About

Our History and Leadership

History

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 Foundation has raised substantial funds to support such programs as the library’s Summer Reading program; “Sing, Talk and Read,” which helps young parents learn the importance of using books to interact with their babies; and other citywide initiatives to support reading and early literacy. In addition, it supported access to libraries and information by funding job clinics, computer training, programs serving the Spanish-speaking population and those in need of special services such as the deaf or visually impaired.

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. 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 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.

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.

 

A Model for the Modern Library

DC Public Library Foundation brings critical philanthropic support to DC’s most important community institution.

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In 1899, philanthropist and library enthusiast Andrew Carnegie donated funds to build the Central Library at Mount Vernon Square.

In 1899, philanthropist and library enthusiast Andrew Carnegie donated funds to build the Central Library at Mount Vernon Square.

 

 

Our Leadership

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Rob Hartman

CO-CHAIR
Marquett Smith

CO-CHAIR
Ruchi Bhowmik, EY

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Bonnie Cohen

SECRETARY
Sara Cormeny

TREASURER
Erin Harkless Moore, Cambridge Associates

DEVELOPMENT CHAIR
Jenny Backus, Backus Consulting LLC

NOMINATIONS CHAIR
Monica Dixon, Monumental Sports & Entertainment

PROGRAMS CHAIR
Susan B. Haight (Ex-Officio), Federation of Friends of the DC Public Library

 

Honorable Anthony Williams, Federal City Council

Bill Alsup, Hines

Jon Bouker, Arent Fox LLP

Meghan Bracewell

Joy Dorsey

Melissa Lavinson, Pepco Holdings, Inc

Greg Meyer, Brookfield Properties

Myrna Peralta, CentroNía

Astri Van Dyke, Google

Claudia Withers, NAACP