Continuing our efforts to meet patrons where they live and work, Arlington Public Library plans to open a temporary “pop-up” branch in Crystal City this September.
The Connection: Crystal City will be a location for checking out books, accessing the internet, holding community meetings and attending workshops.
Library Director Diane Kresh sees The Connection: Crystal City as a low-cost way to push library services into more neighborhoods and introduce people of all ages to the wide scope of what the County’s public library system has to offer. In addition, the pop-up branch is expected to help enliven the Crystal City Shops.
“We chose Crystal City as the first neighborhood to experiment with a pop-up library both because we have found that Route 1, which runs through Crystal City, poses a physical barrier to access for many people to the nearest community library, and because people in the neighborhood expressed interest in the approach,” Kresh said.
The County Board approved a lease this month with CESC Plaza Limited Partnership for 1,222 sq. ft. of space inside the building located at 2100 Crystal Drive, within Crystal City Shops at 2100, 2117 Crystal Plaza Arcade. The space is located just across the corridor from the Tech Shop and immediately across from Au Bon Pain.
The Library will hold community discussions this summer to learn more about what types of services people would like offered within the constraints of space, time and budget.
- The first community discussion will take place Monday, July 25, in the Connection: Crystal City space.
- The Library has also prepared an online survey about programs and services that could be offered in the space.
The County’s nine-month lease may be renewed on a month-to-month basis. One-time funding for the pop-up library was approved in the adopted Fiscal Year 2017 budget.
Although the space is being offered to the County rent-free, the County will pay a monthly fee for its share of common area maintenance expenses, real estate taxes and electricity associated with the shopping center. That share is estimated to be $1,603 a month for maintenance, $176 for real estate taxes and $100 for electricity. The County expects to spend about $113,000 to renovate the space. Kresh notes that many of the features the County will install – carpeting, shelving and furniture – will be reused elsewhere by the County after the lease is terminated. The County also will spend $60,000 to install fiber and conduit to connect the pop-up library to the County fiber optic network, ConnectArlington.
Read the official Arlington County News Release: Arlington to Open Crystal City Pop-Up Library.