Beginning March 22, Fairfax County Public Library branches will reopen for indoor services.
But library patrons will only be able to visit FCPL branches for up to 30 minutes. Branches will open on Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The changes come after the system offered curbside and online services since mid-January.
Each branch will have capacity limits of up to 30 people for community branches and 60 people for regional branches. Customers over five must wear masks at all times.
The system will also institute a number of social distancing measures, including plexiglass shields, social distancing floor stickers, and limited furniture.
Book donations are not being accepted and returned library materials will be quarantined for 24 hours. Meeting rooms are unavailable.
Even as express services resume, curbside services will continue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day except Sunday.
Great news!! https://t.co/3eSGcwTDyR
— Supervisor Walter Alcorn (@WalterAlcornFFX) March 5, 2021
Although access to county libraries is currently limited, staff are still finding ways to for library patrons to enjoy services offered by the county’s library system.
Reston Regional Library recently launched a take-home laptop program that allows residents to borrow Chromebooks. So far, the program is only in effect at the libraries at Reston, Sherwood, George Mason and Centreville.
To place a Chromebook on hold, customers must be age 19 or above and return the laptop to the same branch it was borrowed from. The laptops can be checked out for two weeks and cannot be renewed.
Library staff erase all personal data and reset the laptops once they are returned.
Here’s more from the library on things to know before taking part in the program.
Internet access/Wi-Fi is required to use the Google suite of tools. Internet access/Wi-Fi is not included with this laptop.
Chromebooks support the Google suite of productivity tools, including Docs, Sheets and Slides. These tools can access Microsoft office files, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
You can browse as a guest or use a Gmail account.
If you browse as a guest be aware that your documents and history will be immediately removed when the Chromebook sleeps, restarts or shuts down.
Laptop, cable and bag will be sanitized between borrowers.
Residents can place a hold on laptops online.
Photo via Fairfax County Public Library
The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.
We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!
Monday (Oct. 26)
- CenterStage Cinema – 7:30 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) – Presenting The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, due to COVID-19, food will not be served; social-distancing measures, masks and advance registration will be required, the website said. To register, use this link.
Tuesday (Oct. 27)
- Rainbow Teen Book Club – 7-8 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) — This is a place for members of the LGBTQIA+ teen community and their allies to read and discuss queer titles, the website said. Discussing All Out by Saundra Mitchell, the group meet via Zoom. To register, use this link.
Thursday (Oct. 29)
- Marina Chamasyan and Students – 2:25-3 p.m. at Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road) — The program features Dr. Marina Chamasyan and accomplished local high-school students who will present their original compositions, a world premiere and widely admiredDanse Macabre by Saint Saens, the website said. To register, use this link.
- Better Dens and Habitat – 5-6 p.m. at Hidden Pond Nature Center (8511 Greeley Blvd.) — Using logs, branches, leaves, rocks, and other materials, help our naturalists restore a heavily impacted natural area to provide homes for local critters, the website said. The cost is $7 and adults must accompany children ages 12 and under.
Friday (Oct. 30)
- Mathnasium of Reston’s Halloween Game Night (Online) – 5-7 p.m. — Join us online for a night of fun and math games with the whole family, the website said. To register, use this link.
Saturday (Oct. 31)
- Great Falls Pet Parade – 4-4:45 p.m. at The Arts of Great Falls Gallery (756 Walker Road) — Bring your pet on a leash dressed up in its favorite costume, the website said. Prizes will be awarded for special categories.
- Great Falls Halloween Spooktacular – 5-7 p.m. at Great Falls Shopping Center (754 Walker Road) — Children up to age 12 are encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween costume, experience the Haunted House, and enjoy trick or treating with local merchants in a safe environment right in the heart of town, the website said.
- Teen Halloween Party (Online) – 2-3 p.m. – Participants will play Halloween jeopardy, tell spooky stories, and show off their Halloween costumes, the website said. To register, use this link.
Staff photo by Catherine Douglas Moran
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is seeking to extend the timeline to rebuild Reston Regional Library as part of a longstanding redevelopment project.
The board authorized a request to the Circuit Court to extend by two years the authority to issue the library bonds for replacement of the Reston Regional Library. The request extends the bond from eight years to 10.
The Board moved forward with the request “due to a combination of Reston Association and Fairfax County development requirements” that has caused delays in the library replacement and larger Reston Town Center North redevelopment project, according to Hunter Mil District Supervisor Walter Alcorn.
The request was endorsed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors during its Sept. 29 meeting.
The board envisions redeveloping the property from a hodgepodge of parcels into a vibrant and urban a mixed-use project that helps transition Reston Town Center to the existing development. Planning is underway but no firm plans have yet been determined.
County voters originally approved the issuance of bonds in 2012 for a total of $25 million for Public Library Facilities. The bonds included renovations at Pohick Regional ($5 million), John Marshall Community ($5 million), Tysons Pimmit Regional ($5 million) and Reston Regional ($10 million) libraries.
According to the board’s agenda on Sept. 29, “all work has been completed and bond funds expended” for each library, except the Reston Regional Library.
The board’s approved proposal includes using the $10 million bond funds in conjunction with the larger redevelopment plan for Reston Town Center North, where the Reston Regional Library is located.
In addition to the library, the proposal calls for the replacement of the Embry Rucker Shelter, North County Human Services Center, and the creation of community and open space, as well as common infrastructure.
Alcorn said other factors might cause the overall project to be delayed, but that he doesn’t think the bond extension will.
“While there are any number of other issues that could affect the completion timeline, the $10 million of general obligation bond financing for the library is not one of them,” Alcorn wrote in a statement.
Fatimah Waseem contributed reporting to this story.
Book lovers can check out books and pick up holds at Fairfax County Public Libraries beginning next week — albeit under different circumstances.
On Monday, June 1, FCPL will kick off a curbside pickup and grab bag program. Although libraries remained closed, patrons can park in designated areas, call the bank number and pick up any items on holds. Patrons must provide their library card over the phone. Once the items have been deposited on a designated pickup table and library staff has returned to the building, items may be picked up.
Over the phone, residents can also request a specific book or a grab-and-go bag prepared by staff based on reading levels and preferences.
All returned library materials, however, should be deposited in the library’s book drop. Returns will be accepted based on a staggered system since more than 500,000 items are currently are in the queue to be returned:
On Mondays we will accept returns from borrowers with last names beginning with letters A-H (Anderson, Daqqa, Howard, etc.). On Wednesdays we will accept returns from borrowers with last names beginning with letters I-Q (Jefferson, Nguyen, Park, etc.), and on Fridays we will accept returns from borrowers with last names beginning with letters R-Z (Rodriquez, Shen, Williams, etc.).
Staff will wear cloth face masks and all books will be packaged in a plastic bag in order to “streamline handling.”
More information about changes to services is available online.
Though Fairfax County and independent groups announced several closures in the area, not everyone seems willing to give up the weekend fun.
Reston Now checked out several events and compiled important updates from around the area.
For people looking for things to do, a staffer at Kalypso’s Sports Tavern said that St. Patrick’s Day festivities scheduled for this weekend are still on, as of today (March 13).
On Saturday (March 14) animal lovers can attend the Lucky Dog Animal Adoption event at Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) from noon to 2 p.m. and head to the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Lake Anne Plaza.
Today, the Reston Community Center announced several cancelations and closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All artist events have been canceled, including the following, which were supposed to take place over the weekend:
- “The Diary of Anne Frank” shows on Friday (March 13) and Saturday (March 14)
- the Reston Community Orchestra performance on Sunday (March 15)
- the Kundalini Yoga and Meditation session on Sunday
Though the Reston Community Center itself is not closed, staff are working to keep surfaces clean and disease-free with improved measures, the website said. Updates can be found on the community center’s website.
At the Reston Regional Library, the St. Patrick’s Irish Dance Performance has been canceled, along with the Learn How to Read Braille Workshop, according to a library representative.
Photo via Tim Mossholder/Unsplash
Friends of the Reston Regional Library kicks off a special book sale tomorrow (Thursday) at Reston Regional Library (11925. Bowman Towne Drive).
The sale features mystery, thriller, and adventure books. The timing of the sale is as follows:
- Tomorrow (Thursday), 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Friday, Feb. 7 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
- Saturday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
- Sunday (1-5 p.m.)
The next book sale, which features books for children, young adults and educators, takes place at the end of March.
According to information provided by the Friends, the nonprofit organization has raised more than $700,000 for the library through its book sales over the past 15 years.
In addition, it has been able to donate $200,000 to direct library support programs — including $100,000 in eBooks, $25,000 in children’s series books, a Braille printing station for the Access Services branch, librarian scholarships and more.
Friends of the Reston Regional Library is made up of nearly 100 active volunteers who donate over 10,000 hours a year to process donations, run sales and reach out to the community.
More information about the Friends’ other six annual sales is available online.
Runners and exercise enthusiasts can take part in the sixth annual For the Love of It 10K this Saturday.
Beginning at 8 a.m. outside South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive), participants can compete to make it across the finish line first, according to the website.
There will be awards for the first three male and female participants to finish the race as well as other awards in various age categories, the site said.
After the race, attendees can enjoy Valentine’s Day-themed treats, refreshments and photo opportunities. People who preregister will receive a long sleeve t-shirt.
- Ukelele Jam Session (10:30 a.m.) — At Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) kids are invited to a performance by the Northern Virginia Ukulele Society and have a chance to learn about rhythm. This event is free and open to the public.
- Groundhog’s Shadow (10:30 to 11:30 a.m.) — The Walker Nature Center (11450 Glade Drive) invites young kids to learn about groundhogs, make puppets and make weather predictions. Tickets are $6 for RA members.
- Annual Freezin’ for a Reason (2-5 p.m.) — This charity event raises money for Camp Sunshine, which serves kids with life-threatening illnesses. This event is donation based and anyone who raises over $100 will receive a t-shirt. Participants can gather at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road).
Sunday (Feb. 2)
- Kickstart Your Sweat Life (8-10 a.m.) — Lululemon at Reston Town Center (11957 Market Street) offers free sweat sessions every week. Refreshments will be provided.
- Super Bowl Watch Party (5:30-10 p.m.) — The Lake Anne Brew House (11401 North Shore Drive) invites people to come to view the SuperBowl. Tickets are $25 and include an unlimited nacho bar and other snacks. Drinks are available separately on-site. This event 21+.
Photo via For the Love of it 10k/Facebook
A new “memory depot” is available at Reston Regional Library and five other libraries in the county.
The do-it-yourself station allows library patrons to digitize materials.
The following formats are accepted:
- Photographic prints, negatives and slides
- Scrapbooks and other documents
- VHS and VHS-C video cassettes
- Audio cassettes
- 3.5″ Floppy disks
The service, which started at the City of Fairfax Regional Library, is also available at the Centreville Regional Library, George Mason Regional Library, Pohick Regional Library, and Sherwood Regional Library.
Only Centreville Regional Library allows users to digitize vinyl albums. Patrons must bring the materials and an external hard drive or USB.
Before signing up for a session, residents should consider taking a 30-minute orientation. Reston’s branch does not require registration for the orientation, which is held on Wednesdays. More information is available online.
Photo via Unplash/Fredy Jacob
More than 50 artists from around the region will create live artwork using their preferred media at a live fundraising event tomorrow (Saturday).
The Greater Reston Arts Center will host the third annual Monster Drawing Rally, which helps raise funds for its programs, at Signature apartments (11850 Freedom Drive).
As works are completed, they will be hung on a wall and will be available for purchase at $75 each. The event is free and open to all.
- Gifts from the HeART Shopping Event (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) — Residents can buy artwork, jewelry, and other items at Reston Community Center Lake Anne’s annual event.
- Mystery Authors Extravaganza (1-4 p.m.) — Authors from the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in crime will prevent their 2019 novels. Books will be available for sale and signing.
- Reston Friends Holiday Book Sale (10. a.m. to 4 p.m.) — Gently-used books will be available for purchase at the annual event at Reston Regional Library.
- Lake House Open House (10 a.m. to noon) — Light refreshments will be available at the open house which takes place at the Lake House.
- Reston Town Center Holiday Performances — Over the weekend, several performers and groups will perform at the Reston Town Center promenade. Performances continue through Saturday, Dec. 21.
Sunday (Dec. 8)
- Reston Friends Holiday Book Sale (1-4 p.m.) — Gently-used books will be available for purchase at the annual event at Reston Regional Library.
- Holiday Open House (1-4 p.m.) — A holiday open house to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Nature House takes place at the. Walker Nature Center. The event is free and registration is not required.
- Best Kept Secrets with Dr. Charles Thomas (2 p.m.) — Dr. Charles Thomas, CEO of Clear Cloud, discusses his new book, “Best Kept Secrets from Invisible Walk-ons to Life Champions.” The event takes place at Scrawl Books (11911 Freedom Drive).
Photo via GRACE
Thousands of books are available for purchase beginning today (Thursday) during an annual sale by Friends of the Reston Regional Library.
According to information provided by the Friends, the nonprofit organization has raised more than $700,000 for the library through its book sales over the past 15 years. In addition, it has been able to donate $200,000 to direct library support programs — including $100,000 in eBooks, $25,000 in children’s series books, a Braille printing station for the Access Services branch, librarian scholarships and more.
Science fiction, religion, romance, cooking, sports, history and many other genres of titles are available. Small paperback books are available for as little as 50 cents, with hardcovers books priced as low as $1.50.
The sale is on through 8 p.m. today, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. tomorrow (Friday), between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday.
The Friends’ next sale will be mystery, thriller and adventure sale, which is set for Feb. 6-9. Friends of the Reston Regional Library is made up of nearly 100 active volunteers who donate over 10,000 hours a year to process donations, run sales and reach out to the community.
New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci is set to discuss his work at Herndon Middle School next week.
Baldacci will introduce his new novel, “A Minute to Midnight,” which features the story of FBI agent Atlee Pine. The event, which is organized by Bards Alley Book Store and Reston Regional Library, takes place in the auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 7-8 p.m.
A giveaway of 100 free signed copies of the book is planned for the event. Copies of the book must be preordered online or by calling 571-459-2653.
Here’s more about the author from his website:
David published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. The feature film adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 38 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with over 130 million worldwide sales. David has also published seven novels for younger readers.
A lifelong Virginian, David received his Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington, D.C.
Attendees are also encouraged to bring new or gently used books for donation at the event. The book drive is part of the author’s feeding b body and mind initiative, a with distributes books to food banks across the country.
More information about the event is available online.
Photo via Facebook
The annual event, which happens from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., is a fundraiser that relies on donations.
The yard sale will include baby and kids gear like toys, games, book, stain-free clothing and gently-worn shoes. Larger items include high chairs, swings, music tables, bikes and kitchen sets.
All remaining items will be 50 percent off from noon to 1 p.m.
The sale takes place at 12021 North Shore Drive.
Tomorrow (Nov. 9)
- Sing Books with Miss Emily (10:30-11 a.m.) — Join Mis Emily to celebrate the 50th birthday of Sesame Street. The event is co-sponsored by Friends of Reston Regional Library.
- Sesame Street Birthday Celebration (10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) — Celebrate the show’s 50th birthday, which will include games, activities, stories, songs and more.
Sunday (Nov. 10)
- Author Andrew Marble (2 p.m.) — Marble discusses his biography on a U.S. military leader. The event takes place at Scrawl Books in Reston Town Center.
- History of World War II (2-4 p.m.) — Harry Butowsky of George Mason University continues his six-part lecture series on the wart Reston Regional Library. This weekend’s session is the last of the series.
- Sunday Afternoon Dance (2:30-4:30 p.m.) — Dancers of all skill levels are welcome to dance at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. The session is open to participants age 18 and above.
- Country Western Dance (5:30-7:30 p.m.) — Dances are held monthly in the community room at Reston Community Center. The cost is $5 per session for Restonians and $10 for all others.
Photo via LANK/Facebook
The 10th annual Washington West Film Festival continues through Monday with special screenings at Bow Tie Cinemas in Reston Town Center.
The festival showcases films from around the world. Tomorrow’s schedules include a panel discussion about the process of independent filmmaking at 10 a.m.
The schedule for tomorrow (Saturday) is below and tickets for each screening can be purchased online:
- 11:15 a.m.: Shorts Program, Get Creative
- Noon: Campesino
- 1:45 p.m.: Shorts Program, the Power of Art
- 3 p.m.: The Good, The Bad, The Hungry
- 4:45 p.m.: Shorts Program, Greener Grasses
- 5:45 p.m.: Burden, 17 Blocks
- 7:45 p.m.: Shorts Program, Breakthrough
The event on Saturday concludes with an annual party at the Reston Town Center pavilion.
The complete schedule is available online. All net box office proceeds help address issues like hunger and illness, according to the festival’s website.
- Halloween Face Painting (1-3 p.m.) — Try on a festive look at Reston Regional Library. The event is open for all ages.
- Reston Friends Jigsaw Puzzle Sale (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) — Puzzle books, games, and jigsaw puzzles are available for sale at Reston Regional Library.
- Halloween Movie (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) — Enjoy a screening of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at Reston Regional Library. Attendees can also enjoy popcorn and hot cocoa.
- Halloween Family Day (Noon to 2. p.m.) — Come dressed in your favorite custom and enjoy family-friendly performances. The event is free. Children must be accompanied by an adult guardian.
- Trick or Treat at Reston Town Center (Noon to 4 p.m.) — Kids who wear costumes can get free treats at the town center.
Sunday (Oct. 27)
- History of World War II (2-4 p.m.) — Dr. Harry Butowsky of George Mason University continues his six-part lecture series on the history of the war.
Photo via Washington West Film Festival
Annual Jigsaw Puzzle Sale Kicks Off Tomorrow — The Friends of Reston Regional Library will hold an annual jigsaw sale tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. [Reston Regional Library]
Delays on Leesburg Pike at Drainesville Road — Expect delays on Leesburg Pike at Drainesville Road this morning due to a crash. No left turns are allowed at the intersection and police encourage drivers to use caution. [Fairfax County Police Department]
Reston Association Website Back Online — The association’s website, which went down yesterday due to technical issues, is back online. The board is expected to meet tomorrow (Thursday) to discuss the budget and other issues. [Reston Association]
Photo via Flickr/Dario iparo