MLK Library Renovation Blog

Highlights from Last Week's Live Chat

 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. 

Interim Library Services

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. 

Advisory Panel Member Interview: Meg Maguire

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.“Potential for a Really Smashing Achievement”Renovating rather than replacing the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is the way to go, according to Meg Maguire. 

Richard Reyes-Gavilan Writes Op-Ed

How a Public Library Set Me Free

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.

Chat Live with Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Renovation Architects

Watch the Entire Discussion

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.

What We’re Hearing: Special Collections Focus

Washingtoniana and Black Studies Should Be a Showpiece

Library customers have expressed ideas for expanding and displaying more of special collections focusing on Washington’s history and the African-American experience in the United States – now housed as the Washintoniana Collection and the Black Studies Center respectively. Once the Martin Luther King Jr.

Advisory Panel Member Interview: Robin Diener

President of the Friends of the MLK Library

Recently we spoke with Robin Diener, president of the Friends of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, and a member of the MLK Library Renovation Advisory Panel. She shared her thoughts about the opportunities this project presents to the city.

Library Trustees Update Mixed Use Policy

Board Adopts Principles to Guide MLK Library Renovation

On May 28, the DC Public Library Board of Trustees updated the Library's Mixed Use Real Estate Projects Policy.

What We’re Hearing: Teen Focus

Teens Seek a Comfortable Setting for Fun and Learning

As part of the community input for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library renovation, Library staff has hosted focus groups with teens. We’ve gotten great ideas about how to make the library more welcoming for teens and what services would best help them succeed in school. Here is some of what we heard from 10 students of Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School, located in Anacostia.

Listen: Mies Comes to Washington

How the District Got Its Iconic Library Building

Ever wonder how the District ended up with its iconic Mies van der Rohe-designed central library? In this episode of the DC Public Library podcast, special collections librarian Jerry McCoy tells the story of how one of the most famous architects of the 20th century came to design the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.