Library News

The Ward One Library Coalition

The Mount Pleasant Library is a historic gem of Mount Pleasant and Ward One in Washington, DC.

Mount Pleasant Library
The Mount Pleasant Library in Ward One, WDC.

One of the four original Carnegie libraries in DC, it was built in 1925. It still stands as Ward One's only public library!

DC Public Library (DCPL) had planned to renovate the library as recently as 2005-2006.

There were lots of communtity meetings and much discussion about the renovation plans among librarians, the Friends, and Ward One residents. Many people were excited about a restoration of the historic building, finally.

But when Ginnie Cooper was hired as the Chief Librarian in 2006, the renovation plans were suddenly taken off the table without much public notice.

See a brief
timeline here

Two years later, in 2008, back on the table came a library construction plan and a budget -- Twelve million dollars to renovate, and expand, our historic library.

Ward One residents never asked for an expansion. Historic preservationists were never approached by DCPL about how this idea may affect the building. Librarians weren't asked about how an expansion may affect their service. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners were not included in the decision to expand.

DCPL's proposed renovation, and expansion, plan has raised alot of concerns among Ward One residents and design experts and historic preservationists.

Fire Safety | Welcoming Access | Expert Analysis


DCPL has never truly demonstrated the need for an expansion publicly. DCPL has never conducted a Ward One library services needs analysis. Since we only have one library in the whole Ward, people have been wondering why couldn't we expand library services to a satellite library somewhere else in the Ward, instead of trying to shoehorn a large expansion into the small lot behind the library.

Map of Ward One Library Services
Parts of Ward One are not being adequately
served by the library as seen by this map.
The Mount Pleasant Library is the only library in our Ward.
Underutilized Space in the Mount Pleasant Library
The current library building is not being used efficiently,
with more than three-thousand square feet
underutilized as seen in these floor-plan diagrams.

The District Dynamos and many Ward One neighbors are seeking changes to DCPL's proposed renovation and expansion plans. There has been a petition started, many groups have written letters in opposition, we've held rallies, and three of four Ward One Advisory Neighborhood Commissions have passed resolutions expressing skepticism and concerns about the plans.

Help bring some logic to this important civic project.
Your concern and energy can help us win a library plan that makes sense.

Sign the petition | Write a letter to Jim Graham, Councilmember Ward One (