News Releases

Published on Friday, January 13, 2012

The opening of the new Bellevue Neighborhood Library at 115 Atlantic St., SW, originally scheduled to open February 21, has been postponed due to a manufacturing delay.  The Washington Highlands Interim Library at 4037 S. Capitol St., SW will remain open. For updates, visit

New Bellevue Library Opens February 21

Published on Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Washington Highlands Interim Library, at 4037 S. Capitol St. SW, will close on Saturday, January 28 at 5:30 p.m.  Library services will resume on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at the new Bellevue Neighborhood Library at 115 Atlantic St. SW.

The new two-story library will be 22,000 square feet and feature:

Published on Thursday, December 15, 2011

The prestigious Carnegie Corporation of New York and New York Times "I Love My Librarian" award goes to D.C. public librarian Venetia V. Demson.  Demson is one of 10 librarians in the country and the first in this region to receive this annual award.

As head of the DC Public Library’s Adaptive Services Division, which assists the deaf and visually impaired communities access library services, Demson has spearheaded such signature programs as the Braille Book Club and American Sign Language classes.  Additionally, Demson's area uses adaptive technologies to assist library users in independently locating and using library resources.  Demson's nominator describes her work as, "What a library should be – a safe haven for all and a portal to the resources we all need to enrich our lives."

Published on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beginning Monday through Feb. 5, 2012, the DC Public Library will forgive fines on overdue, lost or damaged books, CDs, DVDs, and other library materials.  The campaign, titled "Check It In" aims to encourage users who have avoided the library because of outstanding fines or fees to return and use the library.

“Libraries exist to give people access to books,” said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian for the District of Columbia.  “When fines and fees keep people away from the library, we need to find ways to encourage them to return.  We hope giving people amnesty from fines and fees will do just that.“

Published on Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The DC Public Library now offers library cardholders access to more than 2 million songs to download on their MP3 players or computers.  Library users can keep the music they download.  The files never expire.

Music from Sony Music's vast music collection and more than 10,000 independent labels are available at the library.  Library users with valid library cards can download up to three music tracks each week — 156 songs a year —at no cost from the library’s website,  Songs can be searched by artist, song title and genre. 

"For many in the District, their neighborhood library is,” said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian for the DC Public Library.  “Offering music online extends the role libraries can play in connecting the public with artist and styles that they know as well as helping them discover new genres."  

Published on Monday, November 28, 2011

The DC Public Library, in partnership with Bread for the Soul, will collect new, unwrapped toys and books for children with HIV/AIDS and children whose parents have the disease. 

The toy drive runs through December 14 for children one – 12 years old.  Toys and books can be dropped off at any library location.  Monetary donations can be sent to Bread for the Soul at the following address:

Bread for the Soul
905 6th Street, S.W., Suite 302B
Washington, DC  20024
(202) 421-8608

DC Water and the Department of Public Works are also  partnering with Bread for the Soul.  Bread for the Soul is a community organization that works with families living with HIV/Aids.

Published on Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On Saturday, December 3, the DC Public Library will honor the legacy of Laurent Clerc and Thomas H. Gallaudet with a program called “Deaf Education and American Sign Language.”

Originated by the Library in December 1974, the Clerc-Gallaudet Week promotes library awareness in the deaf community and deaf awareness in the library community.   Every year, notable achievers from the deaf community are honored.   Six deaf speakers from the Washington Metropolitan area will participate this year.

Gallaudet University Librarian Diana Gates Moore will discuss what it was like for deaf children to go to school with hearing students at the beginning of the 19th century, before the American School for the Deaf opened.

Published on Friday, November 18, 2011

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) presented its findings and recommendations today at a public meeting on the use and potential of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library building.   The ULI findings are designed to help guide District leaders and residents in making decisions about the use of the building.

“The recommendations presented today will be used to begin a conversation with elected leaders and the public about what is possible for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library building,” said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian for the District of Columbia.  “As the remaining neighborhood libraries are being rebuilt or renovated, now is the time to begin planning how to provide modern library service at a downtown central library.” 

Accomplished Nonprofit and Political Fundraiser to Transform Organization

Published on Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The DC Public Library Foundation (DCPLF) announces the selection of Linnea Dyer Hegarty as the organization’s next executive director. DCPLF is a nonprofit organization that provides a margin of excellence to the DC Public Library with resources that supplement local government funding.

Photos and Stories from “The Color of Hay; The Peasants of Maramureş”

Published on Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Maramureş Valley in Northern Romania is so remote that generations of peasant farming practices remained intact.  As modern amenities like cable TV began to reach the region, Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin documented how the people changed.   On December 15, McLaughlin will share her experience and photographs from her book, “The Color of Hay; The Peasants of Maramureş” at the Cleveland Park Neighborhood Library