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Watha T. Daniel Library

Community Meeting on Watha T. Daniel Library Delays, 03/01/06
By Alex Padro
Feb 28, 2006, 09:45

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On Wednesday, March 1, 2006, at 6:30 PM, at the Kennedy Recreation Center, 1401 7th Street, NW, Councilmember Kathy Patterson, chair of the Council Committee on Education, Libraries, and Recreation, and officials of the DC Public Library will attend a meeting sponsored by the Friends of Watha T. Daniel Library to discuss the serious concerns our community has about the repeated failures on the part of DCPL to proceed with construciton of a new library branch at 7th Street and Rhode Island Avenue and to provide temporary service in the interim. The meeting will be open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

Shaw's children and seniors have had no library service for 18 months, since the Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Neighborhood Library was closed for reconstruction. In that time, the contract to replace the current library, located at 1701 8th Street, NW, had to be canceled because of costs increases incurred by DC Public Library's desire to explore mixed use development options at the four closed branches (the others are Tenley-Friendship, Benning Road, and Anacostia). This cancellation may give us a chance to get more than the 16,000 square foot, two-story building that was budgeted to replace the current 24,000 square foot, three-story building. Or will they sell off the site and leave us without a library permanently?

The DC Public Library has failed to sign a lease for a temporary library location for the past eight months. In the meantime, prime retail space where the temporary library could have been located has been leased to others, and the temporary facility is proposed to be established on U Street, over seven blocks away. Should young children have to walk that far unescorted in order to use a computer or get help with their homework? Or should the temporary facility be set up in trailers closer to the current library?

The DC Public Library currently only provides library services in the neighborhood on a bookmobile, three hours per week. Should we ask for a bookmobile six days per week instead of a temporary branch?

These are all questions that should be addressed at the meeting. Please plan to attend, and bring neighbors and friends.

For more information, contact Alexander M. Padro, President, Friends of Watha T. Daniel Library, at or 202-518-3794.


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

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