Friends of Southeast Library Reach Agreement with DCPL to Continue Monthly Book Sales


Friends of Southeast Library Reach Agreement with DCPL to Continue Monthly Book Sales

by Larry Janezich

Tuesday morning, Friends of Southeast Library (FOSEL) met with the Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director of DC Public Libraries, and other library officials regarding the Friend’s need for additional space in plans to renovate SE Library to allow them to continue monthly book sales.  Under the plan for renovation, the space the Friends use to organize book sales was reduced from 175 to 89 square feet and the Friends say they can’t continue book sales with so little.  FOSEL began a campaign to solicit public support, circulating a petition and writing letters to public officials urging endorsement of their appeal just to keep the same amount of space they have now after the renovation. 

At today’s meeting, Reyes-Gavilan acknowledged the contribution the Friends make to the Library and their need for more space.  He revealed new architectural drawings and proposed that with changes to the design, the space allotted to the Friends could be increased to a total of 140 square feet.

After discussing pros and cons, the Friends’ Executive Committee agreed to the proposal.  According to Neal Gregory, President of FOSEL, “The offer was not as much as we want, but enough to allow us to continue doing the monthly sales.”

The book sales attracts thousands of visitors and raises some $20,000 annually.  All of the funds are used to benefit the DC Library system – most are spent for children’s programs at SE Library but funds are also made available to other branch libraries and programs supported by DC Public Libraries. 

FOSEL had collected more than 600 signatures on their petition and CM Charles Allen was reported to be supportive of the Friends’ request. 

The current library is closing at the end of 2022 when construction will begin.  The renovated library is scheduled to reopen in late 2024.

(Full disclosure:  The editor of Capitol Hill Corner is a member of FOSEL.)


Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Friends of Southeast Library Reach Agreement with DCPL to Continue Monthly Book Sales

  1. Ruth Oyen


  2. Wendy Blair

    Library Administrators seem to have stuck to their hard line, from an initial stance that they had “no choice” in denying the loyal Friends of the SE Library needed space for community-beloved, and lucrative, book sales. From 175 square feet to 140 square feet is a 20% loss of storage space. Better than DCPL’s initial, death-blow offer of 89 square feet for the Friends — a loss of 49%. I would say, with justice, something different from “Congratulations”. It is a disappointing failure, mis-labelled as a success. Better than the initial offer, but mean.