The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) Foundation provides critical philanthropic support to the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. It strengthens the Library’s capacity to innovate, adapt to change, and ensure our libraries remain a vital resource for all in Prince George’s County now and in the future. Our libraries are more than a place to find books; they are spaces–both physical and online–to empower individuals, strengthen families, and make our county a better place.
After more than 38 years of federal government service, Linda Washington Douglas retired from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In her last position with the FDIC, Washington Douglas advocated at national outreach events for minority and women-owned businesses, which resulted in numerous firms obtaining multi-million dollar contracts. After retirement, she launched the Washington Douglas Consulting firm. She is married and has been a Prince George’s County resident for more than 40 years.
Born in Busan, South Korea, Patti Kim immigrated to the U.S. on Christmas in 1974. Convinced at the age of five that she was a writer, Kim scribbled gibberish all over the pages of her mother's Korean-English dictionary and got in big trouble for it. But that didn't stop her from writing. The author of “I'm Ok,” “A Cab Called Reliable,” “Here I Am,” and “It's Girls Like You, Mickey.” Kim lives in University Park, Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and a ferocious terrier.
Tracy Simpson has lived in Prince George’s County since age 3 when her football player father was traded to the Washington Redskins. She was a student in the Prince George’s County Public Schools, and attended Prince George’s Community College and The Catholic University of America. Her professional experience includes work as a corporate manager, trainer, marketing content developer, and special events organizer. Simpson served as a therapeutic licensed foster parent for 20 years until the untimely diagnosis of her late husband with early onset Alzheimer’s and Lewes Body Dementia. She remains focused on youth social development and the support of resources for caretakers and families affected by dementia. In addition, Simpson currently serves on her church Board of Trustees.
Ian Spears is the Legislative Director for Representative Lucy McBath of Georgia and works on Capitol Hill. He started his work on the Hill in the office of Leader Steny Hoyer, whose district includes portions of Prince George’s County. Spears is a proud Prince George’s native and he attended Riverdale Baptist High School. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in political science from Frostburg State University and his master’s in public policy from George Mason University. Spears resides in Largo, Maryland.
Damon Austin is a librarian with more than two decades of experience in library and information sciences. He is currently the director of library and media services for DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville and has held library faculty positions at the University of Florida and the University of Maryland. Austin serves ex-officio with the Board of Trustees of the American Library in Paris via the American Library Association. In addition, he is a professional tennis coach and player consultant, working with Top 100 ranked men and women touring professionals.
Dr. Richard Bell is a scholar, writer, and Professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of History. His research focuses on the history and culture of the United States between 1750 and 1877. His recent book is Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and Their Astonishing Odyssey Home. Dr. Bell received his PhD from Harvard University and his BA from the University of Cambridge. He lives in University Park, MD, with his wife and two daughters.
Colin Byrd serves as the mayor of Greenbelt, Maryland; the youngest person to hold that position. Growing up, he fell in love with everything Greenbelt – the parades, the theater, the Community Center, the pool, the parks, the library, the people and so much more. He has served on the Greenbelt City Council since 2017.
Mr. Byrd is an alumnus of the University of Maryland, College Park where he studied sociology. In December 2020, Byrd announced he is running for the U.S. Congress in Maryland’s 5th Congressional District.
A lifelong resident of Prince George's County, Karen Clark-Reddon is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland College Park. As a mentor and personal enrichment coach, she empowers adults and pre-teens to follow their dreams. Clark-Reddon is a serial entrepreneur who turned her passions into profits and founded Devonshire – A Perfect Events Company, LLC. She and her daughter Kaelyn co-own DBK Bath Bombs and soaps. Clark-Reddon is the vice president of the Friends of the South Bowie Branch Library.
Dottie Meinhardt Crecelius has been the president of the Friends of the Baden Library for the past 12 years. She is a retired business owner of a building permit expediting company and very involved her family business, property management and investment group. She lives in Baden, on a farm in the southern part of Prince George’s County where she spends time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
David Goldberger is a retired attorney and law professor who has argued two times before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1980, he joined the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University after serving as legal and legislative director of the Illinois Division of the American Civil Liberties Union. Prior to working at the ACLU, Professor Goldberger was a staff attorney for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, specializing in law reform litigation. While in practice, he represented clients in a wide range of civil liberties cases, many involving First Amendment issues. Professor Goldberger served on the board of trustees for the Worthington Public Library in Ohio from 2009 to 2015. He currently resides in Maryland with his wife, Abigail Harding, a retired middle school and high school teacher.
Antoine Lunsford is an elementary school educator with Prince George’s County Public Schools and a children’s book author of the “Little Andy’s World” series. He is the host of “Antoine and Friends: Local Children’s Author Series,” a weekly online program for PGCMLS.
Christine Turner Jackson is an author, administrator, and educator. What began as an interest about her father's childhood playing baseball in 1950s Washington D.C., blossomed into her first children's book called Pitch Black. Chris earned her bachelor's degree from The George Washington University. After teaching elementary school, she began her 25-year career with the U.S. Department of Education. Married to Tim Jackson, they reside in Prince George’s County and have two young adult children, Tim II and Monet.
Roberta Phillips is the chief executive officer of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. She assumed the role in 2019, having previously served as the director of planning and projects at the Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina, library director for the Orangeburg County Library in Orangeburg, SC, and as assistant director of collection management for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Phillips also worked as a school librarian and as a teacher. She holds degrees from Michigan State University and Wayne State University. Phillips lives in Brandywine, with her husband Chris.
Hiram Larew is retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he served as Director of International Programs in USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. As such, he helped oversee several USDA international programs that were implemented in close collaboration with American land-grant colleges and universities. Those programs included agricultural marketing and extension efforts in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Central America. Before joining USDA/NIFA, Dr. Larew was the U.S. Agency for International Development’s liaison to the U.S. higher education community. He began his career as a Research Scientist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.
In retirement, he serves as a Courtesy Faculty member focused on food security issues at Oregon State University, University of Georgia and Montana State University, and as Research Fellow at Baylor University. His poetry has been published widely (On Facebook at Hiram Larew, Poet, at Poetry X Hunger and at The Poetry Poster Project.) He lives in Upper Marlboro, MD.