CM Grosso OK Restricting Access to Washingtoniana

Washingtoniana Update II

–MLK Closed; Washingtoniana moving to 3 interim spaces; No service until May 8th
–CM Mary Cheh asks for more access at Historical Society
–Education Comm. Hearing; CM Grosso OK with restricted access


MLK Closed for Three Years

The MLK Library is now closed for a three-year, $208 million renovation. Washingtoniana is to partially reopen on May 8 in three interim spaces–the Historical Society of Washington (HSW) (in the Carnegie Library building), the Library of Congress and the Georgetown Neighborhood Library (D.C.’s central library to close for 3 yrs)

CM Cheh Asks Convention Center for More Access at HSW

On March 2, 2017, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh wrote to Events DC, the operator of the Carnegie building, asking them to “work with DCPL and [HSW] to ensure that access to the Washingtoniana Collection is not reduced” during the renovation (CM Cheh’s Letter to Events DC about Washingtoniana).

To follow-up, Mary Alice Levine (Ward 3 Dems, Tenley Library Friends), Robin Diener (MLK Library Friends) and Bill Rice met last Friday (3/24) with Samuel Thomas, Sr. VP, Events DC and John Suau, Ex. Dir., HSW. While not answering the Cheh letter directly, they agreed to consider additional access, with the understanding this could/would require “more resources.”

Council Hears from Washingtoniana Users

On February 22, 2017, the Council’s Education Committee, chaired by At-large CM David Grosso, along with CM Trayon White from Ward 8, heard strong testimony for full Washingtoniana access, including from Nelson Rimensnyder, Michael Wentworth, Chris Otten, (DC for Reasonable Development), Jesse Lovell (Ward 3 Dems) Mary Alice Levine (Tenley-Friendship Library) and Pat Tyson (Military Road Preservation Trust). In response, Chair Grosso said the planned access is cost-effective and he was deferring to DCPL on this matter. The budget hearing will be on Monday, May 1, in Room 412, 11 a.m.

Contact for follow-up on HSW access or any other topic:
Bill Rice, 202-437-7787/cell, @ricebilldc,

And please feel free to share our Washingtoniana Support Letter seeking full access to Washingtoniana during the three year MLK Library renovation.

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