Arlington VA Public Library

Arlington VA Public Library The Arlington Public Library provides free access to information, creates connections among people and promotes reading and culture. Arlington County's Social Media General Terms of Use: https://newsroom.arlingtonva.us/social-media-general-terms-use/.

At this time, all Arlington Public Library locations remain closed to the public. Central Library is open for holds pickup only.

Mission: The Arlington Public Library provides free access to information, creates connections among people and promotes reading and culture--for every Arlingtonian and other patrons. Please read Arlington County's Social Media General Terms of Use: https://newsroom.arlingtonva.us/social-media-general-terms-use/.

Open with service changes; Pickup available

Check out these awesome Honorable Mention Winners from our Pumpkin Decorating Contest!1 - "Dragons Love Halloween Candy"...
10/30/2020

Check out these awesome Honorable Mention Winners from our Pumpkin Decorating Contest!

1 - "Dragons Love Halloween Candy" - Kelley Miller, winner of Best Alternative Gourd. Do you love pumpkins? And Halloween? And candy? So do dragons! If you want dragons to trick-or-treat at your house (socially distanced, of course), you’ll need boatloads of candy! Just make sure you bury all the spicy candy in the backyard or donate it to a Tasmanian devil. The one thing dragons can’t stand is spicy Halloween candy because it gives them the yummy troubles. Hey Dragon, how do you feel about Red Hots, Fireballs, and Hot Tamales? Too late...

2 - "Minnie Fang," by Ari Taylor, winner of the Best Dressed Honorable Mention.

3 - "Spotted Owl" by Carolyn Bainer, winner of the Most Intricate Honorable Mention.

Voting in Arlington: Then & NowNovember 3 is fast approaching and voting this year has taken an unprecedented turn in th...
10/29/2020

Voting in Arlington: Then & Now

November 3 is fast approaching and voting this year has taken an unprecedented turn in the wake of the pandemic, with thousands of Arlingtonians voting early or sending in absentee ballots. The voting process in Arlington and beyond has historically been anything but static – here’s a look at how the voting process has changed over the years.

Arlington’s First Elections

According to historian C.B. Rose, no one living in what is now Arlington would have been able to vote until these early settlements were incorporated around 1645. Voting likely increased when the land of present-day Arlington was established as Fairfax County and received its own Court House in the town of Alexandria in 1752. At this point in time, all voting had to take place at a Court House, which limited eligible voters who lived far away from these buildings.

The first American elections were conducted by voice vote, or with paper ballots also known as “party tickets.” Unlike the “Australian” or “blanket ballots” that were used in the latter half of the 19th century, these early ballots only carried the name of candidates from a single party. These ballots would then be counted by local party and election officials.

In 1869, a change to the Constitution meant that “secret” ballots were now required and required voters to register prior to elections. A registrar was assigned for 1,000 voters along with an accompanying polling place – an early version of the precinct system.

The Struggle for Women’s Suffrage

In these early elections, only a fraction of the population was permitted to vote, initially granting the right solely to propertied white men. Because of these limitations, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, women’s suffrage was a major reform issue nationwide.

Gertrude Crocker was among those on the front lines fighting for women’s right to vote, and would later become a prominent Arlington citizen, owning and operating the Little Tea House. Crocker was among the “Silent Sentinels,” who, on January 10, 1917, participated in the first picket protest outside of the White House.

The 19th Amendment was adopted on August 18, 1920, after decades of advocacy. But after the milestone of women’s suffrage came another portion of the journey for equal voting rights for all. Though women had achieved the right to vote, large portions of the country’s non-white population were still disenfranchised.

Fighting Discrimination and Voter Suppression

Though the legal milestones of the 15th and 19th were achieved, in practice, African American voters faced innumerable barriers to voting – from Jim Crow laws, voter suppression tactics, and overt violence.

Shortly after the passage of the 15th amendment, Virginia instituted a poll tax to restrict African American men from voting in 1876. This law was repealed in 1882, but in 1901 the state’s General Assembly called for a new constitution granted suffrage solely to white men.

A new constitution passed in 1902 and required voters to pay a tax of $1.50 six months prior to an election for each of the three years preceding an election. This disenfranchised approximately 90% of the state’s African American voting population and nearly 50% of the white men who had previously been registered to vote in Virginia. The 1902 constitution also created an administrative structure that was difficult for any average citizen to navigate. Virginia maintained poll taxes until 1966.

Local activists and groups such as the Arlington chapter of the NAACP worked tirelessly to combat voter suppression, instituting outreach campaigns and legal challenges to the poll tax. In a suit from Arlingtonian Portia Haskins against the Virginia Board of Elections and the Arlington County general registrar, the court ruled in her favor in 1966, determining that “[t]he provisions of Virginia’s dual voter registration…which treat persons who are registered only for federal elections differently from persons registered for all elections violate the equal protection laws of the 14th Amendment.”

The Modern Age of Voting

The last century has also seen technological developments in how we place our votes. From paper ballots, voting machines were introduced in the mid-20th century to modernize the voting process. Today, further developments, such as digital scanners introduced in 2015, continue to streamline how we vote and how our votes are counted.

Arlington County has also seen incredible growth from its humble electoral beginnings. The County now has 54 voter precincts and accompanying polling places. Almost every aspect of voting has changed in the centuries since the County’s beginnings: from who had the right to vote, to how votiThis is some textng was carried out. Be sure to cast your ballot on November 3!

Enjoy the fall foliage and the work of Edgar Allan Poe in one of our favorite fall traditions, the haunted Poe Garden! W...
10/29/2020

Enjoy the fall foliage and the work of Edgar Allan Poe in one of our favorite fall traditions, the haunted Poe Garden! We hope you will enjoy reading the tale of Annabel Lee and other works of Mr. Poe in a self-guided and seasonally inspired evening tour of the Glencarlyn Community Garden. (It is a quiet tour this year, but we look forward to reuniting with the fantastic Kenmore Middle School drama club students, and their awesome teacher Ms. Hunter, next year!)
The Poe Garden will be open through Friday. The Glencarlyn Community Garden is open year round.

10/29/2020

Join author and New York Times columnist David Brooks in conversation with Library Director Diane Kresh.

Library Director Diane Kresh and County Manager Mark Schwartz worked earlier this week with Library and Arlington TV sta...
10/28/2020

Library Director Diane Kresh and County Manager Mark Schwartz worked earlier this week with Library and Arlington TV staff to prepare for Diane and Mark's video conversation with author David Brooks, which will air at 7 p.m. Thursday night on YouTube and Facebook.

Brooks, author of “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life,” founded the Aspen Institute's Weave Project to promote social norms that value relationships and community over striving just for yourself.

This "Little Free Pantry," located in the garden outside Central Library, was built by Charlie Gaylord of Boy Scout Troo...
10/26/2020

This "Little Free Pantry," located in the garden outside Central Library, was built by Charlie Gaylord of Boy Scout Troop 106, for his Eagle Scout Project. It is a place where members of our community can drop off or pick up non-perishable food, according to their needs or abilities. Anyone can take food from the box, and anyone can donate food to the box.

Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) will also pick up food donations left at this location.

We are thrilled to have received 42 pumpkin submissions for our first virtual Pumpkin Decorating Contest! It was hard to...
10/24/2020

We are thrilled to have received 42 pumpkin submissions for our first virtual Pumpkin Decorating Contest! It was hard to choose the winners, as we adored so many. Thank you for submitting, attending the virtual decorating programs and carving out fun with the folks at the library!

The winners are:
Best Adult Pumpkin (TIE): "It's a Magical World" by Steve Madaio and
"Arthur Celebrates Libraries" by Abby Hargreaves.
Best Kids (Up to Grade 5) Pumpkin: "The Witch" by Elaina Villwock.
Best Grade 6-12 Pumpkin: "Just Eat It" by Anne Amoussou.

See more great entries on the Library website: https://library.arlingtonva.us/2020/10/24/2020-pumpkin-decorating-contest-winners/

Join us for a new series of stories from the Center for Local History highlighting members of our community who made a d...
10/22/2020

Join us for a new series of stories from the Center for Local History highlighting members of our community who made a difference in ways that helped shape our history and created positive change.

Their voices were not always loud, but what they said or did had a significant impact on our community.

Portia Haskins: Taking a Stand

In 1965, Hall’s Hill/High View Park resident Portia Haskins filed suit against the Virginia Board of Elections and the Arlington County general registrar after learning she was required to re-register in order to vote in the upcoming election, despite having already paid her poll taxes in February and having registered for federal elections the previous year.

On April 1, 1966, in the case Portia A. Haskins v. Levin Nock Davis et al., a Federal District Court ruled in Haskins’ favor arguing that “[t]he provisions of Virginia’s dual voter registration…which treat persons who are registered only for federal elections differently from persons registered for all elections violate the equal protection laws of the 14th Amendment.” This landmark decision eliminated what was essentially a selectively administered and enforced poll tax imposed chiefly on African-American voters in Arlington County.

Recent events have shown that progress is a process and part of an ongoing struggle. Accomplishments both great and small are seldom an endpoint but are a constant series of steps forward which cannot be taken for granted.

Portia Haskins has recently completed and published a book on the history of Mt. Salvation Baptist Church.

This week - and every week - we celebrate the amazing Friends of the Arlington Public Library, during National Friends o...
10/20/2020

This week - and every week - we celebrate the amazing Friends of the Arlington Public Library, during National Friends of the Library Week! This all-volunteer non-profit organization tirelessly advocates for the Library, supporting vital programs like author visits, storytime, Summer Reading, Take and Make Craft Bags, and MyBook.

While they have not been able to hold their much-beloved twice-annual book sale this year due to COVID-19, the Friends are holding a monthly pop-up sale the first Saturday of every month outside the Courthouse Farmers Market, starting at 8 a.m.
Want to learn more, or find out how you can get involved? Follow Friends of the Arlington Public Library, Arlington Virginia!

Hope everyone enjoys the paper bag monsters and origami bats in this week's Take and Make Craft Bags! If you missed out,...
10/19/2020

Hope everyone enjoys the paper bag monsters and origami bats in this week's Take and Make Craft Bags!
If you missed out, make sure you register for next Monday’s Halloween themed Take and Make craft pick up - https://arlingtonva.libcal.com/event/7129765

10/16/2020
"Live From Diane's Living Room" Ep. 5

You never forget your first, and we'll never forget our first Romance author to join us on Live From Diane's Living Room. Diane Gaston, winner of Romance Writers of America's RITA Award, the most prominent award for English-language romance fiction, details what makes a striking romance novel, who we should be reading, and how you can get started writing one yourself.

Stay tuned until the end for our version of a "happy ever after" with a new song from the Arlingtunes.

Plot Against Hunger garden volunteers Angie, Mencit and Puwen show off this week's amazing sweet potato harvest! The Lib...
10/16/2020

Plot Against Hunger garden volunteers Angie, Mencit and Puwen show off this week's amazing sweet potato harvest! The Library's garden produce is currently being donated to food distribution centers around the area.

Join us for a new series of stories from the Center for Local History highlighting members of our community who made a d...
10/15/2020

Join us for a new series of stories from the Center for Local History highlighting members of our community who made a difference in ways that helped shape our history and created positive change.

Their voices were not always loud, but what they said or did had a significant impact on our community.

Dr. Roland Bruner: Taking a Stand

"He provided free medical services to the most disadvantaged in Arlington..."

Dr. Roland Herman Bruner (1902-1978) was an obstetrician, lecturer, and the first African-American doctor to be hired by Arlington County’s Department of Health’s Prenatal Clinic in a time of bigotry, racism, and segregation.

Bruner received a Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University in 1928 and a Medical Degree in 1932. One of just 24 students to receive the offer of an internship at Freedmen’s Hospital in Washington D.C., he joined the staff thereafter completing his internship.

On July 29, 1934, Bruner and his wife Georgia purchased a property in Green Valley/Nauck at 2018 S. Glebe Rd. where he opened a private practice specializing in obstetrics. This allowed African-American women to deliver children in Arlington rather than having to travel to the Freedmen’s Hospital in the District of Columbia. He bartered with patients and often provided free services to the most disadvantaged, even delivering babies at the homes of people turned away by a segregated medical establishment.

In 1935 Bruner became a part-time member of the clinical faculty of Howard University College of Medicine, where he would serve until 1951. He became a notable lecturer in the fields of women’s health and prenatal care and in 1938 he became the first African-American doctor employed by Arlington County’s Department of Health’s Prenatal Clinic. Bruner also played a vital role in the establishment of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Arlington. With a private practice spanning 45 years from 1933-1978, Dr. Roland Herman Bruner served multiple generations in his community.

In 2001, Arlington Housing Corporation (AHC) purchased Dr. Bruner’s home from the Bruner family, renovating the property into a development comprising 7 townhomes known as Bruner Place. The home was relocated on the property.

Bruner's daughter, Dr. Denise E. Bruner, is a practicing physician in Arlington County specializing in bariatrics and anti-aging.

Have you seen these blue boxes appear outside some of our library branches? They’re 24-Hour, Secure Ballot Drop Boxes, a...
10/12/2020

Have you seen these blue boxes appear outside some of our library branches? They’re 24-Hour, Secure Ballot Drop Boxes, and you’ll find them at Central Library, and the Aurora Hills, Shirlington and Westover Branches.
Get all the facts about how they work and when you can drop off your mail-in ballot from the Arlington Voting & Elections link below:

Have questions about the ballot drop boxes that are now up around Arlington? Get the facts about drop box security, pickup and ballot processing: vote.arlingtonva.us/drop-box-faqs/

10/09/2020
Hora de Cuentos por Sra. Raquel

Do you and your kiddos miss our Cuentos para niños / Stories for Children program?

Raquel made a special storytime just for you! #HispanicHeritageMonth

10/09/2020

Due to a planned system maintenance, the Library’s catalog and patron accounts system, as well as the Library App and eCollection will be unavailable as of 9 p.m. tonight (Friday, October 9).

Any items already checked out in your OverDrive, Libby or RBdigital apps will be available, but you will not be able to perform any actions that require checking into your library account.

The maintenance is expected to take approximately one hour.

Rediscover Lutrelle Fleming Parker, Sr.Lutrelle Fleming Parker, Sr. was a tireless advocate for progress in Arlington Co...
10/08/2020

Rediscover Lutrelle Fleming Parker, Sr.

Lutrelle Fleming Parker, Sr. was a tireless advocate for progress in Arlington County who left a legacy of remarkable civic engagement that spanned the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation of the County’s schools and businesses.

Born in Newport News, Virginia in 1924, Parker served in the U.S. Navy on the HSS Manderson Victory during World War II as one of the Navy’s first black officers. His commitment to the Navy lasted 40 years, retiring from the Navy Reserves in 1982.

After the war, Parker worked at the U.S. Patent Office in 1947 while also studying engineering at Howard University. He began as a patent examiner and later performed a wide range of jobs for this office during his long career, including being a trial attorney, examiner-in-chief, and deputy commissioner of the office. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Howard in 1949, the same year that he moved from Washington, D.C., to the predominantly African-American Arlington neighborhood of Green Valley with his wife, Lillian Madeleine Parker.

He continued to pursue his education and was among the first four African American students accepted to Georgetown University Law School, graduating in 1952. They purchased a house at 3024 18th Street South in the Nauck Neighborhood (present-day Green Valley) by June of 1950.

Parker was engaged in numerous Arlington civic organizations following his move to the County, including the Nauck Citizens Association and Arlingtonians for a Better County. On November 21, 1959, Parker became the first African American appointed to Arlington County’s Planning Commission and served as its first African American chairman in 1962 and 1963. He served at least two subsequent terms and chaired the Planning Commission’s Capital Improvements Committee. Much of this time included the hotly debated statewide discussion about building I-66 across northern Virginia and through Arlington into Washington, D.C.

Parker did much to promote the overall welfare of Arlington County during his tenure on the Planning Commission and through his service on numerous local boards and committees. In his civic work, Parker also championed the built environment and educational opportunities in the historically African American communities of Arlington. His efforts included preventing the construction of the proposed “Southside Freeway” that would have displaced African American businesses and homeowners, and fighting the proposed rezoning of Green Valley’s business district that would have made the area completely residential.

In our Rediscover Shirlington blog post, there was mention of the proposed suggestion to build a parallel shopping center to the Shirlington Business Center to provide facilities available to customers of color. Parker, as chairman of the Nauck Citizens Association, spoke to The Washington Post about how this proposed development was not meant to detract from desegregation efforts but instead provide needed services to the African American community until desegregation provided all Arlingtonians with equal access to resources.

Parker also petitioned the Arlington School Board to address persisting inequities between Arlington’s traditionally white and black public schools following their 1959 desegregation. Thanks to his outstanding work in education policy and his time working with the PTA for the Hoffman-Boston and Drew-Kemper schools, Parker was on the list of potential candidates for the Arlington School Board in 1970.

Parker’s long list of professional and civic accomplishments includes Judge on the Court of Patent Appeals, Secretary of the Board of Trustees at Arlington Hospital, President and Board Chairman of the National Capital Area Hospital Council, Board Chairman for the George Mason University Foundation, and member of the Virginia State Council of Higher Education. We recognize Lutrelle Fleming Parker, Sr., for his decades of service to Arlington and to the generations of residents whose lives are improved thanks to his civic dedication.

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1015 N Quincy St
Arlington, VA
22201

Opening Hours

Monday 12:00 - 21:00
Tuesday 12:00 - 21:00
Wednesday 12:00 - 21:00
Thursday 12:00 - 19:00
Friday 12:00 - 17:00
Saturday 12:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(703) 228-5990

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Arlington Public Library promises to:

• inspire and quench your thirst to know. • encourage you to ask why and why not? • embrace inclusion and diverse points of view. • be a wellspring for ideas, for conversation, for disagreement, for enlightenment. • create opportunities for an increased understanding: of our world, of our community and of each other.

We will do all of this with good will, humor and kindness. Through books and community programs. Within our walls and outside in the community.

We are here for you.