DCPL: “Wall Street Journal Names New Shaw Library One of the Best Buildings in 2010”

From a press release:

In an article praising the innovative civic buildings opened in 2010, The Wall Street Journal named the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library as one of the year’s best.

The article listed the library along with the MIT Media Lab and Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Journal noted that the library’s architecture is part of national trend that, “says much about the priorities and the programs going on inside libraries, where media-related services, community meeting spaces and teen rooms are becoming the norm as the former safe havens for books and bookworms turn themselves into interactive civic centers.”

Designed by the architect firm of Davis Brody Bond Aedas, the new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library is approximately 22,000 square feet and features space for 80,000 books, DVDs, CDs and other library materials; 32 public access computers with free Wi-Fi Internet access; comfortable seating for 200 customers; a large programming room for up to 100 people; two conference rooms; and a vending area.

12 Comment

  • why not provide a link to the WSJ article?

  • Easy for WSJ to say…they don’t have to pay for this thing.

  • It’s an awesome library. Really a great resource for the entire neighborhood.

  • Great building. I wonder what, if anything, DCPL plans on doing to keep it from being just another smelly day-care center for DC’s ‘homeless’ (i.e. mental ill and substance-abusing) population.

  • I generally like the building but find the giant “Library” sign on the side of the building stupid.

  • Love, Love, LOVE this building and the library too. I can reserve my books online and they are waiting for me when I arrive. I can also sort through DVD titles and reserve them as well. I am saving a ton of $$ since this branch is close to me, and the staff is great.

  • Sorry, I have to vehemently disagree. Shaw library is a criminal waste of space. Yes, it is a beautiful building, but the amount of seating is ridiculously small. The ceilings are outrageously high. As a result, there are two floors in a building that could easily contain four. I like a beautiful building, but not at such incredible expense. With the renovation of Petworth and Mt. Pleasant libraries, Shaw was going to be my go-to study location. Not a chance. It is packed out every single day. On such a premium plot, I wish the city had built a larger building to scale. Wholly insufficient for the community’s needs. I honestly can’t say much better for Mt. Pleasant and Petworth. Just insufficient for the communities they serve. Money dumped into these old buildings could have easily built larger, spacious, comfortable libraries in better locations.

    • That’s true. The time I went there, I was impressed by the building itself, but the volume of people there kind of killed the experience for me. The study rooms weren’t completely occupied, but every other inch was. I eventually settled upon a seat that had been placed in the stairwell next to some gigantic windows.

      I’m not sure that increased ceiling height significantly increases building expense, however.

      • I think increased ceiling height significantly increases _general_ expenses in the sense that it takes far more energy, and therefore money, to heat and cool that space.

        Also, I think that the money spent on a fancy architect could have been spent on function instead.

    • I totally disagree. You can’t just “slide in” another floor at the same cost b/c you have high ceilings. HAhahah. I’d much rather a building with a smaller footprint and more efficient use of space that’s full of life than a ginormous box w/ 8′ ceilings that may as well be a trailer. So suburban. Isn’t that what was torn down?

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