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Watha T. Daniel Library

Council Meeting on New Library Branches, including Watha T. Daniel/Shaw, 11/10
By Alex Padro
Nov 9, 2005, 16:12

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On Thursday, November 10, 2005, beginning at 6:30 PM, at the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 412, representatives of the Council of the District of Columbia, DC Public Library, DC Office of Contracts and Procurement, and DC Office of Property Management will present information and answer questions from the public on the four neighborhood libraries that were closed for replacement in January 2005 and for which the contract for replacement has been terminated. These branches include Watha T. Daniel/Shaw, Tenley-Friendship, Benning, and Anacostia.

Two locations for temporary storefront libraries in Shaw have been identified with my cooperation, and a lease is to be signed shortly. The original date for opening the temporary libraries was December 2005, which is obviously impossible to achieve, since the locations need to be designed, built out, and equipped. A definite opening date for the temporary library should be sought by Shaw residents attending the meeting.

Shaw residents are complaining about having two more years without a full service library in the community. Already, I am getting calls from parents about their children having to go to the Martin Luther King, Jr. . Memorial Library in order to get information and help on homework and other school assignments. Many parents are uncomfortable sending their children so far from home on their own, or having to make changes in their schedules in order to accompany their children downtown. Not having a library in the neighborhood potentially lowers the potential for positive educational outcomes for many of our neighborhood's children.

Lastly, an explanation of the process to be followed and a schedule of the steps in designing the new library building at 7th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, NW, should be pressed for at the meeting. The community spent nearly a year attending meetings, doing outreach, and providing input into the last design process. It is important to determine what portion of that effort is to be used in designing the new building, or whether the community's effort, along with the approximately $10 million that was wasted on architectural and engineering work for the four branches, is going into the garbage heap.

I look forward to seeing many community residents and library supporters at the meeting.


Alexander M. Padro
Commissioner, ANC 2C01
1519 8th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-3205
Voice: 202-518-3794
Fax: 202-518-0078

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