Welcome to the MLK Library Modernization Idea Community

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, located at 901 G St. NW, will have a major modernization to meet the current and future needs of D.C. residents.

Your input is critical to an improved library.

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Here’s what we know about the library:
The modernized library will have books and other library materials and services for teens, children, adults including seniors, people with disabilities, D.C. history including D.C. African American history, meetings and the latest technology.

Where we need your help:
What should the services look like? Where in the building should they be located? What other services should be offered?

This idea community will help us answer these questions. You can provide feedback on all of the areas right now or over time.

The Library has selected the team of Martinez + Johnson Architecture and Mecanoo to design the modernization of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library.

Martinez + Johnson is a D.C.-based firm that has extensive experience with historic renovation projects including D.C.’s Takoma Park and Georgetown libraries. Mecanoo is a Dutch-based firm whose work includes Boston’s Dudley Municipal Center and the Library of Birmingham in England.

More information: MLK Background | Work done at MLK

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A Modern MLK -- In Pictures

Artificial intelligence: Valuable tool or dangerous threat?

Artificial intelligence technology has advanced leaps and bounds in a relatively short period of time. What once seemed like science fiction is quickly becoming a reality. The sudden advancement in the technology has reawakened some fears about what artificial intelligence could mean for the future of humankind. Those speaking up about the dangers of artificial intelligence aren’t just conspiracy theory whack-jobs either. ...more »

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A Modern MLK -- In Pictures

Remodeling? Start with a grand entrance

When you think of the word “remodeling” you probably imagine a never-ending nightmare of living in a construction zone. But not all remodeling projects have to last months and cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re itching to do a remodeling project that won’t take up a lot of time and money, consider fixing up your entry way. Over time, your front door begins to show its age. It may become less energy inefficient ...more »

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A Modern MLK -- In Pictures

Community Garden on Roof

According to the renderings they are already planning to make the roof top a green space. What if they make it a vegetable, herb and fruit garden? Perhaps they could even include some beehives. Perhaps this garden could be a partnership project with a local homeless shelter. Maybe we could pay some interested people at the shelters to tend the garden. The harvests could be donated to the shelter to help provide more ...more »

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A Modern MLK -- In Pictures

"Family friendly" for staff too, with an onsite nursery

Provide space in the newly renovated MLK for staff to bring their babies and toddlers for day care. Instead of transporting off site, parents could pay into a nursery fund on a monthly basis. DCPL employees would be the happiest in the District of Columbia!

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A Modern MLK -- In Pictures

Expand the EXISTING Readings for the Blind and Adaptive Office

Nowhere in the plans is there any mention to expand two of the most important things at MLK. One is the recording studio where material for BLIND children and adults is recorded and sent along with playback equipment. And Two, the Assistiive (Adaptive) Office where a very dedicated staff helps those with disabilities. Americans are getting older. Books on tape are becoming much more popular and necessary, Eyesight aids ...more »

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A Modern MLK -- In Pictures

relocation of homeless people

I don't see any planning to help the very large problem which taxpaying visitors have at the MLK branch.

The building and its environs are used as a lounge, washroom, and urinal by citizens who have nowhere else to go.

They ought to be helped to find a social services venue so that we who pay for the library services (books and periodicals are more important than cafes and theatres) are free to use them.

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A Modern MLK -- In Pictures

Music practice rooms or rehearsal rooms

I think a wonderful addition to the library would be rooms for music practice or rehearsal for small community music groups or individuals to practice music. The library could even house donated pianos and have inexpensive instruments available to loan for use in the rooms like ukuleles. DC lacks community music practice rooms/rehearsal space. Of course, the rooms would need to have thicker walls with soundproofing. I've ...more »

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A Modern MLK -- In Pictures

Great Hall View to Performance Space

The Great Hall will be transformed into a vibrant hub of activity. Swinging glass doors replace the brick wall below the historic mural to reveal a new performance space. This space can accommodate a wide range of events from lunch-time concerts, to evening lectures and musical performances.

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