Library Facilities Master Plan Planning Process

Library Facilities Master Plan Planning Process

Aligning Future Library Services with Community Needs

Learn more about how DC Public Library developed the Library Facilities Master Plan to help guide the next 10 years of planning for library services across the city. 

What Is the Plan? | Why Now? | Community Meetings | Community Engagement

What Is the Plan?

The plan:

  • Analyzes how customers currently use libraries and what services might be needed or expanded.
  • Explores the impact of city growth on how we deliver library services.
  • Engages the community in conversations to ensure future planning aligns with community needs.
  • Evaluates the condition of library buildings and help us plan for future maintenance needs.
The Library Facilities Master Plan provides a framework to ensure future investments in DC Public Library services are responsive to community needs.  

Why Now?

Over the past decade, DC Public Library has invested a half-billion dollars in renovating and rebuilding the city's libraries. To date, 19 projects are complete, with five more libraries in the design or construction phase. These new buildings have raised the bar for what D.C. residents expect in library service. 

Every measure of use has grown tremendously. Library circulation has increased 250 percent in the past decade. The Library now welcomes nearly 4 million visitors per year.

The way libraries are used can differ by neighborhood. In some locations, meeting rooms are more in demand while public computers or books are the most used service at other locations. As such, there is potential to increase use even more by customizing building programs based on community needs. In addition, as neighborhoods in D.C. have changed and grown over the past several decades, some residents are without easy access to a neighborhood library.

The Library Facilities Master Plan helps steer decision making. The Plan also helps the Library work with elected leaders to determine funding priorities.

Community Meetings

In late February and early March 2019, the Library hosted four community meetings across the city to gather initial input from residents about current and future Library needs.

The Library hosted a second round of community meetings to share results of the work to date and how the plan is taking shape.

View the community meeting presentation here.

Feedback gathered at these meetings will helped us refine the planning goals and develop the recommendations.

Community Engagement

The Library conducted extensive community engagement in developing the plan. 

Surveys -- The Library conducted a survey to gain more in-depth insight into what residents want from their public library. More than 1,200 residents responded to the survey with responses from 28 zip codes across the city.

Community Meetings -- The Library hosted six community meetings during the development of the Library Facilities Master Plan to ensure the plan aligns with community needs.  

Focus Groups -- The Library conducted 8 focus groups with a range of audiences including current library customers, D.C. residents who do not currently use the library,  Spanish speaking residents, teens and others who may face barriers to accessing library services.

Email -- Residents were invited to submit comments via email if they weren't able to participate in the community meetings. We received more than 100 comments.