Tag Archives: Washington DC

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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DC plans public meeting on MLK library renovation

“Architects and library officials want to hear from the public about what they would like to see in a major renovation of the central Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington. The library is holding a public meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the central library for the public to share ideas. Library officials want to know what services, facilities and technology that patrons would like to see in the renovated library.” (via AP)

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The District library’s Washingtoniana division is a treasure trove of D.C. history

“People occasionally approach me — on the street, in the grocery checkout line, at the polo match — and say, “Excuse me, Mr. Man, there’s a question I’ve always wanted to ask you.” I typically respond, “Please, call me ‘Answer.’ What can I do for you?” “How do you do it? How do you know so much about so many things?” I give a knowing wink and walk away. Why should Answer Man give up his secrets for free?” (via The Washington Post)

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New D.C. library chief sees MLK as ‘empty canvas’

“Richard Reyes-Gavilan, the next chief of the D.C. Public Library, loves big libraries. In his introductory remarks Thursday before Mayor Vincent C. Gray and other dignitaries, he was rhapsodic in describing visits to the central library in his childhood home of Queens, N.Y. “The dignity that I was afforded when I walked through the revolving doors of that building on Merrick Boulevard every Saturday morning was like nothing I ever experienced,” he said. “Here was a space that made me important. It encouraged my curiosity, it made me a better student, it made me a more civic-minded person.” (via Washington Post)

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New Yorker will head D.C. library system

“The next leader of the District’s public library system will come from Brooklyn — just like his predecessor. Richard Reyes-Gavilan will be named chief librarian of the D.C. Public Library at a Thursday news conference at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, according to two officials with knowledge of the pick who were not authorized to speak publicly before the announcement.” (via The Washington Post)

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D.C. schools get thousands of new library books, musical instruments, computers

“D.C. Public Schools announced Thursday that it has purchased 85,000 new books for school libraries around the city, an investment that comes after years of pressure from parents and activists. Schools also have received 4,000 new musical instruments, 2,000 desktop computers and more than 1,300 laptops and tablets, as well as art supplies and science lab equipment.” (via The Washington Post)

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Opposition to D.C. public-private land deals imperil library, other projects

“During the past five years, District leaders have spent nearly $200 million to rebuild or renovate 14 public libraries. But the West End Neighborhood Library, a fraying, 46-year-old, concrete-and-brick edifice at 24th and L streets NW, has not been among them.

Plans dating back more than seven years to replace the library and a nearby fire station at no direct cost to taxpayers have languished despite the support of two mayors, a unanimous D.C. Council and numerous community groups.” (via The Washington Post)

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