News Releases

Published on Wednesday, March 28, 2012

To serve customers better, the DC Public Library will implement a new fee policy for overdue or lost books starting Friday, April 6. 

There will be no daily late fees under the new guidelines.   Instead, items that are 30 days or more overdue will have a “long overdue” flat fee of $5 per item.  Items that are overdue 60 days or more will be considered lost or damaged and will carry an additional fee ranging from $8 - $20 depending on the type of item (i.e., magazine, paperback, hardcover, DVD, etc.), in addition to the “long overdue” $5 fee. 

"The easiest way to avoid library fees is by returning items on time," said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian of the District of Columbia.  "If a book is kept past its due date, the new fees make it easier for people to know what they owe without penalizing them so harshly that they don't want to visit the Library."

Published on Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The DC Public Library is upgrading its catalog system on Thursday, March 22.  During the upgrade customers will not be able to download ebooks or music, place holds on books or other library materials, or register for a library card.

The improved catalog system will be available on Friday, March 23.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Launches Review to Test Report Findings

Published on Monday, March 5, 2012

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) released its final report today after conducting a week-long review of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library building last November. Based on the results of the ULI report, the DC Public Library will begin an in-depth analysis next month to determine the feasibility and cost of implementing the scenarios.

"The analysis is the next step in a long process that will help us figure out how to make the District's central library a spectacular place for residents," said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian of the District of Columbia.

The ULI report outlined three scenarios for consideration without necessarily recommending one over the other. All scenarios will require significant investment by District government for major improvements to the building, according to the report.

Published on Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library will be closed Monday, Feb. 27 – Wednesday, Feb. 29 to improve the sewage equipment in order to handle more capacity.  The Library will re-open on Thursday, March 1.  Library users are encouraged to use and can pick up holds at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Published on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The DC Public Library has selected Whiting-Turner Construction and RBK Construction, with Bell Architects and Vines Architecture, as the design/build team for the Northeast Library Interior Renovation. 
Located at  330 7th Street NE, the Northeast Neighborhood Library is the fourth oldest public library building in the city still in operation.  The Georgian Revival style building, which first opened in 1932, will be modernized to provide state-of-the-art library services, while retaining the building's historic character.
The design phase will take six months and include: restoration of original woodwork; new plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems; improved lighting; increased space for library programs; larger meeting room; quiet study rooms; new restrooms; new elevator; and new and restored furnishings and fixtures. 

Published on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Anacostia and Watha T. Daniel/Shaw libraries have been awarded LEED Gold for environmentally-friendly design.  They’re the 224th and 225th buildings, respectively, in D.C. to be certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design buildings, and the 10th and 11th District government buildings, respectively, to receive Gold certifications.

"The Library is happy to play a role in District having more green buildings per capita than any state in the US," said Ginnie Cooper, chief librarian of the District of Columbia. "As the number of people who use libraries in the District continues to increase, our new buildings can show how environmentally-friendly design can improve their experience."

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.“