MLK Library Renovation Blog

NCPC Announces Public Scoping Meeting

Published on Thursday, September 18, 2014

The lead regulatory agency for the MLK Memorial Library renovation is the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the federal planning agency for the nation's capital. NCPC's review process includes an environmental assessment of the project under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Preparation of the environmental assessment will enable NCPC to evaluate and analyze the environmental impacts of the project and alternatives under consideration.  

The NEPA process requires a public scoping meeting where various alternatives are shared. The public is invited to provide feedback on the potential environmental impacts of the alternatives.

The NEPA public scoping meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the MLK Memorial Library, 901 G Street NW. 

The public scoping period will be open until October 31, 2014. A link to provide comments is available on the NCPC website. Information will be posted online regarding the alternatives under consideration in the coming weeks.

Published on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Interim Library SurveyWhen renovation starts, the central library at 901 G St. NW will be closed. During that time, library services at MLK will have to be relocated to an interim location.

As we plan for the renovation -- and our interim space -- we need your input!

Please take our short survey to help inform decisions about interim services.

Share your ideas for the new central library

Published on Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Library is hosting a series of neighborhood meetings to share information about the MLK Library renovation project and gather feedback from residents about what library services they would like to see in their central library.

Dates and locations for September are:

Tuesday, Sept. 23, 6:30 p.m.
William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library

Thursday, Sept. 25, 6:30 p.m.
Francis A. Gregory Library

Tuesday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m.
St. Paul's Parish
2430 K St. NW

Re-Imagine a New Central Library

Published on Monday, August 25, 2014

Take a virtual tour of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Hear why this historic building needs a complete renovation and how we hope to transform it into a state-of-the-art central library for D.C. residents.

Watch the video.

Learn more about the MLK Library renovation at

On the importance of engaging a diverse community

Published on Monday, August 11, 2014

We recently spoke with John Tinpe, a member of the MLK Library Renovation Advisory Panel and an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for the neighborhood surrounding MLK Library. Specifically, Tinpe represents ANC 2C, which is the section of Ward 2 that extends roughly from 15 St. NW east to I-395, and from Massachusetts Ave. NW south to Independence Ave. SW.

Mr. Tinpe shared his thoughts on the renovation and the importance of keeping members of D.C.’s diverse community engaged in the process.

Services for People With Disabilities

Published on Monday, August 4, 2014

Accessible EntrancePatrons of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library who use Adaptive Services have said they hope to feel welcome, comfortable and at ease in the newly renovated central library. Whether a disability impairs a person’s sight, vision or mobility, the library should accommodate everyone.

Published on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A major goal for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library renovation is to open up the building and make it more inviting for the public, said the project’s lead architect, Francine Houben, of the Dutch architectural firm Mecanoo.
“People must realize that libraries are not just about books,” said Houben from her office in the Netherlands during a July 10 webcast about the renovation. “They are about people: People meeting each other, exchanging knowledge, furthering their education. Libraries are about lifelong learning.”

Published on Friday, July 18, 2014

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will undergo a major renovation. The design and planning process for that renovation began last fall with the process to select and architect. We now have a concept design for the renovated building from the selected team of Martinez + Johnson/Mecanoo. The various required regulatory processes will begin this fall.

Published on Thursday, July 3, 2014

We recently spoke with Meg Maguire, a member of the MLK Library Renovation Advisory Panel and a retired community conservation consultant. She shared her thoughts on the renovation and the potential opportunities and challenges the project presents.

How a Public Library Set Me Free

Published on Friday, June 27, 2014

Last month, the Library's new executive director, Richard Reyes-Gavilan, published an op-ed piece in The Washington Post.  In it, he ties the sense of wonderment he experienced growing up with the central library in Queens, New York, with the need for a renovated MLK Library.  You can read the short piece here.

Watch the Entire Discussion

Published on Wednesday, June 25, 2014

On Thursday, July 10 the DC Public Library held an online panel discussion exploring the design of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Renovation.