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.

Logo for the Creative Aging Festival

April 26, 2019
ARTSFAIRFAX and Fairfax County Present More Than 60 Arts Activities for the 2019 Creative Aging Festival ARTSFAIRFAX and the Fairfax County Government will celebrate Older Americans Month in May with the 2019 Creative Aging Festival. Events throughout the month celebrate older adults’ participation in the arts across Fairfax County through visual, music, theatre, dance, literary and culinary arts activities. More than 60 free, interactive events are planned at 28 senior centers, community centers and public libraries and locations throughout the county to engage residents and visitors in the arts, showcase the achievements of senior artists, and highlight the positive benefits of the arts as we age. The library events include: Clay Class: Elena Nuez Flower Dish Thursday, May 9, 2– 4 p.m., Herndon Fortnightly Library Clay Class: Midas Touch Thursday, May 30, 2– 4 p.m., Oakton Library Participate in ceramic art by creating useful and expressive clay objects. Learn about design, mythology, clay methods and more. Registration requested, sign up online or call the branch. Figure Drawing Tuesday, May 14, 1–2:30 p.m., Centreville Regional Library Learn the basics of figure drawing while working from a clothed model. Bring your sketchbook and drawing materials of your choice. Registration required. Sign up online or call the branch beginning April 30. African Drumming Funfare Monday, May 20, 2–3 p.m., George Mason Regional Library Wednesday, May 29, 2–3 p.m., Sherwood Regional Library Friday, May 31, 2–3 p.m., Woodrow Wilson Library; Join Kofi Dennis in making steady-beat and rhythmic patterns with the African djembe drums and shekeres. There will be lots of movement, singing and chanting. Due to limited seating, registration is requested. Call the branch or sign up online. Exploring the Roots of American Folk Music Wednesday, May 29, 3:30–4:30 p.m. Reston Community Center Join Slim Harrison and the "Sunnyland Band" and play along on traditional folk instruments like spoons, jugs, washboards and more. Cosponsored by Fairfax County Public Library and Reston Community Center. Registration opens May 8. To see the full list of events, visit the Creative Aging Festival site at

Tradesman at work

April 18, 2019
If you are a student who isn’t planning on pursuing a college degree or an adult looking for a different career path, the library’s first Trade School Career Fair is for you. Join us at John Marshall Library, Saturday, May 4, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Registration is requested, sign up online or call 703-324-8428. Some employers attending the fair have current job openings. Free parking is available at the library and the elementary school next door. At the Trade School Career Fair: Learn about alternative careers. Meet people from local businesses and trade schools to discuss next steps for a non-college career path. Find out about different opportunities in a variety of trade industries, including HVAC, commercial driving, health care, construction, college security, law enforcement and technology. According to research by Degree Query, 30 percent of students worldwide only go to a four-year college because they think it’s the natural progression after high school, and 23 percent only go because they think it’s what's expected from them. Resources to Find Your Career Path To learn more about career options and the best path for you, the library has websites, databases, books and staff that can help. Talk to library staff at your local library branch to find resources specific to your interests. For those deciding between a community college or trade school – or if you know someone who is – check out this infographic. Learn more about the trade careers including the military. Research different career outlooks and learn more from tradespeople about the pros and cons from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Books to Borrow Occupational Outlook Handbook Take the Leap: Change your Career, change your Life What Color is Your Parachute: A Practical Manual for Job-hunters and Career Changers Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy Job U: How to find Wealth and Success by Developing the Skills Companies Actually Need The Electrician’s Trade Demystified Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up and Start over in Your Career Undecided: Navigating Life and Learning after High School Jobs that Matter: Find a Stable, Fulfilling Career in Public Service Barron’s ASVAB: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery For browsing in the stacks for more books, look in the 331.7 or 650.14 (nonfiction) area. In the library’s online catalog search for “vocational guidance” or “career guidance” or search in the specific career field that interests you. Databases to Search These databases have in-depth information about studying for vocational testing or certifications; preparing for job hunts and interviews and more. LearningExpress Library Career Transitions Virginia Career View Library Webpages Job Seeker Resources Educational Resources

City Nature Challenge 2019

April 9, 2019
Observe and Identify Wildlife using a Free App—The Library Will Show You How Calling all budding naturalists! The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is a friendly competition between cities all over the world to see which city can observe the most nature. For the first time, Fairfax County will be participating in the City Nature Challenge for the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area between April 26–29. The CNC is an event to show off your local flowers, trees, bugs, animals, mushrooms and any cool species you might see around your neighborhood. More than 160 cities across the world are competing. Help out by joining the Washington D.C. metro area’s effort to climb the leader board for 2019. It’s easy and free to participate: Download the app. Download the free iNaturalist app to your mobile device, available for both Android and iPhone. You will have to create a free profile to begin. After signing up, click on “more” and “projects.” Sign up for the project “City Nature Challenge 2019: Washington, DC metro area.” Take photos of wildlife. Participants should venture out take pictures of plants or animals in the wild. It can be any sort of wildlife—fungi, slime mold, animal tracks or shells—found in the DC area. Note where you took the photo. Share your observations. Upload your photos from nature to the iNaturalist app. Individuals from around the world will help label observations. The CNC has two separate parts. The photo taking portion is from April 26–29 but then users will help identify your discoveries from April 30 – May 5. The winning metro area will have the most number of participants, the highest number of observations and the highest number of plant and animal species found. The library is hosting three events to help get ready for this fun nature challenge: Backyard Nature: Learning iNaturalist!, Great Falls Library, Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Calling all nature lovers! Do you always find yourself wondering what that tricky flower, bird, bug or animal track is? Walk with us and learn how to identify them with the iNaturalist app. We’ll also explain how you can be part of the 2019 City Nature Challenge competition. Bring a cell phone and gather in the library lobby. All Ages. Backyard Nature: Spring Awakening, Pohick Regional Library, Wednesday, April 24, 11:15 a.m. – 1 p.m. Explore nature near the library! Walk with us and learn how to identify flowers, bugs, and trees with the iNaturalist app. We’ll also explain how you can be part of the 2019 City Nature Challenge competition. Bring a cell phone and gather in the library lobby. Cosponsored by Fairfax County Park Authority. All Ages. Backyard Nature: City Nature Challenge ID Party, Burke Central Library, Saturday, May 4, 2 – 4:30 p.m. Need help identifying the flower, bird, bug or animal track pictures you took during the City Nature Challenge? Meet with a Fairfax Master Naturalist and learn tips for identifying your photos. Bring a laptop/tablet. All Ages. Find more events online at By participating, you’ll not only get out and see some great urban nature, you’ll help scientists collect data on the biodiversity of our region.

NLW logo

March 27, 2019
National Library Week, April 7-13 Read Away Your Fines Fairfax County Public Library is celebrating National Library Week in 2019 by allowing library card holders to reduce fines on their accounts through reading. Beginning Saturday, April 6, customers can stop in at any library branch, pick up a special reading log and start reading away their fines. Fines will be reduced by $1 for every 15 minutes of reading (up to $15). All ages welcome. Completed reading logs will be accepted at all branches through April 19. “This program is being offered as part of National Library Week to encourage library users with blocked accounts to clear their fines through their love of reading,” says FCPL Director Jessica Hudson. “We want to eliminate any hurdles our patrons may face when using the resources the library provides.” No Charge for Guess Passes Recognizing that a main goal of the library is to provide free and accessible resources to all, FCPL has done away with charging for internet guest passes. Effective April 1, 2019, guest passes are still available for non-library card holders, but they no longer have a fee associated with them. You Can Participate in National Library Week! Just for fun, help us bring some attention to the library by taking part in FCPL’s Bookface project. Haven’t heard of the Bookface craze? You can see some great examples on Instagram (hashtag #bookface) or get the back story from this New York Times story. We’re inviting you to post your own Bookface images and tag us by using the hashtag #FCPLBookFace on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—just make sure your posts are public. We’ll pick some of our favorites to share in an upcoming edition of the library’s weekly electronic newsletter. Some branches will be putting together #FCPLbookface displays, so be sure to check out your branch for possibilities. See our Flickr album for more inspiration. There’s still time to tell us about “My Perfect Library Day-Day.” Now through April 4, fill out a short form online (or you can complete a paper form at your local branch) and let us know what’s involved in your idea of the perfect library day. We’ll publish some of the submissions during National Library Week. The library will be kicking off the official celebration of National Library Week on Saturday, April 6, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Fairfax Library Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Jubilee, held at the recently renovated Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library, located at 7584 Leesburg Pike in Falls Church. This fun and festive event has the theme, A Step Back in Time, where you can join your fellow library lovers to remember the past 25 years, complete with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music and more. To see more about the Fairfax Library Foundation, visit It’s Official The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors proclaimed April 7-13 National Library Week in Fairfax County at its March 19 meeting. During the discussion, Supervisor Linda Smyth said, “We think every week is library week in Fairfax County.” Thank you, Supervisor Smyth, we couldn’t agree more.

Highway Sign Award

March 26, 2019
Fairfax County Public Library and its award-winning staff were recently recognized for their work in library services. Allie Beth Martin Award Sondra Eklund, youth services manager at the City of Fairfax Regional Library, has been awarded the 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. Eklund 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. The Newbery committee selects the “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” each year. She also started a Newbery Book Club for young readers at her library. (This club will start up again October.) The 2018 Newbery Medal went to Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. Find other winners online. Gordon M. Conable Award Fairfax County Public Library was awarded the Gordon M. Conable Award, 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.” The award includes $1,500. 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: FCPL JJ Dickinson Sarah Souther Rebecca Wolff Lorri Culhane (former employee) Mason’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution Julie Shedd Samantha Borders Read the full news release online

Library E-news March 15, 2019

March 14, 2019
Library E-news March 15, 2019: What's Happening With FCPL Check out this week's weekly e-newsletter from Fairfax County Public Library. Stay connected to your library by signing up for Library E-news. Scroll down to the section under "Library" and select "subscribe" for the item "Public Library events, activities and services." Then you'll start receiving this helpful digest to your inbox every Friday. Author Events at the Library this Spring Opportunities abound this season to meet authors and learn about their books at the library. From YA to historical nonfiction, for kids and adults, there’s sure to be an upcoming author event for just about anyone. Teenagers will love meeting their favorite young adult authors at the NoVa Teen Book Festival on March 30, and kids will get a kick out of meeting Newbery Award-winning author Kwame Alexander, who’s appearing along with musician Randy Preston, on April 6. Plus, there are many more author events planned for adults, including appearances by authors of books on photography, the civil war, the Secret Service, Mount Kilimanjaro and more. For more information, read our full write-up online. Check It Out: How the Library Supports Brain Health In the latest episode of Check It Out, the Fairfax County Public Library’s quarterly cable program, we take a look at how the library can help maintain the health of your brain as you age. You can watch the entire program here or watch the individual segments separately including the five pillars of brain health, how meditation and exercise contributes to brain health, how discovering new hobbies and connections keeps you mentally young and how to nourish your body and mind. Don’t Miss Calvin Earl on African American Spirituals Calvin Earl, the U.S. Spokesman for the African American Spirituals as National Treasure, will be presenting two different programs in the coming weeks. On Wednesday, March 27, from 7-8 p.m. at Pohick Regional Library, he will be leading a communal singing experience called “Songs on our Road to Freedom.” This event is all ages but requires free registration. On Wednesday, April 10, he will be at Sherwood Regional Library from 7-8 p.m., sharing stories and songs about how slaves embedded their history and codes into songs in “History of the African American Spirituals.” This event is for teens and adults and also requires free registration. Maker Day and Grow with Google at the Library Thank you to the attendees of the first FCPL Maker Day events, held at various branches last Saturday and also to the attendees of the free Grow with Google workshops at Herndon Fortnightly last Wednesday. Both events were well received by participants and the library is pleased to present the community with events that increase technological awareness and skills. Be sure to check out the 16 Around Fairfax videos on both FCPL Maker Day and Grow with Google. Excerpt “We are a country built by immigrants, dreams, daring, and opportunity. We are a country built by the horrors of slavery and genocide, the injustice of racism and exclusion. These realities exist side by side. It is our past and our present. The future is unwritten. This is a book about ghosts. For we live in a haunted house.”—Libba Bray, keynote for the NoVa Teen Book Festival, in her latest book, Before the Devil Breaks You.

Spring Author events at the library

March 13, 2019
Opportunities abound this season to meet authors and learn about their books, from a bevy of YA authors at the NoVa Teen Book Festival to a photographer who captured the abandoned places of Virginia. NoVa Teen Book Festival Saturday, March 30, 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., George C. Marshall High School This free event for teens will feature panel discussions, book signings, writing workshops, food and fun. Authors slated to appear include Libba Bray, Cinda Williams Chima, Dhonielle Clayton, Jeff Zentner, Nic Stone and more! To view cosponsors and for more information, see the NoVa Teen Book Festival website. Register online here. For teens and adults. Books & Brews Book Club Thursday, April 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Forge Brew Works Author Sherry Harris discusses her Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mystery series. Adults. Life Lessons from Mount Kilimanjaro Saturday, April 6, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Reston Regional Library Local author Robert Perry shares his inspiring story of trekking to the highest peak in Africa. He will sign copies of his book, Taking the 12 Steps Up—and Down—Kilimanjaro. For teens and adults. Kwame Alexander & Randy Preston: Poetry and Performance Saturday, April 6, 4-5:30 p.m., Reston Regional Library Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander and musician Randy Preston will come together for a special performance celebrating the paperback release of Booked and The Crossover, as well as the release of Kwame's new picture book The Undefeated. Books will be available for purchase. Age 6 and up. Presentation on Civil War Northern Virginia 1861 Thursday, April 11, 7-8:30 p.m., Richard Byrd Library William Connery, author of Civil War Northern Virginia 1861, will give a presentation on his award-winning book. Adults. Meet Author Jeffrey Gorsky Saturday, April 13, 1:30-3 p.m., Patrick Henry Library Jeffrey Gorsky, author of Exiles in Sepharad: The Jewish Millennium in Spain, shares the history of the Jews in Spain from their apex in Muslim Spain to the horrors of the Inquisition and the Expulsion. Adults. 20 Years in the Secret Service Thursday, April 25, 7:30-9 p.m., Patrick Henry Library Rebecca Vaughn, former Vienna resident and the daughter of the author, Rufus Youngblood, talks about history from the unique perspective of a Secret Service agent who protected five U.S. presidents. Books available for sale and signing. For teens and adults.  An Evening with Angie Thomas Thursday, April 25, 7:30-8:30 p.m., Stacy C. Sherwood Community Center This highly anticipated author presentation is cosponsored with Fall for the Book. Meet Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give. For teens and adults. Free general admission tickets will be available on a first come, first served basis. A limited amount of reserved seats will be available before the event—follow Fall for the Book on Facebook and Twitter to learn more. Stories of an Abandoned Virginia Monday, April 29, 7-8:30 p.m., City of Fairfax Regional Library Tuesday, April 30, 7-8:30 p.m., George Mason Regional Library Join us on a visually captivating journey through the beautifully decaying rural places of Virginia. Photographer John Plashal has commemorated these abandoned gems by capturing their beauty, and he will present photographs in a presentation full of powerful imagery and fascinating stories. Save the Date! There are even more authors coming to the library in May and June. May 4: Tracey Kyle, author of Food Fight Fiesta: A Tale about La Tomatina, Centreville Regional Library, age 4-10. May 9: Peter Baker, Chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, Richard Byrd Library, adults. May 23: Angela and Karl Robb, authors of A Soft Voice in a Noisy World and Dealing and Healing with Parkinson's and Other Health Conditions, Patrick Henry Library, adults. June 13: Jenny Masur, historian and author of Heroes of the Underground Railroad Around Washington, D.C.,  Patrick Henry Library, teens and adults.




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