Library

CONTACT INFORMATION: Office: 8:00–4:30 M–F. Branch hours vary. Please call your branch's direct line with account and eBook questions.
703-324-3100 TTY 711
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035
Jessica Hudson
Director

FCPL Newsroom

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 following us on social media: Twitter/X, Facebook and Instagram.

For media queries, contact Marketing & Communications Director Sara Prohaska at sara.prohaska@fairfaxcounty.gov.



Willam and Lillian Carter in 1968.

February 15, 2024
William McKinley Carter and Lillian Carter greeting others at a 1968 library function. ANNANDALE, Va. - In their February 14, 2024, meeting held at George Mason Regional Library, the Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name the planned, rebuilt library facility, which will be located on the site of the current Patrick Henry Library, the Vienna-Carter Library. The Carter family as a whole has contributed significantly to the history of the library, the Town of Vienna and Fairfax County. William McKinley Carter (1897-1977), a charter member of the Fairfax County NAACP, was instrumental in procuring a County library branch to serve everyone in the Town of Vienna where, at the time, the existing town library had a whites-only policy. In 1958, Carter and his wife Lillian co-founded the Vienna Friends of the Library in their living room and led a successful community effort to open an FCPL facility, the Patrick Henry Library, in 1962 as an integrated library facility where “Everyone [is] Welcome.” Members of the Carter family and friends were in attendance and submitted a statement to the board in support of the name change. “The Carter Family is grateful that we are being commemorated and honored for the hard work that went into the integration of the Patrick Henry Library due to the dedication of the Friends of the Library.  The establishment of the Friends group helped solidify that all Vienna citizens were entitled to read and check out books no matter the race, religion or color of the recipients,” said Dee Dee Carter after the board voted to approve the name change for the rebuilt facility. Hoyt Carter, Sylvia Taylor and Dee Dee Carter at the Feb. 14, 2024 meeting. Board of Trustees Chairman Brian Engler states, “The Library Board is grateful that we are part of communities where people speak up and share their histories, stories that allow us to grow and learn from the past. Naming the new facility the Vienna-Carter Library allows us to show our commitment to equitable access for everyone, from the past and hopefully long into the future.” Opened in 1971 and reaching the end of its usable life cycle, Patrick Henry Library was bond funded in 2020 for a new facility on the existing site, located in the Town of Vienna at the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street. Subsequently, Fairfax County entered into an agreement with the Town of Vienna to develop the site of the current library for both a new library and a shared parking structure for County and Town usage. The new facility is likely to open, based on the current timeline, in fall 2026. The current building and the planned temporary library open during construction will retain the current name. A woman and children holding a sign for Patrick Henry Library that states "Open House ... Everyone Welcome" in April 1962. Published in early 2023, Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries was written by Fairfax County Public Library Virginia Room staff members Chris Barbuschak and Suzanne LaPierre. A chapter of their book contains more information on the history of libraries in Fairfax County and Vienna, as well as information on the Carter family’s contributions to its history. The authors regularly present information from their book with the next planned event presented by the Burke Historical Society on Feb. 25 at Pohick Regional Library from 3-4:30 p.m.   For more information on the future Vienna-Carter Library, please contact Marketing and Communications Director Sara Prohaska at sara.prohaska@fairfaxcounty.gov.  
Reston Friends Donation Presentation
February 5, 2024
RESTON, Va. – Fairfax County Supervisor Walter L. Alcorn, Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) leadership and dozens of library supporters joined together on Sunday, February 4 as the FCPL Board of Trustees accepted a $100,000 gift from the Friends of Reston Regional Library (FRRL) to support the children’s collection. The group primarily raises funds through their highly popular used book sales, with a single item ranging from $0.50 to $2.00. During this day’s donation presentation, the annual Mystery Book sale greeted library visitors as they walked through the front door further highlighting their tireless efforts. Annually, the Friends of Reston Regional Library receive, sort, process and sell an average of 40 tons of donated books and materials with proceeds benefitting FCPL’s programs, events and collection. This is not the first time they have donated a six-digit sum to benefit the community’s readers. In 2022, FRRL donated $200,000 to FCPL’s digital collection, reducing wait times for popular titles and increasing eAudiobook availability. Overall, FRRL has donated well over $400,000 in major gifts to the Fairfax County Public Library in the last ten years. "FCPL is incredibly grateful for the consistent financial support and community advocacy provided by the Friends of the Reston Regional Library. This most recent donation is earmarked for children's books. Their daily effort to turn gently used donations into additional budget dollars means that our library system can get more new books into the hands of the children in our county. They're amazing and we are so appreciative," said FCPL Director Jessica Hudson. Why children’s books for this particular donation? An FRRL spokesperson said, “Kids need libraries more than ever now, not less. This gift will help the library system add more much-needed books for kids and young adults. There will be fiction and non-fiction, picture books, series books like The Princess in Black and Dogman, chapter books, novels.... The Collection Services team is amazing – we know they will get the very most out of every dime.” View more photos from the event here.
Fairfax County Public Library 85th Anniversary
February 1, 2024
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 County Public Library Celebrates Black History Month
January 31, 2024
This February (and beyond) join Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) as we explore the diverse history and highlight the many contributions of African Americans through a multitude of programs and resources available for free to our library cardholders and all community members. With author talks, history presentations, book discussions, movie showings and more, check out just a taste of what is on the schedule at your local library in celebration of Black History Month.  *Please note that dates/times of the following events are subject to change. Check the event listing for the latest information.   Jazz Evening at the Lorton Library – Lorton Library – Monday, Feb. 5 (Registration required)  Enjoy an evening of Jazz Music and Jazz History at Lorton Library. South County High School's Jazz Band will perform a selection of songs followed by a talk by Brian Slawski from the Burke Historical Society. Brian will discuss local jazz history, including the fascinating story of the Lorton (prison) Jazz Festival.    Unequal Access – Virtual Event – Monday, Feb. 5 (Registration required)  Fairfax County Public Library librarians Chris Barbuschak and Suzanne LaPierre will discuss their book The Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries.    African American Soldiers from the Civil War (USCT) to Reconstruction (the "Buffalo Soldiers") – Burke Centre Library – Saturday, Feb. 10  Park Ranger Bryan Cheeseboro of the National Park Service will present about Black Civil War soldiers in the final days of the war and how many of them stayed in the army to serve as professional soldiers in the regular cavalry and infantry units, which became known to history as the "Buffalo Soldiers."    Award-Winning Jazz Vocalist Alison Crockett Presents "The Language of Jazz" – Centreville Regional Library – Sunday, February 18  Alison Crockett is an award-winning and prolific jazz, soul, and electronica vocalist who has performed and recorded in a wide range of genres including neo-soul, jazz, R&B, and gospel. Join Alison as she takes the audience through a sonic journey of the language of jazz music from its spiritual beginnings to the present.    Music For Social Well-Being – City of Fairfax Regional Library – Wednesday, Feb. 21 (Registration required)  Join performer Calvin Earl for an evening of songs and storytelling designed to bring people together and uplift us all to embrace our shared humanity. Listen and enjoy as Calvin plays the music that defines America, from spirituals to rock ‘n’ roll and beyond.    A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School – The Alden at McLean Community Center – Sunday, Feb. 25 (Registration required)  Join Carlotta Walls LaNier, a key protagonist in the Civil Rights Movement, as she revisits her journey as part of the “Little Rock Nine” and reflects on history of civil rights, race and diversity while inspiring hope for the future. A book sale and signing will follow this event.    Separate but NOT Equal: The 1939 Alexandria Public Library Sit-in & The 1959 Desegregation of Arlington County’s Schools – Sherwood Regional Library – Thursday, Feb. 29  Join the Mount Vernon chapter of AAUW (American Association of University Women) and guest speakers, Brenda Mitchell-Powers and Wilma Jones as they discuss the 1939 Alexandria Public Library Sit-in and the 1959 desegregation of Arlington County’s Schools.    For a complete list of Black History-related events, visit bit.ly/FCPL_BHMevents.  You can also celebrate and honor by selecting a new read from our specially curated Black History Month booklists for adults and kids, checking out what Libby has to offer on the topic or by streaming a film or documentary from Kanopy’s Black History collection.  
Nepali World Languages Bag and Books
January 22, 2024
Through a generous partnership with PKP Tender Hearts Foundation, six Nepali World Languages Bags and a few titles in English reflecting Nepalese culture have been added to the Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) collection. These bags are starting their journey at Chantilly Regional Library due to its proximity to Brookfield Elementary School, which per Fairfax County demographics, has the highest concentration of elementary students where Nepali is spoken at home. The target audience for these items is children and early readers. Each bag contains several books that adults can read to and with children. In addition to Nepali, FCPL offers additional World Languages Bags in Chinese, Arabic, Urdu and Tamil. The library’s collection contains many children and adult books in Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese as well. All World Languages Bags can be sent to any library branch location by searching and placing a hold through FCPL’s catalog. Here’s how to place a hold on a World Languages Bag in the library’s catalog: Type in “picture book bag” on the search bar next to “Keyword search” at the top of the page. Then click the search icon. The picture books will populate the page. Choose the language you are interested in under “subjects” on the left side of the screen. Select “PLACE HOLD” to the right of the picture book bag you want. Follow the directions to enter your user information, password and the library branch where you’d like to pick up the book bag. If you need additional assistance, please ask at a library information desk where staff will be happy to connect you with the World Languages Bags in your preferred language.
FCPL Hits 3 Million Digital Checkouts in 2023
November 30, 2023
On Wednesday, Nov. 29, Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) reached a major milestone, 3 million digital loans for 2023. This is the first time the library system has exceeded the threshold since introducing OverDrive, FCPL’s online digital catalog provider, in 2006. Sabriel, the award-winning young adult fantasy novel by New York Times’ bestselling author Garth Nix, was the book that helped FCPL surpass the milestone.  With this achievement, FCPL joins an elite group of library systems around the world. In 2022, only 37 libraries who utilize OverDrive hit the 3 million total digital checkout mark in a single year. To add a little more perspective, OverDrive’s website reports that they serve “more than 88,000 libraries and schools in 109 countries with the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, video and other content.” So, this is no small feat!  FCPL utilizes Overdrive and its mobile application Libby to provide 24/7 access to their digital collection, which includes eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines. Readers can now access titles whenever and wherever they want using any major device, making digital materials more popular than ever.    While reader interest in digital materials has been increasing steadily over the years, FCPL has seen exponential growth since 2019, with circulation more than doubling in the three-and-a-half-year period. To meet this demand, FCPL collections staff has been hard at work expanding the digital collection to include more titles, as well as additional licenses for popular titles, with the goal of reducing long wait times. This work has been supported in recent years by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, who recently approved a $300,000 increase to the library’s collection budget, as well as the Friends of Reston Regional Library, who donated $200,000 to the library in June of 2022 to support the development of both the digital and physical collections.   FCPL’s digital collection is available for free to anyone who has a Fairfax County Public Library card. More information about the collection and how to access it can be found here.  
Library of Things Meters and Readers Announcement
November 27, 2023
Library cardholders in Fairfax County can now borrow a variety of testing devices from their neighborhood branches. As of Nov. 27, nine types of meters and readers are available for check out at Fairfax County Public Library’s (FCPL) 23 locations as part of its Library of Things, adding to the growing collection of non-traditional items visitors can borrow for use in their own homes. The introduction of these devices aligns with the library’s 2024-2027 Strategic Plan, which places emphasis on, among many other things, expanding the community’s access to innovative technology and resources.   The initial batch of meters and readers available to check out include:  Air Quality Monitors  Battery Testers  Carbon Monoxide Meters  Kilowatt Usage Meters  Laser Thermometers  Moisture Meters  On-Board Diagnostic Code Readers  Radon Gas Monitors  Soil Meters  Each device is available to check out for three weeks at a time and, if not immediately available, can be put on hold online or by visiting the information desk at any FCPL branch. More information about each of these devices can be found here.  After all, why buy it when you can borrow it!  Along with the meters and readers, the Library of Things is home to many other borrowable items that go beyond the bounds of traditional library materials, 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.   To learn more about the materials available through the Library of Things, visit our Library of Things LibGuide.

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