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The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, opened in 1972 to much fanfare, took the banner of “central library” from the Mt. Vernon branch for which Andrew Carnegie donated funds (Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square). After a study from Booz Allen confirmed the downtown area needed a modern library, the MLK Jr. Library was constructed. Now, the 40,000 square foot glass and steel hulk stands apart from its neighbors, not quite traditional DC style and not quite contemporary, but altogether bold. Originally (that’s 1896 originally), Congress decreed DC needed libraries “to furnish books and other printed matter and information service convenient to the homes and offices of all residents of the District.” Now, in an age where libraries can go bust thanks to digital resources, the library offers classes on modern subjects like how to use Adobe Illustrator (gasp!) and Vine (gosh!) and will have a Digital Commons space soon. Since it will be renovated (already in process), it’s worth a stroll through the stacks to get that pop-70s feel one more time.