Library

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Office: 8:30–4:30 M–F. Branch hours vary.

703-324-3100
TTY 711

12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 324
Fairfax, VA 22035

Jessica Hudson,
Director

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.



Library ROI

January 2, 2019
In FY2017 the library’s 23 branches, including *Access Services branch and the **Virginia Room, provided $244.5 million in resources and services to county residents, including educational programs and materials, events, digital media and research databases. For every one dollar invested in the Fairfax County Public Library, the community receives $6.51 in the form of access to resources, programming, services and technology. This figure was calculated by dividing the total value of library resources and services delivered ($244.6 million) by the FCPL FY2017 full budget of $37.6 million. The value of library materials and services was determined using a Value Calculator based on the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library Value Calculator, average estimated valuations for books and digital media by other large library systems, and by input from its staff collections experts. Below are examples of library programs and resources that are improving the quality of life for library customers. A Diverse, Well-Rounded Collection Available in Varied Formats and Languages FCPL circulates more than 10 million physical items and more than 1.5 million electronic items each year with the latter number continually growing. According to data collected for FY2017, 3.45 million adult books were borrowed at a value of $58.76 million; 395,078 young adult books borrowed ($4.74 million value); 5.53 million children’s books borrowed ($94.02 million value); 1.52 million eBooks and eAudiobooks downloaded ($22.92 million value); 197,539 audiobooks borrowed ($2.56 million value); and 5,938 Interlibrary Loan items borrowed ($148,450 value). Resource Borrowed Value to Community Adult Books 3,456,929 $58,767,793 Young Adult Books 395,078 $4,740,936 Children Books 5,531,087 $94,028,479 Audiobooks on CD 197,539 $2,568,007 Other Materials 296,308 $5,037,236 ILL from other Library Systems 5,938 $148,450 eBooks and eAudiobooks 1,528,216 $22,923,240 Among fairfax county’s nearly 1.2 million residents, almost 40 percent speak a language other than english at home. The library offers books and periodicals for adults and children in multiple languages. The library also offers storytime programs in languages other than English as well as bi-lingual conversational classes and language learning classes. Sensory storytimes designed for children on the autism spectrum or with sensitivity to sensory overload are also available. Early Literacy: Springboard to Success Early literacy is part of the library’s strategic emphasis on expanding literacy across all age groups and ethnicities. In FY 2017, 34,528 children attended early literacy programs at a $414,336 value. Early literacy outreach staff and volunteers visited approximately 169 locations (Head Start classrooms, family child care homes and child care centers/preschools) averaging 220 storytimes per month. Library staff and volunteers gave 32,090 books to children, thanks to funding from the Fairfax Library Foundation.  Technology contributes to the library’s early literacy program. Nine AWE literacy stations are installed at nine branches, featuring over 4,000 localized learning activities designed specifically for 2-8 year-old patrons. More than 27,000 kids participated in the library’s Summer Reading Adventure in 2018. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten (a nationwide) program is designed to support early literacy, family bonding and school readiness. It aims to help caregivers prepare children for one of life’s big milestones: kindergarten. Studies have shown that reading to children from birth strengthens their language skills and builds their vocabulary. A child can register for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten at any library branch after reading or listening to 25 books. To date, 8,543 children have read or had read to them 25 to 1,000 books. A total of 1,229 have read 500 or more books and 636 have completed the 1,000 books milestone. Dynamic Partnerships Maximize Impact The library is partnering with the Fairfax County Public School system to ensure that every student in the county has a library card, and to support early literacy and the No Kid Hungry program. The library partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles to host DMV CONNECT and DMV2Go making DMV services more accessible for county residents, while the DMV displays library posters in their offices to encourage family members to sign-up for library cards. The library is also working with Fort Belvoir to make it easier for area military families to get library cards. Thanks to the Library of Virginia and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the library loans free nature-themed backpacks that enable kids of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and learn about nature and science. The 32 backpacks contain a parking pass to Virginia’s 36 state parks, pocket guides to plants, a dip net and magnifying lens, a port-a-bug field observation container, star charts and other useful items. Technology That Empowers The library provides free access to information of all types in a wide range of formats. As mentioned, the value calculator includes figures for eBooks and eAudiobooks. In FY2017, the library provided access to 438,890 hours of computer use ($5.27 million value), 1.94 million database searches ($38.65 million value), and 19 STEAM educational kits ($760). Fairfax County Public Library is one of only 49 libraries nationwide to loan over 1 million eBooks in 2016. Free Wi-Fi at every branch is a valuable library service, particularly since not all households in the county have internet service. Online catalogs, card-swipe payments and self-help kiosks all streamline the customer experience. Printing services are available from library workstations and personal wireless devices. Cardholders can also send print jobs from their laptop or desktop computers at home and pick them up at a local library branch. Four branches provide 3D printing. The library provides technology to engage youth and support creativity and innovation. Two branches currently offer teen gaming stations and a third will soon join the ranks. Hands-on events with drones, Sphero-programmable robot balls, Arduinos and snap-circuits are popular. A number of library branches provide Girls Who Code clubs that engage teen girls in coding and technology. Many branches offer coding classes, maker camps and other types of tech training. Customers can use the Memory Depot equipment at the City of Fairfax Regional Library and Sherwood Regional Library to digitize photographic prints, negatives, slides and VHS video cassettes. Other Library Services Traditional reference services are also included in the value calculator. Librarians provide access to reliable information on almost any topic. Fairfax County Public Library information staff provided an estimated 731,363 hours of reference service in FY2017 ($6.58 million value). An estimated 50,812 adults attended library programs, such as author book talks, historian-led lectures, health care seminars and financial literacy workshops ($762,180 value). Approximately 13,788 teens attended library programs on topics such as sharpening test-taking skills, resume preparation, job interviewing and book clubs ($165,456 value). 151,249 kids attended storytimes, science and math workshops and themed arts and crafts ($1.059 million value). The library provides free meeting space to non-profit organizations and individuals for educational, cultural and informational community meetings and programs. In FY2017, meeting room use totaled 135,701 hours ($3.39 million value). ###### *The Access Services branch removes barriers to library services for people with disabilities. Its many services include: providing opportunities to learn about assistive technology and equipment, offering books in alternative formats to people with vision impairments and delivering books to readers who cannot visit a local library. **The Virginia Room, located on the second floor of the City of Fairfax Regional Library, collects and preserves local history resources and provides a broad array of genealogical resources.

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, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/library. 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. Lynda.com 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 Lynda.com … that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Lynda.com 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!

Holiday Hot Chocolate

November 27, 2018
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. 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.

Image of the Library Board of Trustees

November 16, 2018
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, FCPS representative on the Library Board of Trustees

John Marshall Library

October 11, 2018
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. “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.

library card for Fairfax County Public Library branches

September 6, 2018
Learn a new language with Mango Languages Prepare for the SAT with Learning Express Search the millions of items in the online catalog Use the WiFi or a public computer Learn how to navigate the Internet Get book recommendations from My Perfect Read Use reliable, kid-friendly resources to do homework Check out books in large print for easier reading Trace your family tree Get picture books for storytelling at home Create a resume and apply for jobs online Bring your child to Storytime and meet other parents Have your children participate in our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program Receive weekly email updates to see what’s happening at your library Check out a Nature Backpack and gain free admission to any state park Reserve a meeting room for your nonprofit group Attend an interesting lecture by a local historian Shape up with an exercise video Consult consumer guides to decide what insurance, tablet, computer, car or washing machine to buy Join a book discussion group or check out a book discussion kit for your own book club. Borrow a thermal camera to check your home or business for hot and cold spots Attend an English Conversation Group to improve your English Language skills Download eBooks, eAudiobooks and magazines from anywhere with Overdrive and RBdigital Learn how to help your child gain early literacy skills Get help from the ultimate search engine – a librarian

UPCOMING EVENTS

Feb

04

11:00AM, Thomas Jefferson Library welcomes the United States Army Old Guard…

Feb

24

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