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Ashley Atkinson
Editor, Branch Out

Letter from the Director: Winter 2023

FCPL Director Jessica A. HudsonDear Fairfax County Community,

It’s cold outside, but this winter’s exciting calendar of events and programs will keep you warm with some help from your local libraries!

There’s nothing better than curling up with a blanket and a good book or eAudiobook when the temperature drops. I encourage everyone to sign up for our Winter Reading Adventure, which runs through Jan. 31, 2024. This year’s theme is “All the Feels”, encouraging participants to pause and reflect on emotions, whether in real life or in the pages of a book. Like our Summer Reading Adventure, readers of all ages have the option to read a specific number of books, for an age-appropriate length of time, complete activities, or a combination of all three to meet milestones and receive a coupon sheet with great prizes. Sign up today at or stop by your local branch.

We have a lot of exciting winter programs planned as well, including:

  • Music for Social Well-Being - Join performer Calvin Earl Jan. 3 at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, Feb. 21 at City of Fairfax Regional Library and Mar. 6 at Pohick Regional Library from 7-8:15pm for an evening of songs and storytelling designed to bring people together to embrace our shared humanity. Stay tuned to our website for details in the coming months.
  • Tiny Canvases - From Jan. 13-Feb. 29 school-age youth, teens and adults can pick up a kit from one of 13 hosting branches consisting of a 4x4 canvas and painting materials. Then, upload a photo of your art for us to share! Visit for more information.
  • A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School – A key protagonist in the Civil Rights Movement, Carlotta Walls LaNier will reflect on the history and current state of civil rights, race, and diversity on Feb. 25 from 2-3pm in Fairfax County Public Library’s (FCPL) keynote Black History Month event, cosponsored by The Alden. Learn more at

Why buy it when you can borrow it for FREE? From laser thermometers and battery testers to air quality monitors and onboard diagnostic code readers, nine different types of meters recently joined FCPL’s Library of Things. Dozens of other helpful items are also available to check out with your library card such as artwork, binoculars, board games, book discussion kits, Connect Chromebook Kits, Conserve Energy Kits, Hands-On History kits, Launchpad tablets, nature backpacks and thermal cameras.

Finally, 2024 marks FCPL’s 85th anniversary. We look forward to many more decades (centuries even!) of service to our community! Be on the lookout for fun events and follow us on social media to celebrate with us all year long. As we approach this milestone, please also consider reaching out to your elected officials to let them know how much you value our programs, events and services.

Whether it’s attending a program, picking up a book for the Winter Reading Adventure or borrowing an item from the Library of Things, we look forward to seeing you at our branches throughout our 85th anniversary year.!

Jessica A. Hudson signature
Jessica A. Hudson
Fairfax County Public Library

Fairfax Virtual Assistant