Mayor Gray, City and Federal Leaders Re-Open Petworth Library

Joined by Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper, federal leaders and job seekers, Mayor Vincent C. Gray reopened the Petworth Neighborhood Library this morning and emphasized the DC Public Library’s role in workforce development.

"Reducing unemployment in the District requires residents to have the training and the educational requirements that employers seek," said Mayor Gray. “For many in the District, neighborhood libraries are the best locations to develop the skills needed to be more marketable candidates.”

"The library's staff, collections and computers are here to help people find a job, change careers, or learn more about skills employers need," said Ginnie Cooper. "Workforce development is a citywide effort and the library is happy to help residents use the information learned and the technology available at their library to find work."

Located at 4200 Kansas Ave. N.W., the $12.4 million restoration includes books, web-based courses and DVDs to help job seekers earn a GED, learn basic computer skills or prepare for professional listening exams.  In addition, a new 100-person meeting room will be used to hold computer courses and host workshops such as résumé development.  

Upgraded electrical systems allow the building to support 41 public access computers, 20 more than before the renovation.  In addition, the library has a robust Internet connection speed of 1 Gbs funded by the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“In today’s economy, if you don’t have access to a computer and high-speed Internet, you are cut off from many educational and job opportunities,” said Anna M. Gomez, Deputy Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. "Recovery Act investments are bringing expanded broadband Internet access to the Petworth Library and thousands more anchor institutions nationwide so that job seekers can gain the skills and tools needed to fully participate in the digital economy.”