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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Four Ways to Improve Your Writing at the Library

Writing Tips


The library is a great place for writers at every level whether you need a comfortable place to work, want to discuss your projects with other writers, get inspired at special events, meet one-on-one with a writing tutor or find a good book on writing.

1. Get Inspired at an Upcoming Event

Sisters in Crime Write-a-Thon, Saturday, February 10, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Reston Regional Library. Authors from the Sisters in Crime Chesapeake Chapter will be writing all day at Reston Regional Library. Join them to work on your own mystery and ask questions.

Partners in Crime: Author Josh Pachter on Successful Writing Collaborations, Thursday, February 22, 7:30 – 9 p.m., Patrick Henry Library. Learn from experienced mystery short story writer and anthology collaborator, Josh Pachter. Find out about this growing trend and how the collaboration process works. James Patterson, Clive Cussler and Catherine Coulter, among others, are now working with lesser known authors in collaborations that extend their reach and give "a leg up" to new talent.

2. Work One-on-One with a Writing Tutor

One-on-one Writing Tutoring, Saturday, February 10, 1 p.m., (recurring event) George Mason Regional Library. During a 50-minute conversation learn research tips, improve your writing process and work on your current writing or research project. Writing sessions can include essays cover letters creative writing brainstorming and citations. Bring a copy of your work to the session.

3. Discuss your Projects with Other Writers

Meet other writers, receive feedback on your writing and provide suggestions for others. The following branches offer writing groups: Thomas Jefferson, Herndon Fortnightly, Great Falls and Chantilly Regional. Their next meetings are listed below, but check the calendar for future meetings, if these dates don’t work.

Thomas Jefferson Writers' Group, Tuesday, February 13, 7 – 9 p.m.

Fortnightly Writers' Group, Monday, February 12, 6:30 – 9 p.m.

Great Falls Writers Group Thursday, February 8, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Writers of Chantilly, Monday, May 7, 6:30 - 8:45 p.m.

4. Get Tips from Famous Authors Through their How-to Books








Writing Tips Read full article February 7, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/writing-tips-753x662.jpg 1
2018 Winter Olympics At the Library

A special 2018 Winter Olympics Wall-Size Display at Pohick Regional Library.

Pohick Regional Library is celebrating the 2018 Winter Olympics with a full-length wall display identifying each of the major winter sport categories with room to post the medal-winners throughout the duration of the Olympic competitions. It also includes interesting facts about the Olympic games over the years.


Speed stacking is one of Pohick's fun Olympic-themed games.

The Pohick branch also has fun Olympic-themed activities to engage visitors, young and old alike. Included are a race-to-the-podium game, a cup-stacking contest and an imaginative “create your own country” activity for which you get to design your country’s flag. Library staff can also steer you to books, magazines and online resources to expand your knowledge about the Olympics.


You get to create your own country and then design your country's flag as one of the Olympic-themed events at Pohick Regional Library.

'Contestants on the game board race to win a medal at the podium.



Wall-size 2018 Winter Olympics Display at Pohick Regional Library. Read full article February 5, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/olympic%20board%20at%20pohick_edited-2.jpg 1 Top
New Girls Who Code Clubs Start Soon

Girls Who CodeLearning a new language can open up new doors, and when that language is computer coding, the benefits to students can impact their career choice and future income. According to Beyond Point and Click: The Expanding Demand for Coding Skills by Burning Glass, “The ability not only to use but also to program software is often required of business people who work with data, of designers and marketers who create websites, of engineers who build products and technologies, and of scientists who conduct research.”

The next Girls Who Code clubs are set to start at four different library branches. For hands on instruction in coding, in small group settings, girls in grades 6-12 are encouraged to sign up for one of the following a series of weekly classes:

February 5 at Centreville Regional Library

February 20 at Chantilly Regional Library

February 26 Martha Washington Library

March 3 at George Mason Regional Library

The first session of Girls Who Code at Kingstowne Library in 2017 graduated sixteen girls. The clubs meet for two hours each week for up to ten weeks. Classes are taught by volunteers who work in the tech sector. In addition to learning how to build a website by coding, the girls in the Kingstowne club reported learning how to “take chances, speak in front of others and that it’s okay to make mistakes.” They also learned collaboration, commitment and teamwork and were rewarded with new skills, new friends and the feeling of accomplishment when you set a goal for yourself and are able to follow through to attain it.

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. FastCompany published a recent article about the continuing gender gap “The Tech Gender Gap Visualized.” Girls Who Code is a leader in the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities by sponsoring 500 after-school clubs for teenage girls all over the country.

For more information, please call the library branch.

Centreville Regional Library

Chantilly Regional Library

Martha Washington Library

George Mason Regional Library

Girls Who Code Read full article February 2, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/girls-who-code3-1000x480.jpg 1
Black History Month at the Library

Celebrate Black History Month at the library in February. First, test your knowledge of black history with this quiz then fill in any gaps with library events, books and online and in person resources for additional exploration. 


Soul in Motion: Back to the Root, Saturday, February 10, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., Centreville Regional Library. This explosive group of dancers and drummers will explore the rhythms and culture of Western Africa. Interactive fun for the whole family.

Unsung Heroes of the Civil War, Saturday, February 10, 2 – 3 p.m., Martha Washington Library. Learn about the efforts of African Americans during the Civil War. Presented by Civil Defenses of Washington of the National Park Service. Registration required.

Piedmont Bluz, Sunday, February 18, 2 – 4 p.m., Reston Regional Library. Piedmont Bluz Acoustic Duo plays traditional African American folk music. They help preserve this music through workshops and presentations. Sponsored by the Friends of the Reston Regional Library.

Enslaved and Free Blacks Whose Inventions Changed the World Thursday, February 22, 7 - 8:30 p.m., George Mason Regional Library. Learn about the crucial inventions developed by enslaved people which helped cultivate our country. Presented by the National Park Service. Registration required.


Here are a few selected titles on African-American history, but search the catalog or talk to library staff to discover other titles related to inventors, musicians, leaders, authors, artists and other subjects of interest to you.

A Child's Introcution to African American Hisotry: The Experience, People, and Events that Shaped our Country1001 Things Everyone Should Know about African American HistoryFreedom: A Photographic History of the African American Struggle

1001 Things Everyone Should Know About African American History by Jeffrey C. Stewart

A Child's Introduction to African American History: The Experience, People, and Events that Shaped our Country by Jabari Asim

Autobiography of a People: Three Centuries of African American History told by those who Lived it by Herby Boyd

Creating Black Americans: African-American history and its Meanings, 1619 to the Present by Nell Irvin Painter.

Freedom: A Photographic History of the African American Struggle by Manning Marable

Life Upon these Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 by Henry Louis Gates, Jr


Learn more about the people who made history in two library databases including Biography in Context and Women in History.

Or study your own family tree at Fairfax County Public Library's Virginia Room. The Virginia Room maintains a collection rich in regional history and genealogy including research on African-American ancestors.


Black History Month Read full article January 30, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/African-American-%20History-960x312.jpg 1
Fighting Fake News with Critical Thinking and Civil Discourse

Returning to a Branch near You in 2018: News, Blues and How to Defuse Workshops

As citizens we have to be more thoughtful and more educated and more informed. I turn on the TV and I see these grown people screaming at each other, and I think, well, if we don't get our civility back we're in trouble. – Emmylou Harris

Hopefully, you haven’t lost your civility yet, and let’s keep it that way. Our popular workshop series “Hot Topics: News Blues and How to Defuse” is returning to library branches in 2018. You are welcome to attend one session or all five.

Take a glimpse of one of the earlier sessions (video).

These interactive workshops are facilitated by experts from George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution and Fairfax County librarians. Each session features a slightly different look at media literacy and how to promote civil dialogue on controversial issues. Attend all five and you’ll have a toolbox for dealing with fake news and pursuing civil discourse. No registration needed for any of the workshops.

Monday, January 29, 7-8:30 p.m.
George Mason Regional Library

Monday, February 26, 7-8:30
Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library

Thursday March 29, 7-8:30
City of Fairfax Regional Library

Tuesday April 24, 7-8:30
Kingstowne Library

Tuesday May 29, 7-8:30
Herndon Fortnightly Library

No registration required.

Can’t make it to any of the sessions? Pick up – or download – some recent titles and steel yourself for continued constructive conversations, online or in person, about topics safe (favorite local burger joint?) and sensitive (religion, politics, toilet paper over or under?).

Check with your local library staff for more tips and resources on effective communications and determining authenticity of information.

Hot Topics: News Blues Read full article January 22, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/news-blues-1716x1200.jpg 1
Library Board of Trustees Approves Updated Memorandum of Understanding with Library Friends Groups

The Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees approved a revised Memorandum of Understanding between individual library Friends, the Library Board and the Fairfax County Public Library at its January 10, 2018, meeting, concluding more than nine months of work on the document. The library is fortunate to have more than 20 active Friends groups that support the library in numerous ways including donating funds raised through the sale of used books mainly provided by the library, sponsoring events such as the Summer Reading Adventure, and many other worthwhile projects. Miriam Smolen, Chair of the ad hoc MOU Committee of the Library Board shared that “The Friends members are passionate volunteers who provide invaluable services to the Library.”

The new MOU, which replaces a prior 2006 version, provides additional clarity and details regarding the relationship and requirements among the three parties. Components of the document cover communication and coordination, use of the library resources and organization of the Friends groups. The document also details the responsibilities of the Board and the library towards their non-profit partners.

Jessica Hudson, library director, stated that “The MOU offers a chance for the Board, the Friends and staff to recommit to the partnership. The MOU offers clarity in terms of steps to take in order to maintain transparency, public accountability and strong and productive relationships.”

Members of the Library Board of Trustees expressed their appreciation for the Friends groups and the important work they do for the library and the staff during discussions at the January meeting.

Over the next few months, library staff will work with the Friends groups on execution of the document. Once signed, the MOU will remain in effect for five years, with optional five year extensions.

Friends Group Book Sale image Read full article January 17, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/RR-Book-Sale1824x1319.jpg 0
How well do you know your Library?

Did you know that we have …

3-D printers?

  • Yep!

Teen gaming centers?

  • Yep!


  • Yep!

Items beyond books available for lending?

  • Yep, including thermal cameras, nature backpacks and Civil War Education kits. (More items coming soon.)

How can you stay on top of it all? It’s easy …

  • Visit your local library branch regularly and ask what’s new. Pick up an events calendar while you’re there.

  • Visit us online and spend some time browsing the website and LibGuides.

  • Follow the library on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Sign up for the library newsletters including the weekly e-news, Family Fun, Ready to Read, Wowbrary and Loud and Clear for people with disabilities.

  • Visit the library’s Flickr and YouTube pages. (They will make you smile; we guarantee it.)

  • Watch the library’s quarterly cable show “Check it Out,” produced by the county’s own Channel 16 staff.

Your library supports job seekers, career changers, students at every level, business owners, parents, teens, caregivers, new Americans, entrepreneurs, older adults, preschoolers, and those that just want a “third place” between work/school and home to hangout and access the Wi-Fi.

And one last thing …. Check out our phenomenal online resources (we sometimes call them databases) … what a wealth of curated and authoritative information to meet your needs whether financial, health, academic, business, auto mechanics, studying for a test … (and more, more, more) don’t bypass this incredible portal to stats, articles, educational resources and fun ways to learn for all ages … discovered by you (not Google). If you like to be in the know and help others find what they need, browse the database collection today and help us spread the word!



Gaming at the Pohick Library Teen Center Read full article December 15, 2017 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/technology/po-teens.jpg 0
Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library Reopens

New and improved features of the 24,521 square-foot building include:

  • New exterior and interior design features
  • Upgrades to building systems
  • Energy efficiency improvements – the project is registered with the certification goal of LEED silver
  • Upgrades to power and technology options such as more public access computers and wireless networking

The beautifully renovation Tysons-Pimmit library.

Also these enhancements:

  • Double gaming console
  • Early literacy station for preschoolers
  • Quiet and group study rooms
  • Large children’s area
  • More community meeting space
  • Coming soon- screen casting abilities in meeting spaces and kids iPad table
The renovated Tysons-Pimmit library boasts a beautiful new interior. Read full article October 30, 2017 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/TY-ceiling-200x150.jpg 0
See Your Way to Savings with Thermal Cameras on Loan at Fairfax County Libraries

If you have a library card, you could start saving on your monthly cooling and heating bills.

To celebrate Earth Day, we’re putting thermal cameras on loan for the first time ever through the Fairfax County Public Library. These cameras, which attach to your smartphone, allow you to see hot and cold spots in your home that aren’t visible to the naked eye. You’ll be able to see your way to savings by finding air leaks and poor insulation.

Thermal imaging shows cold spots where a home is leaking heat.

These easily fixable problems may be costing you. On average, $200 to $400 per year could be going to waste as a result of drafty doors, windows or other air leaks, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Put a camera on hold today and it will be delivered to the library branch of your choice beginning April 22, which is Earth Day. Go to the library catalog, and search for "thermal camera". A total of eight cameras are available to loan for this free program.

The cameras work with many versions of iPhone and Android devices. View these iPhone or Android instructions to see if your phone is compatible.

“You could save 17 percent on your cooling and heating costs by sealing and insulating your home well,” said Jessica Lavender, a utilities analyst with the county citing research from the U.S. EPA for homes in our area.

Fairfax County is offering the cameras through a partnership with the library and Energy Action Fairfax, a program to help homeowners save money, cut energy use and reduce their carbon footprint.

“The thermal camera is a unique concept and a good example of a new tech development that we think will be of interest to our customers,” said Jessica Hudson, director of the Fairfax County Public Library. “We’re committed to providing the type of high-tech resources that patrons can and should be able to expect when they come to the library.”

The cameras can also take spot temperature measurements and show results in a variety of color palates.

They are easy to use, and just as easy are many of the project suggestions posted online, Lavender said. For example, most hardware stores sell sweeps for drafty doors and weather stripping for leaky windows. These improvements don’t cost much, so homeowners will recoup their cost quickly and start saving money.

Learn more about common areas for air leaks or missing insulation and how to fix them.

Thermal image shows where cold is coming in. Read full article October 24, 2017 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/thermal-imaging-cameras-200x150.jpg 0 Top Is Now Available for Libraries contains over 6,000 online courses geared toward business, technology and creative fields, with new courses added weekly.

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Please note: existing Lynda accounts—either personal or enterprise versions—cannot be merged with Lynda for Libraries. logo Read full article October 30, 2017 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/lynda-bw-200x150.jpg 0 Top