Anacostia Community Design Process Meeting Summary and Compilation of Public Comments

Anacostia Community Design Process Meeting Summary and Compilation of Public Comments

Meeting Date: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007, 6 – 8 p.m.

Location: Anacostia Interim Library, 1800 Good Hope Rd. S.E., Washington, D.C. 20020

Meeting Purpose: Public meeting to provide the community with an opportunity to help shape the design of the new Anacostia Neighborhood Branch Library. The design team made a brief overview of the schematic design. Following the presentation, DC Public Library staff and the design team were available to discuss the project and answer questions. Meeting participants provided written comments on comment cards. They also made comments during a facilitated discussion.

Meeting Format: Presentation and interactive workshop format.

The presentation included a review, followed by a discussion of the schematic design for the new library.

A facilitated discussion allowed participants to provide comments on the design and ask library-related questions of DCPL staff and the project team

Attendees: Twelve community members added their names to the sign-in sheets. Ginnie Cooper, Archie Williams, Jeff Bonvenchio, Kim Fuller, Barbara Norland, Elissa Miller and the Anacostia Interim Library staff represented the DC Public Library. Guitele Nicoleau represented the DC Library Board of Trustees. The following members of the CirclePoint consulting team attended the meeting: W. Steve Lee and Tosin Durotoye.

The following lists do not represent a ranking of priorities.

Summary of Comments from the Facilitated Discussion

Library Use Issues
  • Would like the new Anacostia Library to have a center dedicated to adult literacy.
  • There should be a room dedicated to the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) and community volunteers.
  • The new Anacostia Library should have a computer lab.
Library Design Issues (Exterior)
  • Concerned by the proposed design’s focus on making the new library “iconic” and a “bell tower.” Residents just want a solid library.
  • Proposed library design does not fit within the context of the surrounding area.
  • Would like to suggest that the bell tower design be vetted through the community.
  • Like the use of glass in the proposed Anacostia Library design.
  • Proposed roof design of the new library is flat. How does this fit within the context of the surrounding area?
  • Flooding was an issue in the old Anacostia Library. Have the engineers for the new Anacostia library looked at this issue?
  • How does the District plan on funding the maintenance that will be needed for the new library?
  • Would like to see the documents that informed the decision that the old Anacostia Library could not be renovated.
  • Have considerations been made to use solar energy at the new library?
  • Would like to see a display area for local artists in the new Anacostia Library.

Summary of Comment Cards

Library Design Issues (Exterior)
  • Would like to see a green space with a playground, picnic tables, benches, and trashcans surrounding the new Anacostia Library.
  • How thick will the glass surrounding the children’s area be and who will clean it?
  • How does using glass for the children’s area provide security?

Library Design Issues (Interior)
  • Would like to see lots of community rooms and a media room.
  • Adult literacy and computer classes should be offered at the new Anacostia Library.
  • I would like to see lots of computers in the new Anacostia Library.
  • Be sure to have lots of tables so students coming from school can come to the library to complete homework without being crowded.
Design Process
  • Know your crowd. In a community meeting, we don’t need to know your inspiration. We need to know the facts, what it will offer and what we can add to it to fit the community’s needs. What do the design steps have to do with us?
The new library is scheduled to open in the early months of 2010. The next public meeting is April 10th, 2008 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Anacostia Interim Library.