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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Making a Great Library

The Project for Public Spaces' April newsletter focuses on libraries, with a feature story on "Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever". Of note in the newsletter is their list of 14 Ways to makes a great library. These articles make for interesting reads, particularly as we embark on the design and construction of a new Watha T. Daniel/Shaw library. PPS advocates that successful libraries meet a variety of community needs and wear several hats (so to speak); while our new library will not be mixed use in the zoning sense, hopefully it will be mixed use in terms of its community orientation.

The interim modular library has been delivered to its site at 925 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, and is presently being assembled. It is expected to open in mid-June 2007. The old Watha T. Daniel/Shaw neighborhood library will be demolished by the end of July 2007; the bulk of the demolition work should commence in early May. A series of community meetings regarding the design of the new library will be scheduled soon.


richard said...

let hope it's light and airy and not similar to the existing library in looks or feeling.

Martin said...

a nice little café inside, with affordable fare, might help

Shaw Rez said...

Agreed; I think it's safe to say that the new design will be a great contrast to the old library. The PPS interestingly does not wholly tie successful libraries to fantastic architecture. No less, while they emphasize function, they do not disregard the importance of the look and feel of the place.

Shaw Rez said...

Martin - I think that'd be great. Even if it's not "in" the library for sanitation/whatever reasons, a cafe on site would make the place much more user friendly (e.g., wouldn't it be great to check out a book and then read it in the cafe?). Hopefully that possibility hasn't been ruled out yet.