With a grand ribbon-cutting celebration held on Monday, June 27, Mayor Muriel Bowser and community leaders celebrated the completion of the new $20 million Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Library. Located in Ward 5 at 5401 South Dakota Avenue NE, the two-story structure replaces the original Lamond-Riggs Library.
“We are proud that here in D.C., our libraries are constantly evolving to better meet the needs of our community – whether that need is books, or spaces to gather, or even access to COVID tests,” Bowser said. “We are particularly proud to name this beautiful new facility in honor of Lillian Huff, a woman who fought hard to secure the original Lamond-Riggs Library.”
Other program guests included former Mayor Sharon Pratt who shared comments about her relationship with and memories of Huff including Huff’s talents and her effectiveness in getting things done.
During the mayor’s comments, she talked about how she had worked on committees with Huff since she was a young girl, learning the ropes.
She said every time Huff would greet her, she would say, “Hello Little Miss Bowser.”
Both Bowser and Pratt exclaimed, “what a great day it is in the neighborhood today to open this beautiful, new library.”
The new Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Library opened immediately after the ribbon-cutting.
D.C. Public Library Board Chair Tony Williams provided the welcome, joined by officials including Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and D.C. City Councilmembers Janeese George, Anita Bonds and Kenyan McDuffie, who gave remarks of thanks. Former Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. also joined the festivities.
The DC Public Library said during the vote to rename the Lamond-Riggs Library, “there was overwhelming support from the community to have the new library renamed in honor of Mrs. Lillian J. Huff.” They also praised the hard work of the committee.
Also on the program were members of the renaming committee including Founding Chair Gloria Hightower and co-chairs Rodney Foxworth and Frank Wilds who have worked in tandem over the past two years.
“Today was a wonderful tribute to Mrs. Huff,” Foxworth said. “For nearly 30 years, Mrs. Huff worked tirelessly to get the first library built and another 20 years after it opened, she secured the funding that was used, to have it rebuilt. What foresight.”
The new 23,500-square-foot library continues the DC Public Library’s Facilities Master Plan priority of building neighborhood libraries that are at least 20,000 square feet, are flexible enough to accommodate changing uses and new technologies and are environmentally friendly. It has expanded space for adults, teens and children; collaboration spaces; a living room-style seating area; a large meeting room for 100 people; seven reservable meeting spaces, one for up to 12 people, two for up to six people each and four study spaces designed for two people; and outdoor spaces on each floor with comfortable seating.
The idea of naming the Lamond-Riggs Library in Huff’s honor began at her funeral after Rocky Twyman made the suggestion. In record time, Hightower, founder of the Friends of the Carter Barron Amphitheater, organized a committee.
As one guest remarked, “Mrs. Lillian J. Huff – the works you have done, speak for you.”