THE DC LIBRARY RENAISSANCE PROJECT RESPONDS TO:
A Blueprint for Change: The Mayor’s Task Force on the Future of the DC Public Library System
2. THE MAYORâ€™S BLUE RIBBON TASK FORCE â€“ BACKGROUND
3. BLUEPRINT FOR REALITY
4. THE LIBRARY AS REAL ESTATE
5. MAJOR PROBLEMS AND OMMISSIONS OF THE BLUEPRINT
6. SECRECY TO TRANSPARENCY: TRANSITIONING FORWARD
I. WHAT CITIZENS SAID AT THE LISTENING SESSIONS
II. SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION NOW
This report by the DC Library Renaissance Project is issued in response to the draft Blueprint for Change released, in January 2006, by the Mayorâ€™s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Future of the DC Public Library System. Our report is critical of the draft Blueprint, but we acknowledge the good intentions of Task Force members, none of whom received remuneration for his or her efforts, and some of whom invested a lot of their time.
However, District residents, local library advocates, most of DCPL staff, and all press were excluded from the Task Forceâ€™s publicly financed meetings and information gathering trips to other cities. The listening sessions, purportedly planned by the Task Force to take place after publication of its Blueprint, certainly seemed like an afterthought. Moreover, no sessions were even scheduled until Councilmember Kathy Patterson asked for them to be held before the Blueprint was released. Ten listening sessions were held in libraries across the city in January and February, 2006.
It is now clear, as Library Renaissance Project has said all along, that public input should have been the first step â€“ not the last â€“ of the Task Force process. At the Board of Library Trustees meeting of March 8, 2006, President John Hill announced that the draft Blueprint would be substantially rewritten in view of what the Task Force had learned at the listening sessions. At that March meeting, Trustee comments began to reflect for the first time an understanding of the urgency of their task.
We take heart from that; but citizens must stay vigilant. Some trustees are still focused on buildings and real estate development. Fixing the Library will require fixing more than buildings. In fact, buildings are the least of its problems. Total institutional regeneration is needed.
And although welcome change seems to be afoot, we offer for the record our constructive critique of the draft Blueprint, and some of our suggestions for action.
2. The Mayorâ€™s Blue Ribbon Task Force â€“ background
The DC Library Renaissance Project is a mostly volunteer effort, founded by Ralph Nader in 2002, to help the public library. In winter 2004, after the departure of Library Director Molly Raphael, DC Library Renaissance Project Director Leonard Minsky proposed to the Board of Trustees of the DC Public Library that it appoint a task force to study the library system and report back to the Trustees with concrete proposals for reform. The Library Trustees rejected the idea.
Instead, in September 2004, Mayor Anthony Williams appointed a Blue Ribbon Task Force to study the system and report back, not to the Library Board, but to himself, thus politicizing the process and compromising the appearance of objectivity.
The Mayorâ€™s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Future of the DC Public Library System, as it is called, consists of all the Library Trustees, and 34 others (see page 28 of the draft Blueprint for a complete list available at www.dclibrary.org). Mayor Williams asked the Task Force to develop a â€œVision for a 21st Century DC Public Library,â€ but constrained that vision with a set of unwritten premises that were not open to discussion, and put into place a secretive process that would prevent the community from debating them. Those foregone conclusions were:
â€¢ The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (MLK) building will be sold or leased;
â€¢ A new central library will be built on the site of the Old Convention Center;
â€¢ The Libraryâ€™s 26 branches will be either torn down, sold, rebuilt or refurbished;
â€¢ How the city will finance the above changes would not be the Task Forceâ€™s concern.
Before conducting any public hearings, the Mayorâ€™s Blue Ribbon Task Force came up with a draft report, which it called â€œA Blueprint for Change.â€ The Blueprint contained the above-detailed premises as given. And only subsequently did the Task Force submit it to citywide public hearings â€“ called â€œlistening sessions.â€ But the Blueprint â€“ which assures citizens of the District of Columbia that they deserve a state-of-the-art library system instead of the one they now possess â€“ which the Task Force says is â€œbrokenâ€ â€“ is notable for how little of substance it proposes, and for how much it leaves out.
During the same period of time that the Mayorâ€™s Task Force was writing its draft Blueprint, the DC Council passed the Library Enhancement and Development Act, which became law in January of 2006. The new Library Act:
â€¢ Creates a Fund to be used for Library Renovations. All revenues generated from the
sale or use of library property will go into this fund.
â€¢ Directs that a (new) Task Force be created to complete a strategic plan to fund the â€œ
â€¦enhancement and development of the DC Public Library.â€ The new Library Act Task
Force is specifically directed to identify public-private partnerships to support
implementation of the strategic plan.
Thus, the Library Act greatly facilitates the sale of public property to private interests and advances the Mayorâ€™s core motive in creating the Blue Ribbon Task Force.
3. A BLUEPRINT FOR REALITY
The Blueprint does not account for why DC doesnâ€™t already have a state-of-the-art library system when those surrounding the District and across the country do; or how that very lack has impeded and might continue to impede the ability to create and sustain one. The Blueprint does not identify the practices that allowed rampant, intractable decay to take hold nor does it outline ways to fix them. The report takes for granted, as is commonly stated, that money has been the missing component, when in fact DC is not underfunded when compared to many other urban library systems. The Blueprint ignores the complicated ongoing reality of gross mismanagement, when there is no evidence that DCPL, as currently configured, has the framework or expertise to be brought to functionality, let alone to state-of-the-art condition.
At listening sessions convened by the Task Force in order to hear public response to the Blueprint, citizens across the city have spoken with one voice. They are dismayed and discouraged that DCPL cannot deliver basic services today. Patrons would like to see libraries that are open, safe, staffed, adequately supplied with books and computers, and providing services tailored to each community; and they donâ€™t see why they have to wait for new buildings to be erected in order to get that level of service. Moreover, the puppet shows, bestsellers, theatres, shops and coffee houses envisioned by the Task Force as offerings of a state-of-the-art library strike the library-going public as trivial and beside the point. Cleanliness, security, courteous service, improved collections, and connectivity are all needed first â€“ and immediately.
Before new buildings are built, citizens want evidence that DCPL can manage the publicâ€™s priorities for libraries that work today. It is imperative that the question of the maintenance of buildings be resolved before any new ones are undertaken. DCPL cannot now repair a bathroom in a reasonable timeframe. Without substantial changes to internal library management and systems there is no reason to believe DCPL will maintain new buildings any better than it has maintained those it currently oversees.
In other words, as important as buildings are, no mere building will turn the system around. Complete institutional regeneration is needed in order to address the reasons why Decay, Depletion, and Demoralization came to dwell in the Public Library.
4. THE LIBRARY AS REAL ESTATE
Although how the city would finance a 21st Century library system was not a question for Task Force consideration, it is an overriding concern of District citizens.
The Blueprint was founded on the premise that the way to fund renewal of DCPL would be to sell some of its assets. Fans of this approach called it â€œworking the assets.â€ Thus, the sale of MLK Library, predicted to bring $100 million, would help pay for a shiny new central library, albeit half the size, on the Old Convention Center site. This new central library is already projected by the Task Force to be part of a mixed use complex (which many oppose), and the reduction in size alone (from 400,000 square feet to 200,000), should give pause to any who see the sale of the MLK building as the only solution to funding a much-needed upgrade. Why build a new central library that is smaller than the present one?
The MLK building has major design and systems problems that have never been addressed, but itâ€™s not clear that they couldnâ€™t have been. Decades of deliberately deferred maintenance led to its current ruinous state, but the building is structurally sound. In fact, Board of Library Trustees President John Hill has assured citizens that MLK will not be torn down even if it is sold.
In 2000, the American Institute of Architects Urban Design Committee proposed imaginative remedies to the longstanding design complaints about MLK in a study that still has not been given due consideration. Recently, the Committee of One Hundred requested DCâ€™s Chief Financial Officer to prepare cost estimates for the AIA plan in order that it may be compared with other proposals that are made. The AIA concept included an additional upper floor suitable for large functions, a central foyer staircase leading to a sky lighted atrium reading room, more accessible and welcoming meeting rooms, a cafÃ©, a bookstore, an auditorium, and the potential for additional parking â€“ just the sorts of things the Blueprint envisions for a new central library! Paid parking, a cafÃ©, a bookstore, and another floor that could be rented out would all contribute to a revenue stream for DCPL.
The Blueprint does not mention that many in the city are opposed to selling any public assets. There are other ways to finance regeneration including (but not limited to) simply committing to adequate public funding. The Blueprint glosses over the fact that those who were charged with protecting this resource oversaw its decline. Trustees, DCPL staff, city council memebrs, mayors, and other officials have squandered the civic trust of library patrons for decades. With new proposals coming from the same quarters, the public is uneasy.
5. SOME PROBLEMS AND OMISSIONS OF THE BLUEPRINT
The whole question of real estate aside, the Blueprintâ€™s omission of issues standing in the way of a 21st Century library makes the Task Force members seem as out of touch with the conditions of the DC Public Library as their addresses imply (most of the members live outside DC). Although many more issues exist, only five are examined here.
A startling omission of the Blueprint is input from DCPL staff. Admittedly, DCPL has failed to attract or retain many high quality staff over the years, but even the recognition of that fact would have made the Blueprint more credible. In any case, information from staff would have been revealing both for what might have been said as well as what might not have been said.
If the Task Force had sought staff input, they would have learned that DCPL has no program plan and no standard operating procedures, has ineffective training and offers little professional development. Departments are at odds with one another. The central library is at odds with the branches. For all its turf wars, the MLK building may as well be a gangland. Nepotism, absenteeism, and theft are rampant; and colleagues and mangers simply tolerate it. There is no internal mechanism for incubating new ideas. Without a means to propose fresh approaches or correct course, there will not be organic change, let alone the transformation that is needed.
DCPL and the Board of Trustees missed an early chance to wipe the slate clean and begin anew in April 2005, when a freshly hired Interim Director Francis Buckley and President Hill attended the annual Staff Development Day. They did not step boldly into a new era of empowering employees and holding them accountable. Instead, the day was given over to celebrating the careers of librarians of 35 years or more — of whom there are an astonishing number at DCPL. To be sure, service is honorable, but any staff that has spent 35 years in this system has overseen an institution in a death spiral. DCPL should strongly consider an early retirement buyout. Even good librarians have been burnt out by a dysfunctional system.
Another important omission by the Task Force is the problem of large numbers of homeless individuals in the library. A desire not to interact with the homeless is a leading reason many citizens give for not using the library, especially MLK. The less libraries are populated by the general public, the more homeless individuals feel comfortable using them. As more homeless occupy seats in the library, the less other patrons will use the library.
District residents say they donâ€™t want their libraries to serve as homeless shelters but neither do they want to evict homeless users. Many of the homeless are mentally ill. Many exhibit anti-social behaviors such as an inability to modulate their voices, poor hygiene, and a proclivity for internet pornography. Some people find some homeless people frightening, and a few homeless individuals pose a security risk.
The Seattle Public Library, which the Task Force visited, carefully incorporated into the design of their new central library many innovations to try to address the problem of the homeless. They greatly increased air circulation, provided ample computers and tables, and maintain a coffee stand in the lobby run by a nonprofit agency that trains homeless individuals for work in food service. DC library branches and their Friends Groups should be permitted and encouraged to pilot innovative solutions in accordance with the degree of severity of the problem in their neighborhoods.
The jewel of DCPL collections, degraded as it has been allowed to become, is the Washingtoniana Division. The failure of the Task Force to remark upon it is another oversight.
In the listening sessions, citizens consistently praised Washingtoniana, urging that it be adequately staffed and strenuously marketed. Citizens also suggested that branches should model Washingtoniana by maintaining and featuring mini-collections focused on the history of each libraryâ€™s neighborhood.
Many formerly highly used divisions have been supplanted by on-line access, but Washingtoniana continues to be of value as an on-site research resource. For students, it provides one of the few opportunities for working directly with source materials that are not books. For budding historians, it is a useful precursor to national libraries like the Library of Congress and the British Museum, which still flourish in the electronic age.
The feasibility of moving Washingtoniana to the Old Carnegie Library on Mt. Vernon Square should be re-examined in view of the pending need either to downsize the collection for a new smaller central library or to house it while MLK is renovated. For reasons space here does not permit, we favor moving Washingtoniana permanently to the Mt. Vernon Square location, regardless of which central library option is eventually adopted.
The Task Force lists basic literacy as the first of its six â€œprime service priorities,â€ citing
many examples of library programs in other cities.
In contrast to many cities â€“ where libraries are the direct providers of adult literacy services â€“ DCâ€™s many low-literate adults are served by a panoply of agencies, churches, and service organizations. Together they serve about 5,000 individuals annually, although statistics indicate that 150,000 District adults are in need of help at the basic level, and 100,000 more at sub-GED levels. Many are funded and monitored by DCâ€™s State Education Agency but are otherwise not connected, and lack true reach and impact.
DCPL could immediately become the vibrant center of the cityâ€™s disparate adult literacy activities â€“ without having to take on any administrative tasks of program management â€“ by pro-actively supporting existing area programs. DCPL could publicize existing literacy volunteer opportunities, host frequent recruitment and training sessions for agencies, and provide more tutoring and classroom space especially in branches. DCPL has a fulltime Coordinator of Volunteers who could assist with these activities. Current DCPL regulations would need to be changed to permit use of meeting rooms for on-going classes, but providers could make services available today in the space DCPL already has at its disposal, without the need to erect a single new building or hire more staff.
The Blueprint mentions â€œfamily literacyâ€ in passing, something current DCPL programming does not address. Family literacy is particularly relevant for libraries. At every listening session, library users testified to happy memories of visiting the library with their parents. Clearly, family literacy results in library users.
The Task Forceâ€™s recommendation of Bestsellers and Hot Topics as their second service priority was downgraded by most citizens in the listening sessions. If anything, DCPL has too many bestsellers considering that all of its collections are skeletal. DCPLâ€™s collections all suffer from inadequate technology support and Byzantine procurement processes. All collections are plagued by missing volumes listed as available. Rumors persist about thousands of catalogued books in the basement of MLK going unshelved for years, which we can only hope is an urban myth. Librarians do tell us that they lack the time to catalogue and shelve book donations.
The $3 million over three years projected in the Blueprint to go to collections upgrade would barely cover the cost of making a comprehensive inventory, and one is desperately needed. Patrons report books that do not appear in the system when checked out or returned. Clerks are hesitant to reserve books for patrons at other branches, even when they appear in stock on the on-line catalogue. Branch patrons are often told that special orders must be picked up at MLK. This is, in fact, not DCPL policy. However, it can be seen as elementary conflict avoidance stemming from staffâ€™s experience that requisitioned books do not arrive, although disappointed patrons do.
At over 400,000 square feet, MLK has the capacity to house a vast collection. The central library should be able to deliver any book from its collection to any branch the next day. If the central library collection could be relied upon, branches could reduce the numbers of books they keep on hand and better display new books and books in demand. They could lower some bookcases and remove others, providing more light, better sightlines (which improve security as well as ambiance), and increased space for computers and program areas.
New releases are a massive problem for DCPL. Books do not arrive in a timely enough fashion to benefit from exposure through book reviews and talk shows. This is not acceptable when libraries are competing with bookstores — actual and virtual — for increasingly scarce browsers. Recent explanations provided by DCPL administrative staff to the Federation of Friends were incomprehensible, belabored, and rude. Improving DCPL procurement must be a high priority, followed closely by â€œcustomerâ€ service training for all staff.
6. SECRECY TO TRANSPARENCY: TRANSITIONING FORWARD
No one stands opposed to a vibrant library system. Exhortations by Trustees to the public â€œto get on the same pageâ€ lead not to consensus but to the question of whose page. If the Library Trustees want everyone on the same page, they should be concerned about issues of perception and trust.
The current Board of Trustees (all appointed by the Mayor as Trustees and to the Blue Ribbon Task Force) has not made a good start towards improving the public confidence. Especially troubling is the on-going practice of conducting closed pre-board meetings to â€œdevelop consensus.â€ This practice, which was indulged in by the Control Board in its day, violates the spirit if not the letter of the Districtâ€™s transparency guidelines. The Library Board also keeps its Friends Groups at arms length, granting a seat at the table â€“
but no vote â€“ to the elected President of the Federation of Friends. Library officials say they value and need Friends Groups, but only one Friends representative was asked to sit on the Task Force.
At this point, the entire Blue Ribbon Task Force process looks like a smokescreen to divert attention from the passage of the Library Act enabling the quick sale of library property and calling for a (new) task force to identify private-public development partnerships. The Mayor, City Council and Library Trustees have decided that this is the optimal strategy for regeneration. Task Force meetings were held in private in spite of being publicly funded. Members of the public who asked to attend were turned away. Dorothy Brizill, Executive Director of DCWatch, was actually evicted.
Sending Task Force members off in search of best practices on behalf of DCPL without knowing what problems were already of concern to patrons and staff, was not only expensive for District taxpayers, but was an important opportunity missed. The Task Force also ignored excellent library systems nearby in Maryland and Virginia in favor of trips to cities with brand new central library buildings. Even if public input was always planned, as President John Hill has said repeatedly, it was a poor decision to design it as a last step in the Task Force process.
The decision to cancel plans to rebuild four libraries already closed for reconstruction feels like a ruse to wear down antidevelopment forces that had succeeded in winning designs for freestanding libraries rather than mixed use. By claiming that the plans were â€œnot good enough,â€ the Trustees appeared to be protecting the best interests of library patrons, but it is difficult to deny the fact that settled decisions, arrived at through public process, now appear subverted. These closings also prolonged the denial of service to some of the poorest and neediest library users in the District.
Changes and delays indulged in by the Trustees make it appear that something is going on behind the scenes. Citizens are apprehensive that public space is being parceled up and promised away backstage, before the (new) Task Force, mandated by the Library Act to draw up a strategic plan, has even been appointed And most importantly, the AIA report about the feasibility of renovating MLK should not have been swept under the table five years ago.
Further, the terms of public-private partnerships arenâ€™t being enforced in the District. To cite just one example, developers of the Ritz Carlton hotel complex in the West End promised to provide a park, retail shops, and a theatre, in exchange for receiving special allowances to construct a massive building occupying one full square block in an immediate area that already contained four large hotels. Five years later, those promises have not been fulfilled. Citizens in every neighborhood of the city have reason to be skeptical that their interests will be safeguarded under public-private partnerships when, to date, DC has proven unable to force compliance with the terms of these agreements.
I. WHAT CITIZENS SAID AT THE LISTENING SESSIONS
The following are ideas that we heard voiced most frequently at the ten Task Force listening sessions across the city during January and February 2006. The comments are not ranked, and we were not able to hear all comments because in many cases the group at large was broken down into multiple small focus groups. However, all of the comments below were heard repeatedly at every session:
Increased hours of operation, especially evenings and Sundays
Cleanliness, maintenance, and repair — especially of elevators and bathrooms throughout the system and particularly at MLK
No more deferred maintenance
Adequate staffing levels
Improve collections: books, CDâ€™s, and DVDâ€™s
Computers, computers, computers
Adult literacy programming
Bilingual/multilingual services and collections
Connection to schools and support of curriulum
Avoid redundancy (do not compete with community resources such as theatres, museums, nonprofit organizations, schools, etc)
Highlight DCPL programs and services
Study and experiment with ways to lessen the impact of the homeless on libraries
It is noteworthy that in general citizens questioned the desirability of moving the central library. However, they were told by Library Trustees in attendance at each session that the matter was â€œoff the table.â€
Many citizens saw improving the branches as a far more important priority than a completely new central library, although everyone was agreed that refurbishment of MLK is urgently needed.
When mixed use development and public-private partnerships were presented as the means to achieve a new system, citizens in communities across the city — from Anacostia to the West End — voiced many strong reservations.
II. SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION NOW
The DC Library Renaissance Project offers the following suggested next steps. These suggestions are based on our research, on public comments at the Task Force listening sessions, and on private conversations with countless library patrons and supporters throughout the District who yearn for the restoration of a decent public library system.
Suggestions to DC City Council
1. Amend the Library Act to make the number of citizens on the Task Force equal to the number of government officials on it. One private citizen per ward would afford some balance. Further amend the Act to have City Council make the appointments, not the Mayor. The ANC system might be a good recruiting ground.
2. Form a â€œlibrary community committeeâ€ at each branch, including MLK, to develop its own strategic plan, in order to provide direction to the Library Act Task Force. A similar mechanism for community involvement was used in Seattle. The Library Act may need to be further amended to extend adequate time for this process. Members of the Community Committees should be given the same documents and proposals as Task Force members. Branch library committees should consist of interested community members willing to donate the necessary time. Special efforts should be made to include:
â€¢ Branch librarian or librarianâ€™s designee(s)
â€¢ ANC commissioners who would be responsible for reporting to their neighborhoods
and getting feedback
â€¢ Friends group President or designee(s)
â€¢ Representative from area schools
â€¢ Representatives from non-profits, government agencies, volunteer groups, and other
neighborhood service providers interested in the library
â€¢ Representatives from neighborhood businesses
â€¢ Senior citizens
3. Develop an agency or process to enforce compliance with agreed-upon terms of any public-private and mixed-use partnerships. As things now stand, DC has no working mechanism by which to ensure compliance.
Suggestions for the Mayorâ€™s Blue Ribbon Task Force Blueprint:
4. Develop recommendations for system wide reform of all DCPL services, applicable regardless of building plans.
5. Acknowledge that holding Task Force meetings in closed session was an error in judgment. Hold all future proceedings of the Blue Ribbon and Library Act Task Force in public.
6. Acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about the underlying premises of the Blueprint. City Council and the Library Trustees believe that the regeneration of the library system, which their predecessors failed to steward, can only be paid for by the sale of the very buildings and resources (air-space included) they were charged to maintain. Many citizens and communities do not embrace this point of view.
7. Revise final version of Blueprint to include community opinion strongly opposed to library closings, sale of libraries and library lands, and to public private partnerships.
8. Include breakdowns of funding components and amenities provided for each example of the kind of public private partnership or mixed-use development recommended in Blueprint. Detail revenue streams developed and the impact on library budgets.
Suggestions for DCPL Overall System
9. Adopt adult literacy programming as a priority library service goal. Immediately change meeting room regulations, or create a special exemption, to permit area agencies to hold adult literacy classes at libraries on an ongoing basis.
10. Retain a Library Director, not another â€œinterimâ€ Director
11. Consider staff buyouts with the goal of removing layers of bad management and bureaucracy
12. Improve procurement and purchasing systems
13. Recognize that maintenance is a management issue
14. Require maintenance staff to care for and enhance grounds through staff and volunteer efforts (i.e., regularly remove trash from grounds; weed parking lots; remove vines and debris from fences; care for plantings; coordinate with volunteer gardeners)
15. Allocate sufficient staff to support the Federation of Friends and all Friends groups. Consider hiring an executive director to assist these groups.
16. Coordinate development staff to integrate library foundation funds with ongoing and major fundraising for general library enhancement
17. Reduce bookcase height in branches in order to improve lighting, security, and ambiance
Suggestions for DCPL Central MLK Library
18. Install, support, and maintain 200 public access computers in the lobby
19. Manage collections and improve reserve book fulfillment to permit branches to house fewer books (see 17 above) and to increase space for computers and programming
20. Utilize volunteers as greeters, shelvers, and information desk staff
21. Display rules of conduct prominently and enforce
Suggestions for the Board of Library Trustees
22. Amend the by-laws to give the Federation of Friends President a vote on the Board of Library Trustees.
The draft Blueprint was written by paid consultants. Citizens, Friends groups, and DCPL staff were excluded from Task Force deliberations. Some Task Force panelists themselves participated only minimally; according to sources close to them. The draft Blueprintâ€™s many omissions stem directly from the Task Forceâ€™s refusal to consult. This failure has created a serious lack of trust in the process that produced the draft Blueprint and, therefore, in its recommendations. Subsequent processes must be designed to substantively take account of public opinion and to restore trust. Anything less will imply that the process to date was simply a charade to conceal real estate transactions from public scrutiny.
Trustees have mentioned at listening sessions and at board meetings that the deterioration of DCPL is â€œeveryoneâ€™s faultâ€ because â€œeveryoneâ€ stood by and let it happen. This kind of comment does nothing to ease the publicâ€™s disquiet, and it is disingenuous. Over the years, many people have sounded the alarm. Talented librarians, non-acquiescing Trustees, members of Library Friends groups across the city, and valiant patrons have struggled in vain to point out problems, to propose solutions, and even to offer resources. They have been ignored, silenced, shunned, called â€œdifficult,â€ and accused of dissembling.
And yet, many library patrons still remain hopeful about the possibilities for revitalizing the Districtâ€™s public library system. Their testimony at the belated listening sessions now appears to have had an impact on the Trustees who are at least saying some of what citizens have long waited to hear. Change has been a very long time coming. Library Trustees and city officials can assume that citizens, library patrons, and the DC Library Renaissance Project will tirelessly endeavor to hold them to their word.