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.

Presidents on Mount Rushmore

February 7, 2019
Did you know that John Tyler had 15 kids? Or that Warren Harding wore a size 14 shoe? Whether or not you’re a presidential history buff, the library has many resources for Presidents Day. The library will be closed on Monday, February 18, in honor of George Washington Day (which is what the Commonwealth of Virginia officially calls Presidents Day—Washington was born in Virginia, after all). But there are still ways you can celebrate the day with the library. 1. Read Up on Presidential History There’s no shortage of historical nonfiction about American presidents. The library has more than 2,800 books about American presidents in its catalog. Need to narrow it down? Here’s a suggested biography of every single U.S. president. From Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow to Lincoln by David Herbert Donald, many award-winning titles are represented. There are also several presidential biographies available as eBooks, from Calvin Coolidge to Ronald Reagan. Using your library card, you can check these eBooks out online at any time through the library’s subscription services like Freading, OverDrive and RBdigital. Prefer your presidents in fictional form? There’s also the themed book list of Fictitious Presidents and Events. You’ll find plenty of Tom Clancy presidential thrillers but also the Man Booker prize-winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. 2. Conduct Presidential Research of Your Own If all of the presidential books above have you inspired to launch your own research effort, the library offers access to online databases for all library card holders. Biography in Context offers resources for every American president, including websites, academic journal articles, news stories, videos, images, primary source documents and more. You can search several different online newspapers to read news accounts about presidential events and news. The Washington Post archives go back to 1987 and The New York Times dates back to 1980. An historical archive exists for both papers, with Post coverage back to 1877 and Times coverage dating back to 1851. 3. Attend an Event About Presidents from Virginia Don’t miss a chance to hear from a historian, archaeologist and author in person. Richard Byrd Library will be hosting Patrick O’Neill on Monday, February 25, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. He will be talking about the birthplaces and homes of the eight Virginia-born presidents at Virginia’s Presidential Homes. 4. Help the Kids with Their Presidents Day Homework Of course there are many Presidents Day resources available for kids, too. Many titles are available in the branches to teach children about the history behind the holiday and even more are available on George Washington or Abraham Lincoln. Plus, kids can read more about their favorite presidents online through the library’s subscription to Scholastic Go! There, children can see articles, images and videos on American presidents. The Gale Virtual Reference Library also offers resources on American presidents.

February 22, 2019
Library E-news 2-22-19: What's Happening with FCPL   FCPL Maker Day Is Saturday, March 9 Makerspaces and Maker Faires are becoming more popular as schools and communities embrace hands-on STEAM learning opportunities for students. FCPL is joining the maker movement with the first annual FCPL Maker Day on Saturday, March 9. Several branches are hosting events that are geared toward inventing, creating and tinkering, with the goal of helping children learn through doing. Some events, like slime making and crafting leprechaun traps, are good for all ages. Others, like the Hour of Code workshop or how to build your own gaming PC, are for teens. Some events require registration, so check before you go.   Say Goodbye to Screen Time with Resources from Your Library Major news outlets have been reporting on a recent study that linked increased screen time for toddlers to poorer performance on a developmental screening test. The library has many resources available to parents to support healthy development for their young children. From events for young children to support communication and social skills to programs like 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten and Starlings to encourage early literacy, the library has screen-free options for parents of young children. The library will also soon be rolling out a collection of Vox Books, books that combine pictures with audio to make early learning fun. Stay tuned for more information.     Register for Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light On Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m., join us for a viewing of Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light, a one-hour documentary that tells the story of black men and women in Paris during the early 20th century. Discover how their achievements affected civil rights across the world; impacted African American artistry and journalistic influences on Parisian culture; and influenced the value of Black entrepreneurship within Paris' international community. The film will be shown in the board auditorium at the Fairfax County Government Center, located at 12000 Government Center Parkway in Fairfax. It will be followed by a short presentation and panel discussion with Julia Browne, owner of Walking the Spirit Tours in Paris. Books and DVDs will be available for sale and signing. Registration for this event is required and opens today at 7 p.m.

Grow with Google

February 13, 2019
Earlier this month, Google and the American Library Association (ALA) announced that Herndon Fortnightly Library would be one of three sites in Virginia to host free workshops aimed at creating economic opportunities through improving digital skills. These workshops will take place March 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at the branch located at 768 Center Street in the Town of Herndon. “We’re proud to be part of this workforce development initiative between Google and the American Library Association,” said Fairfax County Public Library Director Jessica Hudson. “It’s a valuable opportunity for job seekers, small business owners and community members to enhance their digital literacy skills with a day of hands-on workshops at our Herndon Fortnightly branch.” The initiative, called Grow with Google, recognizes the critical role that libraries play in supporting workforce development. They are kicking off the effort with free, one-day events hosted at libraries, where Grow with Google staff will lead workshops for job seekers and small business owners, as well as library staff members. “Virginia is a center for innovation, entrepreneurship and manufacturing. By bringing the ‘Grow with Google’ tour to the state, we are making a commitment to help develop a skilled workforce that can meet the needs of Virginia’s growing economy,” said Erica Swanson, Google’s Head of Community Engagement. There will be four different in-person workshops held: Digital Skills for Your Community: Learn about free tools and resources that you can use to assist job seekers in conducting an online job search and learning new digital skills, and help small businesses learn how to reach customers online. This workshop includes curriculum that you can tailor for your own community needs. Note: This session is for library, education and nonprofit professionals only. Reach Customers Online with Google: Anyone who wants to learn new marketing skills or reach potential customers online will learn about search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, and social media marketing. The result? A strategy that can get your organization, business or event in from of your target audience. Get Found on Google Search and Maps: Explore Google My Business, a free tool for local businesses who want to connect with customers on Google Search and Maps. Get hands-on help creating or updating your listing, and learn how to make a free website. Get Started with Email, Spreadsheets and Presentations: Do your best work from wherever you are. In this interactive workshop for beginners, anyone interested in learning more about Gmail, spreadsheets, and presentations will gain first-hand experience using these products and learn helpful tips on how to collaborate and stay organized. You must register in advance at Space will be limited.

Fairfax Library Foundation logo

February 13, 2019
Library Director Jessica Hudson welcomes Lisa Bryant as Executive Director of the Fairfax Library Foundation, now in its 25th year of providing critical supplemental funding to the library. “The Fairfax Library Foundation is an extraordinary partner of the library. We welcome Lisa Bryant and look forward to working with her to continue our work providing modern library services to the residents of Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax,” said Hudson. Bryant starts her new position February 19. Read the full release online.

African-American History Month

January 28, 2019
Learn more about Black History Month and browse the events and materials below to expand your knowledge. Attend Celebrate Black History Month, at Patrick Henry Library. Drop in all month long for coloring sheets, word searches, crossword puzzles and other activities. Brer Rabbit Puppet Show, Saturday, February 2, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., Centreville Regional Library. Puppetopia will present three Brer Rabbit trickster tales. Registration required. Vienna’s African-American History, Saturday, February 2, 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Patrick Henry Library. Gloria Runyon and Sylvia Taylor from Historic Vienna Inc. will share insights on the African-American historic presence and contributions to Vienna and surrounding areas. Partnership with Vienna American Association of University Women (AAUW). History of the African American Spirituals: A Special Presentation at the Old Town Hall, Wednesday, February 6, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Old Town Hall in the City of Fairfax. Join Calvin Earl, the U.S. Spokesman for African American Spiritual as a National Treasure, for a special event exploring the history of the spiritual. This all-ages, interactive program is offered by the Fairfax County Public Library and the Parks Department, with the support of the Friends of the City of Fairfax Library. STEAM – Black History Celebration, Wednesday, February 20, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., Oakton Library. Celebrate Black History Month with your favorite preschooler with some exciting science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) activities. Registration opens February 6. Meet Author Walter Mosley, Sunday, February 24, 2 – 3:30 p.m., The Alden at the McLean Community Center. Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins (Devil in a Blue Dress) and Leonid McGill (The Long Fall) series, will discuss these characters in his talk, “From Generation to Generation: Stories of Fathers and Sons.” This event is cosponsored by The Alden. Registration is required. An Insider’s View of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Thursday, February 28, 6 – 9 p.m., Richard Byrd Library. Johari Rashad, PhD, shares information and insights about the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Read Check out your library branch for some recently published nonfiction on black history. Adult: Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires by Shomari Wills The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., by Jason Sokol More Than a Game: A History of the African American Experience in Sport by David Kenneth Wiggins Most of 14th Street Is Gone: The Washington, D.C., Riots of 1968 by Samuel J. Walker Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissance by Mark Whitaker Teen: African Americans in Political Office: From the Civil War to the White House by Barbara M. Linde We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden Children: Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford The Civil Rights Movement by Eric Braun Harriet Tubman, Freedom Fighter by Nadia L. Hohn Lunch Counter Sit-Ins: How Photographs Helped Foster Peaceful Civil Rights Protests by Danielle Smith-Llera Research Learn more about the people who made history in the library database Biography in Context. Or study your own family tree at Fairfax County Public Library's Virginia Room. The Virginia Room maintains a collection that’s rich in regional history and genealogy, including research on African-American ancestors. This month, there will also be a two-part class offered at the Centreville Regional Library on February 11 and February 25 specifically on African-American genealogy research. Registration required.

Ask Your Library live chat from any web-enabled device

January 14, 2019
The library has launched a new online reference service called “Ask Your Library.” It’s easy to chat with library staff: Click on the “Ask Your Library!” button on any page in the library’s website, Type your question in the chat screen. That’s it! Live chat is available: Monday through Thursday: 10 a.m.–Noon, 2–4 p.m. and 6–8 p.m. Friday: 10 a.m.–Noon, 2–4 p.m. Staff invite questions on any subject including traditional reference questions, questions about your account, library services, programs or other topics. If you are seeking book recommendations online, visit My Perfect Read and select a readers advisor to work with. We look forward to hearing from you in person, by phone or now online.

resolutions notebook

January 10, 2019
The new year motivates many of us to make positive changes, but sometimes our enthusiasm begins to flag before Groundhog Day arrives.  The Library can help you stay on track and achieve your goals. Start with the books (unless you aren’t a reader, then skip this part!): First of all, and this is the worst kept secret ever, but we have the best books! Maybe you are a reader and have read the latest John Grisham, but have you also browsed our nonfiction aisles? No matter what your 2019 goals include, library staff can connect you with the best books to help you achieve them. Do you want to get started on your memoir this year, get rid of your debt, buy a home or perhaps something less traditional like learn to make soap, or build deck or train your misbehaving dog? We have just the book to keep you on track, and if we don’t, you can use interlibrary loan to find a library that does. Not a reader? How about videos or recorded books? If learning from a book isn’t the best method for you, let us introduce you to our DVDs and audio books. An often-overlooked resource at the library are the Great Courses audios and DVDs, in which experts in a field teach everything from art and music to history and literature. provides online training for everything from computer programming to photography to banjo playing. It’s a great way to learn (or improve) job skills. Speaking of … that’s just the tip of the iceberg. is just one of the library’s databaseswe have more than 100 databases for students, professionals, retirees and everyone in between. Find articles, data and more in biography, current events, health and wellness, finance and other topics. You can even learn a new language. Is this the year you are going to find a new, better or just plain different job? Or pass a test for certification? We have in-depth resources to help you every step of the way from refreshing your resume and interview skills to practicing for exams.  The top two databases for job hunters are LearningExpress Library and Career Transitions. Stop by any library branch to get specific support for your dream career. Don’t forget the books about job hunting and career exploration! Last but not least: Library Events If you prefer to learn in person, or maybe your goal is to meet new people, then attend a library event. Browse the library’s calendar of events online or in print (hard copy available in branches) for programs of interest to you. There are opportunities each month to get better acquainted with technology, talk to others about books, discover a new a hobby, watch a movie, learn to play cards and more for all ages. Library staff are standing by to help you maintain your 2019 resolutions. It’s too early to give up!




2:00PM, Nationally acclaimed author Walter Mosley will appear Sunday,…