Exploring the offerings of the DC Public Library

When prominent DC organizer and activist Chuck Hicks was asked by The Washington Post recently to name his five favorite places to visit in the District, he included one local venue that frequently gets included on similar lists: The DC Public Library. Like many residents, Hicks said he particularly enjoys the programs and events offered by the world-famous library.

"Arts, crafts, poetry, computers, exhibits - [the DC Public Library] has great programs for different age groups," he said, according to the source.

Hicks is certainly not alone in his love of the programs offered by the local library - many other notable residents and politicians have included it on their own lists of DC's best cultural offerings. Between the educational offerings, community-building events and regularly meeting clubs, this shouldn't be surprising. Many of those who own real estate in Washington, DC, make frequent use of this regional gem.

The DC Public Library - which includes the main branch, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, at 901 G Street as well as more than 20 other branches sprinkled throughout the District - offers a wide range of programs. Here are two upcoming events that shouldn't be missed.

Dance
Dance is a great way to become acquainted with an unfamiliar culture, as it is a window into the traditions of a particular group of people. The DC Public Library system offers many ways for residents to immerse themselves in the dance legacies of various groups of people. One example is an upcoming performance by the much-praised Silk Road Dance Company (SRDC).

The troupe is famous for demonstrating famous dances from the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, China and the Caucasus.

On October 20, the SRDC will present a 30-minute program featuring classic Iranian dances in a variety of regional and historical styles.

Literature exploration
Of course, a library's primary concern is to advance access to and understanding of literature. In this quest, the main branch will be hosting a discussion of Vladimir Nabokov's famous novel Lolita on October 30. Although the book is worth delving into on its own merits, it has particular resonance in the present moment. DC Reads, a city-wide program that encourages reading for children and adults, is devoting a month to a new book by Azar Nafisi called Reading Lolita in Tehran. As such, the library will be hosting a special session to discuss the new novel's namesake.

The DC Public Library system is known for its in-depth and diverse events, which makes it an important part of the District.