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CHIEF LIBRARIAN’S REPORT

LIBRARY NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

1. OPEN THE DOORS OF THE TEEN SPACE AND STEP INTO THE MODERN LIBRARY!
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library’s new Teen Space opened by hosting two
events. An “Educators’ Night” on October 19th featured an information-sharing forum with
several community agencies dedicated to serving teens. In addition to registering for
Educator Cards and scheduling group visits, those wanting to try their hand at interactive
technology had their choices. Some played Wii golf or Wii bowling, while others zeroed in
on the new iMac computers or watched a DVD on the Big Screen. Of course, there are the
books! The opening celebration for teens was held on October 20th. Participants decorated
and ate cupcakes, played Wii games, worked the new computers, and hung out with local
radio personality, Jeanie Jones. Representatives from Wechler’s Auction were there. That’s
the company that worked with the DCPL Foundation to generate funds for the Teen Space.
(Thanks again, Wechler’s!) To the teens, though, having the chance to talk with Redskins’
linebacker London Fletcher was a major highlight.

2. CAPITOL VIEW LIBRARY REACHES INTO THE COMMUNITY
The Capitol View Library staff has been in high gear in the neighborhood now that fall and
back-to-school days have arrived. Participation in the Benning Stoddert Recreation Center’s
Annual Community Day, which drew over 350 people for pony rides, face painting,
basketball games, music, food, dancing, and prizes, provided an opportunity to spread-the-
word about the Library and its services and programs. The Friends of Capitol View held a
day-long Community Bazaar with local vendors eager to show their support for the Library.
Library Associate Vanette Rosser offers a very popular “Glamour Rule Book and Activity
Club” for teens at Capitol View. Approximately 19 girls attend regularly.

3. THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR CAPTURES NATIONAL ATTENTION
On October 8th, DCPL staff participated in the national read-aloud campaign, Jumpstart/Read
for the Record. Children across the country were treated to hear The Very Hungry
Caterpillar. Over 200 young readers from Friendship Edison Southeast Academy joined the
read-aloud sessions led by the Library’s outreach team. After the story was read, students
reenacted the plot as oversized “caterpillars” with “food” to gobble. The children also made
caterpillar pencil toppers. Over 1,000 children participated throughout the District.

4. DCPL DRAWS EXCITED CROWDS AT THE NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL
The DCPL booth and Digital Bookmobile were packed most of the day during the National
Book Festival on the Mall this year. Over 130,000 people attended the Festival, and DCPL
staff said it felt like all of them came through the DCPL displays at one time or another! A
scrolling PowerPoint presentation showed new construction and events at DCPL. A backdrop
of a large map of all DCPL locations and architect images generated animated discussion and
questions about plans. At least 15 DCPL staff volunteered to be on-hand all day for
questions. Staff also assisted visitors who wanted hands-on experience in accessing the
Library remotely in the Digital Bookmobile.

Document #8
Board of Library Trustees Meeting
November 18, 2009
5. DCPL AND ROAR COMMIT TO EARLY LITERACY
DCPL’s participation in “ROAR” (Reach Out and Read) demonstrates the Library’s
commitment to early childhood literacy as a key to later success in school. This national
program is a collaborative among pediatricians, family physicians, nurses, librarians, and
early childhood educators who advise parents and caregivers that reading aloud to very
young children—ages 6 months to 5 years—has a major impact on reading readiness when
they enter school. ROAR encourages giving books to parents whenever possible—even
during routine medical visits. Yvette Davis, DCPL’s Coordinator of Youth Outreach, serves
on the Board of the DC chapter of ROAR, and DCPL staff will work with medical clinics
throughout the District to help families understand the enormous value of reading aloud to
their young children.

6. MUSIC AT LUNCH TIME
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library has presented a Brown Bag Recital Series for at
least six years now on the first Thursday of the month, from noon until 1 PM. Featured are
two very accomplished musicians—Bulgarian pianist Ralitza Patscheva and Russian cellist
Vasily Popov, a husband and wife team. At the start of most programs, Sorab Modi, who has
been a pre-concert lecturer at the Kennedy Center, offers a most entertaining commentary on
the music or composers. For the most recent recital, two musicians joined Patscheva and
Popov to play the music of Beethoven.

7. “SENIOR FRIDAYS” AT WOODRIDGE
An introduction to the databases at dclibrary.org was the focus of a recent well-received
“Senior Friday” program at Woodridge Neighborhood Library. In addition to taking the time
to explore books, the group watches movies together, participates in healthcare and other
information sessions. Approximately 40 seniors attend each week.

8. “SILVER SCREEN BOOK CLUB” FOR CHILDREN AT TAKOMA PARK
Children ages 9 to 14 are invited to join a book-and-movie club at Takoma Park
Neighborhood Library. Members of the “Silver Screen Book Club” read a book chosen by
the children’s librarian, and come to the library at the end of the month to discuss the book
and watch a movie based on what they’ve read. There was a lot of enthusiasm for James and
the Giant Peach.

9. VOLUNTEERS BRING TIME AND TALENTS TO DCPL
The new Volunteer Services Coordinator, Carrie Wolfson, has been reaching out for
volunteers, and her efforts are generating results. Highlights include 70 volunteers from the
CityYearDC’s “Whole School, Whole Child” project. The group helped ready Parklands-
Turner Neighborhood Library for its grand opening, created autumn displays at Takoma Park
Neighborhood Library, and shifted books and other materials at Petworth, Cleveland Park,
and Chevy Chase Neighborhood Libraries. The Teen Space opening at Martin Luther King,
Jr. Memorial Library was assisted by 6 volunteer students from Howard University and 2
community members. “Make a Difference Day,” the National Day of Doing Good, brought
35 volunteers to the main library on October 24th. They were given tasks in several divisions,
and many who had helped capped the day by getting brand new library cards.

Document #8
Board of Library Trustees Meeting
November 18, 2009
10. DCPL AND DCPS: A CALENDAR COLLABORATION
After a successful partnership that resulted in a Summer Reading List for children and teens,
the Library and the DC Public Schools recently completed another collaborative project. The
DCPS academic calendar now features a Book of the Month for each month of the year.
DCPL staff selected and annotated the book selections, and is now planning programs that
feature the selections. The Chancellor’s Office of Family and Public Engagement initiated
the partnership with the Library, and the printed calendar, which also features artwork done
by students, was sent home to all DCPS families.

11. DCPL PARTNERS WITH THE EMBASSIES FOR THE “KIDS EURO FESTIVAL”
The embassies of 27 European nations are working with local government agencies and
others for their annual fall “Kids Euro Festival.” Several neighborhood libraries are
sponsoring reading workshops to highlight history, lifestyle, the arts, and stories from
participating countries. Fifteen children came to Cleveland Park Library for tea and a story
time about England. Palisades Library hosted 13 children, including several French-speaking
families, for France Folktales. Members of the German Embassy came to Palisades with
crayons and coloring books that featured geography and life in Germany. They also helped
the 15 children in attendance make lanterns. The Library also hosted children’s programs
from Finland, Ireland, and countries in Eastern Europe.

12. GOOD NEWS AND BETTER NEWS: DCPL IS A FINALIST AND A WINNER!
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library was one of two finalists for the DC Downtown
BID 2009 Momentum Award. (The top spot went to the DC Department of Human Services.)
Tonight, Chris Wright, who managed the restoration and renovation of the Takoma Park
Neighborhood Library, is accepting the 2009 Preservation Award given by the DC Historic
Preservation Office. The award states, “The Takoma Park Library, the first branch of the DC
Public Library system, was constructed as a library and funded by Andrew Carnegie in 1911.
Insensitive repairs over the years resulted in an unsightly modern vestibule, an encased
skylight, a leaky roof, and façade damage as overgrown landscaping was about to envelope
the building. The rehabilitation project led by the Chief Librarian, project manager, and the
DC 21st Century Capital Project, has corrected past mistakes and introduced sensitive
interventions that reclaim the original architectural character of the building while
transforming the library into a 21st century contemporary facility.”

Document #8
Board of Library Trustees Meeting
November 18, 2009