investment areas

Our Three-Year Focus

In partnership with DC Public Library, the DC Public Library Foundation has identified two key areas where philanthropic support will enable DC Public Library to better serve all residents—and redefine for the nation the services public libraries provide. The following fundraising priorities represent the unique programming that only DCPL can provide and support for the launch of the new central Martin Luther King Jr. library.



Enhanced Exhibits

The renovated MLK central library will provide a permanent exhibit to memorialize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a specific focus on King’s significant appearances in DC and exhibits to showcase DC’s unique and important history. The new exhibits will prioritize contemporary, multimedia, hands-on, and inclusive approaches to audience engagement. With its central location, accessibility, and inclusive approach, DCPL will forge a distinct identity as a portal to local resources and a laboratory for engagement with Washington D.C.’s past, present, and future.

enhanced exhibit features

including rights to media, mural timeline with interactive feature, digital portal & content for online exhibit, and an MLK Scholar-in-Residence



Curriculum Development and Materials

Including consultant to build supplemental curriculum and family engagement modules with area schools that extend learning after a visit to the library. Funding will also include curricular materials to support learning and transportation support to remove barriers for local schools to visit the library.



Stakeholder Engagement Firm

For the DC temporary exhibits who will identify community members and local historians who can supplement the curation process, schedule and provide resources for meetings, and curate the actual materials, including digitalization, conservation, and handling. The team will additionally produce best practice guidance so that DCPL can continue this work long-term without third-party support.



Marketing Campaign

For new permanent exhibit to increase awareness to the broader DC community and DMV region. The campaign will include a series of soft opening events designed to introduce school leaders, local nonprofit leaders, and other education-focused community members to the new exhibit and the learning resources provided.



Learning Experiences

DCPL is committed to providing learning experiences that will enable all library patrons to access resources and supports to thrive. To do this, DCPL will launch programming that responds to community needs, is accessible at the MLK central library and at branch libraries throughout the city and supports library patrons of all ages and life stages. DCPL believes that, by offering vital learning experiences to community residents, it can build on national trends and redefine the role libraries play to improve the lives of community members.


In a city committed to providing all children with a strong start, DCPL will continue to act as a vital partner to parents and schools. DCPL will expand its signature Sing, Talk, and Read program, add learning-focused computer program materials and furniture to MLK and branch libraries, and implement STEM-focused out-of-school time programming to compliment to existing STEM education. DCPL will engage with area schools to develop aligned curriculum, purchase equipment, materials, and programs, and provide learning experiences that will serve to extend the learning from a visit to MLK Library.



postsecondary readiness (teens)

Whether a teen is headed to college, career, or other post-secondary pursuits, DCPL will offer programming to support teens’ transition to adulthood. Programming will help teens make connections to the real-world, including courses on opening a bank account, basic budgeting, entrepreneurship, and tax preparation, as well as career-exploration in high-wage fields such as media, hospitality, and computer engineering.



Workforce Support (Adults)

Every day, community members enter the library requesting job placement support. Some residents lack the skills and knowledge to apply and interview for hourly-wage employment while others seek support to launch a business or change careers. Funding will enable DCPL to create a continuum of learning and support—from programming that teaches adults basic literacy all the way to courses and tools to support entrepreneurs ready to bring their idea to market.