Starting next month, District residents can learn more about the plans for modernization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and plans for library services during construction at community meetings held across the city.

The library will host a community meeting in Southwest on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Southwest Library (900 Wesley Place SW).

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, DC’s central library, will close in Spring 2017 for a complete modernization. Construction will start in Summer 2017 and continue until 2020. At the meetings, community members will see the latest designs, the timeline for modernization, and how library service will be offered during construction. Because most of the roughly $200 million project budget will be used on the renovation, the library will also outline how library services will be modified during construction.

The meetings continue the community engagement that began in 2013. To date, nearly 60 community and stakeholder meetings and 13 focus groups have been held across the city, hundreds of surveys submitted, and more than 3,000 people have provided input into the design in person or online. Meetings will be held in every ward to share the latest designs that were informed by the community feedback and answer questions.

The new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will open in 2020 and house a spectacular new, vibrant, and transparent entryway; sculptured monumental stairs; a large auditorium and conference center; creative spaces for fabrication, music production, and art creation; a ground level café with patio; a double-height reading room; a newly designed special collections space for researchers and research enthusiasts; a larger and more interactive children’s area, and a rooftop event space with terrace. The project has been approved by the National Capital Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Review Board. Later this month, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts will review the design.

To see current design images of the modernization, click here.

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