It has been more than 14 years since the District built a new library, and most of its 26 branches are far older -- and show it. Last month, the District unveiled preliminary drawings for four new libraries to be built across the city.

The libraries to be replaced were picked because they were in the worst shape and had the most "deferred maintenance," library officials said.

The four are Anacostia, 1800 Good Hope Rd. SE; Benning, 3935 Benning Rd. NE.; Tenley-Friendship, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW.; and Watha T. Daniel/Shaw, 1701 8th St. NW.

Architects have presented preliminary sketches of the new libraries to community residents at neighborhood meetings and are working to accommodate public comments. The designs are expected to be 70 percent finalized between Nov. 15 and 18, and to be complete by Jan. 11.

Shown are "before" and "after" renderings of the four libraries to be replaced.

Residents with comments on the proposals should contact their neighborhood library or Friends of the Library or go to www.dclibrary.org/ rebuilds/index for information on upcoming community meetings.

Above is the Tenley-Friendship Branch Library; below, a rendering of the dramatically different building envisioned as its replacement.The Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Branch Library, above right, would be transforned into the building above left, according to a preliminary drawing of its replacement.The Anacostia Branch Library, above, would take on a more modern appearance, below, when it is replaced, according to current plans.The Benning Branch Library, above, is slated to be built higher as it takes on a whole new look, below, in the design unveiled last month. Designs for the city's four revamped libraries are to be final by early January.