Ginnie Cooper's blitz of glitzy libraries was pricey but worth it.

D.C. Library Director Ginnie Cooper’s blitz of glitzy libraries was pricey—but worth it
Although Cooper was stifled in her ambition to replace a library deemed “functionally obsolete”—as she was in her last gig at the Brooklyn Public Library, where a proposed five-story showpiece never raised the $85 million it would have cost—she’s already built four new branch libraries, on top of several historic renovations and mixed-use facilities, with three more to be completed in this year. Together, they represent a significant chunk of the exciting modernist architecture being done in the District, which has long had a reputation for—to put it delicately—restraint.

Why is that notable? New City Administrator Allen Lew, after all, rebuilt a slew of falling-apart schools under then–Mayor Adrian Fenty, vastly improving the architecture at many and gracefully restoring historic buildings.


All the part-time librarians were let go the day after Memorial Day. Some were rehired as full-time, but working part-time was no longer an option for those wishing to devote more time to taking care of their children. I'm not saying the new buildings aren't welcome, but it seems like some of the staff for these buildings could have been part-time.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.