EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Library News Highlights
In This Issue

March 26, 2014

From the Executive Director: My first month at the helm of the DC Public Library has been an absolute thrill. I have devoted almost all of my time to learning about the library system from the perspective of staff, board members, and other stakeholders. I have been thoroughly impressed with the deep commitment to public service and the general excitement around the transformative project that will be the renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. In the coming weeks and months I look forward to synthesizing all that I have absorbed into an aspirational vision for the library system that I hope will provide a springboard to a comprehensive strategic plan of service. With operational support from our elected officials and library foundation we are poised to infuse our libraries with truly exceptional programs and services that will meet the ever-expanding needs of our increasingly diverse users. - RRG

1. Mecanoo, Martinez + Johnson to renovate MLK Library 2. Washcloth donations to Thrive DC 3. Northeast Library reopens 4. STEAM Team 5. Toni White-Richardson recognized 6. Archaeology at Georgetown 7. Janet Mock author talk 8. Google for Nonprofits training 9. National Symphony Orchestra In Your Neighborhood 10. Warming Station at West End 11. Brenda Richardson and Donald Richardson swearing in ceremony 12. Tax Assistance at DCPL 13. Morehouse Glee Club performs

1. Martinez + Johnson with Mecanoo to renovate MLK Library The winning architecture team of Martinez + Johnson and Mecanoo Architecture was announced by Mayor Vincent C. Gray in mid-February. 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. Although the design is not finalized, their proposal was a favorite because it stressed openness and environmental sustainability.

Martinez + Johnson/Mecanoo rendering of MLK from 9th Street

Document # 8.1 Board of Library Trustees Meeting March 26, 2014
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2. Washcloth Donations to Thrive DC
In January, the Knitty Gritty Committee, a knitting circle at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library donated more than 75 hand knit and crocheted washcloths to Thrive DC. Thrive DC provides services to men and women experiencing homelessness. In 2013, Thrive DC offered 7,500 free showers and loads of laundry. Jennifer Paul, Director of Development, Thrive DC was present to receive the donation.

3. Northeast Library Reopens
After a 16 month closure and a $10 million renovation Mayor Gray cut the ribbon which officially marked the reopening of Northeast Library. The Northeast Neighborhood Library, located at 330 7th Street NE, is a Georgian Revival style building, which first opened in 1932, and has been modernized to provide contemporary library services, while retaining the building's historic character. Elizabeth Lang joined DCPL staff as Northeast’s new branch manager.

Mayor Gray, with Interim Chief Librarian Joi Mecks, officially reopens Northeast Library
4. STEAM Team

While most of us are familiar with the educational focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), educators are increasingly adding the letter “A” to the acronym to recognize the importance that Arts education has on fostering the creativity and innovation on which those other subjects depend. Created in January 2014, the STEAM Team program gives children ages (6-12) a taste of one of the STEAM elements through a combination of instruction, creation and interaction. The STEAM catapult program on February 14th involved a discussion of how catapults were made and used in the past. Then, using popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and bottle caps, children constructed their own catapults and launched cotton balls. Other STEAM topics included teeth, origami, secret codes and modern art.

5. Toni White-Richardson receives award for her work on the DC One Fund
In 2013 the DC One Fund exceeded its contribution goal of $1 million for the first time since 2007, raising $1,022,278 from more than 3,320 pledges. Anntoinette “Toni” WhiteRichardson received an appreciation award from the Office of the Mayor for her service as Co-Vice Chair of the DC One Fund campaign. Toni is an education specialist in the adult literacy department of the MLK Library and Union President of AFSCME Local 1808. The DC One Fund has a longstanding history of giving to those most in need through donations made by District government employees. Donors are able to contribute to the DC Public Library Foundation through the DC One Fund.

Toni White-Richardson showcasing her appreciation award from the Office of the Mayor

Document # 8.1 Board of Library Trustees Meeting March 26, 2014
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6. Archeology at Georgetown
On February 22nd the Georgetown Library hosted a lecture by Ruth Trocotolli, archaeologist for D.C.’s Historic Preservation Office, in its Peabody Room. The diverse audience of about 50 people had a good mix of younger and older attendees. In her presentation Trocotolli raised an interesting observation: “People don’t realize the history that’s below their feet.”

7. Janet Mock “Redefining Realness” Nearly 500 people attended this talk by inspirational author Janet Mock. Mock offered a bold and inspiring perspective on being young, multicultural, economically challenged, and transgender in America. With unflinching honesty, Mock used her own experience to impart vital insight about the unique challenges and vulnerabilities of trans youth and brave girls like herself. Mock connected with the audience during the Q&A session bringing some audience members to tears.
Janet Mock and journalist Helena Andrews discuss being transgender in America

8. Google for Nonprofits training
On Friday, February 7th the MLK Library’s Dream Lab hosted an all-day Google Training for Nonprofits. The demand was so great that registration reached maximum capacity less than a week after invitations were sent. Roughly 100 people attended, representing more than 85 non-profits working to improve the lives of D.C. residents. The feedback from this program revealed that many attendees found the training very helpful and expressed interest in attending additional sessions. The DC Public Library plans to continue this partnership with Google, expanding the Google Training for Nonprofits into a series.

9. National Symphony Orchestra in your neighborhood
The 2014 National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) began its In Your Neighborhood series with free performances and educational activities. Rosedale and Southeast library customers were able to enjoy classical works by NSO musicians in intimate library settings. NSO returned to Southeast to cater to a younger audience with the musical instrument petting zoo. Children were able to get hands-on with violins and enjoy a concert.
NSO musicians assist children as they get hands on at the violin petting zoo

Document # 8.1 Board of Library Trustees Meeting March 26, 2014
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10. Warming Station at West End Neighborhood Library
Since February, the West End Library has served as an overnight warming center from 9 p.m.—7 a.m. The warming center is activated when a Cold Emergency Alert is issued for actual or forecasted temperature or wind chill that is 15 degrees or below, or 20 degrees with precipitation or other cold indicators.

11. Brenda Richardson and Donald Richardson swearing in ceremony
Brenda L. Richardson and Donald F. Richardson were sworn in on Friday, March 7th confirming their reappointment as DC Public Library Trustees. Brenda Richardson has worked on issues such as welfare reform, environmental justice, and economic development. Donald Richardson is actively involved in the community including service on the D.C. Urban League Finance Committee and Chair of the Finance Committee of the Shiloh Baptist Church.

Brenda Richardson and Donald Richardson being sworn in their reappointment to the DC Public Library Board of Trustees

12. Tax assistance at DC Public Library
Beginning February 1st, Community Tax Aid, Inc. (CTA) and AARP are providing free, high-quality tax assistance to low-income individuals and families in the D.C. area. Assistance includes resolving outstanding issues, preparing amended returns, and preparing returns for prior years. Some of the libraries participating include: Anacostia, Capitol View, Lamond-Riggs, Mt. Pleasant, Petworth, Southwest and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

13. Morehouse Glee Club
On March 14th, the Morehouse College Glee club held its annual performance at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library. Established in 1911, the distinguished ensemble has a long tradition of public appearances. In addition to its concert at the MLK Library dating back to 1975, the Glee Club -- along with its Quartet -- has provided stellar performances throughout the United States and abroad. Some memorable performances include Dr. King’s funeral, Super Bowl XXVIII, the 1996 Olympic games and several presidential performances.
Morehouse Glee Club on stage at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Document # 8.1 Board of Library Trustees Meeting March 26, 2014
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