Community Feedback

The DC Public Library and our design team partners values the community’s feedback as we move forward in the design process. This blog will have space that will serve as a venue for some of that feedback.

As we receive comments, online, in person and on paper, we will post them on this blog.


5 Responses to Community Feedback

  1. S. Davies says:

    Thoughts on the renovated Woodbridge Library:
    1. Maintain a similar brick structure since there are old homes in this area, which are or will be considered historic in five or more years. Could some of the existing bricks be recycled for use in the renovated building?
    2. Add a second story level to the library to allow for more space for readers, researchers, laptop computing, instructional programs, meetings, etc. Also keep the existing basement level for meetings, exercise and other activities.
    3. Ensure each structure is sound proof with proper sound barriers to minimize the noise levels from large groups visiting and talking throughout the library
    4. Ensure more lighting is added (important for people with sight impairments) and include more windows to allow day light into the building structure for more effective lighting. Lighting effects were done well on top level at the Tenley-Friendship Library
    5. Add private study rooms and make sure they are completely sound proof. Tenley-Friendship Library’s study rooms are not completely sound proof because sound can be transmitted. However the rooms are nice at the Tenley-Friendship but the noise a floor below and from one study room to another study room can be heard if you sit in a study room.
    6. Add a laptop computing area with spacious room length. Allow more space than the Prince George’s or the Tenley-Friendship library because there should be proper seating and space at arm length for comfort. The tables at the Tenley-Friendship Library have laptop electrical connectors in the floor underneath the tables, which was a very good idea to hide electrical connections. They have electrical connectors in some of the seats near magazines, which is also a good idea.
    7. Allow a closed area for adults/seniors to sit, read and complete other tasks similar to the Martin Luther King library and limit people from creating noise in these areas to ensure they have peace and quiet. This area may need proper/more airflow, lighting, heating requirements, and senior/disability requirements, etc. for their impediments (blind, partially blind, hearing impaired, etc.) and use for all groups of adults/seniors.
    8. Closed circuit monitoring should exist throughout the building for security.
    9. A well designed teleconference/meeting rooms with built-in state of the art audio/visual TV screens for meetings (in-person and virtual); classes, etc. should be designed. The TV conference screens should be hidden from view when not in use and possible hidden use of seating. The seating area should be adjustable to accommodate small or large crowds or its removal if a meeting room will be used for dance/exercise classes or other instructional purposes.
    10. Good accommodations for the visually impaired and handicapped. An example is voice activated prompts and the facility to automatically open areas for example, doors, etc. for visually and handicapped library visitors.
    11. Desktop computers in a computing area for use and possibly laptop rentals if cost advantageous. This area should shield some of the sound from people reading in those areas. The keyboard and mouse clicks can sometime be distractions from people reading/studying and not using a computer/laptop.
    12. Ergonomic chairs, tables and desks in computing areas and throughout the library with proper height adjustments, etc.
    13. The library can sometimes seem cold at times during the winter and I’m assuming the DC government is saving on heating costs. Can they consider adding solar panels or some other energy cost effective form of heating to the buildings, which could also save and produce power/energy to the building for operational cost savings?
    14. To make the library cool during the summer a similar type of cost saving solutions should be assessed as would be done for heating during the winter. If glass panels are used for more natural lighting can it have a barrier in the glass to allow for more warmth in the winter and cooling during the summer?
    15. Also assess energy cost savings for recycling water that’s used in the restrooms and around the garden grounds for cost savings. Would rain gardens or different landscaping by a landscape designer help for cooling and warmth around the building in the summer/winter? A landscape designer should assess these needs and make recommendations.
    16. Ensure the new structure is built to code in the event of a hurricane/tornado. It’s a rare occurrence but a hurricane did strike in 2011.
    17. Sound proofs the children’s area to limit noise to other areas of the library since it’s hard to limit noise from small children’s voices and interaction with parents/adults. This area could include IPad and/or other instructional computing media for educational learning, as well as computer educational games and learning tools/toys, etc.
    18. A possible separate teen area for their studying needs since they like to talk and interact after school. It should include sound barrier walls. This area could include IPad and other instructional computing media for interactive learning.

    I like the Tenley-Friendship Library renovation changes. The lighting is effective and nice as well as the individual/group study rooms. They could probably use more study rooms because of the students visiting from various schools in that area. The Tenley-Friendship library has very good computer equipment for public use but it could probably use additional space for people who bring their laptops since there’s a limited number of study tables. However, it’s still a nice layout. I like the two levels instead of one to isolate some noise from the children’s room on the lower level, the library’s entrance and other group activities.
    Perhaps the new Woodridge Library could do in a similar manner as the renovated Tenley-Friendship Library but expanded to be more spacious with better disability enhancements, energy savings, etc.

  2. Marion Morris says:

    Good feedback from community last night to initial site plan & bldg design.

    Off-street parking is a concern, not just of residential neighbors, but of patrons. As Rhode Island Ave is a major thoroughfare that acts like a freeway during AM/PM rush, consider re-orienting the front of the bldg to face Langdon Park and the limited off-street parking that does exist. This may alleviate the concern of neighbors for their on-street parking. LED signage on RI Ave of library events, along with signage for the library and artwork on RI can help direct driving patrons to off-st parking.

    Do you have current/historical data on who users are? by age, interest, purpose of visit and mode of transportation? And where they park. Perhaps land acquisition opposite library on 18th Street could add parking?

    New library presents opportunity to link more closely with Woodridge area schools, both public and charter. To provide after-school homework study carrels, with WiFi and modern PCs, laptops, headphones. As more and more library users download e-books, we may spend less time at library. Big need, I would think, is for elementary / secondary kids to have a quiet space to study, do homework. Reach out to area schools, if you haven’t already done so, to identify kids needs / wants for a library. Do presentations at the schools. Ask the kids how they would use a modern library. What are their needs? Partner with DC School system and charters on ways to make it happen, including potential after-school staffing support.

    As Bing Thom noted in his presentation, the park presents a wonderful green space, in sharp contrast to the zooming traffic and marginal businesses on RI Ave. Organized after-school sports based at the park, thru DC Parks and Rec, is a way to let kids run out some energy after school and then head inside to do homework.

  3. AdMom2020 says:

    Can DCPL provide 3D virtual models for all sections of this new facility. I’d like to see how it would feel like to walk through all these different sections.

    I have 3 kids. My oldest is a teenager. She was looking forward to an all glass building. Can more glass be added especially to the front and sides of the building? It doesn’t look very friendly.

    What will the external terrace be like? Can an entrance from the rear be added so the public can access the library that way?

    The lobby area looks so huge? What will go in there?

    Is the green roof safe for my kids to play on? Will there be any educational activities centered around the green roof? I’d like to see a smaller green roof area. I think solar technology would be really cool!

    I’d like to see the lower level provide usable space. Can the HVAC system be put on the roof? Usage of the new library should increase and additional study and meeting area will be needed.

    I’ve used a few of the new libraries. Can the noise generated from the kids area be reduced? My kids are very energetic and rambunctious. But, I know others want a quiet place to study. The side-by-side staircases with one that allows seating, will encourage more noise to enter the upper level areas.

    Can mosaics be placed on the outer walls of the building?

    I’d like to see more use of the park behind the library. It’s enormous. I don’t see the need for creating a new park in front.

    What is the most expensive part of this new library? I think it’s the roof top, skylights, reading lounge, and trellis canopy. I’d prefer an all glass or more glass building in exchange.

  4. Cornelius Gaskins says:

    Yes it will be an amazing faclity and the community issues will have to be worked out. I am glad Ward 5 is getting a chance to have a new state of the art library!!

  5. dcpubliclibrary says:

    @AdMom2020 — It is key to remember that the final walls will not seem as solid and massive as it does in the current renderings, just as the final walls will not be the stark white seen in the current images. The architects have pointed out that a solid glass wall does not automatically make a building welcoming, and Bing Thom has expressed interest in creating a building whose exterior walls spark people’s curiosity, encouraging them to come in to the library and discover what’s inside.
    Trees will also be planted along the front of the building, which will also contribute to a welcoming feel.
    As for the terrace, in the current design, it is off of the children’s area in the rear of the building. It is one story above grade level.
    There also is currently only a service entrance designed for the rear of the building. It leads to the alley, which can be used for things like supply deliveries and trash removal. Adding an additional rear entrance will require additional staffing to supervise the entry and an additional information desk.
    The current design of the green roof does not allow for children to play. However, there can be educational opportunities for children as well as adults that can be coordinated by Woodridge Library staff. For example, with the previous new libraries, there have been organized tours of the environmentally-friendly elements of the building for adults and students and information about the green elements distributed to the public.
    On a related note, while the approach to all of the new libraries, including the Woodridge Library, is to have very open spaces and not to isolate the children’s area from the rest of the library, we will use absorptive materials to help reduce sound reverberation.
    As for art, the current budget for the design and construction of the new library does not include funds for permanent art in the library.
    And lastly, the design and construction budget is $16.5 million. We are still early in the process and don’t have a sense yet of costs for all of the elements of the building. As we refine the finishes, building skin and other materials, we will have a better sense of cost.

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