Building the Library of Tomorrow
Approved by City Council in 2015, the new George W. Hawkes Downtown Library will be Arlington’s 21st century library. The new 80,000 square foot multi-use facility will completely transform the user’s experience through a modern design, the latest technology and invaluable public programming tailored to meet the needs of a growing and diverse population. When complete, the new state-of-the-art library of tomorrow will house a collection of approximately 200,000 print and audiovisual resources and provide areas for users of all ages, including dedicated space for children, teens and adult literacy.
With your support, the new Downtown Library will become a staple of the downtown community and a valuable resource for family enrichment and civic engagement – a place where dreams are made!
The new Downtown Library will be located across the street from the former location, just north of City Hall. Its prime location in the heart of the city will bring new life to Downtown Arlington by enhancing the economic, social and cultural vitality of the city.
Located on the first floor, the children’s area will be zoned into areas for separate age groups. Customized collections and play areas as well as interactive activities and technology will support youth from birth through age 12. Special focus will be given to the early literacy area in order to support the Library’s focus on school readiness.
The second floor will feature a dedicated area for teens with ample space for library materials, a study lounge, computing space, small group study rooms and a digital creativity lab with a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) focus. In this space, teens will also find opportunities for service learning, mentoring and peer interaction.
The Arlington Reads area on the second floor will contain a large classroom and small group tutoring space to support adult literacy programs and workforce development. A large area for public computing and several small study rooms provide space for research, reading, and individual work space.
On the third floor of the library, patrons will find a Genealogy and Local History section that includes materials, displays, computers for genealogy research, lounge and study areas, and a meeting room. A quiet reading room on the northeast corner of the third floor will overlook a rooftop garden space.
In addition to a new library building, shared event space will be created to house Arlington’s City Council Chamber. The Chamber space will accommodate 200 people for City Council meetings as well as providing a space for large library events such as lecture series and author events.
In coordination with the project architect and contractor, the City of Arlington will seek LEED certification for the new library building. Measures will be taken to ensure that energy efficient, environmentally friendly systems are put in place to create a sustainable infrastructure, interior and exterior design as well as low maintenance exterior lighting and landscaping.