Back in 2008, the D.C. Public Library decided to close five neighborhood kiosks, the tiny one-room libraries set up during the 1970s in some of the city’s poorer neighborhoods to increase access to books where full-service libraries didn’t yet exist. Many of those neighborhoods were getting new libraries, the Board reasoned, and the kiosks weren’t very well-used anyway.
So for the last two years, with the exception of the run of the Temporium at the R.L. Christian kiosk on H Street N.E., the little buildings—also on Benning Road, in Deanwood, near Sursum Corda, and in Takoma Park—have sat empty, now in the portfolio of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, which has decided they have no public function (and no money to do anything anyway). But sometime in the not-too-distant future, DMPED will be putting together a “request for expressions of interest,” as the first step in awarding long-term leases to entities with the wherewithal to put them to use.
What to do with a kiosk? Hot dog stand? Aviary? Holding pen for deviant children? The possibilities are endless.