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,

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Enjoy Seasonal Festivities at the Library in December

Leave the hustle and bustle behind and enjoy the library’s calming sense of peace during December. Select from many great programs from crafting and book discussions to meditation and yoga. Visit our online calendar of events to see all the activities happening in December.

Here are a few seasonal programs to enjoy. Find more online or in our printed calendar of events available at library branches.

holly berry

Winter Holiday Open House at Herndon Fortnightly Library

Saturday, December 1, 12:30 – 4 p.m. Music, children's crafts, light refreshments and a visit with Santa. All ages.

A Taste of the Holidays with Chef Cal at Pohick Regional Library

Saturday, December 1, 3 – 4:30 p.m. Chef Cal presents tips and recipes to make easy and delicious holiday meals. Adults. Sign up online or call 703-644-7333 TTY: 711.

Holiday Cookie & Recipe Swap at Centreville Regional Library

Tuesday, December 4, 7 – 8 p.m. Bring your favorite cookie recipe to share with other cookie bakers. Bring two dozen homemade cookies and take home an assortment, along with great recipes. Adults. Sign up online or call 703-830-2223 TTY: 711.

 Adult Craft Night: Light Up Holiday Cards at Martha Washington Library

Thursday, December 6, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Create a unique holiday card that lights up. All supplies provided. Adults. Sign up online or call 703-768-6700 TTY: 711.

Winter Craft Night at Lorton Library

Thursday, December 6, 7 – 8:30 p.m. Create winter-themed crafts to decorate your home for the winter season and holidays. Materials provided. Adults and teens. Sign up online or call 703-339-7385 TTY: 711.

Holiday Open House at Oakton Library

Saturday, December 8, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Celebrate the holiday season with light refreshments, entertainment and fun for all ages.

Holiday History Book Mart at City of Fairfax Regional Library

Sunday, December 9, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. Local authors will be selling their books at this Holiday History Book Mart. Meet authors who have written about the history of this county and surroundings. Free event sponsored by the library and the Friends of the Virginia Room. Adults.

Winter Holiday Crafts at Thomas Jefferson Library

Monday, December 10, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Make 3D paper snowflakes, candy cane reindeer, ornaments and other winter-themed crafts. All ages.

Fireside Cafe Burke Centre Library

Tuesday, December 11, 7 – 8 p.m. Hear beautiful music performed by Robinson Concert Orchestra while relaxing by our flickering fireplace and savoring hot chocolate. All ages.

Holiday Movie at Dolley Madison Library

Friday, December 14, 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Enjoy Disney's “A Christmas Carol,” complete with popcorn and drinks. "Jim Carrey stars as Ebenezer Scrooge in this adaptation of Dickens' classic holiday tale about the value of generosity and the true meaning of Christmas." Rated PG. Age 6-12.

Holiday Open House Pohick Regional Library

Saturday, December 15, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Join us as we celebrate the holiday season with light refreshments, music, face painting and other fun activities. All ages.

Holiday Open House Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library

Saturday, December 15, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Join the Tysons-Pimmit staff as we celebrate the holidays. Hear music from the Marshall High School choir; enjoy children's crafts and treats from the Tysons-Pimmit Friends. All ages.

Holiday Open House Martha Washington Library

Saturday, December 15, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Stop in for holiday fun, music, refreshments and face painting. All ages.

Holiday Open House at Reston Regional Library

Saturday, December 15, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Celebrate the holiday season with light refreshments, music, entertainment and fun. Al ages.

Holidays at Hogwarts Movie Matinee at Woodrow Wilson Library

Wednesday, December 26, 2 – 5 p.m. Catch a matinee showing of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” (PG). You are welcome to bring snacks, blankets and the whole family.

Holiday Movie at Herndon Fortnightly Library 

Friday, December 28, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Watch the movie “Frozen” (PG) and enjoy snacks provided by the Friends of the Herndon Fortnightly Library. Wear your favorite princess dress! All ages.

holiday hot chocolate small

Holiday Hot Chocolate Read full article November 27, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/holiday-hot-chocolate-960x628.jpg 1
Donations Pour in During Library’s Food For Fines Program

Board of Trusteew with donated food
The Library Board of Trustees participates in Food For Fines at George Mason Regional Library November 2018.

A recent Fairfax County study revealed 8.4 percent of students reported going hungry in the past month due to a lack of food in the home, a factor which impacts a child’s ability to learn.

With the library’s commitment to literacy and learning, it made perfect sense to partner with Food for Others, a not-for-profit food pantry and food rescue operation, during the month of November to serve Fairfax County families living with food insecurity.

Miriam Smolen, Chair of the Library’s Board of Trustees, says the Food for Fines program “helps the library raise food for a worthy cause while raising awareness of an important issue affecting children and learning in the United States.”

“The community has been so generous,” said Smolen. “Since November 1, more than 4,000 items have already been dropped off at our branches.”

Anyone can support their neighbors by bringing canned goods and other non-perishable items to their nearest library branch. Donations can also reduce or eliminate fines accrued on the individual’s library card account. Each item donated will erase $1 from a patron’s overdue fines up to a maximum of $15.

Non-perishable food items most in need include canned meats and tuna, macaroni and cheese, cereal, peanut butter, stew and chili (canned), pasta and rice, pasta sauce, canned fruit, beans, fruit juice and vegetable oil.

Visit the branch locations webpage for a list of library branches.

Priscille Dando, Library Board of Trustees
Priscille Dando, FCPS representative on the Library Board of Trustees

Image of the Library Board of Trustees Read full article November 16, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/BOT-group-shot-%20FFF-2484x1800.jpg 1
John Marshall Library Reopens Oct. 27, 2018

Rendering of John Marshall Library

When the renovated John Marshall Library opens it will house 44,000 items in its 14,700-square-foot space. Consider how far we’ve come since John Marshall first opened in 1963 in a 2,450-square-foot storefront with only 6,000 books. The current building, located at 6209 Rose Hill Drive, Alexandria, opened in 1975.

1960s photo of John Marshall Library storefront“We’ve missed our library,” said Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay, who will officially open the branch with a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. on Oct. 27. “I’m so excited for the community to see the major renovations that have taken place and be able to experience this wonderful new space firsthand. Between the new meeting spaces and all the natural light, this is truly an environmentally-friendly building of which we can all be proud.”

Visitors to the newly renovated branch will have access to 12 public computers, a group study room for six, and multiple meeting spaces for up to 56 participants. With two additional conference rooms, the space has been renovated for community meetings and usage specifically in mind. The meeting rooms and conference rooms are available for use after hours. Younger customers can enjoy the teen gaming center, an early literacy station and a bright and cheerful children’s alcove.

The building’s infrastructure has been updated to meet the needs of today’s technology. The renovated branch offers charging stations, a Wi-Fi bar and additional electrical sockets and USB ports.

All are invited to enjoy the day-long festivities on the 27th.

10 a.m.
Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

11 a.m.
123 Andrés Show (music and dance for kids)

11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Face Painting and Glitter Tattoos
Technology Open House—Learn about 3D printing, Spheros, Google Cardboard and Button Making

12:30 p.m.
Music by Ritorno a Musica with light refreshments

1 p.m.
Storytime “We’ve got Monsters!” Costumes encouraged!

The $6.3 million renovation was funded through a bond referendum approved by Fairfax County voters in 2012. The Capital Facilities Division of Fairfax County's Department of Public Works and Environmental Services oversaw the project from design to completion. Bowie Gridley Architects completed the design with Sorensen Gross Company overseeing construction. The building is the newest green building in Fairfax County designed to meet LEED Silver certification. Green features include LED lighting with photo sensors and occupancy sensors to reduce energy consumption and efficient HVAC and plumbing.

For directions and hours of operation visit the John Marshall Library webpage.

John Marshall Library Read full article October 11, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/JML-Exterior%20Entrance-181004-Final.jpg 1
25 Things You Can Do With Your Library Card for Free!

FCPL library card

  1. Learn a new language with Mango Languages
  2. Prepare for the SAT with Learning Express
  3. Search the millions of items in the online catalog
  4. Use the WiFi or a public computer
  5. Learn how to navigate the Internet
  6. Get book recommendations from My Perfect Read
  7. Use reliable, kid-friendly resources to do homework
  8. Check out books in large print for easier reading
  9. Trace your family tree
  10. Get picture books for storytelling at home
  11. Create a resume and apply for jobs online
  12. Bring your child to Storytime and meet other parents
  13. Have your children participate in our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program
  14. Receive weekly email updates to see what’s happening at your library
  15. Check out a Nature Backpack and gain free admission to any state park
  16. Reserve a meeting room for your nonprofit group
  17. Attend an interesting lecture by a local historian
  18. Shape up with an exercise video
  19. Consult consumer guides to decide what insurance, tablet, computer, car or washing machine to buy
  20. Join a book discussion group or check out a book discussion kit for your own book club.
  21. Borrow a thermal camera to check your home or business for hot and cold spots
  22. Attend an English Conversation Group to improve your English Language skills
  23. Download eBooks, eAudiobooks and magazines from anywhere with Overdrive and RBdigital
  24. Learn how to help your child gain early literacy skills
  25. Get help from the ultimate search engine – a librarian

librarian showing student a reference book on shelf

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Six Tips for a Successful School Year

librarian helping a student find a book

1) Get Support and Guidance from Library Staff

You are not alone at the library. Library staff are trained to help students find legitimate information sources online including historical newspapers, speeches, reference databases, trusted websites and more.

kids read with dad in a reading nook

2) Use Library Branches to Read and Study

We’ve got cozy reading nooks for reading in our branches, tables and chairs, quiet study rooms and small group study rooms.

3) Take Advantage of Free Online Tutoring Sessions with a Virginia-certified Teacher.

Free Homework help is available 24/7 through the library.

4) Find Books, Magazines and Newspapers

Whether you’re studying classics, history or current events, the library has over 2.2 million items in our collection including digital material and print material.

5) Use Library Resources to prep for Fall SATs and ACTs

Several different online sources offer test preparation for SAT, AP, ACT and SOL exams. Visit Learning Express to get started.

high school students taking SAT test

6) Access Free Wi-Fi and Computers.

That enables you to plug in and do just about any online research needed for school assignments.

grade school boys on their computers at the library

Let the library be your partner in academic success.

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Kids of Any Age Can Learn to Code

screen shot of Scratch web pageErik Missio in his post Why Kids Should Learn to Code and How to Get them Started, calls coding a “new literacy—a subject so important that every child needs to know the basics to excel in our rapidly changing world.”

One tool to introduce kids to coding (also known as computer programming) is called Scratch, which was developed at MIT. Kids can program their own interactive stories, games and animations through this simple program. Scratch, “primarily designed for 8 to 16-year-olds, can also be used by people of all ages, including younger children with their parents,” according to the Scratch website.

The library provides many opportunities to introduce children to coding including library programs, books and the online database for libraries. ( offers thousands of instructional videos; use the search function to find one for yourself or your kids.) You can also introduce your child to Scratch from the Scratch website.

“Fairfax County Public Library is committed to providing opportunities for children to learn about programming,” said Margaret Kositch, technology director. “For kids, coding is just another kind of puzzle, and there are many long-term benefits to equipping children with this problem-solving skill.”  

Here are three upcoming library coding program for kids:

Learn to Code: Scratch, Tuesday, August 14, 10:30–11:30 a.m., Kingstowne Library

Age 8-12. Registration required.

CoderDojo: Kids Learn to Code, Saturday, August 25, 1-3 p.m., Pohick Regional Library. Age 7-17. Registration required.

Hour of Code: Pirate Plunder, Tuesday, September 11, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Dolley Madison Library. Age 6-12. No registration but limited to the first 20 children to arrive.

Here are a few books from the library’s collection, click any book cover to place a hold:

Book cover: Scratch book cover: Scratch Challenge book cover: Coding Projects in Scratch

Find additional titles in the library catalog or work with library staff at your local library branch.

Learning Scratch helps “young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.” (From “The ability to code computer programs is an important part of literacy in today’s society. When people learn to code in Scratch, they learn important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas.”

You can learn more about why teaching kids to code is important through a Q&A with educational scholar Paul Goldberg from the nonprofit EDC and also 9 Reasons Your Child Should Learn to Code from IDTech a global company offering technology instruction.

Not convinced yet? Watch this Ted Talk to learn more about the benefits of teaching children to code and then get started coding!

Read full article August 2, 2018 1
Library Launches "My Perfect Read"

collage of profile pictures of all readers advisors

Knock. Knock.

Who’s There?

A fabulous book you’re going to love.

Great, what’s the title?

Visit My Perfect Read to discover it.

My Perfect Read is a new way to access readers advisors online to get personalized book recommendations emailed to you. 

Readers advisors, though always available at your local branch, will now also be just a click away online. With an estimated 175,000 books published annually in the United States, this is one way to make sure you don’t miss your next favorite book – or author.

Here’s how to get started: Go to

  1. Browse through the reader advisor profiles.
  2. Find an advisor who matches your interests.
  3. Use the “At Your Service” tab on your advisor’s profile to connect.

Your readers advisor will send you suggested titles to read.

That’s it! Enjoy your books and tell a friend.

My Perfect Read graphic Read full article July 10, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/My%20Perfect%20Read-1175x682.jpg 1
Engler Named to Library Board of Trustees

Brian Engler (photo courtesy of Bruce F. Press Photography).

Brian Engler of Burke has been appointed to the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees representing the Braddock District. Engler brings a strong background of public service and leadership along with a commitment to advance learning and literacy through community outreach.

Engler has served since 2012 as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Fairfax Library Foundation, and as such has spearheaded fundraising efforts directly supporting the library’s programs and resources.

In another area of service to the library, he is a charter life member of the Friends of the Burke Centre Library and serves as Secretary of the Board. In this role, he supports fundraising activities—principally used book sales—and provides photographic and other support to the staff of his community library.

Engler is an elected At-Large Trustee and Vice President of the Burke Centre Conservancy and a Fellow of the Military Operations Research Society. He also currently serves as a board member of the Center for Inquiry, an international non-profit dedicated to fostering a secular society based on reason, science and freedom of inquiry. 

Engler’s professional career was as an officer with the U.S. Navy. Later he served as an operations research analyst in private industry. Following that, he served as Executive Vice President of the Military Operations Research Society (MORS), a national, professional, educational not-for-profit society.

Read full article July 3, 2018 1
Library Board of Trustees Elects Officers

Miriam Smolen has been elected chairman of the Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees. A resident of Fairfax, Smolen has served as the Providence District representative to the board since 2015.

Miriam Smolen
     Miriam Smolen

Fran Millhouser has been elected as the vice chairman. Millhouser, a resident of Falls Church, has served as the Mason District representative to the Board since 2015.

Fran Millhouser
     Fran Millhouser

Their terms begin July 1, 2018, and last one year.

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.


Read full article July 5, 2018 0
Delegate Mark Sickles Honors Library Volunteers

Twenty-One of Your Neighbors Were Honored This Month At Fairfax County Public Library

In addition to being celebrated for the number of hours given to the library, five volunteers were recognized for providing volunteer service that was deemed exceptional by library staff. The impact of volunteers on daily library services cannot be over emphasized. In calendar year 2017, 1,581 volunteers dedicated over 115,000 hours to the library.

These treasured volunteers were publically recognized and applauded at the recent library board of trustees meeting by staff, trustees and Delegate Mark Sickles, who served as MC at the event.

Sickles said, “Volunteers play a significant role in the library’s ability to provide the highest customer service to county residents.” Sharing a quote that he said “truly recognizes the spirit of volunteerism,” Sickles said: “‘Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.’”

“‘Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.’”

The following volunteers are helping build the community we all want to live in, with a strong and well-loved library that supports all residents.

2018 Volunteer Star Awardees:

Exceptional Service Honorees

  • Margaret Culyba, Burke Centre Library
  • Jennifer Brooks, Herndon Fortnightly Library
  • Jaimi Turgeon, Herndon Fortnightly Library
  • Pauline Reid, Oakton Library
  • Georgia Chirieleison, Patrick Henry

Length of Service Volunteers

5,000 Hours
  • Su Davis, Reston Regional Library
3,000 Hours
  • Sandra Griffith, City of Fairfax Regional Library
  • Juanita Broome, Kings Park Library
1,000 Hours
  • John Florio, Burke Centre Library
  • Caroline Wilkinson, Burke Centre Library
  • Ronak Mohammed, Centreville Regional Library
  • Diane Redmond, Centreville Regional Library
  • Emmi Rose Ayo, Chantilly Regional Library
  • Maggie Belsan, City of Fairfax Regional Library
  • Anita Lopez, Kings Park Library
  • Betty Mackenzie, Kings Park Library
  • Yolanda Gaines, Kingstowne Library
  • Dianne McCune, Kingstowne Library
  • Susan Luvison, Oakton Library
  • Leanna Bell, Patrick Henry Library
  • Ro Hofford, Patrick Henry Library



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