Tag Archives: Washington DC

D.C.’s Martin Luther King Jr. Library poised for facelift

“On a Saturday afternoon at downtown’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, computer users in sweatshirts and suits tapped away in the first-floor Digital Commons. Downstairs, on the lower level, several dozen tango dancers practiced the paso doble as a DJ spun music. And on the top floor, in a cemetery-quiet room that holds the local-history Washingtoniana Division, a young man with a large camera snapped photos of antique plate maps.” (via The Washington Post)

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DC public school students now have city library cards

“Middle- and high-school students in the nation’s capital now have better access to the city’s public libraries, thanks in part to a White House initiative. The program is called the ConnectEd Library Challenge. Back in April, President Barack Obama challenged 30 communities to ensure that all students have access to library cards.” (via AP)

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DC Public Library’s Strategic Plan Sets New Goals for Ward 6 Libraries

“Down the stairs and into the Anacostia Library meeting room a group of patrons gathered. At the center sat an Eastern High School junior. Nathaniel Howard knows he wants to go to college. He wants to study journalism and English and he wants to succeed. His goals depend in part on the resources he uses five days a week at his neighborhood library branch. “My vision for the library is to have more technology, more tutors for help getting into college, and community outreach for young teens,” Howard said.” (via Capital Community News)

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Hoping to raise interest in books, public library opens school branch

“The kindergarten students sat in rows on a rainbow-colored carpet and listened to a story during a visit to their new school library. Then they did a reading cheer — “Read, Baby, Read!” — before they got to go “shopping” for books. Within a few minutes, the children at D.C. Prep Benning Public Charter School were lined up clutching books about Hot Wheels, princesses, pandas, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Curious George, Superman, and Pete the Cat, to name a few. The students usually select books in their classrooms, going through shelves or bins that are organized by reading level. But the Ward 7 school added 5,000 new books in March by opening a D.C. Public Library branch inside the school.” (via The Washington Post)

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Unequal shelves in D.C. school libraries benefit wealthier students

“Lafayette Elementary School, in upper Northwest Washington, has one of the largest library collections in the District’s public school system, with more than 28,000 books filling stacks on two floors. Drew Elementary, 12 miles away and east of the Anacostia River, has one of the city’s smallest inventories: 300 catalogued books lining shelves along two of the library’s walls. Reading and literacy are high priorities for the urban school district, as proficiency rates for its poorest students dwell below the averages for major cities. But the District dedicates no annual funding for school-library collections, instead relying on the largesse of parents or the kindness of strangers to stock its shelves through donations.” As a result, an unequal system has developed. (via The Washington Post)

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Plans for privately financed addition to D.C.’s MLK Library unravel after three years

“A plan three years in the making to pay for a renovation of the District’s central library by adding floors on top and renting them out has unraveled amid concerns about financing, practicality and historic preservation. Instead, D.C. Public Library trustees voted last week to pursue a more modest, publicly financed renovation that they say could transform the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library into a world-class urban center of learning in as little as four years.” (via The Washington Post)

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D.C. rethinks its central library plans, goes bigger

“The District’s big plans for its overhauled central library have expanded, though a mixed-use addition remains an option for the downtown landmark. The D.C. Public Library initially estimated it would need as little as 200,000 square feet of the 440,000-square-foot, Mies van der Rohe-designed Martin Luther King Jr. Library for library services. But after receiving more than 3,000 comments from the public, the DCPL has decided to use the entire building at 901 G St. NW, plus a new fifth floor, for library use.” (via Washington Business Journal)

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A new D.C. online archive lets users sample photos, drawings, maps and more

“Though they both lived in Washington, it’s unlikely that Clifford Berryman and Joseph Owen Curtis ever met. Berryman was the Washington Evening Star’s political cartoonist. Curtis was an amateur photographer. One used a pen to tweak lawmakers, especially over the issue of voting rights for Washingtonians. The other used a camera to celebrate the people and places of his Southwest Washington neighborhood. Now the two nestle together digitally at Dig DC, a new online archive created by the D.C. Public Library’s Special Collections department.” (via The Washington Post)

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D.C. public library system highlighted in Aspen Institute’s national report

“One of the District’s least highlighted gems is getting some national love. Tuesday, The Aspen Institute issued a report called “Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries.” The document is the work of the institute’s Communications and Society Program, which put together the Dialogue on Public Libraries to study how the facilities can be better equipped to deal with a rapidly changing information world. As it turns out, the District is doing pretty well in that regard.” (via The Washington Post)

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D.C. adds a social worker to library system to work with homeless patrons

“Among the many roles for which public libraries are appreciated, there’s one that can be problematic: de facto day shelter for homeless people. Downtown’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library attracts many such patrons, and Jean Badalamenti understands why. “The city drops folks from three shelters off here every morning and picks them up in the evening. So they come here because of that,” said Badalamenti, a social worker who in May became the D.C. Public Library’s first health and human services coordinator.” (via The Washington Post)

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