Aaron Schmidt got a new cool job: Digital Initiatives Librarian for the District of Columbia Public Library. Sounds big and exciting. DC is really trying hard to dig themselves out of years of bad management and terrible funding crisises, it will be interesting to see if new people plus some infusion of new money can help with this. Congrats Aaron.
I’ve shown you my sad set of MLK’s Library photos from when I went to DC. My friend Mary Early has found an older, niftier looking set of photos of the same library back when it was new and lovely and full of hope and promise. I wish the Save DC Libraries site looked like it was still alive. The DC Friends site is still kicking, albeit with bad news and the DC Public Library Foundation looks like they spent all their money on web design. Meanwhile DC Public hires teens to shelve books and answer phones which seems like a real good news/bad news situation in a library dealing with massive underfunding and understaffing.
This is just a wrap-up of the libraries that I went to when I was in the DC/Baltimore area.
- DC Public – which I already wrote about some. Highlights were free wireless and a really interesting looking building downtown. Downsides were most everything else.
- US Holocaust Memorial Museum Library – where my friend Ron works as a systems/reference librarian. They got new compact shelving that he got to show off and are in the middle of some pretty big deals to expand their digital collection. Very exciting. This library is a hidden treasure in the downtown DC area, if you’re at all interested in the subject area, drop in for a visit.
- Peabody Library – I can safely say that short of the Library of Congress, I have never seen a library this fancy, but maybe I don’t get out much. Right in Baltimore, sort of unassuming from the outside, it’s completely knockout inside.
- Enoch Pratt Free Library – right up the road from the Peabody, this library has a totally different vibe. Welcoming and bustling with the most fun pamphlet file ever, I had a wonderful time here and took a lot of pictures.
- Waverly Branch, EPFL – my friend’s local library, just stopped in to take a peek.
- The People’s Library – did not go in. My friend who lives up the road says he has never gone in either.