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.

Book sale shopping by flashlight

March 14, 2018
In the last few years Fairfax County has faced unusual and unpredictable weather—but library staff continue to serve customers. During the wind storm March 2–3, ten library branches opened as normal and served above the usual number of customers for a Friday and Saturday, serving as a power beacon in communities where thousands of residents had lost power, ending up at their local library to access Wi-Fi, charge their devices, warm up and find comfort. Nine other library branches also opened that day—despite the lack of electricity. At branches without power, staff checked materials out by hand, people read by natural day light and otherwise enjoyed the community space. Branches closed at 4:30 due to darkness. Jam-Packed “It was a large, rowdy living room throughout the weekend, but I think everyone’s needs were met.” Burke Centre Library had electricity and was jam-packed with people sitting on all available surfaces—all trying to plug in somewhere. Staff plugged in surge protectors to provide more outlets throughout the library and shared charging cables with a few desperate customers. The Teen Tech Club shared its reserved meeting room space to allow more customers to use the club’s meeting room as public space and get up off the floor! Many area residents visited Patrick Henry Library, which also had power, to use computers, keep warm and charge personal devices. All public chairs were filled throughout the building, so staff brought out extra chairs from their workroom. They also brought out power strips to enable more people to charge devices. Staff fielded all the usual requests for checkouts and holds, readers’ advisory, computer assistance and homework help as well. Many students had assignments to complete. “It was a large, rowdy living room throughout the weekend, but I think everyone’s needs were met," said Deb Smith-Cohen, assistant branch manager at Patrick Henry Library. Book Shopping by Flashlight The used book sale by the Friends of the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library was open for business despite the lack of lighting. Dedicated readers shopped for bargains by flashlight. Thomas Jefferson Library, without power on Friday, still checked out 260 items by hand and served 251 customers. See photos of the library in operation without power. Staff at Martha Washington Library, which didn’t have power on day 1, moved storytime to the Mt. Vernon Rec Center to not disappoint any little readers. Grateful Customers gratefully thanked library staff throughout the weekend for being open, with one little girl even providing a handcrafted gift of thanks. The refrain heard most throughout the storm was, “I’m so glad you’re open!” When a customer asked one staffer if she could check out books when there wasn’t any power the staffer responded, “I am the power!” So there you have it, whether electricity is on or not, the library has POWER!        

Photo of Suffragists

March 1, 2018
Be inspired by courageous American Women at these events Roar: True Tales of Women Warriors Persist, Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m. – Noon, City of Fairfax Regional Library. Better Said than Done, a local storytelling group, will tell tales of overcoming adversity, celebrating Women's history; refreshments served. Local Ladies - Suffragists in our Backyard, Thursday, March 8, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Lorton Library. Local historian Alice Reagan discusses the role the Lorton Prison played in the early 1900s Suffragist movement. A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time: Julia Wilbur's Story, Tuesday, March 13, 7 – 9 p.m., Patrick Henry Library. Vienna AAUW presents author/researcher Paula Whitacre on Julia Wilbur’s role in Alexandria during the Civil War assisting Union-freed "contraband" slaves. Book Discussion Group: Hidden Figures, Thursday, March 15, 1:30 – 3 p.m., Thomas Jefferson Library. Discuss the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians who helped the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. Local History at the Library: Clara Barton, Thursday, March 15, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. George Mason Regional Library. Learn about the life of Clara Barton, Civil War nurse and founder of the American National Red Cross. Presented by the Burke Historical Society. Clara Barton: A Life, Saturday, March 24, 2 – 3:30 p.m., Reston Regional Library. Park Ranger Kevin Patti from the Clara Barton National Historic Site in Glen Echo will present this program on the life of the "Angel of the Battlefield," Clara Barton. Women and World War I, Wednesday, March 28, 7 p.m., George Mason Regional Library. Award-winning professor and author Alice Reagan presents the changing roles and contributions of women during World War I. Learn More about American Women’s Lives with these recently published books Why We March: Signs of Protest and Hope: Voices from the Women's March Remember the Ladies: Celebrating Those who Fought for Freedom at the Ballot Box The Hello Girls: America's First Women Soldiers Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists When Women Didn't Count: The Chronic Mismeasure and Marginalization of American Women in Federal Statistics Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II Conduct Your Own Online Researh. Learn more about the people who made history in two library databases including Biography in Context and Women in History. Study your own family’s women’s history with the help of the Virginia Room staff and resources. The Virginia Room maintains a collection rich in regional history and genealogy.

Hot Topics: News Blues

February 23, 2018
Returning to a Branch near You in 2018: News, Blues and How to Defuse Workshops As citizens we have to be more thoughtful and more educated and more informed. I turn on the TV and I see these grown people screaming at each other, and I think, well, if we don't get our civility back we're in trouble. – Emmylou Harris Hopefully, you haven’t lost your civility yet, and let’s keep it that way. Our popular workshop series “Hot Topics: News Blues and How to Defuse” is returning to library branches in 2018. You are welcome to attend one session or all five. Take a glimpse of one of the earlier sessions (video). These interactive workshops are facilitated by experts from George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution and Fairfax County librarians. Each session features a slightly different look at media literacy and how to promote civil dialogue on controversial issues. Attend all five and you’ll have a toolbox for dealing with fake news and pursuing civil discourse. No registration needed for any of the workshops. Session I Hot Topics: Search Strategies– Effective Listening Monday, January 29, 7-8:30 p.m. George Mason Regional Library Session II Hot Topics: Evaluating Sources – Collaborative Communication Monday, February 26, 7-8:30 Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library Session III Hot Topics: Fact Checking – Effective Speaking Thursday March 29, 7-8:30 City of Fairfax Regional Library Session IV Hot Topics: Social Media Feeds -- Emotional Conversations Tuesday April 24, 7-8:30 Kingstowne Library Session V Hot Topics: International News – Cross-Cultural Communications Tuesday May 29, 7-8:30 Herndon Fortnightly Library No registration required. Can’t make it to any of the sessions? Pick up – or download – some recent titles and steel yourself for continued constructive conversations, online or in person, about topics safe (favorite local burger joint?) and sensitive (religion, politics, toilet paper over or under?). Check with your local library staff for more tips and resources on effective communications and determining authenticity of information. Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era, by Daniel J. Levitin A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age, Daniel J. Levitin Words can Change your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy by Andrew B. Newberg The Chicago Guide to Fact-checking by Brooke Borel Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone

Career Path Fork in the Road

February 23, 2018
Is it time to rethink your career? Are you in the midst of a job hunt? Check out these upcoming events and other library resources to support your next steps. 1) Improve Your Career-Related Writing Carla Bass, author of the book Write to Influence is presenting four workshops on career-related writing. No registration required. Ace Your Annual Review -- Thursday, March 1, 7–8:30 p.m., Kings Park Library. Bosses routinely ask for written input before you face your annual performance review. In this workshop learn how to identify and convey your noteworthy contributions and achievements for maximum impact. Write to Influence -- Tuesday, March 6, 4–6 p.m., Patrick Henry Library and Wednesday, April 11, 7 – 8 p.m., Sherwood Regional Library. Powerful writing changes lives! Get tips on writing stand-out résumés and college application essays. Write a Résumé that Stands Out -- Thursday, March 22, 7–8 p.m., Thomas Jefferson Library. Get 10 tips for presenting your professional story as well as what NOT to include.     2) Search the USAJOBs Website Attend Federal Jobs 101, Monday, March 19, 7–8:30 p.m., at Pohick Regional Library. Learn to effectively search the USAJobs website with tips on tailoring your applications and résumés to a federal job announcement. No registration required. 3) Learn How to Access Career Resources and Exam Preparation Materials and Practice Tests The library has online practice tests, eBooks, tutorials and other test prep materials to help you pass an upcoming exam. Monday, March 12, 4:30–6 p.m., Thomas Jefferson Library Tuesday, March 20, 4:30–6 p.m., Pohick Regional Library Monday, March 26, 7–8 p.m. City of Fairfax Meeting          Preparation available for the following certifications: Dental Assisting, Medical Assistant, Nursing Assistant and Nurse, Pharmacy Technician, Paramedic, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, Radiologic Technologist, Surgical Technologist, Veterinary Technician         Practice Exams for the following careers: Allied Health, Air Traffic Controller, Civil Service, Commercial Driver's License (CDL), Cosmetology, Culinary Arts, Electrical, Emergency Medical Services, Firefighting, Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Military, Postal Worker, Nursing, Real Estate, Plumbing, Social Work, Teaching Attend a workshop on Career Transitions on Tuesday, March 27, 7–8 p.m., at Centreville Regional Library. Learn to identify interests, write résumés and cover letters and search for jobs. 4) Visit the Library’s Virtual Career Centers These databases help you explore new career paths, build job search skills and products and help kids explore different career fields. Learning Express Library Learn more about a career Prepare for an entrance exam Prepare for an occupation exam Learn about joining the military or becoming a military officer Enhance job search and workplace skills Prepare for the WorkKeys® Assessments and the TOEIC® Career Transitions Search for jobs, internships and more Write a resume Write a cover letter Tips & advice Interview simulation Discover a new career Assess your career interests Browse career paths Match experience to new careers Find schools and programs Virginia Career View Contests, puzzles, games and more to help kids explore careers Information for parents and professionals to help kids learn about careers 5) Read Books! Ask library staff to help you conduct a customized search for your professional needs. Here are a few titles to inspire you. What Color is Your Parachute? The New Rules of Work: The Modern Playbook for Navigating Your Career No Fears, No Excuses: What You Need to do to Have a Great Career Watch this author’s TED Talk Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career Work Reimagined: Uncover Your Calling Modernize Your Job Search Letters: Get Noticed ... Get Hired Knock em' Dead: The Ultimate Job Search Guide

The Fairfax County Seal

February 22, 2018
Jane Miscavage of Vienna, Stella Pekarsky of Centreville and Philip Rosenthal of Fairfax Station have been appointed to the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees. Miscavage is an at large delegate, while Pekarsky represents the Sully District and Rosenthal represents the Springfield District. Miscavage is an award-winning public affairs strategist who will serve on the library’s public relations committee. Currently she serves as vice president of outreach for the Fairfax County Council of PTAs supporting 175 local PTAs. She is a bookseller at Bards Alley Bookstore, an independent community bookstore in Vienna that she helped launch in 2017. Among her career accomplishments, she has: overseen grassroots advocacy efforts on behalf of Fairfax County Public Schools, including the successful campaign that led to the first fully-funded schools budget (FY 2017) in 10 years; managed communications campaigns for non-profit, political, corporate and social service clients; been a substitute teacher; and served as President of the Thoreau Middle School PTA where she oversaw fundraising for a major school renovation. Miscavage has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois. Pekarsky is a child advocate with extensive leadership experience, including managing programs, budgets and volunteers, and teaching and coordinating youth services for diverse populations. Currently she is co-owner of Skyway Air Taxi of Manassas where she manages strategic planning, marketing and customer relations. She serves as Secretary for the Fairfax Council of PTAs and is a member of the education committee of the Fairfax Chapter of the NAACP. Earlier, she served as president of the Greenbriar West Parent Teacher Association where she helped develop after school programs and coordinated all events; served as president of her Homeowners Association in Centreville; and advocated for students’ interests as an ESOL Teacher in Fairfax. She will serve on the library’s ad hoc policy committee. Pekarsky has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from George Mason University. Rosenthal is president of Nationwide Credit Corporation in Alexandria where he directs all management, personnel and overall operations. As part of that role, he oversaw the merging of National Capitol Adjustment Corp. with Nationwide Credit Corporation in 2000. He has advanced throughout the ranks of the American Collectors Association International, having held each executive officer position, culminating in serving as president in 1999-2000. He was twice awarded the Paul Bunyan Award, ACA’s highest honor. Currently he serves on ACA’s board of directors. He is a current member and past chairman of the Fairfax County Community Action Advisory Board and a member of the National Federation of Independent Business, among other business and civic organizations. Rosenthal will serve on the library’s finance committee. He has a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University.

Friends Group Book Sale image

January 17, 2018
The Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees approved a revised Memorandum of Understanding between individual library Friends, the Library Board and the Fairfax County Public Library at its January 10, 2018, meeting, concluding more than nine months of work on the document. The library is fortunate to have more than 20 active Friends groups that support the library in numerous ways including donating funds raised through the sale of used books mainly provided by the library, sponsoring events such as the Summer Reading Adventure, and many other worthwhile projects. Miriam Smolen, Chair of the ad hoc MOU Committee of the Library Board shared that “The Friends members are passionate volunteers who provide invaluable services to the Library.” The new MOU, which replaces a prior 2006 version, provides additional clarity and details regarding the relationship and requirements among the three parties. Components of the document cover communication and coordination, use of the library resources and organization of the Friends groups. The document also details the responsibilities of the Board and the library towards their non-profit partners. Jessica Hudson, library director, stated that “The MOU offers a chance for the Board, the Friends and staff to recommit to the partnership. The MOU offers clarity in terms of steps to take in order to maintain transparency, public accountability and strong and productive relationships.” Members of the Library Board of Trustees expressed their appreciation for the Friends groups and the important work they do for the library and the staff during discussions at the January meeting. Over the next few months, library staff will work with the Friends groups on execution of the document. Once signed, the MOU will remain in effect for five years, with optional five year extensions.

Gaming at the Pohick Library Teen Center

December 15, 2017
Did you know that we have … 3-D printers? Yep! Teen gaming centers? Yep! eBooks? Yep! Items beyond books available for lending? Yep, including thermal cameras, nature backpacks and Civil War Education kits. (More items coming soon.) How can you stay on top of it all? It’s easy … Visit your local library branch regularly and ask what’s new. Pick up an events calendar while you’re there. Visit us online and spend some time browsing the website and LibGuides. Follow the library on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for the library newsletters including the weekly e-news, Family Fun, Ready to Read, Wowbrary and Loud and Clear for people with disabilities. Visit the library’s Flickr and YouTube pages. (They will make you smile; we guarantee it.) Watch the library’s quarterly cable show “Check it Out,” produced by the county’s own Channel 16 staff. Your library supports job seekers, career changers, students at every level, business owners, parents, teens, caregivers, new Americans, entrepreneurs, older adults, preschoolers, and those that just want a “third place” between work/school and home to hangout and access the Wi-Fi. And one last thing …. Check out our phenomenal online resources (we sometimes call them databases) … what a wealth of curated and authoritative information to meet your needs whether financial, health, academic, business, auto mechanics, studying for a test … (and more, more, more) don’t bypass this incredible portal to stats, articles, educational resources and fun ways to learn for all ages … discovered by you (not Google). If you like to be in the know and help others find what they need, browse the database collection today and help us spread the word!    




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