May 26, 2022

Public Library News From DC and New York City

Two items.

Washington, DC

1. DC Public Library Needs Entire Building in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Renovation (via DCPL):

The DC Public Library has revised its space estimates for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library renovation. The entire building, plus a fifth floor, will be used to offer District residents a renovated central library.

The increased library size incorporates input to the preliminary Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library renovation designs released in May. Initial estimates called for between 200,000 to 250,000 square feet in the building to be used for library service.

The architects, working with Library officials, determined that more space would be needed in the building to accommodate many of the public’s ideas. The additional space will be used to provide new services including:

  • A welcoming and inviting entry to the library to address customer concerns about  the entrance being unwelcoming and not giving clear direction to the upper floors.
  • A café and restaurant to accommodate people’s desire to enjoy meals and beverages in the library.
  • More rooms to address the desire to offer space for community meetings, author talks, performing arts, innovation, coworking and school field trips.
  • A larger space for children’s programming and books to address the larger number of children that visit the library regularly and for story times.
  • A larger teen space that accommodates requests for a variety of reading/studying places; informal meeting areas; lounge clusters with comfortable seating; and a digital media center.

More From the DC Business Journal:

The most recent building program for the renovated MLK calls for a 20,000-square-foot market and great hall, 16,000-square-foot innovation and prototyping space (think 3-D printers and power tools), a 4,300-square-foot teen area, a 65,400-square-foot adult reading area, 5,200-square-foot adult literacy center, 8,000-square-foot center for accessibility, 10,800 square feet of children’s services, 24,400-square-foot special collections area, a 30,600-square-foot meeting event and roof terrace and 94,000 square feet of non-public space.

New York City
2. New York Public Library Chairman to Step Down (via NY Times)

Neil L. Rudenstine, a former Harvard president who since 2011 has served as chairman of the New York Public Library, will step down in November, the library confirmed on Thursday.

As interim chairman, Mr. Rudenstine said in a letter to his colleagues that he “expected to be in place for one year, or at most two. “Quite apart from all other considerations, I shall be 80 in a very few months,” he added, “far beyond the board’s mandatory retirement age.”

See Also:  Public Library News Roundup (15 Stories from the U.S. and Canada)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.