Skip to main content
DC Public Library Foundation


Bringing books to life one resident at a time. Support our community's most important institution. 

The DC Public Library Foundation, the fundraising arm of the DC Public library, is dedicated to promoting literacy, workforce readiness, cultural & community engagement and social justice. 





DC Public Library plays a unique role developing children to grow into young readers. This commitment is borne out of research that indicates how essential learning to read is to a young person's academic growth and ability to thrive in today's highly connected society. 

Workforce Readiness

DC Public Library, and its 26 locations, are a resource hub to address systemic issues faced by job seekers. Through partnerships and trainings, DC Public Library provides tools and classes to support entrepreneurs ready to bring their ideas to market and residents exploring new careers. 

Cultural & Community Engagement

With world-class facilities that serve as centers of learning and innovation, DC Public Library is expanding cultural programs and creating exhibits showcasing district artists, musicians, poets, activists and actors at a time when cultural institutions are playing an increasingly vital role in our communities. 

Social Justice

DC Public Library continues to expand on its commitment to social justice by furthering community conversations around raising anti-racist people, approaches to restorative justice, and celebrating the diversity of Washington, D.C.

Create a Lasting Impact on the Lives of DC Residents

DC Public Library is a cornerstone of our city. By supporting the Foundation, you help ensure this vital community resource continues to offer early literacy programs, job search workshops, and access to digital resources for all residents. 

Your contributions help make a positive difference in the D.C. community and enhances the lives of the residents we serve in all 8 Wards. 

Donate Today!

Want to learn more? Reach out!

Rob Hartman, Executive Director
(202)421-0837 |

Key Program Opportunities

The Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy (IREL) bring together teachers, librarians, and administrators to examine the intersection of literacy and social justice. 

Coffee & Conversation and Care Kits support those experiencing homelessness and create support systems. 

Author Events and Cultural Programs activate libraries and the neighborhoods around them. 

The Branch Enrichment Fund supports day to day needs and activities at the neighborhood libraries. 

The Art All Night Block Party, featuring visual and performing arts, has become one of DCPL's signature programs celebrating DC culture. 

Small Business Programs promote and support locally owned and operated companies. 

Art & Culture Exhibits are installed at the MLK Memorial Library and in neighborhood libraries. 

The Storytime Gala is an epic celebration of literacy for the entire family held at the MLK Memorial Library. 

Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy Returns to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Remixed & Reimagined, Practical & Radical, Liberatory Literacy Instruction

The DC Public Library Foundation is thrilled to partner once again with the Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy (IREL), a unique and powerful professional development experience for educators focusing on the intersection of literacy instruction and racial equity. This year there will be two sessions for educators!

  • Session 1 | Writing Towards Freedom (July 7-9)
  • Session 2 | Reading Towards Freedom (July 11-13)

Learn More and Register Today


About the DC Public Library Foundation

The DC Public Library Foundation was founded in 1985 to coordinate funding for a mural of Martin Luther King, Jr. and has since secured and administered over $4M in funding for DC Public Library programs, with literacy and children’s programs as key focus areas.  Click here to learn more about this mural and its artist, Don Miller.

The District of Columbia Public Library itself was created in 1896 by an act of Congress and is dedicated to providing environments that invite reading, learning and community discussion, and opportunities for lifelong learning. The first branch of the DC Public Library was built in 1911 in Takoma Park. Soon after, additional facilities were added. The library system now includes 24 neighborhood libraries — three of which were Carnegie built — and one central library.

For over 100 years, DCPL has played a major role in serving all District residents – from the most affluent to those struggling to survive.  The Library is proud to be a recognized force in the community for engaging the mind, expanding opportunities and elevating the quality of life.

The Foundation has raised substantial funds to support such programs as the library’s Summer Reading program; citywide initiatives to support early literacy, such as “Sing, Talk and Read,” which helps young parents learn the importance of using books to interact with their babies; computer training classes, especially for job seekers; and programs serving the Spanish-speaking population and those in need of special services such as the deaf or visually impaired. Additionally, the Foundation increases collections to help the library provide the best and newest books and other materials and increases library patrons’ access to emerging technologies.