MLK Library Modernization Blog

Neighborhood Meetings

Share your ideas for the new central library

The Library is hosting a series of neighborhood meetings to share information about the MLK Library renovation project and gather feedback from residents about what library services they would like to see i

Watch Our Video

Re-Imagine a New Central Library

Take a virtual tour of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Hear why this historic building needs a complete renovation and how we hope to transform it into a state-of-the-art central library for D.C. residents.Watch the video.Learn more about the MLK Library renovation at

A Conversation with ANC Commissioner Tinpe

On the importance of engaging a diverse community

We recently spoke with John Tinpe, a member of the MLK Library Renovation Advisory Panel and an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for the neighborhood surrounding MLK Library. Specifically, Tinpe represents ANC 2C, which is the section of Ward 2 that extends roughly from 15 St. NW east to I-395, and from Massachusetts Ave. NW south to Independence Ave. SW.Mr. Tinpe shared his thoughts on the renovation and the importance of keeping members of D.C.’s diverse community engaged in the process.

What We’re Hearing

Services for People With Disabilities

Patrons of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library who use Adaptive Services have said they hope to feel welcome, comfortable and at ease in the newly renovated central library. Whether a disability impairs a person’s sight, vision or mobility, the library should accommodate everyone. 

Highlights from Last Week's Live Chat

 A major goal for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library renovation is to open up the building and make it more inviting for the public, said the project’s lead architect, Francine Houben, of the Dutch architectural firm Mecanoo. 

Interim Library Services

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will undergo a major renovation. The design and planning process for that renovation began last fall with the process to select and architect. We now have a concept design for the renovated building from the selected team of Martinez + Johnson/Mecanoo. The various required regulatory processes will begin this fall. 

Advisory Panel Member Interview: Meg Maguire

We recently spoke with Meg Maguire, a member of the MLK Library Renovation Advisory Panel and a retired community conservation consultant. She shared her thoughts on the renovation and the potential opportunities and challenges the project presents.“Potential for a Really Smashing Achievement”Renovating rather than replacing the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is the way to go, according to Meg Maguire. 

Richard Reyes-Gavilan Writes Op-Ed

How a Public Library Set Me Free

Last month, the Library's new executive director, Richard Reyes-Gavilan, published an op-ed piece in The Washington Post.  In it, he ties the sense of wonderment he experienced growing up with the central library in Queens, New York, with the need for a renovated MLK Library.  You can read the short piece here.

Chat Live with Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Renovation Architects

Watch the Entire Discussion

On Thursday, July 10 the DC Public Library held an online panel discussion exploring the design of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Renovation.

What We’re Hearing: Special Collections Focus

Washingtoniana and Black Studies Should Be a Showpiece

Library customers have expressed ideas for expanding and displaying more of special collections focusing on Washington’s history and the African-American experience in the United States – now housed as the Washintoniana Collection and the Black Studies Center respectively. Once the Martin Luther King Jr.