Library News

ANC-1D Hosts Culmination of Mount Pleasant's Position on the Library Project

On Tuesday, March 17, 2009, ANC-1D hosted a meeting to formulate a resolution bearing the weight of the community in regard to the Mount Pleasant Library project. This follows on the heels of the March 3, 2009 meeting which brought about pledges of collaboration with DCPL.

Complete video of the meeting; about 1 hour 20 min

Despite it being a beautiful St. Patrick's day evening, La Casa's meeting room was filled with residents representing all sorts of groups concerned about the library project.

Also in attendance were DCPL staff including, Archie Williams - DCPL Intergovernmental Liaison, Chris Wright - Construction Manager, and Joi Mecks - Marketing Director.

The Mayor's Office of Community Outreach Services were there as well represented by Yaiza Burrell and Rachel Kanter.

ANC-1D Commissioners were pleased to have Councilmember Jim Graham facilitate the meeting once again, helping to get as much data on the table for the community and the Commission to discern appropriate next steps.

Commissioner Jack McKay shows how there are several neighborhoods currently underserved by the library

After about 90 minutes of open dialogue, the meeting culminated with the following ANC1D resolution, which embodies the sentiments that CM Graham will take to the DC Public Libraries:

Resolved, that ANC1D will work with Council Member Graham to present the concerns of the Mt. Pleasant and Greater Ward 1 Communities to the Library Board of Trustees and entreat them to come to the March 26, 2009 meeting to discuss with great forthrightness and earnestness, the following:
  1. To abandon any consideration of expansion or additions to the existing Mt. Pleasant Library, except possibly to accommodate mechanical upgrades.
  2. To restore and renovate the library within the existing walls
  3. To examine the question of where else in Ward 1 library services are needed and might be located;
  4. To consider alternative design concepts that might meet the needs of Ward 1.
It is the intent of the Commission that points 1 & 2 occur simultaneously with points 3 & 4.

DCPL talks about costs and project options...


Chris Otten, Ward One Library Coalition...

This meeting was a great opportunity for the Mount Pleasant community to announce their opinion regarding the Mount Pleasant Library project. The Ward One Library Coalition concurs with the ANC-1D resolution and believes a meaningful renovation of the historic Mount Pleasant library building is something that would help bring it up to ADA code and provide a fresh look with more efficient use of space than currently exists. Instead of expanding the building, this cost-sensitive choice shows that the residents of Mount Pleasant also want to see library services expanded to help under served neighbors in other parts of Ward One. The savings from renovating and not expanding this historic building can be used to build-out another library location in Ward One. Now Mount Pleasant residents need to make sure the Board of Library Trustees agrees this decision makes sense.

Richard Huffine, President of the Mount Pleasant Library Friends...

The Community dialogue about the planned expansion of the Mount Pleasant Library continued last night at the regular meeting of the Mount Pleasant ANC. Councilmember Graham was once again on hand to facilitate community dialogue about the planned expansion. DCPL had a cadre of staff and presented a Powerpoint presentation about the community input they had received since their first meeting in March 2008. Pedro Aviles spoke about his Outreach Study conducted under contract with DCPL and Sam Brooksmith of the Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance presented the results of a survey they conducted online.

DCPL also shared information about the amount currently available for construction of the expansion ($8.8 million) as well as their estimate for how much a renovation without expansion might cost ($5.2 million). The Councilmember sought consensus from those in attendance. There was consensus that the "glass cube" was not wanted and that a renovation with additional services in other parts of Ward One would be preferable. They conceded that a small addition to the rear to accommodate mechanical systems might also be acceptable.

The Commission introduced a resolution requesting a needs study for Ward One library needs and requesting a hault to design efforts until that study is completed. The resolution was modified substantially during public discussion. The Commission voted to accept the resolution and they plan to request action by the Board of Library Trustees at their March 25, 2009 meeting. That meeting will be held at 6:00 pm at the Georgetown Interim Library at 3307 M Street NW. There will also be another Mount Pleasant Community meeting on Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 6:30 pm at the Library, 3160 16th Street, NW.

I hope that you'll plan to attend both of these upcoming meetings and speak up regarding your own feelings about the renovation or expansion of the Mount Pleasant Library.

Richard Huffine, President
Friends of the Mount Pleasant Library
202-253-3511 c

Video of Richard Huffine talking about the library project and accessibility...