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District Library Praised For Innovative Design

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The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, which opened in August, was designed by Davis Brody Bond Aedas.
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The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, which opened in August, was designed by Davis Brody Bond Aedas.

Shaw Public Library was opened to much fanfare in August and now its 22,000-square-foot structure is being praised by the Wall Street Journal for its architecture. The paper has named the library one of 2010's best buildings and says the library is a far cry from the inward-turned, windowless brick models of the past.

The Wall Street Journal says the library's green roof and 20-foot tall central space say much about the priorities and programs going on inside libraries, where media related services and community meeting rooms are becoming the norm.

"We are incredibly thrilled to have been so honored," says the District's chief librarian, Ginnie Cooper. "I don't think there's an awards ceremony or a plaque or anything like that, but it still is very exciting to be acknowledged so publicly."

Housed inside Shaw are 40,000 books, DVD's and CD's, as well as 32 public-access computers with free WIFI. But Cooper says Shaw library is more than that.

"You would see a building that actually sits on three floors. With a meeting room in the lower floor, the children's area, and the site and sound material, that's the DVD's, that's the quick pick up materials on the first floor and a wonderful reading room with soaring ceilings and good views of the neighborhood and many comfortable places to sit with your lap top and the free wifi we have at the library."

Shaw is among three places recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best buildings in 2010. The MIT Lab and the Brooklyn Bridge Park also made the paper's best building list.

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