Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Office: 8:30–4:30 M–F. Branch hours vary.

TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035

Jessica Hudson,

FCPL News and Special Events

Library-related news and special events for you and your family to enjoy. For a full list of events at your library visit our Library Calendar. Stay connected to your library by signing up for a newsletter or following us on social media.

For media queries call Marketing Director Mary Mulrenan at 703-324-8319.

John Marshall Library

October 11, 2018
When the renovated John Marshall Library opens it will house 44,000 items in its 14,700-square-foot space. Consider how far we’ve come since John Marshall first opened in 1963 in a 2,450-square-foot storefront with only 6,000 books. The current building, located at 6209 Rose Hill Drive, Alexandria, opened in 1975. “We’ve missed our library,” said Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, who will officially open the branch with a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 27. “I’m so excited for the community to see the major renovations that have taken place and be able to experience this wonderful new space firsthand. Between the new meeting spaces and all the natural light, this is truly an environmentally-friendly building of which we can all be proud.” Visitors to the newly renovated branch will have access to 12 public computers, a group study room for six, and multiple meeting spaces for up to 56 participants. With two additional conference rooms, the space has been renovated for community meetings and usage specifically in mind. The meeting rooms and conference rooms are available for use after hours. Younger customers can enjoy the teen gaming center, an early literacy station and a bright and cheerful children’s alcove. The building’s infrastructure has been updated to meet the needs of today’s technology. The renovated branch offers charging stations, a Wi-Fi bar and additional electrical sockets and USB ports. All are invited to enjoy the day-long festivities on the 27th. 10 a.m. Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony 11 a.m. 123 Andrés Show (music and dance for kids) 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Face Painting and Glitter Tattoos Technology Open House—Learn about 3D printing, Spheros, Google Cardboard and Button Making 12:30 p.m. Music by Ritorno a Musica with light refreshments 1 p.m. Storytime “We’ve got Monsters!” Costumes encouraged! The $6.3 million renovation was funded through a bond referendum approved by Fairfax County voters in 2012. The Capital Facilities Division of Fairfax County's Department of Public Works and Environmental Services oversaw the project from design to completion. Bowie Gridley Architects completed the design with Sorensen Gross Company overseeing construction. The building is the newest green building in Fairfax County designed to meet LEED Silver certification. Green features include LED lighting with photo sensors and occupancy sensors to reduce energy consumption and efficient HVAC and plumbing. For directions and hours of operation visit the John Marshall Library webpage.

library card for Fairfax County Public Library branches

September 6, 2018
Learn a new language with Mango Languages Prepare for the SAT with Learning Express Search the millions of items in the online catalog Use the WiFi or a public computer Learn how to navigate the Internet Get book recommendations from My Perfect Read Use reliable, kid-friendly resources to do homework Check out books in large print for easier reading Trace your family tree Get picture books for storytelling at home Create a resume and apply for jobs online Bring your child to Storytime and meet other parents Have your children participate in our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program Receive weekly email updates to see what’s happening at your library Check out a Nature Backpack and gain free admission to any state park Reserve a meeting room for your nonprofit group Attend an interesting lecture by a local historian Shape up with an exercise video Consult consumer guides to decide what insurance, tablet, computer, car or washing machine to buy Join a book discussion group or check out a book discussion kit for your own book club. Borrow a thermal camera to check your home or business for hot and cold spots Attend an English Conversation Group to improve your English Language skills Download eBooks, eAudiobooks and magazines from anywhere with Overdrive and RBdigital Learn how to help your child gain early literacy skills Get help from the ultimate search engine – a librarian

students prep for SAT and ACT tests

August 20, 2018
1) Get Support and Guidance from Library Staff You are not alone at the library. Library staff are trained to help students find legitimate information sources online including historical newspapers, speeches, reference databases, trusted websites and more. 2) Use Library Branches to Read and Study We’ve got cozy reading nooks for reading in our branches, tables and chairs, quiet study rooms and small group study rooms. 3) Take Advantage of Free Online Tutoring Sessions with a Virginia-certified Teacher. Free Homework help is available 24/7 through the library. Students can also sign up for GIVE tutoring in multiple branches throughout the academic year. The library also has a variety of Online Resources separately tailored for Grades K-8, and for Grades 9-12. Writing a Paper? No problem. Check out “Crediting Online Resources,” where you can find the correct way to properly cite your sources. And then there’s “Homework Related Websites” categorized by subject so you can find help specific to your subject, whether economics, history, science, math and more. 4) Find Books, Magazines and Newspapers Whether you’re studying classics, history or current events, the library has over 2.2 million items in our collection including digital material and print material. 5) Use Library Resources to prep for Fall SATs and ACTs Several different online sources offer test preparation for SAT, AP, ACT and SOL exams. Visit Learning Express to get started. 6) Access Free Wi-Fi and Computers. That enables you to plug in and do just about any online research needed for school assignments. Let the library be your partner in academic success.

August 2, 2018
Erik Missio in his post Why Kids Should Learn to Code and How to Get them Started, calls coding a “new literacy—a subject so important that every child needs to know the basics to excel in our rapidly changing world.” One tool to introduce kids to coding (also known as computer programming) is called Scratch, which was developed at MIT. Kids can program their own interactive stories, games and animations through this simple program. Scratch, “primarily designed for 8 to 16-year-olds, can also be used by people of all ages, including younger children with their parents,” according to the Scratch website. The library provides many opportunities to introduce children to coding including library programs, books and the online database for libraries. ( offers thousands of instructional videos; use the search function to find one for yourself or your kids.) You can also introduce your child to Scratch from the Scratch website. “Fairfax County Public Library is committed to providing opportunities for children to learn about programming,” said Margaret Kositch, technology director. “For kids, coding is just another kind of puzzle, and there are many long-term benefits to equipping children with this problem-solving skill.”   Here are three upcoming library coding program for kids: Learn to Code: Scratch, Tuesday, August 14, 10:30–11:30 a.m., Kingstowne Library Age 8-12. Registration required. CoderDojo: Kids Learn to Code, Saturday, August 25, 1-3 p.m., Pohick Regional Library. Age 7-17. Registration required. Hour of Code: Pirate Plunder, Tuesday, September 11, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Dolley Madison Library. Age 6-12. No registration but limited to the first 20 children to arrive. Here are a few books from the library’s collection, click any book cover to place a hold: Find additional titles in the library catalog or work with library staff at your local library branch. Learning Scratch helps “young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.” (From “The ability to code computer programs is an important part of literacy in today’s society. When people learn to code in Scratch, they learn important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas.” You can learn more about why teaching kids to code is important through a Q&A with educational scholar Paul Goldberg from the nonprofit EDC and also 9 Reasons Your Child Should Learn to Code from IDTech a global company offering technology instruction. Not convinced yet? Watch this Ted Talk to learn more about the benefits of teaching children to code and then get started coding!

My Perfect Read graphic

July 10, 2018
Knock. Knock. Who’s There? A fabulous book you’re going to love. Great, what’s the title? Visit My Perfect Read to discover it. My Perfect Read is a new way to access readers advisors online to get personalized book recommendations emailed to you.  Readers advisors, though always available at your local branch, will now also be just a click away online. With an estimated 175,000 books published annually in the United States, this is one way to make sure you don’t miss your next favorite book – or author. Here’s how to get started: Go to Browse through the reader advisor profiles. Find an advisor who matches your interests. Use the “At Your Service” tab on your advisor’s profile to connect. Your readers advisor will send you suggested titles to read. That’s it! Enjoy your books and tell a friend.

July 5, 2018
Miriam Smolen has been elected chairman of the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees. A resident of Fairfax, Smolen has served as the Providence District representative to the board since 2015.      Miriam Smolen Fran Millhouser has been elected as the vice chairman. Millhouser, a resident of Falls Church, has served as the Mason District representative to the Board since 2015.      Fran Millhouser Their terms begin July 1, 2018, and last one year. The Library Board of Trustees is responsible for library policies and for making budget recommendations to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The 12-member volunteer Board comprises one member from each of the nine supervisory districts in Fairfax County, each appointed by the district supervisor; one member-at-large, approved by the Chairman of the Board; one member appointed by the City of Fairfax Council; and one member nominated by the School Board. Library board meetings are usually held the second Wednesday of each month (except August) at the George Mason Regional Library, located at 7001 Little River Turnpike in Annandale. Please visit the Fairfax County public meetings calendar to confirm dates and locations. For more information visit the library’s Board of Trustees page.  

July 3, 2018
Brian Engler (photo courtesy of Bruce F. Press Photography). Brian Engler of Burke has been appointed to the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees representing the Braddock District. Engler brings a strong background of public service and leadership along with a commitment to advance learning and literacy through community outreach. Engler has served since 2012 as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Fairfax Library Foundation, and as such has spearheaded fundraising efforts directly supporting the library’s programs and resources. In another area of service to the library, he is a charter life member of the Friends of the Burke Centre Library and serves as Secretary of the Board. In this role, he supports fundraising activities—principally used book sales—and provides photographic and other support to the staff of his community library. Engler is an elected At-Large Trustee and Vice President of the Burke Centre Conservancy and a Fellow of the Military Operations Research Society. He also currently serves as a board member of the Center for Inquiry, an international non-profit dedicated to fostering a secular society based on reason, science and freedom of inquiry.  Engler’s professional career was as an officer with the U.S. Navy. Later he served as an operations research analyst in private industry. Following that, he served as Executive Vice President of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS), a national, professional, educational not-for-profit society.


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