Anacostia Library


As part of a district-wide library revitalization effort, Anacostia Public Library was selected to be rebuilt. The library had to become a space used not only for book storage but for meetings, adult learning, conferences, socializing and computing. In addition, the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) has projected all new libraries be built to a LEED Silver standard, meaning that the interior furnishings and finishes had to contribute to this sustainable design goal.

Spacesaver worked closely with the planning team to create a storage solution that met the needs of the community and the sustainability goals of the project.

The residents of Anacostia have been able to use this new library with its Wi-Fi access, meeting rooms, study rooms and children’s area with ease. The sustainable successes achieved by this building’s design were crucial to the District of Columbia and the local ecosystem, but the fast adoption of this new and improved learning space by the local residents is the biggest win for the community.


The neighborhood of the library is predominately low-income with a high ratio of children. As plans were developed for the new library it was also important to design a space that could easily be transformed as the demographic changed from a younger population to a more adult population.


The successful collaboration between the DCPL, the local Spacesaver representative, and Freelon Architects early on in the planning process was key to developing and executing the many sustainable storage solutions found in the project.

The stacks were created to allow for maximum day lighting throughout the space. They were also designed to incorporate a translucent resin product, which incorporated recycled content and enabled additional daylight to flow through the space. Spacesaver’s engineering department was essential in making this custom end panel solution possible, and their collaboration with the local team contributed to the success of the project.

Careful thought was put into the selection of the shelving paint color so that all libraries in the District of Columbia could be standardized on the product going forward.


Beyond providing a product with 90% recycled content, “Spacesaver helped to contribute to part of what I would consider the spirit of sustainability, and the LEED Certification level that we were trying to achieve, which was LEED Silver,” said Kathryn Taylor, Interior Designer with Freelon Architects.

The DCPL has also standardized on the Spacesaver product. This allows the library system to move product from branch to branch, without having to purchase new product if the needs of the patrons change.

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