A Timeline for Arlington Public Library

Looking Back: Telling the Library's Story at 75

Toggle view

Date Start Date End Date Title Description Icon Date Limit Importance Link
Late 1800s1890-01-011899-12-31Book Collection for Carlin HallA book collection available for Glencarlyn community use is kept at Carlin Hall, 5711 S. 4th Street, operated by Young People's Library Association.circle_green.pngye50
19141914-01-01A Will for a Glencarlyn Library British-born Gen. Samuel S. Burdett makes provision in his will to build a public library in the Glencarlyn community "at a cost of not more than $3,000"; construction delayed by World War I.circle_green.pngye75
1922-19231922-01-011923-12-31Burdett Library OpensOriginal "Glen Carlyn" (S.S. Burdett) Library, operated by board of trustees, is built and opened at 300 S. Kensington Street.circle_green.pngye75
1922-19231922-01-011923-12-31Cherrydale Library FormedCherrydale League of Women's Voters and the Patrons League form Cherrydale Community Library; opens in a room at the old Cherrydale School at Lee Highway and N. Nelson Street.circle_yellow.pngye75
June 19241924-06-01Clarendon Library OpensClarendon Library opens in Citizens Hall at Wilson and N. 10th Street, founded by the Educational Committee of the Women's Civic Club.circle_black.pngmo75
May 19261926-05-01Aurora Hills Library FoundedAurora Hills Library, founded by Jefferson District Women's Club, housed in unheated real estate office on Frazier Avenue (later S. 23rd Street). Library open one afternoon per week.circle_purple.pngmo75
Jan. 19, 19281928-01-19Garden Club Runs LibraryAurora Hills Library turned over to Aurora Hills Garden Club; collection at 500 bookscircle_purple.pngda25
Late 19271927-10-011927-12-31Pause for Clarendon LibraryClarendon Library closes for several months when Citizen's Hall is prepared for sale and sold.circle_black.pngye25
May 1928 1928-05-01Arlington District Library Association FormedArlington District Library Association formed with contribution from some 20 local organizations. Clarendon Library reopens at 4 N. Clarendon Avenue (later Irving Street).circle_black.pngmo25
April 1929 1929-04-01Clarendon Library MovesClarendon Library moves to small house at Wilson Boulevard and Virginia Avenue (later N. Highland Street).circle_black.pngmo25
June 19291929-06-01Nellie Custis P.T.A. LibraryAurora Hills Library becomes Nellie Custis P.T.A. Library and is moved to the school.circle_purple.pngmo25
Fall 19291929-09-21County Pays Rent for ClarendonCounty agrees to pay rent on Wilson Boulevard/Virginia Avenue home for Clarendon Library, which is later moved to small room on Clarendon Boulevard.circle_black.pngmo25
February 19301930-02-011930-02-28Start for Columbia Pike LibraryThe Arlington Community Library Club refurbishes a double garage on S. Fillmore Street next to the Patrick Henry School for library to serve the Columbia Pike community. circle_red.pngmo75
March 19301930-03-011930-03-30New Home for CustisCounty Board buys and remodels store building at 506 S. 23rd Street (and Eades Street) in part to be new home for Custis P.T.A. Library. Library is eventually known as Aurora Hills/Martha Morton Duncan Memorial in honor of a board member's mother, and moves into part of building.circle_purple.pngmo25
19311931-01-011931-12-31Direction for Cherrydale Supervision of Cherrydale Community Library put in hands of Library Committee of the Cherrydale Parent Teacher Association; books available one day a week through voluntary services of P.T.A.circle_yellow.pngye25
Early 19331933-01-011933-03-30Arlington Community Library movesThe Arlington Community (Columbia Pike) Library moves from Fillmore Street to the abandoned Columbia School, renamed Community Hall, near the corner of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive. Building heated by coal stoves and has no functioning toilet.circle_red.pngye25
November 19341934-11-01County Manager Looks to Bolster LibrariesCounty Manager Roy S. Braden asks several interested residents to help in an effort to better support Arlington's existing libraries.circle_blue.pngmo50
March 19361936-03-10Libraries Budget DiscussedCounty Manager Braden invites interested parties to a meeting on March 10 in his office to offer advice on a possible County Board budget appropriation for "Public Libraries" for the coming year. The fiscal year 1936-37 County budget contains an appropriation of $1500 for Libraries with the money earmarked for much-needed reference books.circle_blue.pngmo50
July 19361936-07-01Department of Libraries EstablishedCounty Board votes $3000 for libraries in County budget and the Department of Libraries becomes an official County bureau to be run by a County Librarian. The five libraries--Arlington Community, Aurora Hills, Cherrydale, Clarendon and Glen Carlyn--are to become part of a system serving a County with a population of 40,000 and 74 farms. Funds are allocated so each library receives $250 to buy two encyclopedias and an unabridged dictionary as well as other tools.circle_blue.pngmo100
July 21, 19361936-07-21County Library Association FormedArlington County Library Association is formed; Mrs. Robert Livingston of the Clarendon Library Association is first president with four delegates from each community library and four delegates at large. Two studies are drafted to guide system-one for procedures and one for statistics. The Library Association functions as a liaison with the County government and coordinates volunteers.circle_blue.pngda75
September 19361936-09-01Clarendon Library MovesClarendon Library moves to Jones Building at 3150 Wilson Boulevard.circle_black.pngmo25
Late 1936-early19371936-09-011937-04-31Vanderwerken Briefly JoinsVanderwerken Library, run by a church group, is officially part of Library Association system until church officials decide to operate independently circle_black.pngye50
July 21, 19371937-07-21Leonard is First Arlington LibrarianEleanor Leonard, graduate of Brown University and the Library School of the University of North Carolina, begins work as first Arlington County Librarian. She launches effort to clean, organize and standardize each library beginning with Clarendon where her office is located. The Library moves to a room over a drug store on Wilson Boulevard. Within 18 months, more than 10,000 volumes are cataloged. circle_grey.pngda80
19381938-01-011938-12-31Moves for CherrydaleResponsibility for Cherrydale Community Library transferred to Cherrydale Library Association; library moves to 3828 Lee Highway.circle_yellow.pngye25
July 19381938-07-01System with 11K+ VolumesLibrary system has 11,218 volumes, 2500 borrowers, annual circulation of 29,740 volumes.circle_blue.pngmo25
July 19391939-07-01Usership GrowsLibrary system has 12,535 volumes, 3823 borrowers, annual circulation of 45542 volumes-a complete turnover of all books in the collection almost four times a year.circle_blue.pngmo25
September 19391939-09-01150+ VolunteersCounty library system has 166 volunteer assistants working under Leonard; a borrower's card is good for three years at a cost of $.05 and fines for overdue books are $.01 per day. Cherrydale and Clarendon both offer "rental shelf of best sellers."circle_blue.pngmo25
October 19391939-10-01Leonard ResignsEleanor Leonard resigns as County Librarian.circle_blue.pngmo40
November 19391939-11-01Phillips Appointed LibrarianHelen L. Phillips, a graduate of Simmons College Library School with experience in Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C., appointed County Librarian.circle_grey.pngmo40
Oct. 13, 19401940-10-13Clarendon Library ReopensClarendon Library opens at Clarendon Citizen's Association former clubhouse at 1059 N. Irving Street. A storage shed in the back is used for overflow books.circle_black.pngda25
November 19401940-11-01More Librarian ChangesHelen L. Phillips marries and resigns as County Librarian; Frances Henke appointed County Librarian but departs after a few months to go into Army Library Service.circle_grey.pngmo40
Nov. 19, 19401940-11-19Holmes Opens for African AmericansHolmes Library, named for Henry L. Holmes (Alexandria County--later Arlington--Commissioner of Revenue from 1876 to 1903) opens at S. 13th Street and S. Queen Street as volunteer organization for Arlington's African Americans in the George Washington Carver Homes project.circle_black.pngda75
Jan. 30, 19411941-01-30Another Move for CherrydaleCherrydale Library moves into second floor of Fire Department Building at 3900 Lee Highway. circle_yellow.pngda25
Feb. 15, 19411941-02-15Blattner Takes ChargeMildred G. Blattner, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Library School and active as a volunteer with the Arlington County Library movement, appointed County Librarian.circle_blue.pngda40
19411941-01-01Glencarlyn Formally JoinsGlencarlyn Library formally becomes part of Arlington Public Library system.circle_green.pngye25
July 19411941-07-01C.P. Hall Torn DownThe Columbia Pike Community Hall is torn down; the library collection is moved to the second floor of the Clarendon Library.circle_red.pngmo25
July 19411941-07-01Staff AddedFull-time cataloger Dorothy Wilson and four part-time branch assistants are hired for library system.circle_blue.pngmo25
1942 1942-01-01Cherrydale Formally JoinsCounty formally accepts Cherrydale Library as part of Library system.circle_yellow.pngye25
Oct. 2, 19421942-10-02Cherrydale Moves AgainCherrydale Library moves to 4010 Lee Highway.circle_yellow.pngda25
December 19421942-12-01Arlington Community (C.P.) ReopensArlington Community Branch (Columbia Pike) Library is moved to a new store building at 911 S. Glebe Road-Westmont Shopping Center at Columbia Pike; hours increase and circulation soars.circle_red.pngmo25
January 19431943-01-01Library Association DisbandsArlington County Library Association disbands.circle_blue.pngmo50
19431943-01-01State Aid BeginsVirginia State Library begins providing aid to Arlington Public Library giving $1000 each year with funds earmarked for children's books, reference and basic non-fiction.circle_blue.pngye50
June 26, 19441943-06-26Holmes Becomes Official "Colored" BranchHenry L. Holmes Library becomes branch of Arlington library system "for the colored citizens," holds 1000 books.circle_black.pngda50
July 19461946-07-01Cherrydale Finds Home in ClinicCherrydale Library moves to front half of frame house at 4006 Lee Highway, a former Health Department children's clinic. circle_yellow.pngmo25
19471947-01-01Plans for WestoverCounty approves $7500 for creating branch library in Westover.circle_brown.pngye50
Jan. 15, 19481948-01-15Expansion into ShirlingtonFairlington Branch Library (later known as Shirlington Branch) opens in three rented rooms on the second floor of the Shirlington Trust Building at 2780 S. Randolph Street in the Shirlington shopping center; it holds 800 volumes, employs a full-time branch librarian (Marian G. Whiteleather) and uses 50 volunteers. Two more rooms are rented for the library in 1952. In 1948-49, Fairlington circulates 2053 volumes; in 1955-56, 101,977 volumes circulate.circle_pink.pngda75
1949 1949-01-01Aurora Hills GrowsDuncan Library, now known as Aurora Hills, expands into all of 506 S. 23rd St. building, doubling floor and shelf space.circle_purple.pngye25
July 19491949-07-01Fire in ClarendonFire severely damages Clarendon Library building at 1059 Irving Street. Much archival material is lost, building is closed for half a yearcircle_black.pngmo25
January 19491949-01-01Westover Gets Its LibraryTwo basement apartments at 1530 N. Longfellow St. are rented and renovated for Westover Branch Library. Because of demand, Westover hours are repeatedly expanded with branch open 68 hours a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. During FY 1956-57, an adjacent apartment is rented to give the branch more floor space. circle_brown.pngmo75
19501950-01-01Holmes ClosesThe Holmes Branch Library is closed to make way for a new housing project; its collections are assimilated by other libraries.circle_black.pngye75
July 19511951-07-01New Children's PostLibrary Supervisor of Children's Work position is created.circle_blue.pngmo50
19521952-01-01C.P Doubles in SizeColumbia Pike Library expands into adjacent store, doubling in size.circle_red.pngye25
October 19521952-10-01Cherrydale to Gain Children's RoomFunding made available to create children's room at back of Cherrydale Library building.circle_yellow.pngmo25
February 19531953-02-01More Space in ClarendonLibrary administrative office moves across the street from Clarendon Library to a house at 1028 N. Irving. Branch uses extra space on second floor for larger children's room. Music recordings are stored atop the library bathtub and problems with termites, rats and a leaky roof remain.circle_black.pngmo25
November 19541954-11-01Librarian Gets HelpAn Assistant Director of Libraries, Jane B. Nida, is appointedcircle_blue.pngmo50
19551955-01-01Study: Go Where the People AreDr. Joseph L. Wheeler, former librarian of Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and a noted library consultant, submits to Arlington government a "Report of a Survey of Department of Libraries With Recommended Building Program." Wheeler recommends new buildings for all existing seven libraries and suggests relocating to locations such as shopping centers, writing "Go where the people are."circle_blue.pngye50
Mid 19571957-06-01Blattner Retires; Nida Moves UpMildred Blattner retires as Director after 16 years of service. Assistant Director Jane B. Nida succeeds her. Nida strongly favors construction of a central library for Arlingtoncircle_blue.pngmo40
May 14, 19581958-05-14Bond Issue Approved for Central LibraryBond issue for $560,000 approved for Central Library at 1015 N. Quincy Street. J. Russell Bailey appointed architect, Allen C. Minnix and Sons named the contractor. County spends $62,500 for 2.2 acres of land for the project.circle_orange.pngda75
Feb. 27, 19591959-02-27C.P. Gets BigColumbia Pike Library moves to 3239 Columbia Pike becoming the largest and best equipped library in the County.circle_red.pngda25
April 12, 19591959-04-12Glencarlyn Land, Building Become County'sBurdett trustees give land and old Glencarlyn Library building at 300 S. Kensington St. to County along with a fund of $16,834.49; (the County had been paying rent to operate the Glencarlyn Branch).circle_green.pngda25
Jan. 17, 19601960-01-17Work Begins on CentralGroundbreaking for new Central Library-a $516,667.75 project-the first publicly financed library construction in County history. Building to have capacity for 100,000 volumes, 150 reading patrons, parking for 50 cars. Second floor to include administrative offices and meeting room for 100 people.circle_orange.pngda50
Sept. 4, 19601960-10-04Cherrydale Campaign Leads to New BuildingGroundbreaking for new Cherrydale Branch Library at 2150 Military Road, the "old Dudley property." Site purchased for $16,802. J. Russell Bailey, architect for Central Library, tapped for Cherrydale building, contractor is Earl K. Rosti. Neighborhood had opposed Dr. Wheeler's suggestion of relocating branch to area near Glebe Road and Lee Highway intersection. New Cherrydale is first library branch facility built by County. For three years, a committee representing Cherrydale community groups had lobbied for the new building some 50 times before the County Board.circle_yellow.pngda35
Dec. 9, 19601960-12-09Theft at Columbia PikeThieves steal $82 from box at Columbia Pike Library at 3239 Colombia Pike.circle_red.pngda10
early 19611961-01-01Clarendon Library Fades AwayThe Clarendon collection is moved to the new Central Library.circle_black.pngmo25
May 14, 19611961-05-14Dedication at CentralDedication of new Central Library at 3 p.m.; Library director Nida receives key from County Manager A.T. Lundberg; staff-led tours begin at 3:30 p.m.circle_orange.pngda75
Aug. 14, 19611961-08-14New Cherrydale DedicatedDedication of new Cherrydale Branch Library at 2190 N. Military Rd. Project cost $713,000; branch has 19,519 books. circle_yellow.pngda25
November 19611961-11-01Voters Back 3 New Branch BuildingsBond issue for $495,000 approved for replacement buildings for Westover, Glencarlyn and Shirlington branches.circle_blue.pngmo60
19621962-01-01State of the CollectionLibrary collection stands at 31,000 itemscircle_blue.pngye25
March 19621962-03-01Meet Your FriendsFriends of the Arlington Public Library is formed to provide for the exchange of ideas and experience, improve and extend Library services, raise Library standards, secure adequate support for Library; cooperate in the promotion of Library services.circle_navy.pngmo50
July 19621962-07-01Groundbreaking in WestoverGroundbreaking for a new Westover Branch at 1800 N. Lexington Street . Project budget set at $152,700, J. Russell Bailey, already the architect for Central and Cherrydale, is chosen for Westover building. Contractor is W. Bradley Tyree. circle_brown.pngmo25
July 21, 19621962-07-21Shirlington Construction StartsGroundbreaking for new Shirlington Branch facility at 2700 S. Taylor St. Project budgeted at $215,900, building designed by J. Russell Bailey and to be built by Miller Bros. Shirlington is designated a secondary reference center because of its distance from Central Library. Shirlington has 23,000 volumes and the new building will be able to hold 30,000. The library will feature a drive-in window and storytime terrace.circle_pink.pngda35
October 19621962-10-01Glencarlyn Project UnderwayGroundbreaking for new Glencarlyn Branch, designed by J. Russell Bailey and built by B. Scott Construction Co. $126,500 allotted for project.circle_green.pngmo35
June 16, 19631963-06-16Westover Building DedicatedDedication for new Westover Branch building at 1800 N. Lexington St. Westover collection stand at 23,432 books. Same day dedication for new Glencarlyn Branch at 300 S. Kensington St.circle_brown.pngda25
April 12, 19641964-04-12Dedication for ShirlingtonDedication for new Shirlington Branch Librarycircle_pink.pngda25
19661966-01-011968-09-30Central Undergoes ExpansionConstruction begins for addition to Central, doubling the size.circle_orange.pngye35
September 19671967-09-01Central Opens First Floor AdditionFirst floor addition of Central Library opens.circle_orange.pngmo35
Sept. 30, 19681968-09-30Second Floor Addition Opens at CentralSecond floor addition of Central Library opens.circle_orange.pngye35
1968-19691968-01-011969-12-31Talking Books Hit ArlingtonTalking Books program begins at Arlington Public Library.circle_blue.pngye50
19691969-01-01Bonds for New A.H. Building Bond referendum for new Aurora Hills branch building approved.circle_purple.pngye50
Late 19711971-09-01Video Rolls at CentralArlington Public Library becomes first library in metropolitan area to install a video cassette system. The player, costing $700, and cassettes are located in audiovisual room at Central Library. circle_orange.pngmo50
September 19721972-09-01Serving the Blind, HandicappedArlington Public Library is designated a "Subregional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped" by the Library of Congress.circle_blue.pngmo40
19751975-01-01Helping the HomeboundLibrary "Service to the Homebound" begins. circle_blue.pngye40
June 4, 19751975-06-04C.P. Lands on Walter ReedColumbia Pike Branch moves from Westmont Shopping Center and opens at 816 S. Walter Reed Dr., a shared facility with Arlington Public Schools that includes the County's new Career Center. New library has 20,000 square feet compared to 2,600 at its former location.circle_red.pngda35
Sept. 13, 19751975-09-13C.P. Branch DedicatedDedication of new Columbia Pike Branch facility.circle_red.pngda25
April 19761976-04-01Friends Launch First Book SaleFriends of the Library hold first used book sale, raising more than $2700 to support Library programs. The sale is initially an annual event but later becomes biannual and is considered Arlington's oldest recycling program.circle_navy.pngmo60
August 19761976-08-01A.H. Project UnderwayGroundbreaking for new Aurora Hills Branch at S. 18th St. The architect for the shared-use County building is Charlie Hall. Facility also includes community center. Branch will move from S. Eads and S. 23rd St.circle_purple.pngmo35
Dec. 12, 19771977-12-12Aurora Hills Facility OpensOpening of new Aurora Hills Branch Library. New facility has 10,000 square feet of space, nine times the size of the previous branch building. Total cost for project is $1,300,000.circle_purple.pngda25
Feb. 26, 19781978-02-26Dedication for A.H. BuildingDedication for new Aurora Hills Branch Library at 735 S. 18th St. Branch has 24,634 volumes with the potential for 40,000 to 50,000. circle_purple.pngda25
Late 19791979-09-01Security for CollectionActing Library Director Leila Saunders estimates the library loses $50,000 in materials to theft each year. The "Tattle-Tape" security system is installed at Central Librarycircle_blue.pngmo35
Feb. 15, 19801980-02-15Jane Nida RetiresJane B. Nida retires as Director of Arlington Public Library. She had worked an exchange position with USAID in 1979, leaving Assistant Director Leila Saunders as acting director.circle_grey.pngda40
Feb. 16, 19801980-02-16Saunders is DirectorLelia Saunders becomes Library Director.circle_grey.pngda40
March-April 19801980-03-011980-04-30Children's Services Face CutsResidents protest against proposed cuts in Library children's services.circle_blue.pngmo30
July 1, 19801980-07-01Residents Gain, Share Area Borrowing PrivilegesArlington Public Library joins the reciprocal area library borrowing program sponsored by the Metropolitan Council of Governments. Previously non-Arlington residents had to pay $10 each year to have an Arlington card. Arlington residents can acquire cards free from other area library systems.circle_blue.pngda60
Summer 19811981-06-25New Reading Aid for the BlindA Kurzweil Reading Machine for the blind, costing more than $25,000, is installed at Central Library.circle_blue.pngmo25
April 19831983-04-01Catalog Meets ComputerCentral Library, Glencarlyn, Aurora Hills, Columbia Pike and Westover branches begin cataloging materials on the County's main computer.circle_blue.pngmo50
April 23, 19831983-04-23Sundays at C.P. and A.H.County Board votes to fund Sunday afternoon hours beginning in September at Columbia Pike and Aurora Hills as part of a one-year test.circle_blue.pngda25
August 19831983-08-01Guarding Rare BooksLibrary begins embossing its seal on rare book plates in the Virginiana collection to prevent theft and mutilation.circle_blue.pngmo25
May 19851985-05-01Searching with a Digital TwistDIALOG, a computer-assisted information retrieval system with access to over 100 different databases, is available at Central Library. Searches can take three weeks and the bibliographic information is then mailed to the person making the request.circle_blue.pngmo50
September 19851985-09-01Circulation by MachineLibrary institutes computerized circulation system followed by computerized catalog.circle_blue.pngmo50
August 19861986-08-01Saunders Retires; Brown HiredLibrary Director Leila Saunders retires; succeeded by Charles M. Brown, who received his Master's degree in Library Science from Columbia University.circle_grey.pngmo40
February 19881988-02-01LUIS Brings Catalog SystemwideLUIS system makes entire Library catalog accessible at all locations and Arlington public high schools. There are 16 public catalog stations at Central Library and 23 stations in the branches.circle_blue.pngmo50
Late 1988-early 19891988-09-011989-03-01Sundays in WestoverSunday service begins at Westover Branch.circle_brown.pngmo25
January 19891989-01-02Reference for the GovernmentGovernment Reference Library opens upstairs in County government building, with responsibilities ultimately absorbed in 2007 by new, more patron-oriented Plaza Library & Arlington Shop.circle_aqua.pngmo75
June 19901990-06-01New Renovations for CentralPreliminary renovations begin at Central Library.circle_orange.pngmo50
19901990-01-01More than 1.2 Million VisitorsLibrary circulates 1,397,000 items; receives 1,214,000 visitors; circulates 119,600 audiovisual items.circle_blue.pngye25
1991-19941991-01-011994-12-31Central Remains Open During Major FaceliftCentral Library undergoes renovation but remains open during construction.circle_orange.pngye50
June 29, 19921992-06-29Branch Hours ReducedBecause of budget constraints, operating hours at the six branch libraries are reduced by nine hours a week-Monday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 1-9 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.circle_blue.pngda25
September 19921992-09-01Westover Sundays EndSunday service is eliminated at Westover Branch.circle_brown.pngmo25
December 19921992-12-01Funds to Expand Foreign LanguagesLibrary receives $25,000 grant from the Freedom Forum to expand its foreign language collection.circle_blue.pngmo35
1993 1993-01-01Collection at 600KLibrary collection stands at 600,000 items.circle_blue.pngye25
February 19931993-02-01New Reader for the BlindWith $6,000 grant from the Virginia Department of the Blind, an electronic Arkenstone Open Book Reader for blind patrons is installed at Central Library.circle_blue.pngmo25
Late 1994-early 19951994-09-011995-03-01Seniors Cards RetiredLibrary discontinues special senior citizen library cards, which exempt seniors from paying overdue fines.circle_blue.pngmo35
19941994-01-01Brown Leaves; Donnellan in ChargeCharles M. Brown resigns as Director; future County Manager Barbara Donnellan, Administrative Services Chief for libraries, named Acting Director.circle_grey.pngye40
FY 19951994-07-01Collection at 646KLibrary collection includes 646,000 books; 1200 periodical and newspaper subscriptions; 20,000 tapes, videos, compact disks and records; 166,000 books and other items for children and young adults.circle_blue.pngye25
19951995-01-01Friends Give GenerouslyFriends of the Arlington Public Library donate more than $100,000 for Library collections, programs and related services.circle_navy.pngye25
19951995-01-01Almost 1.5 Visitors AnnuallyOver 1,970,000 Library items circulate; nearly 1,500,000 visits to Library; 265,600 audiovisual items circulate; more than 100,000 library card holders; average patron visits Library eight times per year.circle_blue.pngye25
March 20, 19951995-04-20Friedman Becomes DirectorAnn M. Friedman named Library Director. Friedman received her M.L.S. degree from the University of Michigan and had previously worked for the Columbus, Ohio and Montgomery County, Maryland library systems. circle_grey.pngda40
August 19951995-08-01Public Internet ArrivesLibrary installs first internet terminals with help of $20,000 LibraryLink grant. Two public work stations and one reference station are located at Central Library. Seven other library systems in the United States also share in the program.circle_blue.pngmo60
19961996-01-01An Endowment for the 21st CenturyFriends of the Arlington Public Library and the Acorn Society of the Arlington Community Foundation launch the Arlington County Library Endowment "to support the materials collections of the Library well into the 21st century."circle_navy.pngye50
Nov. 3, 19981998-11-03Shirlington, Westover Bonds ApprovedVoters overwhelmingly approve bond referenda including funding for renovations or replacements of the Shirlington and Westover branch buildings.circle_blue.pngda50
20002000-01-01eBooks ArriveLibrary first offers read-online eBooks through website.circle_blue.pngye50
Feb. 14, 20002000-02-14C.P. Goes CyberColumbia Pike CyberCenter opens.circle_red.pngda35
September 20002000-09-01A.H. Sundays EndSunday hours, offered during the school year, officially terminated at Aurora Hills.circle_purple.pngmo25
Oct. 7, 20002000-10-07Board Approves Plan for Shirlington Branch Location in VillageThe County Board approves a plan to build a new Shirlington Branch facility, which also incorporates theater space, in the phased development of the Village at Shirlingtoncircle_pink.pngda35
August 20012001-08-01Shirlington Branch Vacates S. TaylorThe Shirlington Branch closes at 2700 S. Taylor St. location, which is slated to be razed for a future County Parks and Natural Resources Operations Building. The vacated library building is later used for operations related to Sept. 11 attack recovery efforts.circle_pink.pngmo25
Sept. 4, 20012001-09-04Shirlington Branch Moves to Temp HousingShirlington Branch opens in rented temporary housing at S. 28th Street and S. Quincy Street in the Village at Shirlington.circle_pink.pngda25
July 2, 20022002-07-02Online Holds Take HoldFree online holds system is launched replacing slower process involving printed and mailed notices. circle_blue.pngda50
20032003-01-01Patrons Borrow 2+ Million ItemsLibrary system visited 1.4 million times over the year with patrons borrowing 2.3 million items and accessing electronic databases 55,000 timescircle_blue.pngye25
20042004-01-01eAudiobooks Begin to FlowLibrary first offers eAudiobooks downloadable through website.circle_blue.pngye50
Summer 20052005-06-01More than 2500 Kids Get Caught Reading2,630 children take part in the "Get Caught Reading" programcircle_blue.pngmo25
April 20062006-04-01Friedman Retires; Kresh Arrives from L.C.Ann M. Friedman retires as Library Director, succeeded by Arlington native Diane Kresh, who has M.L.S. and B.A. degrees from Catholic University and spent 31 years at the Library of Congress. circle_grey.pngmo40
August-October 20062006-08-012006-10-31First Arlington Reads ProgramLibrary launches first Arlington Reads community read program, featuring Anne Tyler's "Digging to America" for adults, Marjane Satrapi's "Persepolis" for teens and Linda Sue Park's "A Single Shard" for elementary school children.circle_blue.pngmo35
November 13, 20062006-11-13Flooding Closes Temp Shirlington BranchThe temporary Shirlington Branch Library at S. 28th Street and S. Quincy is closed because of flood damage.circle_pink.pngda25
March 2, 20072007-03-02"Cat in the Hat" Celebration at 50Virginia First Lady Anne Holten reads "The Cat in the Hat" to children at Central Library to celebrate the book's 50th anniversary.circle_orange.pngda25
March 18, 20072007-03-18New Shirlington Opens in VillageThe new Shirlington Branch Library opens in Village at Shirlington, sharing a building with Signature Theatre at 4200 Campbell Avenue. New 15,293 square feet branch is result of public-private partnership between Arlington County and the Federal Realty Investment Trust. Architect is Lukmire Parnership, Inc., contractor is Sigal Constructioncircle_pink.pngda35
April 2, 20072007-04-02Plaza Branch & County Store Debuts at CourthousePlaza (Branch) Library & County Store opens in lobby of 2100 Clarendon Blvd., the County government building. The Plaza Library & County Store is a new component to both the Library system and Arlington County Government operations. Library staff provide government reference service, manages County store and serve as "information and referral" for all County offices and services. Plaza Branch is not open at night and on weekends, following hours of the County government building.circle_aqua.pngda75
May 9, 20082008-05-09Groundbreaking for Westover FacilityGroundbreaking for new branch facility for Westover, a joint facility operated with Arlington Public Schools. The new Westover Branch Library, at 1644 N. McKinley St., will have almost three times as much space as the building it replaces, increasing from 5800 square feet to 16,000 square feet.circle_brown.pngda35
July 7, 20082008-07-07Central Loses Last HourAs per approved County budget, Central Library closing hour moves from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday circle_orange.pngda25
Sept. 15, 20082008-09-15Overdue Notices No Longer PaperLibrary moves to all-paperless overdue notices.circle_blue.pngda50
Dec. 12, 20092009-12-12More Help with Fines, FeesLibrary begins using outside collection agency, Unique Management, to settle outstanding accounts of at least $25.circle_blue.pngda50
July 1, 20092009-07-01Reduced Hours at A.H., CHAs per approved County budget during recession, Aurora Hills and Cherrydale hours on Thursdays are reduced to 2 to 6 p.m. (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m) and on Fridays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.); some library fees increase.circle_blue.pngda25
April 30, 20092009-04-30Toobin Speaks as Arlington Reads AuthorFeatured Arlington Reads 2009 author Jeffrey Toobin discusses "The Nine" with high school students followed by a standing-room only appearance at Central Library Auditorium.circle_blue.pngda25
Oct. 30, 20092009-10-30Reed-Westover Facility OpensNew Westover Branch facility is open with ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks from officials; community open house celebration is held Oct. 31.circle_brown.pngda35
Dec. 19-21, 20092009-12-192009-12-21Early Winter Blizzard HitsHeavy snows shutdown Library and County government for days.circle_blue.pngda25
Feb. 5-Feb. 11, 20102010-02-052010-02-11Another Blizzard; More Unprecedented Days of ClosuresHeavy snows shutdown Library and County government.circle_blue.pngda25
March 30, 20102010-03-30Old Westover RazedThe old Westover Branch building at 1800 N. Lexington St. is demolished and cleared for green space.circle_brown.pngda25
April-May 20102010-04-012010-05-30Arlington Reads 2010 Draws Big with Food, Sustainability, BerryArlington Reads 2010, with the theme of food and sustainability, draws huge crowds for appearances by authors Novella Carpenter and Wendell Berry. A community vegetable garden maintained by volunteers is installed at the east plaza of Central Library. circle_blue.pngda25
June 18, 20102010-06-18C.P. Branch Stays PutCounty Manager Michael Brown withdraws proposal to move Columbia Pike Branch Library from Career Center to Arlington Mill facility on Columbia Pike.circle_red.pngda25
July 1, 20102010-07-10Hours Reduced at Central, Most BranchesAs per approved County budget during lingering recession, Central Library opening time shifts from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Each branch except Plaza is closed one weekday per week: Aurora Hills, Cherrydale and Glencarlyn on Tuesdays; Columbia Pike, Shirlington and Westover on Thursdays. Glencarlyn and Cherrydale do not lose hours per week because of removed hours from previous year.circle_blue.pngda25
June-September 20102010-06-152010-09-10Kids Caught Reading at Record LevelA record-breaking 5305 young people sign up for the Library summer reading program, reading at least 24,782 books.circle_blue.pngmo25
February 20112011-02-012011-02-15High-Tech Catalog System InstalledIn partnership with Arlington Public Schools, Library installs first new catalog system in 12 years. Library sites remain open during transition. New system allows for online payments, alternative usernames and requires PIN.circle_blue.pngmo50
March 31, 2011-April 26, 20112011-03-312011-04-26Arlington Reads 2011 is "The Soldier's Story"Featured non-fiction author is Pulitzer-winning reporter David Finkel ("The Good Soldiers") and feature fiction author is National Book Award winner Tim O'Brien ("The Things They Carried").circle_blue.pngda25
June 20112011-06-01Arlington Reads HonoredArlington Reads 2010 is given a 2011 Outstanding Achievement in Local Government Innovation Award from the Alliance for Innovation. Selection is based on a proven dedication to stretching and improving the boundaries of day-to-day government operations and practices, implementing creative business processes, and improving the civic health of the community. Arlington Reads 2010 examined the issues of food and sustainability.circle_blue.pngmo25
June 20112011-06-01New Honor for Arlington ReadsArlington Reads 2010 is also named Outstanding Adult Program for 2011 by Virginia Public Library Directors Association.circle_blue.pngmo25
July 1, 20112011-07-01Demand Surges for DownloadablesCirculation for eBooks jumps 50 percent in Fiscal Year 2011; circulation for downloadable audiobooks is up 35 percent. circle_blue.pngda40
June-July 20112011-06-012011-07-31Central Goes SolarSolar panels are installed on Central Library roof.circle_orange.pngmo35
July 5, 20112011-07-05Some Branch Hours ReturnAs per approved County budget, branches (except Plaza) gain back three hours per work week while Shirlington and Columbia Pike also have Sunday hours extended to 9 p.m. Materials budget increased by $165,000 for fiscal year.circle_blue.pngda25
Questions? Information to add? Email us Tell Arlington's Story