D.C. Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper retires, leaves a legacy

    After seven years, D.C.'s Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper is retiring and going back home to Oregon.

    She leaves behind{}a legacy that includes 17 new or renovated libraries.

    Cooper took a library system that was in decay seven years ago and tripled circulation.

    "We had about 100 computers. We now have 1,100 computers," Cooper says.

    The digital commons, as she calls it, is now the most popular place in the Martin Luther King Library.

    She tells ABC7 the story of the first time she came to the library for a conference.

    "Not only were the lights not working and it was dirty and dusty, but a rodent ran across my path and I remember thinking at that point, 'Oh God, I am so glad I don't work in that building.'"

    Cooper came at a time when D.C. finances were improved and she was able to convince the politicians to invest more in libraries.

    "She' s been just a steady, constant source of pressure on behalf of the libraries," says Councilmember David Catania.

    There will be a goodbye party for Cooper Wednesday night at the Shakesphere Theatre in Washington.

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