Following a seven-year focus on improving the infrastructure of its library system, including refurbishing, rebuilding or renovating over fifteen branch libraries, the DCPL is undertaking a major modernization of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial (Central) Library, at 901 G St. NW.

With the aim of creating “a world-class library for the 21st century,” the Library has developed a Library Building Program guided by four principles:

●   Balance the joy of reading with space for innovation, creation, collaboration and technology.

●   Showcase the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

●   Respect the building’s historic designation and the industrial, modern style of the original architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

●   Create a space that is bright, open, flexible and welcoming for all.

In short, the Library aims to go beyond a library that is merely transactional – a place where you go simply to check out a book – to create a library that truly transforms lives – a world-class library for the 21st Century. For more information on the MLK modernization, visit: https://www.dclibrary.org/mlkfuture; to view final designs visit: https://www.slideshare.net/DCPublicLibrary/mlk-final-designs


The MLK Jr. Memorial Library celebrates public art as a tool for learning, growth, and community connection. Permanent art in the Library building will honor Dr. King’s legacy and love of books by enhancing spaces for lifelong learning that are welcoming and accessible to all. This is the portal to apply to public art opportunities at the Library.

Ends on November 10, 2017
CALL FOR APPLICATION:  Maker-in-Residence at DC Public Library 
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS:  Friday, November 10, 2017 at 5pm ET
NOTIFICATION:  Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Maker-in-Residence (MIR) program will give makers, designers, and artists a chance to work with us in the Labs at DC Public Library to explore, create, document and share innovative projects, using our tools and resources. The Labs at DC Public Library are comprised of the Fab Lab, Studio Lab, and Memory Lab. More information about the Labs, including a list of available equipment, is below. 

The Maker-in-Residence program is an initiative of the DC Public Library Foundation, and has been made possible through a generous grant from the Cafritz Foundation. We are proud to partner with Anacostia Arts Center to host a closing exhibition for the Maker In Residence in early 2019. 

  • Realize a project that s/he might otherwise be unable to produce. The project will be created over the term of a year, using equipment in the Labs at DC Public Library.
  • Provide training on aspects of making, such as textiles/e-textiles, robotics, micro-computing or product design and iteration, as examples, to library patrons and staff in the Labs and neighborhood libraries.
  • Attract new library patrons interested in Making.
  • Increase the Library’s network of Makers in D.C.
  • Increase visibility for Makers/Artists, through exhibition and programming opportunities.

DCPLF will provide the MIR a stipend to participate in the program for one year with requirements that s/he:
  • Create one significant Maker project during his/her residency (projects might include wearable technology, making a robot, video game, invented device, interactive art work, etc.)
  • Host two community classes/trainings per month in his/her area(s) of expertise, at two DC Public Library locations, one of which is a location in Wards 7 or 8. At the Foundation’s discretion in collaboration with the MIR, occasionally classes may occur at partner organizations.
  • Thoroughly document the process of creating his/her Maker project by photograph and/or video and in writing, for distribution on the Library’s website and social media channels, as well as through the Maker’s own social network.
  • Attend monthly Labs Working Group meetings with DC Public Library Labs staff.
  • Attend networking and outreach events with DCPL staff to promote the Labs at DC Public Library in D.C., and Maker Faires and other events around the country, subject to schedule availability.
To conclude the residency, Anacostia Arts Center and DC Public Library will partner to coordinate a closing exhibition of the Maker’s project in early 2019 at the Anacostia Arts Center or Vivid Solutions Gallery (to be decided jointly by MIR, AAC and DCPL). 

$ 15,000 Stipend for Maker-in-Residence ($3,750 per quarter)
$   5,000 Materials (for large-scale Maker project and workshops)
$   5,000 Outreach and Travel (Maker Faires)

Interested candidates should submit their materials by Friday, November 10 at 5pm ET. 

DC Public Library will host an online information session about the Maker In Residence program on Thursday, November 2 at 2pm ET. If you are interested in participating in the online session, please RSVP by Tuesday, October 31 to Mel at melanie.weyant@dc.gov.

Please include the following materials in your application:

  • PROJECT STATEMENT (500 words): Describe the project that you would like to undertake during your yearlong residency at DC Public Library.  
  • IMAGES: 7-10 images of past work. Include photos, drawings, and/or renderings of proposed project if available.
  • BENEFIT STATEMENT (250 words): Describe how receiving the DC Public Library residency and the resources it provides will further your goals as a maker.
  • CV/ RESUME. Include your full name, mailing address, phone number, and email address. 
  • List of THREE REFERENCES. Include name, title, email and phone number.
Applicants may be contacted for a phone or in-person interview during the week of November 13. Selections will be made by Tuesday, November 21, 2017. 

If you have any questions, please contact Mel Weyant at melanie.weyant@dc.gov. 

GOAL: To create an innovative, collaborative, and educational MakerSpace containing tools and resources that expand upon current and future initiatives of DC Public Library for the betterment of the community.  

The “Maker Movement” is much more than a technology-based extension of the DIY culture that is popping up all around the world today. It is an opportunity for people to have exposure to emerging technologies and gain valuable skills for personal and workforce development. 

The library can be the first entry point in exposing and educating people to these tools and skills that are becoming more and more prevalent every day. As a lifelong-learning institution, this is a natural progression of the function of the library. Access to these technologies is not readily available, and generally resides within academic and private institutions unavailable to the underserved and general public. This initiative will grant access and education to all, and foster creativity, education, and job skills for the people served by DC Public Library, both in and outside its walls.  

The Labs at DC Public Library is housed at neighborhood libraries across the system,  allowing for a cohesive three-pronged approach to an all-encompassing Makerspace, targeting all demographics and locations in the community.

The three prongs are:
  • Fab Lab
  • Studio Lab (Audio/Visual Production)
  • Memory Lab
Fab Lab
The Fab Lab supports 3-D Printers, a 3-D scanner, sewing machines, microcontrollers, electronic equipment, computers, a variety of woodworking and other tools, and software focusing on CAD and the Adobe Creative Suite, as well as industrial and computer hardware. This allows education on, and access to, such subjects as robotics, 3-D printing, microcontrollers, open software coding, computer hardware design, textiles and wearable electronics, furniture manufacturing and design, CAD instruction, circuitry, and numerous other possibilities.  

Audio/Video Recording Studio
Studio Lab Express, located at Shepherd Park Neighborhood Library, allows for production and programming on such topics as audiovisual production and the nurturing of music and video creation through access and education. 

Memory Lab 
The Memory Lab provides equipment for digitizing home movies and scanning photographs and slides. You can also take classes and find resources for your personal archiving needs.

Sample List of MakerSpace Equipment

Fabrication Lab
A variety of 3D printers and software/supplies (Ultimaker2+, Lulzbot Taz, MakerBot)
3D scanning equipment and software 
Laser cutter
Small drill presses
Raspberry Pi's and associated electronic equipment 
Arduino's and associated electronic equipment
Soldering equipment
Sewing machines
Various hardware tools & woodworking equipment
Laptops / desktops

Audio / Video Recording Studio
Microphones (various types)
Audio computer software
Video cameras
Lighting equipment
Video editing software
Green screen

Memory Lab
Media transferred from:
VHS Cassette
VHS-C Cassette
Mini DV
Audio Cassette
3.5” Floppy Disk