Monday, July 5, 2010

Meet the Anacostia Library

The Anacostia Library at Good Hope and 18th opened up almost two months ago now and it has become an awesome gathering spot.

Most can agree that, regardless of design preference, the building is a great addition to the neighborhood (yes, even though it is technically in Fairlawn, it's just across the street).

the two iconic features of the building are its beacon tower and its overhanging roof

I will say that the only element that leaves me wondering is the vast expanse of concrete in the front of the building. I know that they expect to use it to host tents and such at events like Anacostia Day, but for the other 364 days of the year it is kind of a windswept wasteland.

some landscaping and tables could have extended the life of the library outdoors

bikers and skaters have already discovered it

Indoors, the library is awesome. People everywhere, different zones for different age groups and uses, and tons of natural light. The kids sections is in the front of the building. The brightly colored square to the left is a teaser for a new translucent mural to go on the glass partition.

so awesome seeing kids use the library ... very inspiring

All of the sections of the library are situated off of the main hallway/thoroughfare. The checkout is staffed, but also has a few self-checkout stations.

Looking for a cookbook? There's a shelf featuring tons of great cookbooks, many of which highlight organic and healthy eating ... something that we need more of (and more access to) east of the Anacostia River.

any cooking artists out there looking for a muse?

The back half of the building has the stacks, the computer area, a great sitting room, and a few private conference rooms. Again, natural light everywhere and enough bright green to keep you energized no matter how long your study period.

the stacks are made of recycled shredded paper in some sort of plastic

the reading room has some great lounge chairs

the conference rooms are really well-appointed and professional. Anyone can book them for meetings or study groups

a view of the computer area (these are the PCs, the Macs are in the reading/lounge area)

Outside along the 18th Street side is a massive rain garden that is still under construction. Of course, these 100 degree temps aren't ideal for new planting, but it's encouraging to see efforts made to make this an environment-enriching site.

to the left you can see the shade of a large oak that was saved during construction of the new library

In all, pretty exciting to see this new addition to the general neighborhood. It's awesome seeing people use it every day and that there's a place for neighborhood folks to be and gather that's new, nice, and constructive.


Ruthcarol said...

As a Fairlawn resident who can now walk to the library - I say YAY!!!! It is a beautiful addition to our neighborhood and the staff has been terrific. No more trips to the Hill to get books. Eagerly awaiting Yes! market, although I fear I might be the only customer.

Ann said...

Lawrence is going to renovate the public library which is from 1972. I love some of the ideas in Anacostia!

Sariane Leigh said...

Fantastic library with very helpful staff and hopefully more community activities. Ruthcarol, you will definitely have more people than you think supporting YES Organic..We have to get the word out that we have options and we need to patron these businesses if we expect more to come!

IMGoph said...

well, the good news about that concrete up front is that maybe you could get some of it dug out, eventually, and replaced with some greenery.

overall, that library looks amazing. big win for all the nearby neighborhoods in ward 8!

Dale Banks said...


I will also use Yes!, although not for my primary source of groceries as their prices aren't suitable for my budget.

The library is fantastic. A little loud the last time I was there but it's wonderful to be able to take my daughter there after work.

Trulee said...

This looks great!

As for the front plaza, protect and water those trees! Don't let anyone break them, carve on them, lean things against them, lock bikes to them, etc., and in just 3 or 4 years, it will start to become a nicely shaded plaza (with a few benches, I hope)

Kweyol Observer said...

I just heard the AC wasn't functional on Saturday and the library was closed because of this. Hopefully, this is just a blip...been by it on the bus and look forward to dropping in sometime soon.