Good News! When MLK Library closes for renovations in “spring 2017, neighborhood libraries which are currently closed on Thursday mornings will open at 9:30 a.m.”

by Prince Of Petworth — November 10, 2016 at 12:30 pm 11 Comments


From DCPL:

“When the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library closes for modernization in mid-2017, District residents will have more hours at their neighborhood libraries. DC Public Library Executive Director Richard Reyes-Gavilan made the announcement last night at the first of eight community meetings on the plans for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and for library services during construction.


In his presentation, Reyes-Gavilan outlined the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library modernization project¹s history, timeline and most recent design images. When the $208 million transformation is complete, the Library will become the center of activity for the already vibrant downtown area. The building will feature a new, inspiring, and transparent entryway; sculptured monumental stairs; large auditorium and conference center; creative spaces for fabrication, music production and art creation; ground level café with patio; double-height reading room; large, interactive children¹s space; expanded special collections space for researchers and local history enthusiasts, and a roof top event space with terrace.

After the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library closes in spring 2017, neighborhood libraries which are currently closed on Thursday mornings will open at 9:30 a.m. In addition to opening a Library Express location at 19th and K St. NW and expanding operating hours at all neighborhood libraries, many items that are unique to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and books that are in good condition will be available at the District¹s 25 neighborhood libraries.

Because the $208 million renovation budget must cover the construction costs and temporary library service costs, some of the services offered in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will not be replicated. During the construction, special emphasis will be placed on providing services that are unique to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Specifically:

· Some services, including public access computers; the Adult Literacy Resource Center and Center for Accessibility, will be provided at Library Express located at 19th and K St. NW.

· Special Collections, including parts of Washingtoniana, will be available at partner organizations.

· The Labs, which include the Fabrication, Memory and Studio labs will be modified and relocated.

Last night¹s meeting continues the community engagement that began in 2013. To date, nearly 60 community and stakeholder meetings and 13 focus groups have been held across the city, hundreds of surveys submitted, and more than 3,000 people have provided input into the design in person or online. Seven more meetings will be held to share the latest designs that were informed by the community feedback and answer questions.

· Nov. 14; 7 p.m. – Mount Pleasant Library; 3160 16th St. NW; (Ward 1)

· Nov. 30; 7 p.m. – Southwest Library; 900 Wesley Place SW; (Ward 6)

· Dec. 1; 7 p.m. – Shepherd Park/Juanita E. Thornton Library; 7420 Georgia Ave. NW; (Ward 4)

· Dec. 5; 6:30 p.m. – Woodridge Library; 1801 Hamlin St. NE; (Ward 5)

· Dec. 7; 5:30 p.m. – Francis A. Gregory Library; 3660 Alabama Ave. SE; (Ward 7)

· Dec. 13; 7 p.m. – Tenley-Friendship Library; 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW; (Ward 3)

· Dec. 15; 6:30 p.m. – Anacostia Library; 1800 Good Hope Road SE; (Ward 8)

A full copy of the interim services plan and images of the latest designs can be found at http://www.dclibrary.org/mlkfuture”

  • Chocolatier City

    Does this mean that the aggressive homeless people, drug use, fighting, and public urination/defecation will move to the community libraries? And will the library renovation do anything to prevent them from coming back when it reopens?

    • I get it, you’re uncomfortable interacting with homeless people, but they have as much of a right to use the library as you do.

      • Anon

        I get that seems like Chocolatier’s problem from the comment, but if you’d been to this block, you’d realize he/she has a good point.

        • Chocolatier City

          Comment Artist, have you ever visited that block? I used to work two blocks away from there. My female coworkers avoided it because they didn’t like the sexual harassment which happened nearly every time they walked past. You can smell the urine from across the street, there are frequent fights, drug use, public defecation, and a host of other activity which is intolerable in a civilized society.

  • Tim

    About time! MLK so desperately needs this upgrade.

  • Jamin Jimmy

    What happens to all of the people who live outside the doors of this place, keeping many away? Will they be back after the renovations?

    • derp derp

      +1. That is a huge reason why I walk out of my way to avoid this place. It will be a shame if they spend all the time and money to renovate and nobody wants to go near it.

      • smh

        maybe you should advocate for better homeless services, then. People don’t live outside of the library; they are there because they are homeless (often mentally ill and/or addicted) and their shelters close during the day.

        Homeless day centers, permanent supportive housing, more addiction treatment, SSI state supplements, and quality mental health care would help a lot of people be someplace other than in front of the library. If you’re not willing to pay for those services and you don’t want to see homeless people, maybe buy your books on Amazon?

        • textdoc

          To be fair, many area shelters drop off their residents at the MLK Library in the morning and pick them up there in the evening — it’s not like homeless people are spontaneously deciding to hang out at the library.
          I’ve never understood why shelters close during the day — seems unfair to their residents.

      • LT

        Since you go out of your way to avoid MLK, it makes sense that you don’t realize that even in it’s current state the library is full of people using it. Some homeless but many not. Families, students, business people. MLK staff is kept busy all day long. So yeah, not too worried about people wanting to use a beautiful new facility.

  • wpk_dc

    I’m a huge DC Public Library user/fan and I can’t wait for this to happen!!


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