The county government's new Shirlington branch
library is proving a bit difficult to get into. And while crowds are up
from the library's former location, that's not the main culprit.
The entrance doors are not working as planned all of the time, making
them heavy and difficult to open. Buttons that are supposed to trigger
the doors to open automatically also are not working at all times.
“[The doors] are supposed to be feather-weight,” said Shirlington branch
manager Susan McCarthy in a recent interview. “It was meant to be easy.”
The basic cause for the malfunction, library officials say, is people
tugging on the doors when the library is closed and locked.
“We regret that it's not functioning all the time, and we've taken some
steps to get them fixed,” McCarthy said. “It's tough to navigate if
you're a parent with a stroller, or handicapped.”
The library is working through the problem with the Department of
Environmental Services, but library officials are unsure when the
problem will be fixed.
The Shirlington branch staff are aware of the problem and have been
asked to pay special attention to the doors in case someone needs
The problem is not unique to the library. Doors leading to Signature
Theatre, which shares the facility in Shirlington with the library, have
the same problems.
Other than the doors, no other construction concerns have surfaced, and
library officials have said they are pleased with the community turnout
at the branch.
“This is typically the shakeout period when you find out if things will
go as predicted or not, because people are streaming in,” said Arlington
library director Diane Kresh. “My sense is things are going quite well
and seem to be in good shape.”
“We're happy in the new space,” McCarthy said. “We were really crowded
before, and it's nice to have space for more activities.”
The new library opened March 18. It replaced a temporary facility
located in a storefront in nearby Shirlington Village.