Library

Fairfax County, Virginia

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

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Nurture Your Environmental Literacy With Free Library Programs and Resources

Environmental Literacy Month

Throughout 2022 Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) is celebrating literacy in all its forms, showcasing a different type through programs, activities and resources each month. With Earth Day celebrated recently and spring blooming into summer, May is Environmental Literacy Month at your local library.

What is Environmental Literacy?

According to the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) as noted by the Ecological Society of America’s Ecosphere journal, environmental literacy is “an awareness of and concern about the environment and its associated problems, as well as the knowledge, skills, and motivations to work toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones.”

Whether you’re an avid environmentalist or gardener already, or you’d like to learn more about contributing to a healthier planet — or simply a greener neighborhood — for the next generations, the following library programs and resources will help you nurture your understanding of the natural world and our impact on it.

Free Environmental Literacy Month Events

Join FCPL virtually on Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. for a discussion about our favorite delectable and delicate foods that may disappear as a result of climate change. Advance registration is required.

Visit Sherwood Regional Library this month for hands-on workshops: upcycle old pieces of paper and cardboard and learn the art of storytelling through collage May 12 at 10:30 a.m.; and learn to grow and use 12 common culinary herbs May 22 at 2:30 p.m. Advance registration is required for both programs.

Explore gardening with native plants and wildlife in mind in a series of programs with local experts. Discover how to create a butterfly-friendly habitat in your own yard on Thursday, May 5, at 2 p.m. at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library. Pop into City of Fairfax Regional Library Saturday, May 7, from 1 to 3 p.m. for native plant seeds and advice from Fairfax County Master Gardeners. Explore ways to support songbirds and achieve personal landscaping goals with native plants in virtual presentations on May 9 and May 11. Advance registration is required for virtual programs.

For more events like this, check out the library events calendar at bit.ly/FCPL_GG-environment.

Lifelong Learning

FCPL cardholders can borrow fine-free* from the library’s collection and enjoy 60+ recommended books on the environment: bit.ly/FCPL_Env-Lit-Books.

Plus, find a curated list of virtual and in-person lifelong learning opportunities in the library’s online guide for Adults and 50-Plus at bit.ly/FCPL_LifelongLearning. Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs) are free, online, college-level courses from universities and other providers worldwide; numerous courses in environmental science and other environmental literacy topics are available at bit.ly/CourseBuffet_EnvSci and bit.ly/ClassCentral_EnvSci.

More for Gardeners

Find out how to help Fairfax County’s flora and fauna thrive in FCPL’s interview with a Plant NOVA Natives member. Read the article in the spring issue of Branch Out magazine: bit.ly/FCPL-flora-fauna.

Have more questions about any type of gardening? Ask a Fairfax County Master Gardener at a plant clinic! Find times and locations at bit.ly/FCPL_PlantClinics.

Finally, make sure you’re growing in healthy soil by picking up a soil testing kit from any FCPL branch: bit.ly/FFX_SoilTests.

*Some special collections, including interlibrary loans, Chromebooks and hotspots, continue to accrue overdue fines.

Year of Literacy Read full article May 6, 2022 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/Environmental%20Literacy%20Graphic.png 1
Boost Your Financial Literacy With Free Library Programs and Resources

Financial Literacy Month

Throughout 2022 Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) is celebrating literacy in all its forms, each month showcasing a different type through programs, activities, resources and materials. With tax season in full swing this month, April is all about Financial Literacy at your local library. Everyone from toddlers to retirees can hone their money smarts this month as FCPL celebrates Financial Literacy. Sign up for Money Smart Storytime, a webinar about financing college, an estate planning presentation and more!

What is Financial Literacy?

According to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy as noted by PBS.org, personal financial literacy is "the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being." Financial literacy can give you the confidence to make smart decisions and reach your goals — no matter what stage of life or financial situation you’re in. Check out the library’s programs and resources below to boost your financial literacy this month!

Free Financial Literacy Month Events

Visit Centreville Regional Library any time in April to participate in a financial literacy scavenger hunt and turn in your completed form by April 30 for the chance to win a personal finance book.

John Marshall branch is hosting Piggy Bank Family Storytime Saturday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m. Register for stories and a craft!

Join FCPL virtually on Tuesday, April 19, at 7 p.m. for a workshop on Savings & Investing: The Basics with Suzanne McGovern of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration is required for this online event.

If paying for education is in your future, join us virtually Tuesday, April 19 at 7 p.m. for Learn About Virginia529: A Tax-Advantaged Way to Pay for Education. Registration is required for this online event.

Bring your questions and learn about all aspects of Social Security from an expert in a presentation by AARP at Sherwood Regional Library on Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m.

Investing in the Digital Age is a virtual briefing by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at noon on Tuesday, April 26. Register now to learn:

  • Steps to build wealth 
  • What to consider when using investing apps 
  • Risks of digital assets, like cryptocurrencies 
  • Meme stocks and trading based on social media trends 
  • The risks of trying to pick winners or time the market
  • Protecting your money from investment scams.

Interested in tax help, too? Appointments are available through April 16 for AARP Tax Help at Herndon Fortnightly Library and VITA Tax Assistance at Kingstowne Library. Find dates, times and registration at bit.ly/FCPL_TaxHelp.

Always-Available Money Management Resources

FCPL cardholders now enjoy fine-free* borrowing from the library’s collection, which includes 500+ books, eBooks and audiobooks on personal finance: bit.ly/FCPL_ReadPersonalFinance. Plus, you can access digital resources anytime and anywhere you have an internet connection by visiting the online guide to Finance, Investing and the Economy at research.fairfaxcounty.gov/finance for curated information, databases, tools and more.

*Some special collections, including interlibrary loans, Chromebooks and hotspots, continue to accrue overdue fines.

Year of Literacy Read full article April 6, 2022 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/YoL_Financial_fb_post%20%28002%29.jpg 1
Read and Feed

Read and Feed

For several years, Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) has hosted a “Food for Fines” drive each fall as a way of facilitating food donations to our partner organization, Food for Others, which offers library cardholders a reduction on their fines.

As of Jan. 1, FCPL no longer charges overdue fines on most materials. To continue its partnership with Food for Others, FCPL is now hosting “Read and Feed” in April. Those who wish to give may simply drop off donations at any FCPL branch during its regular hours throughout the month of April.

Most needed items include:

  • Oil
  • Cereal
  • Canned tomato products (crushed, peeled, diced, etc.), 4 oz. – 1 lb.
  • Canned meat (chicken, turkey, or seafood), 2 oz. – 15 oz.
  • Rice, 16 oz. packages
  • Spaghetti sauce, 14 oz. – 1 lb. (ideally in cans instead of glass)
  • Canned fruit (packed in fruit juice instead of syrup) 11 oz. – 20 oz.
  • Dried or canned beans (black, kidney, pinto, etc.)
  • Pasta
  • Fruit juice (100% juice) 32 oz. – 64 oz.
  • New or clean reusable grocery bags
  • Can openers

Food for Others is unable to accept donations of:

Items that are more than three years expired, opened items, food that is not labeled, homemade items, cooked food, or toiletries.

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FCPL Returns to Its Regularly Scheduled Programming

television, "We now return to our regularly scheduled programming."

Beginning Sunday, April 3, all regional and community branches will return to their regular schedules.

Regional branches will be open:

  • 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Community branches will be open:

  • 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Community branches will not be open on Sundays.

FCPL’s Access Service branch remains open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Ask Your Library chat support via the website and text messaging continues to be available 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Curbside pickup remains available to cardholders on the days branches are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Annual Staff Excellence Awards Presented to FCPL Staff Members

Staff Excellence Awards; Congratulations

The Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) Board of Trustees on Wednesday evening honored several staff members with its annual Staff Excellence Awards.

Library users nominated their favorite staff members this February, and a board committee selected winners from nearly 150 nominations recognizing staff members from 12 branches and FCPL’s administrative services. Board members introduced each winner and shared an excerpt from their nomination during Wednesday’s virtual meeting.

2022 FCPL Staff Excellence Award Winners

  • Vicki Corcoran, information assistant at Richard Byrd Library
  • Renee Edwards, programming and educational services director at FCPL Administrative Services
  • Kelly Gilbert, youth services assistant at Chantilly Regional Library
  • Jane Girondo, early literacy assistant at FCPL Administrative Services
  • Robert Harsher, reader’s advisor at Access Services
  • Jill Johnson, branch manager at Burke Centre Library
  • Christine Jones, branch manager at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library
  • Rebecca LaPlante, assistant branch manager at Pohick Regional Library
  • Christine Lomax, page manager at Woodrow Wilson Library
  • Elaine McRey, librarian at City of Fairfax Regional Library
  • Kim Nguyen, library aide at Burke Centre Library
  • Shazia Shehryar, page manager at Oakton Library
  • Rebecca Takacs, youth services assistant at Reston Regional Library
  • Anita Toth, youth services assistant at Burke Centre Library
  • Erica Tran, library aide at John Marshall Library
  • Maree Watkins, librarian at City of Fairfax Reginal Library
  • Nora Wickert, information assistant at Dolley Madison Library
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Celebrate Women's History Month With Your Library This March

Women's History Month

FCPL is offering events and programming this Women’s History Month to celebrate, honor and educate. You can also check out titles curated for Women’s History Month by FCPL librarians or view selections in Kanopy’s collection of films honoring women from around the world and their contributions to science, politics, art, society and more. Don’t have a Kanopy account yet? Learn more about this streaming service brought to you by FCPL.

Book lovers can join author Joyana Peters at Patrick Henry Library Tuesday, March 8, at 7 p.m. to learn about the Garment Workers’ Uprising in 1909 and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911, events fictionalized in her book The Girl in the Triangle. Advance registration is required.

For those interested in women’s involvement in World War II, three events delve into the subject:

  • On March 9 at 7 p.m., virtually meet Kaia Alderson, author of Sisters in Arms. This fictional story is about two daring women who were part of the Army's first class of female officers and the first Black women allowed to serve their country during World War II. Advance registration is required.
  • Irving Lubliner recently published the powerful stories his mother wrote before her death about her internment during WWII in Polish ghettos and two Nazi concentration camps, Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen, in the book Only Hope: A Survivor’s Stories of the Holocaust. Join him virtually Wednesday, March 16, at 7 p.m. when he will share excerpts from the book and discuss his process in bringing the project to fruition. Advance registration is required.
  • On Thursday, March 17, at 12 p.m., author Kayleen Reusser will share stories about some of the 350,000 American women who joined the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and Army Air Corps during WWII. Advance registration is required.

End the month with master storyteller Diane Macklin’s virtual presentation of “Threads of Freedom: Stories Woven Into African American Quilts” on Thursday, March 31, at 7 p.m. Advance registration is required.

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Traveling While Black Virtual Reality Experience Comes to FCPL

Traveling While Black

Immerse yourself in living history. Sherwood Regional Library in Alexandria is hosting the Traveling While Black interactive program from Feb. 22 to April 2, 2022. Visitors to this cinematic virtual reality exhibit experience lessons about restricted movement and race relations in the U.S. as shared by patrons around a booth in D.C.’s historic Ben's Chili Bowl. Hourlong slots are available to the public and advance registration is required.

Ben’s Chili Bowl has been a Washington, D.C., mainstay of the African American community since 1958, bearing witness to significant Civil Rights milestones that are woven into the film in powerful snippets of footage. From the stirring memories of Civil Rights leader Courtland Cox to the heartbreaking words of Samaria Rice, whose young son Tamir was killed by police in 2014, virtual reality connects the parallels of the past to the present.

Can’t make it to the Sherwood Regional branch or want more information about the history of traveling while Black? Join the Burke Historical Society virtually on Saturday, Feb. 26, at 3 p.m. for the presentation “You Will Find It Handy: Traveling Through the Old Dominion With the Green Book.” Refusal of service and other threats made automobile and other travel extremely difficult for Black travelers. The Negro Motorist Green Book, published from 1936 to 1967 and renamed The Negro Travelers’ Green Book in 1952, provided a trusted guidebook to ensure safe travels. This presentation highlights more than 300 Virginia sites advertised in The Green Book between 1938 and 1967. Registration is required.

Traveling While Black Read full article February 16, 2022 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/TWB_fb_post1.jpg 1
FCPL Announces Schedule Modification

FCPL temporary hours adjustmentBeginning Sunday, Jan. 16, and effective through April 1, all regional and community Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) branches will be closed every Sunday and Monday. These branches will open in keeping with their regularly scheduled hours Tuesday through Saturday.

Regional libraries will be open Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Community libraries will be open Tuesday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Access Services branch located at the Fairfax County Government Center will maintain its usual hours Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

View a system map and listing of regional and community branches.

The current surge in COVID-19 cases and a high number of vacancies necessitated this change in hours.

FCPL is always available online! Search our digital offerings via Libby, or explore ten other ways to enjoy your local library from home.

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FCPL Board of Trustees Approves Move to Fine-Free Library Service Model

FCPL is now fine freeAt its Dec. 8 virtual meeting, the Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) Board of Trustees approved a new policy that ends the practice of charging overdue fines on most library materials.

"The FCPL Board of Trustees has approved eliminating fines on most library materials and joins surrounding jurisdictions in removing this significant barrier to equitable access to information and library services," said FCPL Board of Trustees Chair Fran Millhouser.

Library staff members are working to ensure the system is set to forgive fines already incurred and stop imposing most fines beginning around Jan. 1, 2022.

Overdue fines remain in effect for some special collections and interlibrary loan materials.

“Equity is driving our shift to a fine-free model of library services; we don’t want accrual of overdue fines to deter anyone who wants to use the library,” said FCPL Director Jessica Hudson.

FCPL analysis showed that overdue fines disproportionately affected young people and those in low-income areas. Pre-pandemic, “blocked” cards (accounts not allowed to check out materials due to having more than $15 in fines) were about 17% of the total cardholder population. “Blocked” youth cards (accounts for users under the age of 18) were 23% of the youth cardholder population.

“Blocked” card numbers are higher in areas served by Reston Regional Library (Hunter Mill District), City of Fairfax Regional Library, George Mason Regional Library (Mason District), Kingstowne Library (Mt. Vernon/Lee District) and Sherwood Regional Library (Mt. Vernon District). There appears to be a link between low-income communities and higher numbers of blocked library accounts.

Library systems around the nation, including in all neighboring counties, have gone fine-free and experienced surges in returned materials. These systems have also found that their cardholders continue to return materials on time, even without the threat of fines, Hudson said.

FCPL’s special collections that will continue to incur overdue fines include but are not limited to: interlibrary loan materials, Chromebooks and mobile hotspots.

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Free Rapid COVID-19 Antigen At-home Test Kits Available At Fairfax County Public Library Branches Beginning Friday
Call your branch to confirm availability before traveling to pick up a kit. Please see the alert bar at the top of this page and all FCPL web pages for the most up-to-date information about availability.

COVID testsFairfax County residents can pick up rapid COVID-19 antigen at-home test kits for free at their local libraries beginning Dec. 3, 2021. The Virginia Department of Health is partnering with libraries as part of a pilot program to provide these tests to the public so community members can know their status and get early care. Early action can help break transmission.

“Libraries are trusted community hubs, and we are pleased to support public health initiatives like this partnership with the Virginia Department of Health,” said FCPL Director Jessica Hudson.

The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Card Home Test kits are virtually guided by a trained telehealth proctor; proctors are available who speak English and Spanish. The tests require an internet connection, an internet-enabled device (computer, mobile phone or tablet) with a webcam or front-facing camera, microphone, speaker and supported web browser, and a valid photo ID to show the proctor. Information on supported browsers is available at this webpage.

Once completed, rapid antigen tests provide results in 15 minutes.

Neither proof of residency nor a library card is required to pick up the test kits. Tests should not be completed in the library; however, most FCPL branches provide a strong Wi-Fi signal in their parking lots.

For those exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, FCPL asks they request kits via the library’s contactless curbside pickup service.

FCPL’s community branches are open Monday through Saturday, and its eight regional branches are open seven days a week. Details about branch hours and locations are available on the library’s website. Tests will be available at all FCPL branches.

Information about who should be tested is available at the Virginia Department of Health’s website.

Individuals who test positive should isolate and follow up with their health care provider or the Fairfax County Health Department. The VDH After Testing webpage provides guidance on next steps following COVID-19 test results.

More information on this program is available here or by calling 1-877-829-4682.

If you need a test, more information is available here.

COVID-19 Rapid Tests Available Read full article November 29, 2021 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/Rapid_tests_FB_0.jpg 1
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