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Jessica Hudson

Fairfax County Public Library Turns 85!

Fairfax County Public Library 85th Anniversary

For Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL), February 1 will always be a day worth celebrating. After all, it was on that day, 85 years ago, that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to first fund what would eventually become the largest library system in Virginia, serving more than 1.2 million people and circulating over 11.2 million books last year alone. It’s hard to imagine that the then Board of Supervisors could envision the success of their new library system when they budgeted a whopping $250 to support the library in 1939, but here we are, stronger than ever! Our budget is even bigger, thanks in no small part to all of you who have supported us over the last 85 years. 

From our humble beginnings as a singular truck-turned-bookmobile (the latest stegosaurus was a little out of our price range), FCPL’s mission has largely remained the same: to bring the joy of reading to the people of this county in their own communities. Gone were the days of walking miles upon miles uphill (both ways) in the snow or pouring rain dodging runaway horse and buggies just get your hands on a book to read. Imagine how astonished the people of Fairfax County in 1939 would be to learn that not only can books be borrowed from the roaming library parked down the block, but these days they can also be accessed from little electronic boxes we keep in our pockets. That would sound about as far-fetched as people traveling to the moon! 

All jokes aside, we are incredibly proud of how far we have come in providing access to books, programming and other resources in the last 85 years. We have a lot planned by way of celebrating this milestone so we hope you join us, not only as we look back, but also as we look forward to what we can achieve in the many years to come.  

In the meantime, get yourself in the 1939 mindset by checking out one of these books that is also celebrating its 85th birthday this year! 

  • And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie 

  • The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck 

  • Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans 

  • The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe, #1) – Raymond Chandler 

  • Anne of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #6) – L.M. Montgomery 

  • By the Shores of Silver Lake (Little House, #5) – Laura Ingalls Wilder 

  • Finnegans Wake – James Joyce 

  • Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats – T.S. Eliot 

View these and other books in our online catalog here.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant