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The Anacostia, Shaw, Tenleytown, and Benning branch libraries have been closed for more than a year—and neighborhood bibliophiles had better get used to it. In October, the D.C. Public Library’s (DCPL) board voted to fire the company contracted to replace these outdated structures, citing concerns that the new branches would be outdated by the time of their reopening—currently scheduled for 2008. DCPL spokesperson Monica Lewis says the move was for the best: “When they open, they’re going to be super-duper libraries.” To meet the interim demand, the DCPL has planned “storefront” libraries, but the city still needs to finalize leases, hire architects to design them, and then finally hire a construction firm to start building. But patrons aren’t being left completely bereft: The “Xtreme Mobile,” a $150,000 custom-built, 32-foot-long Chevrolet truck with four wireless-Internet-equipped computers, a wheelchair lift, and capacity for 10 customers and 2,750 books, started plying the District late last month. “We couldn’t just call it a bookmobile,” says Patricia Pasqual, the DCPL’s head of targeted and outreach services. “It’s more than books….Its ‘X’ is for extraordinary, and exciting, and expansive.”—Huan Hsu