Branch Out

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Marketing and Communications Office: 8:30–4:30 M–F

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035

Christina Paladeau,
Editor, Branch Out

Department Resources

Related Resources

Let Springtime Inspire Renewal in All Facets of Life


Explore self-renewal, renewable resources, seasonal family activities and more with your library.

Spring Sunshine and Science

With added daylight giving us time to get more things done, warmer temperatures encouraging outdoor pursuits, stronger sunlight to help us soak up vitamin D for healthy bones and immune and nervous systems, and blooming flowers offering proven happiness-boosting benefits, it’s no wonder we feel revitalized, re-energized and rejuvenated in the spring. Even though we can pursue renewal, growth and development at any time throughout the year, the earth’s season of rebirth seems to give us extra energy and motivation to get active, take action and create change.

photo collage of spring flowers, gardening, reading, outdoors activitiesStudies have shown that the longer the sun is up during the day and the more time we spend outdoors, the less mental distress and the more creativity we experience. Plus, if your new year’s resolution involved fitness goals, research indicates that people who work out outdoors enjoy the experience more and therefore are more likely to repeat it — so springing into some fresh air activity might help you stick with your exercise regimen. And while taking walks in nature at any time of the year has proven to slow the heart rate and promote relaxation, some research suggests that spring has an even greater effect on the brain. A 2005 study from the University of Michigan linked spending 30 minutes or more outside in warm, sunny spring weather to higher mood and better memory.

Renew More Than Books

Capitalize on this springtime surge of energy and optimism; don’t limit your renewal to only checked-out materials or typical “spring cleaning.” Reengage your mind with self-improvement, mental health, career-oriented and educational resources at the library. Refresh your home and garden with our books on decluttering, framed art lending library and Master Gardener workshops. Recommit to eco-friendly living through upcycling events and zero-waste ideas. Reactivate your body and reach health and fitness goals with StoryWalks, workout DVDs and in-branch classes.

Whichever facets of your life you’re inspired to renew this spring, let the library help you learn the why’s and how’s of pursuing those goals — or help you discover new ideas to explore. Read through this issue of Branch Out to learn about the clubs, programs, materials and other opportunities available to support renewal of your mind, body, environment and more, now and in all seasons of life.

quote about spring cleaning by Margarita Tartakovsky, M. S., Psych Central

Renewal Resources

Throughout the magazine we share many ways you can renew passions, find new ones, jump start creativity, discover new perspectives, learn new skills and more using library resources — starting with the options listed here.


Replenish your news and current events awareness. The library’s US Major Dailies database provides free access to the five most respected U.S. national and regional newspapers, including The New York Times and Washington Post, co-exclusive access to The Wall Street Journal and exclusive access to the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Visit to start reading.

Career and Business

If your 2020 goals include career growth or business projects, the library’s research guides are a great place to start your planning and preparation:

  • Visit the Job Seekers and Business guides to find collections of resources for job-hunting, skill development, test prep, industry insights, market research, grant opportunities and more.
  • The Tax Information guide will help you navigate that process and ensure you can focus more time and energy elsewhere this spring.

Home and Auto

Got renovations or repairs on your to do list? Do it yourself with the help of the library’s Home Improvement Reference Center and AutoMate databases. Home Improvement Reference Center offers information and instructions — including how-to videos and full-text selections from books and magazines — on home improvement and repair projects including plumbing, wiring, painting and decorating. AutoMate provides DIY car repair info on most makes and models as far back as 1954, including manuals, service bulletins and diagrams.

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