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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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
  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

library card for Fairfax County Public Library branches Read full article September 6, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/library/library%20card%20with%20dots2.jpg 1
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.

students prep for SAT and ACT tests Read full article August 20, 2018 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/library/exam-prep_thumbnail.jpg 1
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 Lynda.com for libraries. (Lynda.com 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 https://scratch.mit.edu/about/.) “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 research.fairfaxcounty.gov/my-perfect-read.

  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
Nominations Now Open for FCPL Staff Excellence Awards

Staff Excellence Awards; Congratulations

Has a staff member at your local library branch recommended a new favorite book or helped you with a research project? Or maybe hosted a fantastic Fairfax County Public Library virtual program recently?

Nominate them for a Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) Staff Excellence Award using this online form.

Nominations can be submitted online or in person Feb. 14 to 28. The FCPL Board of Trustees will recognize winners during its March 9 virtual board meeting. 

Staff Excellence Awards Nominations Now Open Read full article February 14, 2022 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/Staff-Excellencea-Award_IG-FB_nom.jpg 0
Libby Officially Replaces OverDrive App

OverDrive app logo on the left, Libby app logo on the right, arrow in between pointing at the Libby app logo

Digital content distributor OverDrive is removing its legacy app "OverDrive" from the Apple App Store, Google Play and the Microsoft Store this month in preparation for the app’s full retirement. Libby, the OverDrive replacement app released several years ago, is now the primary mobile access.

Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) cardholders who are using the OverDrive app can continue using the installed legacy version until its full retirement. FCPL recommends downloading Libby to ensure uninterrupted access to FCPL digital content. Both apps can run concurrently on one device.

Libby offers several convenient features, elegantly handles multi-card households, includes easy navigation in ten different languages, and has more accessibility support than the OverDrive app.

Amazon for Fire has not yet approved the Libby app for users; the OverDrive app remains in the Amazon Appstore for the short term. Read more about why they are making the change.

verDrive app logo on the left, Libby app logo on the right, arrow in between pointing at the Libby app logo Read full article February 9, 2022 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/OverDrive%20to%20Libby%20App%20-%20FB.png 0
Black History Month Programs at Fairfax County Public Library

Black History Month

For author talks, history lectures, movies and more, join FCPL this February for Black History Month.

FCPL is offering events and programs this Black History Month to celebrate, honor and educate. Options include both virtual and COVID-cautious in-person events, with something to appeal to all ages.

For those interested in the intersection of history and culture, FCPL has a number of events focused on Black stories and experiences in film and television:

Click here to see FCPL's curated Black History Month booklist featuring recently received and newly published titles.

*Masks are required while inside all county facilities.

Black History Month at Fairfax County Public Library Read full article February 4, 2022 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/Black%20History%20Month%20FB.png 0
Celebrate Love Literacy at Your Local Library

Blind Date with a Book

This month, Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) is celebrating Love Literacy as part of its Year of Literacy.

Looking for something new to read but not sure what to choose? Go on a Blind Date With a Book! Choose a book based on just a few details at the Great Falls branch through Feb. 14, at Sherwood Regional Library through Feb. 15, and at the George Mason Regional and Thomas Jefferson libraries all month.

At the Tysons-Pimmit Regional branch, fall in love with a good book in the book displays for Chocolate Lovers’ Month and for Book Lovers.

In the mood for romance? At the Patrick Henry branch, Kindle (or Rekindle) a Romance with Romances with a curated variety of romance titles wrapped to surprise you. At Chantilly Regional Library, explore the “What's Your Tropetonite?” book display to choose from a variety of romance books labeled with their main tropes.

Check out a librarian-curated list of titles related to love!

February is also Library Lovers’ Month! At the Reston Regional branch, library lovers of all ages can pen something for the branch’s Library Love Notes Tree through Feb. 18.

Want to creatively express your love? At the Oakton branch, pick up Take & Make Valentine Love Bugs through Feb. 14, or register for City of Fairfax Regional Library’s Intergenerational Puzzle Piece Hearts activity taking place Feb. 12. Children can pick up a Take It and Make It Valentine Goody Bag at Reston Regional Library Feb. 8-12.

Just pining for some “me” time? Pick up a Spa Day from Home handout from the Centreville Regional branch to get tips for pampering yourself.

Blind date with a book Read full article February 4, 2022 /library/sites/library/files/Assets/images/news/Blind%20Date%20With%20a%20Book%20FB_0.png 0
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