Public consultations on the project began in 2004 and construction didn’t start until a decade later.
The work was challenging because one of Calgary’s light-rail transit lines runs right through the building.
Calgary’s mayor, councillors, library officials and a number of special guests were at the opening celebrations, while astronaut Chris Hadfield was expected later in the day.
“It is because of the work of so many people that we are here in this magnificent space today,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
The mayor said the project was on time and under budget by $10 million.
International architecturecompany Snohetta and Calgary design firm DIALOG were chosen for the project after a global competition.
"You can't wipe the smile off of my face today, because this is Calgary, this is who we are! We believe that this library is not a dream, it is the springboard of dreams. And it is the place that will help us all dream bigger. This Library is our manifesto!" #HelloCentralpic.twitter.com/5hFT1HoAsg
"This library is a springboard for dreams. Dreams have to be big in order to build a community. This is not a building, this is what we believe & it will help us dream even bigger. It's a manifesto" says @nenshi#HelloCentral#yycpic.twitter.com/uDxJ5yxUQR
I toured the New Central Library today + was in absolute awe of the architecture, rooms, programs, features and more. I can’t share anything yet, but I’ll post on Thursday for opening day! Aside: this photo is totally #unfiltered. Sunset light is 👌🏼 #yyc#hellocentralpic.twitter.com/Aa6CLY8zG8