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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Be careful what you wish for

The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library has been closed for "Reconstruction" since December 30, 2004. Despite many broken promises about its reconstruction and about temporary library resources for Shaw residents, we are indeed about to get what we've been waiting for... sort of.

Walk along the north side of Rhode Island Avenue between 11th and 10th Street (across from Seaton Elementary) and you will see stakes saying “building corner” and orange spray paint in the area adjacent to the tennis courts and athletic field. Modular units (known as trailers where I come from. . .) for a temporary library facility, now scheduled to open in March 2007, are being placed on this land.

I guess it's good that we're finally getting a temporary library facility, and this is centrally located for the school children nearby. Unfortunately no matter what you call them, however, "modular units" are an eyesore. Furthermore, there's a real danger that if and when a new library is indeed reconstructed on the Watha T. Daniel site, these trailers will continue to be used for school purposes. In other words, we might need to get used to looking at these ugly things. It seems to me like a big waste of resources in a library system lacking a cohesive vision and funding.

TRAILER PHOTO CREDIT: Cranberry Tarts, available here (without my editorial changes to the photo). Note that our trailer probably won't look like this one...

1 comment:

Shaw Rez said...

Alex Padro held a public meeting in March 2006 regarding the library issue. The DCPL declined to enter into a contract for retail space, although Alex provided them with several optional retail locations in the neighborhood. The DCPL wanted something practically ready to move in (um, they wanted something "ready to move in" yet they've waited this long to commence installing the trailers??), and that wasn't what was available. Leasing a retail space would have been a great temporary solution to the need for a temporary library.