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.

woman reading on the beach

June 7, 2019
Article originally published May 30, 2019, by Fairfax County NewsCenter. Let the Summer Reading Adventure Begin School’s almost out, but that doesn’t mean the learning can’t continue. Our library provides a free summer reading program that includes activities, programs and prizes for readers of all ages. According to many studies, reading for pleasure enhances children’s reading skills and helps them to succeed in school. Luckily, the library’s Summer Reading Adventure 2019 provides plenty of ways for even the most lukewarm reader to get excited about books during summer break. And for the first time, this year features an adult summer reading program as well. Sign Kids Up for a Summer of Adventure Beginning Thursday, June 13, parents and kids can sign up for the summer reading adventure that runs through Saturday, Aug. 31, by registering online or visiting a library branch. Here are the minimum number of books to read by age/grade level: Young children through third grade: 15 books (kids can have books read to them). Fourth through fifth grade: 10 books. Sixth grade through high school: 5 books. Kids can also read free eBooks or listen to eAudio books or books on CD, which are all available through your library branch. Keep a paper or online log of the books read.When a child reaches the minimum for their age group, visit one of our library branches by Aug. 31 to pick up a coupon book with free and discounted fun treats like ice cream, soccer games and miniature golf. Special Activities Just for Teens Having a hard time keeping your teenage kid engaged? The library has special programs and contests designed just for them this summer! Teens can take part in an essay and poetry contest, a film festival and a cover art contest all aimed at students entering seventh grade or above. Some competitions even have cash prizes! Visit your local library branch or look online for information and entry details. Now Adults Can Get In on the Fun New this year, Fairfax County Public Library is launching a summer reading program designed specifically for adults. Beginning Thursday, June 13, and running through Saturday, Aug. 31, readers ages 18 and up can pick up reading logs from any library branch or print out a reading log online. Participants can read (or listen to) four books of their choice, then complete a book or suggested log activity for their fifth entry. Readers can bring up to two completed logs to any branch for incentives, and all finishers will be eligible for a grand prize drawing at the conclusion of the summer reading program on Aug. 31. Learn More About the Adult Program Plenty to Do All Summer Long The Summer Reading Adventure also has tons of special events and contests for kids and adults alike! The library offers fun events all summer long including Rocknoceros!, Groovy Nate, Chris Michael Magic, a Harry Potter Escape Room and more. Special events for teens include historical swordsmanship, a stop-animation workshop, a comic club and robotics workshops. All events and activities are free but often fill up quickly. Some events require registration – sign up online or at your library branch beginning two weeks before an event. If needed, ask for signed interpretation or assistive listening devices when you call (TTY users can call 711).

Man with trophy

July 17, 2019
Recognizing Outstanding Achievements Fairfax County Public Library's staff, branches and programs earn county, state, national and industry recognition for outstanding achievements and contributions to our customers and communities. The growing list below includes awards and grants for everything from individuals' support of fellow staff members and demonstrations of subject matter expertise to technology workshops and branch renovations. 2019 June Professional Associates Award | Sherwood Regional Branch Manager Linda Schlekau Linda Schledau, branch manager of Sherwood Regional Library, was presented the Outstanding Professional Associates Award at the Virginia Library Association’s June Council Meeting. The award recognizes excellence among the library Professional Associates in the Commonwealth of Virginia, honoring those who foster communication among library employees throughout the Commonwealth and advance and strengthen the image of Professional Associates. Linda received the award for providing significant support to her staff and championing library support staff in a Virginia library. Volunteer Service Award | FCPL Volunteer Program The Fairfax County Public Library Volunteer Program won the 2019 Volunteer Service Award for best Fairfax County Government Volunteer Program. This award is a testament to the library’s amazing volunteers as well as its volunteer coordinators and supervisors. April Hometown Media Awards | "You’re Making Me Read What?" Podcast Channel 16 received seven Hometown Media Awards from the Alliance for Community Media, including one in the Audio Programming category for Fairfax County Public Library’s “You’re Making Me Read What?” podcast. The podcast features lively book discussions between FCPL Director Jessica Hudson and Deputy Director Christine Jones — two librarians who love a great book but almost never agree on what makes a book great. March Public Library Association Leadership Academy | Early Literacy Services Coordinator Tina Mraz Tina Mraz, Early Literacy Services coordinator, was selected to participate in the Public Library Association (PLA) Spring 2019 Leadership Academy. She joined 27 other exceptional librarians in Chicago, Ill, for the dynamic, four-day event of interactive education and networking. The PLA Leadership Academy empowers public library professionals to become innovative and successful leaders of change, shifting their libraries from an internal approach—focused on organizational operations—to an external approach—focused on community needs.  Allie Beth Martin Award | City of Fairfax Regional Library Youth Services Manager Sondra Eklund Sondra Eklund, youth services manager at the City of Fairfax Regional Library, has been awarded the PLA’s 2019 Allie Beth Martin Award. This award recognizes a public librarian for demonstrating a range and depth of knowledge about books and other library materials, as well as the distinguished ability to share that knowledge. Sondra maintains a book review blog and has personally reviewed more than 3,000 titles. She recently completed her work as part of the 2019 Newbery Award Selection Committee — which selects the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” each year — and started a Newbery Book Club for young readers at her library which will start up again in October. The 2018 Newbery Medal went to Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. Find other Newbery winners online. Gordon M. Conable Award | FCPL Media Literacy Workshops with GMU Fairfax County Public Library was awarded the PLA’s 2019 Gordon M. Conable Award of $1,500, which honors a public library staff member, a library trustee or a public library that has “demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.” Fairfax County Public Library partnered with the George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution to develop and present a series of public workshops around media literacy and civil communication, aimed at decreasing political polarization. The popular workshops, called “News, Blues and How to Defuse,” launched in 2017 and continue to teach media literacy skills and respectful dialogue techniques to encourage civil discussions of hot-button issues.  The library would like to recognize the committee for all its work on these community workshops. Committee members from FCPL include JJ Dickinson, Sarah Souther Rebecca Wolff and former employee Lorri Culhane. Committee members from George Mason include Julie Shedd and Samantha Borders. Grow with Google Free Workshops | Herndon Fortnightly Library Google and the American Library Association (ALA) hosted free workshops at Herndon Fortnightly Library — one of three sites in Virginia — aimed at creating economic opportunities through improving digital skills. The initiative, called Grow with Google, recognizes the critical role that libraries play in supporting workforce development. On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, Grow with Google staff led four different in-person workshops for job seekers and small business owners as well as library staff members. Read more.  American Public Works Association Project of the Year Award | John Marshall Library Renovation The renovation and expansion of John Marshall Library was awarded the 2019 American Public Works Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter’s Project of the Year Award. When the branch reopened in October 2018 after the 18-month, $6.3 million renovation, visitors were welcomed to a library with expanded public meeting space, newer and better technology (including a teen gaming station), a brighter and more open interior layout and numerous LEED®-qualifying green features. Read more. ASRT National Library Partnership Grant | FCPL The library was awarded $2,000 from the American Society of Radiologic Technologist’s (ASRT) National Library Partnership grant program. This allows the library to purchase books on medical imaging and radiation therapy to educate the public about radiologic technologists’ role on the health care team, patient safety measures and the science behind radiological procedures. Chantilly Regional, Kingstowne, Reston Regional, Sherwood Regional and Thomas Jefferson will host displays that focus on the subject area of Radiology—including books on Marie Curie, the Radium Girls and more. January ALA Mini-Grant and Promising Practice Award | Thomas Jefferson Library Thomas Jefferson Library was one of 250 school and public libraries awarded with $500 in microfunding from the ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code initiative, sponsored by Google, to help plan and implement coding activities during Computer Science Education (CS Ed) Week 2018 (Dec. 3-9).  For its staff’s success in designing and hosting this Ready to Code program focused incorporating youth interests, engaging with communities and families, and demonstrating impact through outcomes, Thomas Jefferson Library subsequently received a “Promising Practice Award.” An ALA task force selected the Promising Practice recipients from the pool of 220 school and public libraries who participated in the grant-supported CS Ed Week programming, and Thomas Jefferson was one of only 10 libraries in the nation and one of only four public libraries recognized with this award. 2018 “The Great American Read” Grant | Reston Regional Library Reston Regional Library received a community programming grant from the ALA and PBS to host programs around “The Great American Read,” an eight-part television series and multi-platform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and the books we love through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels. More than 220 public libraries applied for the $2,000 grants, which support public programs around the series. Reston Regional Library was one of just 50 libraries nationwide to be selected. In addition to advance screenings of the series, Reston Regional offered special programs with authors, a green screen photo booth for people to place themselves in their favorite books, and monthly literary trivia nights concerning the 100 books on the list and a five-part lecture series exploring themes from episodes of The Great American Read.

Miriam Smolen

July 9, 2019
Chairman and Vice Chairman Re-Elected for One Year Terms Miriam Smolen was re-elected chairman of the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees at the Board’s June 12 meeting. Her second term will last one year — from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. A resident of Fairfax, Smolen has served as the Providence District representative to the Board since 2015. Miriam Smolen “I am grateful for the confidence in my ability that my colleagues have shown in electing me to serve as their chairman for a second term,” said Smolen. “I am particularly proud that I can continue to lead this board as we pursue the goals of Fairfax County Public Library’s strategic plan. We accomplished a lot last year, and I know we all look forward to working together again this year towards fostering a culture of creativity and forward momentum for our library staff, partners and users.” Fran Millhouser has been re-elected as vice chairman and will also serve a one-year term beginning July 1, 2019. Millhouser, a resident of Falls Church, has served as the Mason District representative to the Board since 2015. Fran Millhouser About the Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees 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.

Poet Surekha Vijh reads her work at Thomas Jefferson Library

June 28, 2019
Authors Offer Inside Looks at Books Connect with the creators of popular titles on history, health, Hispanic culture, fiction and more at these author talks, book signings and events at various branches through June, July and August. JULY 20 SATURDAY | 1:30 P.M. Hispanic Book Festival of Chantilly. Bring the whole family for an afternoon of readings by local Hispanic writers and poets. Registration is required for this event. Registration opens Saturday, June 22, at Chantilly Regional. 25 THURSDAY | 7 P.M. William Connery, a local historian, tour guide and author of Civil War Northern Virginia 1861 and Mosby's Raids in Civil War Northern Virginia, will paint a picture of Northern Virginia at the beginning of the American Civil War. Pohick Regional. AUGUST 8 THURSDAY | 7 P.M. Barbara Glakas discuss her new book The Hidden History of Herndon. Books available for purchase and signing. Herndon Fortnightly. 13 TUESDAY | 7 P.M. Francis Gary Powers Jr., son of famed U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, will present and sign his book SPY PILOT: Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Incident and a Controversial Cold War Legacy, a definitive account based on newly available information about the famous Cold War incident depicted in the 2015 Steven Spielberg movie “Bridge of Spies.” City of Fairfax Regional.

"It's Showtime at Your Library" Teen Summer Reading Program poster

June 13, 2019
Contests, movies screenings and interactive events help teens explore personal interests throughout the summer Think that “school’s out” means “out of options” for engaging educational and extracurricular opportunities for teens? Not even close. The library has a variety of special programs and contests this summer designed just for teens. Some competitions even have cash prizes, and many events include socializing and free snacks. Keep reading to learn more about all the exciting (and free) activities for teens taking place at your library throughout the summer. Summer Reading Incentives The Summer Reading Adventure runs June 13 through August 31 and invites all children and teens—birth through high school—to read for fun over the summer. To earn the summer reading coupon book featuring a variety of prizes and discounts, teens in rising grades 6-12 can choose any five books, eBooks or audiobooks and track their reading online or with reading logs available for printing or for pick up at any library branch. The theme in 2019 is “It's Showtime at Your Library!”, which has inspired many of the other teen contests, events and programs this summer. Teen Contests and Competitions Several contests for teens invite young artists and writers to flex their creativity and share their skills and ideas with the community through both individual and team projects. Teen Cover Art Contest – Choose a book that’s been adapted for the screen and redesign the cover, being sure to include the title and author in your design. Submissions are due August 2, and first place and runner up prizes will be awarded in categories for grades 7-8, 9-10, and 11-12. Teen Film Festival – Teens can show off their film-making skills by creating a short film of any genre. Submissions will be accepted August 5-September 27, and winners will be announced at a special screening on October 18 during Teen Read Week. For Love of Country© Essay & Poetry Contest – Rising 7th, 8th and 9th graders can enter the 11th annual “For Love of Country©: In My Own Words” essay and poetry contest to win up to $100. Submissions of original essays or poems on the topic “Who has most influenced the direction of your life, and why?” are due August 31. Visit your local library branch or look online for more information and entry details. Summer Activities and Events Our June, July and August calendars all feature interactive programs for teens to learn, watch or do something they love — or explore something new. Highlights of the summer’s teen activities and events include: Tea with Mrs. B See calendar for various branches, days and times beginning June 14. In this introductory etiquette class hosted by the professional staff from Tea with Mrs. B, learn how to introduce yourself, greet others and make a great first impression. Please register. Skintuition Holistic Skincare See calendar for various branches, days and times beginning June 17. Discover how the foods you eat impact your skin from a licensed esthetician, try the “skin scanner” and get personalized tips on how to feel and look your best. Please register. Henna Harmony See calendar for various branches, days and times beginning June 17. Learn about the history of henna and receive your own small design from a professional artist. Please register. Historical Swordsmanship See calendar for various branches, days and times beginning June 18. Fantasy (and history) lovers can learn about historical swordsmanship (aka sword fighting) and get hands-on instruction from the pros. Please register. Time for Teens: Book to Big Screen Saturdays: June 29, July 27 and August 24, 1:30-4 p.m. at Herndon Fortnightly Each month read a popular novel, then gather at the library to watch the film adaptation with snacks and discussion. Teen Movie Night See calendar for various branches, days and times beginning July 11. Bring your friends and watch great new movies like “Captain Marvel” — for free! Time for Teens: Karaoke Friday, July 12, 3-4 p.m. at Herndon Fortnightly Love to sing? Bring your and rock out together to pop, rock, show tunes and more. Snazzy Supplies Tuesday, August 13. 2-5 p.m. at John Marshall Help us get ready for a new school year and make some truly snazzy school supplies using pens, paper, stickers and duct tape. Check the library calendar for a full list of all our teen events. Plus, find teen resources, programs, book recommendations and more in the Stuff for Teens online guide.

Big Library Read logo and book cover

June 10, 2019
Wartime novel A Dangerous Act of Kindness available as eBook for two weeks with no wait list or holds Digital Book Club “Big Library Read” Ends July 1 Join fellow readers in Fairfax County and globally for Big Library Read, the world’s largest digital book club. Download this summer’s selected book anytime June 17 through July 1 to start reading, then take part in online discussions with other participating readers. What’s a Digital Book Club? The Big Library Read digital book club is an international reading program that connects millions of readers around the world simultaneously with an eBook or audiobook through the library. How do I Participate? Readers can take part in the two-week program by downloading A Dangerous Act of Kindness by LP Fergusson from the library's OverDrive page. Enjoy it as an eBook or eAudiobook with no wait lists or holds from June 17-July 1. Then join an online discussion about the book at When is the Book Club? Between June 17 and July 1, Fairfax County Public Library users will be able to borrow a digital version of LP Fergusson’s A Dangerous Act of Kindness—no waitlist! What is A Dangerous Act of Kindness About? What would you risk for a complete stranger? When widow Millie Sanger finds injured enemy pilot Lukas Schiller on her farm during World War II, the distant war is suddenly at her doorstep. Compassionate Millie knows he’ll be killed if discovered and makes the dangerous decision to offer him shelter from the storm. On opposite sides of the inescapable conflict, the two strangers forge an unexpected and passionate bond. But as the snow thaws, the relentless fury of World War II forces them apart, leaving only the haunting memories of what they shared, and an understanding that their secret must never see light. As Millie’s dangerous act of kindness sets them on paths they never could have expected, those closest to them become their greatest threats, and the consequences of compassion prove deadly. A Dangerous Act of Kindness is a beautiful, harrowing love story, perfect for fans of Rachel Hore and Santa Montefiore. Named Highly Commended in the Caledonia Novel Award 2018, it was chosen by a popular vote of readers and librarians worldwide to be the next Big Library Read. What Type of Device is Needed? A Dangerous Act of Kindness can be read and listened to on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets, Chromebook™ and Kindle® without worrying about waitlists or holds. The title will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and there are no late fees. What if I Don’t Have a Library Card? No library card? No problem. Sign up for a card through the library’s website or visit any Fairfax County Public Library branch. (Identification and proof of address required. For more information visit the Account Services page.)

Image of man gardening

June 5, 2019
In addition to a wide-ranging variety of books, the library offers special events, ongoing plant clinics and soil testing to support Fairfax County gardeners—those with or without green thumbs. Keep reading to discover four things you can do this spring and summer: Attend an Event Culinary Herbs Workshop - Richard Byrd Library, Saturday, June 15, 10:30 a.m. – Noon Learn how to grow and use 13 common culinary herbs in this hands-on workshop with Herb Society of America member and horticulturist Peggy Riccio. Learn about cultural requirements, harvesting and preservation methods and quick and easy culinary uses. Each attendee will take home a handout that lists the herbs, several recipes, sources for buying plants and seeds, recommended herb books and magazines, herb organizations and local herb events and public gardens. Gardening with Native Plants - Martha Washington Library, Saturday, June 15, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Green Spring Master Gardeners will share the benefits and challenges of using native plants in your garden. Fall Gardening - Chantilly Regional Library, Monday, July 29, 7 – 8 p.m. Robert Shulman of Green Spring Gardens will talk about which vegetables to plant for fall harvests and for overwintering. Registration for this event begins July 1. Ask a Question at a Plant Clinic Do you have a question for a Fairfax County Master Gardener? You can find them at multiple library branches throughout the summer. Learn more about Fairfax County Master Gardeners online. Get Your Soil Tested Soil Testing Kits are available at all library branches. Healthy soil leads to healthy plant growth , and soil testing allows you to determine if your soil lacks nutrients and needs fertilizing. The acidity of your soil and availability of aluminum also determines the color of flowers like hydrangea. Learn more about soil testing. Borrow a Book (or two or three) Of course, we don’t have to tell you about the hundreds of titles we offer about gardening— including books on herb gardening, organic gardening, container gardens, gardening in miniature, gardening with succulents, presidential gardens and memoirs of gardeners. You could also search our catalog by the plant you are trying to cultivate, like hydrangea, azalea, vegetables, foliage and native plants. Or you can search by the type of wildlife you would like to attract to your garden, including butterflies, bees or birds. If you’re looking for something specific, ask your library staff; they are always happy to help you find the perfect book. Here are a few recent titles to get you started: A Way to Garden, Gardening with Emma (a kid to kid guide) and Deer Resistant Design.




5:00PM, ADULTS CAN GET IN ON SUMMER READING FUN Children shouldn't have all…



5:00PM, READ OVER THE SUMMER AND WIN GREAT PRIZES Summer is a great time to…



6:00PM, Enjoy an evening of world-class jazz with New York-based guitarist…