Reston program to highlight history of segregated library services in N. Va.

“Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries” is the focus of a February event in Reston (courtesy Reston Museum)

The battle to integrate Fairfax County Public Library and other library systems in the region will be the focus of a Reston-based event for Black History Month.

Authors Chris Barbuschak and Suzanne LaPierre will offer a look at the overlooked history of segregated library services in Northern Virginia at the Feb. 21 event organized by Reston Museum. It’s slated to begin at 7 p.m. at Reston Community Center’s Lake Anne facility (1609-A Washington Plaza North).

The program focuses on the librarians’ book, “Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries.”

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Barbuschak and Ms. Lapierre speak at our February program about their book,” Reston Museum Executive Director Alexandra Campbell said. “Those interested in reading the book in advance can purchase the book at the museum or the day of the program. It is an insightful book and I encourage everyone to read it.”

The book highlights how libraries were inaccessible to Black residents — even after the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education that found segregation to be unconstitutional. Ultimately, civil rights activists used protests and lawsuits to gain equitable library services.

The 208-page book, which was published last January, is available online. Registration for the upcoming author talk is available through Reston Museum’s website.

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