaborate. 

Imagine a warm, colorful, inviting space lined with windows to provide light and streetscape views. The interior features flexible, modular furniture and operable folding walls to partition different areas. Designed to celebrate the traditions of the African diaspora, the library will include different textures, fabrics and finishes that reflect the cultural heritage of the community. 


The first floor of the New Stetson Library is designed to be an open, welcoming space facing the bustling Dixwell Avenue. Large windows flood the library with natural light and an open floor plan creates a flexible place to learn, play and explore.

This space houses Stetson’s collection of materials for young minds, families, caregivers and age-specific resources for teachers. A dedicated “kids zone” includes a special discovery room with folding walls to partition the area for programs and activities. 


The second floor is home to resources for teens and adults. The Technology Commons is equipped with computer workstations providing high-speed internet and access to a wealth of online resources, databases, workshops and tutorials. The window-lined reading lounge is the optimal place to study or enjoy the latest bestseller.

The Discovery Lab and Innovation Studio is Stetson’s destination for teens, and the teen lounge is an ideal spot to do homework, socialize, play games and tackle DIY projects.

Stetson’s roster of ongoing programs, meetings, discussions and book clubs will find a new warm, welcoming space in the Community Conversations room. The Active Learning Classroom, outfitted with the latest technology and AV equipment, is perfect for workshops and collaborative learning. 


  • 60% increase in space exclusive to the library on two floors
  • Access to shared spaces and resources in the Q House, including meeting rooms, recording studio and a gymnasium
  • State-of-the-art technology, makerspace and interactive, hands-on learning equipment
  • Increased availability of public access computers connected to high-speed internet
  • Books, DVDs, audio recordings and online resources for all ages
  • Learning materials and teacher resources designed for infants, toddlers, children and teens
  • Expansion of Stetson’s renowned African-American literature collection
  • A new installation of the famous Carl Van Vechten Harlem Renaissance portraits