The past ten years at DC Public Library
The 2009 opening of the renovated historic Takoma Public Library represented the first significant capital investment in a District public library in 19 years. Over the past 10 years, DC Public Library has continued to modernize or rebuild 19 more libraries -- an astounding average of almost two per year. During this period DC Public Library has rebuilt or renovated approximately 350,000 square feet of library space and an additional 150,000 square feet of interim library space to ensure continuity of operations during construction. By the end of 2020, DC Public Library will add an additional half million square feet of library space including the transformed Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library scheduled to open in the fall 2020.
The Future of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, D.C.’s central library, is undergoing a complete modernization. The flagship library will house a spectacular new, vibrant 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; newly designed special collections space for researchers and research enthusiasts, and a rooftop event space with a reading terrace.
The building, designed by modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was designated a historic landmark in 2007.
The $211 million rehabilitation, once complete, will become the center of activity for the already vibrant Chinatown area. The library closed on March 4, 2017. The new library will open on Sept. 24, 2020.
Learn more about the modernization plans here.
DC Public Library is building and renovating libraries across the city to provide state-of-the-art library services. To date, 20 libraries have been completely rebuilt or renovated. One project is about to begin construction, and two more are either in the design process or set to begin design in the coming months.
Check out the many awards the completed projects have received.
The library is building environmentally friendly and sustainable libraries. All new buildings and renovations meet or exceed LEED Silver Certification. Read more about the library’s green designs.
Community input is a critical part of the design process and the library has sought feedback in a number of ways:
- Community participation on architect selection panels
- Community meetings to get feedback during the design process
- Focus groups and surveys to learn what services a community values most
- Outreach at neighborhood meetings
- Online surveys and forums for public discussion