The DC Public Library is keeping up with the times, and demand. Beginning Wednesday, July 17, it will open its first virtual reading room, Digital Commons, at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (901 G Street). The new, state-of-the-art incubator space replaces books with computers and smart technology, including 80 public computers (think PCs, iMacs and express computers), and caters to D.C.’s growing community of entrepreneurs, designers, students and educators. But everyone, from tech startups and enthusiasts to novices are welcome. Also expect the following in Digital Commons’ 11,000 square feet of space: a 3D printer, a self-publishing book machine, the latest eReader devices, spaces for meet ups and collaborative creation, smart boards, and 50 workstations with outlets for laptops. The library will host a 10:30 a.m. opening day event with Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development Victor L. Hoskins and provide demonstrations of its latest digital services, including eResources.
In related news, all city libraries will be open seven days a week, and remain open for more hours, beginning Tuesday, Oct. 1. The D.C. Council approved Mayor Gray’s fiscal year 2014 budget, including an increase in library hours and funding for books and other library materials. The new hours will be Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
(This article was updated July 17, 2013)