Library

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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.



Light Pollution Monitoring Kit Now Available in the Library of Things

April 1, 2024
By Fairfax County Park Authority In celebration of Dark Skies Week, the Fairfax County Park Authority and Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) are proud to unveil a joint initiative aimed at combating light pollution: the Light Pollution Monitoring Kit. As part of the Citizen Science initiative, residents are encouraged to participate in the preservation of our night skies by contributing valuable data through this innovative program. Light pollution affects both humans and wildlife. It obscures our view of the stars and results in wasted energy, disrupted sleep patterns and ecological disturbances. From disrupting migratory bird paths to affecting the hunting habits of nocturnal creatures, the adverse effects of light pollution are far-reaching and profound. The Light Pollution Monitoring Kit, also known as the Dark Skies Kit, empowers citizens to fight light pollution by providing them with the tools needed to measure and monitor light levels in their communities. Starting April 2, twenty-five Light Pollution Monitoring Kits will be available as part of FCPL’s Library of Things. Kits can be placed on hold for pickup at any branch through the Fairfax County Public Library online catalog and can be borrowed for up to three weeks. Each kit contains a Sky Quality Meter, planispheres for locating constellations in English and Spanish, instructions and a red-light flashlight, enabling users to assess the brightness of their surroundings and contribute to the ongoing effort to preserve our natural nightscapes. Participants are encouraged to report their participation on the Watch the Green Grow website. To learn more about how you can participate in this vital initiative or to reserve a Light Pollution Monitoring Kit at a library near you, please visit the Dark Skies website.
Staff Excellence Awards Congratulations
March 19, 2024
The Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) Board of Trustees took time during their monthly meeting Wednesday, March 13 to honor several library employees with staff excellence awards.   From Feb. 1-21, library users nominated staff members for recognition. A board committee reviewed submissions and selected 14 winners and one special mention from more than 132 nominations. The Board of Trustees read excerpts from their nominations celebrating all that they do for the people of Fairfax County.  2024 Staff Excellence Award Winners  Confidence Akiti, Circulation Manager at Lorton Library  “Confidence is very professional at what he does. Whenever I need help, he attends right away to make sure I got what I need. Confidence greets me with his beautiful smile. He has a great personality. He comes and asks me if I’m okay, how am I doing and if I need help to let him know and that makes me feel good and want to come here more and let people know about this library because of him.”  Jaqueline Consolvo, Circulation Manager at City of Fairfax Regional Library  “As soon as I showed up at her desk, [Jackie] was quick to help me and be just as excited for me to get a library card. I haven’t had a library card since I was in elementary school and I’m excited to have had this process be so incredibly easy! Jackie was awesome!”  Logan Counard, Youth Services Manager at Thomas Jefferson Library  “Logan is great. Not just to me, but everyone he’s in contact with! Also, he just has a consistent pleasant personality! He will go out of his way to try to help you. Personally, he has helped me when I run into computer program issue and he seems to always know what to do or if he doesn’t, he’ll come up with a suggestion/solution.”  Dawn Creal, Youth Services Information Assistant at Burke Centre Library  “[Dawn] is engaging, enthusiastic, and excels at her job. Dawn is always there to greet me and my son with a smile. Not only does she remember my son’s name, which is quite impressive given the number of children that attend Burke Centre’s programs, but she also takes the time to talk to us and has developed a meaningful relationship with us.”  Jennifer “JJ” Dickinson, Adult Services Manager at Pohick Regional Library  “JJ has turned the Maker Space POD into a creative, fun place to make friends while also contributing to society in many ways... She diplomatically works around our diverse personalities (the POD is small and active with people who are VERY different and strong). She stays calm, fair and organized.”  Andréa Fernandes, Youth Services Manager at Patrick Henry Library  “Andréa's baby story times are second to none. She manages a chaotic room full of babies like a pro, and her energy is amazing. The kids LOVE her and she has such a wonderful rapport with the little ones who attend regularly. It can be intimidating to attend an event for the first time, but Andréa makes everyone feel welcome, makes expectations super clear, and creates a feeling of community.”  Stacy Herron, Youth Services Information Assistant at Thomas Jefferson Library  “A customer called from out of state asking for assistance after mistaking Thomas Jefferson Library for the Thomas Jefferson Museum! Stacy was patient, kind, helpful and never made the customer feel bad for contacting the wrong institution. The customer called library administration after the interaction to sing her praise!”  Nancy Jessen, Youth Services Information Assistant at Woodrow Wilson Library  “Nancy leads the board games on Wednesdays. My son attends every week. Nancy does a fantastic job engaging him and whoever else shows up. She cares about the kids who show up. It is such a welcome routine and great way to build community at the library. And Nancy helps make it a wonderful experience.”  Karen Jones, Youth Services Assistant at Centreville Regional Library  “Miss Karen’s Wednesday morning reading sessions for young kids are the best. She connects with the kids and helps them to have a cheerful positive day. Our grandson looks forward to the sessions all week ... She was organized, kind, welcoming, and absolutely FUN!”  Dori Kim, Interlibrary Loan Manager at Technical Operations   “Dori Kim handles the Interlibrary Loan Department. I have been using it for two years, trying to obtain obscure books and articles. Dori has had a 100% success rate. This has tremendously helped my research into the history of pre-revolutionary Russian film distribution in the United States. The books and articles I need are rare, but without them, I would have almost nothing.  I have a more well-rounded project thanks to Dori.”  Jeanne Pecori, Information Services Librarian at Pohick Regional Library  “[Jeanne is] so encouraging and helpful. The cheer she brings to each interaction I've had with her or witnessed is infectious in the best way. She's helped broaden and encourage my crafting skills, bolster my love for books, and positively nudged me to better myself.”  Amery Stapleton, Assistant Branch Manager at Oakton Library  “My children were a little rowdy after storytime and there was a line for the check out and I think [Amery] saw I was struggling. She is always very kind to my children and me when she has helped us.”  Marta Steenstra Davis, Youth Services Information Assistant at Lorton Library  “Ms. Marta’s storytime has changed my girls’ demeanor. Whoever has met her knows how calm but full of energy she is. She can captivate any child’s attention and keep them focused on the story. Ms. Marta has done a wonderful job in enhancing our literacy culture by providing fun, educational storytimes.”  Irene VonHapsburg-Nagley, Youth Services Information Assistant at Herndon Fortnightly Library  “We moved from overseas and my daughter, 3 years old, just started learning English. Irene asked one how to say hi and bye in Turkish so that my daughter feels welcome. We always come for the play time and LEGO club. Irene always has a big friendly smile that makes us love this branch so much. She’s an exceptional employee.”  Special Mention: Staff of Centreville Library  “After losing my life partner last year, I was frightened, lost and my whole life became an upheaval. The Centreville Regional Library Team has provided exceptional support and guidance and continues to do so, helping me to get through the most stressful and challenging time of my life. They have been here for me every step of the way and I couldn’t have made it without them.”   
Fairfax County Public Library Celebrates Women's history Month
March 5, 2024
First recognized in March 1987, Women’s History Month honors the many women who have played an important role over the course of American history. To celebrate, Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) is hosting presentations, workshops, storytimes, crafts and more throughout the month, highlighting women from all walks of life for their contributions to the United States and the world as we know it.   Check out a small sample of what we have planned at a library near you:  *Please note that dates/times of the following events are subject to change. Check the event listing for the latest information.    Musical Storytime & Women's History Celebration: Women Composers – Kings Park Library – Saturday, March 9   Violinists Claire Allen and Hannah Price present a program of works for two violins by composers Judith Weir, Florence Price and Grazyna Bacewicz. The program will also feature a reading of the book Who Is Florence Price?, written by the students of the Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School.  The Power of Words: Female Voices Matter – City of Fairfax Regional Library – Sunday, March 10   The City of Fairfax Commission on Women will host female authors from the City of Fairfax for a lively conversation and book readings for all ages.  Women Powering Democracy – City of Fairfax Regional Library – Tuesday, March 12 (Registration required)  Several unique records from the Fairfax Circuit Court Historic Records Center (HRC) archives will be available for viewing such as early voter registration rolls and information about the women of Fairfax County, including registrar Edith Pullman and African American activist Mary Ellen Henderson. A short discussion of the records will be led by Dr. Jennifer Ritterhouse.  AmaZine: Women's History Month Zine Workshop – Dolley Madison Library – Friday, March 15 (Registration required)  Learn about the history of zines and women's suffrage movements in this workshop presentation - and create your own zine!  "Hallowed Ground” Storytelling with Sheila Arnold – Sherwood Regional Library – Monday, March 18 (Registration required)  Join master storyteller Shelia Arnold as she leads a program that uses stories – humorous, historical and inspirational – to encourage the audience to take a moment and consecrate the places that are sacred.  "Locks Opened: Caught!" Storytelling with Sheila Arnold – Reston Regional Library – Tuesday, March 19 (Registration required)  Hear some of the stories of those who were caught riding the Underground Railroad in this presentation includes ballads, props, song, and dance.  Meet Young Author and Learn About Women's History – Lorton Library – Saturday, March 23 (Registration required)  Join 10-year-old Naevia as she reads from her newly published book Naevia's Magic Glasses. In the story, we will use magic glasses to take us back in time to learn from famous Black women.  From Seneca Falls to the Ballot Box | Stories of History, Food & Culture – Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library – Tuesday, March 26 (Registration required)  Laura Kumin, author of All Stirred Up: Suffrage Cookbooks, Food, and the Battle for Women’s Right to Vote, will discuss how women won the right to vote and what role food played in that movement.  Notable Women of Herndon’s Past – Herndon Fortnightly Library – Tuesday, March 26 (Registration preferred)  Local author, Barbara Glakas, Historian of the Herndon Historical Society, will discuss some important female historical figures from Herndon’s past.  Women's History Transcribe-a-thon – Centreville Regional Library – Thursday, March 28  Become a part of American women's history! Help transcribe Library of Congress handwritten personal letters so that future generations can access these pages from history.  For a complete list of Women’s History-related events, visit bit.ly/FCPL_WomensHistoryMonth.  You can also celebrate by selecting a new read from our specially curated Women’s History Month booklist found here or streaming one of the many related programs that can be found on Kanopy. 
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 or by streaming a film or documentary from Kanopy’s Black History collection.  

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