You’ve been busy since our last report! Since June 15, over 56,000 print books and other library materials have been checked out or renewed, over 67,000 physical holds have been placed, and 163,000 items have been returned at all seven Library locations.
Five Things to Make Your Holds Pickup Easier
- It’s hot out there! We’ve added a 4th service station to make the line move faster and shade tents to help protect you while you wait in line.
- Hold status - We fixed a glitch in our system that showed some holds were available before they reached the shelf. Now, you can pick up your holds as soon as you see that they’re ready.
- Make it fast - Bring your library card (or the card of the person you’re picking up for) to receive speedy service. No card? Use the digital library card in your Library App.
- Control your holds - If you’re going out of town or don’t want to receive a book at this time, don’t forget to freeze your holds.
- Arlington Wireless - Use the free Wi-Fi while waiting in line for your hold.
We're Constantly Impressed By How Much Arlington Loves To Read!
The ten most popular holds placed in the last 30 days are:
- “Too Much and Never Enough” by Mary L. Trump
- “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
- “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett
- "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir" by John Bolton
- "Make Russia Great Again" by Christopher Buckley
- "Sex and Vanity" by Kevin Kwan
- "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo
- "The Guest List" by Lucy Foley
- "Friends and Strangers" by Courtney J. Sullivan
- "The Splendid and the Vile" by Erik Larson
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We hope to open Aurora Hills and the newly renovated Columbia Pike Branches during July.Read More
Frequently Asked Questions
Library Service During COVID
At Central Library Holds Pickup:
- Holds pickup in the Auditorium.
- Basic account services - Sign up for a library card, verify new library cards, and update mailing addresses.
At Shirlington and Westover Express Library Service locations:
- 30 minute, in-person browsing of Library books and media
- Holds pickup
- Check out using the self-service stations
- Physically-distanced assistance for account management and wayfinding
- Basic account services - verify new library cards and update mailing addresses.
Returns can be made in the book drops at all Library locations except for the Columbia Pike Branch, which is under construction.
- All patrons and staff must maintain six-foot social distancing requirements.
- All patrons and staff must wear masks. For more information, please see the County Visitor Face Covering Policy from the Arlington County Government Website.
- Hand sanitizer is available for patrons entering and leaving the Library.
- Service points have sneeze-guard partitions.
- Frequent cleaning and deep cleaning of staff and public spaces.
Library materials will be set aside for at least 24 hours before being processed. Library staff will practice appropriate safety procedures as laid out by County health officials and may adjust procedures based on the latest research and guidance.
You may choose to set aside library materials for 24 hours after you receive them.
Basic account services such as applying for and renewing library cards can be handled at the auditorium service points. The process is the same as for holds pickup.
Public bathrooms are currently closed inside Central Library. Public restrooms are available on the outside of Central Library, facing the Quincy Park baseball field.
Current locations: Shirlington and Westover Branch Libraries
- 30 minute, in person browsing of Library books and media
- Holds pickup
- Check out using the self-service stations
- Physically-distanced assistance for account management and wayfinding
Learn more on our Express Library Services page.
For safety reasons, we quarantine returned material for at least 24 hours. If over 7 days have passed since you returned your library items and they remain on your account, please use this form to tell us which items you returned, and we’ll update your account.
Return all items in the exterior book drops at any Library location - except Columbia Pike, which is closed for renovation. Any material format can be returned in the book drop, including DVDs, wireless hotspots, etc.
Returns will not be accepted in the Auditorium at Central Library.
Items are “in-transit” when they have been scanned for transportation from one library location to another. Because of COVID-19 work processes, books are spending more time in-transit than normal.
Because of COVID-19 work processes, it takes extra time for your requested items to reach the hold shelves. We are unable to do shelf-checks at this time. In addition, all returned Library materials must be quarantined for 72 hours.
After thawing your holds, your place in line for each item will fluctuate as other patrons with holds on the same titles thaw or freeze their holds.
You can have 30 physical items on hold, and 10 eCollection items on hold.
Making lists in your account is a great way to keep track of more things you want to read or watch.
Central library holds pickup is in the Auditorium on the 1st floor - enter from the 10th street parking lot.
Accessibility pickup is available at Central Library for patrons with a physical accessibility issue that prevents them from using our holds-only service model. If you are in need of accessibility accommodation, you can schedule your holds pickup by calling the Library at 703-228-5990.
Accessibility pickup is not available at Express Library locations.
Please park in the surface parking lots. The parking garage is currently closed to the public.
Access to the auditorium will be metered, with patrons lining up at six-foot intervals outside Library entrance closest to the tennis courts / surface parking lot.
Once inside the auditorium, up to four service stations will be available. Library staff will retrieve your holds, check them out to you, and pass them to you with no/limited contact.
Patrons will then exit across the Auditorium, through the doors onto the garden porch and walk down the pathway to the parking lot.
Library bathrooms are closed. Public restrooms are available on the outside of Central Library, facing the Quincy Park baseball field.
When possible, please send one household member to retrieve holds. Bring the associated library card for any holds you are picking up.
You may also use the library app to manage all the accounts from one household, and to access digital library cards for each account.
Your items will remain on the shelf for 5 days.
When placing new holds, you will be able to choose Shirlington or Westover as your pickup location.
You can also change the pickup location of items currently on hold in your library account to Shirlington or Westover.
At this time, fines cannot be paid in person at the Library.
Make payments using a credit card - Log into your Library account and go to Fines and Messages.
Mail payment by check or money order - Make payable to Treasurer of Arlington County and include library card number. Mail to: Central Library, Attention: Circulation, 1015 N. Quincy St, Arlington, VA 22201
We regret that we cannot accept donations at any Library location at this time.
The Friends of the Arlington Public Library loves our supportive library community and greatly appreciate your desire to give us your gently used books, puzzles, games, CDs and DVDs.
Unfortunately, they cannot accept your donations at this time as:
- We do not have the space to store donations.
- The Friends and the Library do not have staff or volunteers to sort them.
- We cannot add staff or volunteers due to space/social distancing concerns.
- We do not know when the next book sale will be held and have no other mechanism for selling donations.
Until the Friends are able to accept donations again, all items left at the Library will be recycled. Please wait to make book donations until we are able to process them again.
If you want to support the Library and the Friends, please visit the Friends of the Arlington Public Library website to learn about other ways to help.
The Library is unable to accommodate volunteers during this phase of reopening. We will welcome our volunteers back as soon as we can safely do so.
Learn Something New
Plan for the Future
You Can Still Enjoy a Good Book!
Download an eBook:
Or an eAudiobook:
RBdigital collection - Includes Pimsleur Language lessons, Great Courses lectures, plus favorite fiction and nonfiction titles.
Writer Bettina Lanyi hangs out with the Library’s ambassadors to the 20- and 30-somethings of Arlington.
Painting and Perspective
As part of our celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Medal, we invited artist Melanie Kehoss to visit Central Library’s after school Kids Club on Wednesday, February 20.
Inspired by previous Caldecott winner Flotsam by David Wiesner, the kids played with perspective, making small things huge and big things tiny to design their own picture book covers. Then, using watercolors and black and white crayons, they made their creations come to life.
Check out their beautiful work!
Find more Kids Events, recommended books, reading tips, and more on our Kids Page.
|Oct. 25, 2011: VBCF’s Lydia Stewart presents Library Director Diane Kresh
with a check as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Arlington Public Library is taking the fight against breast cancer to a higher level with the help of a new $800 award from the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation.
The funds will go for new books on fighting and surviving the disease, ranging from preventative diet cook books to graphic novels. Each book will contain a special bookplate honoring the VBCF’s efforts. The Library will also display a variety of the foundation’s brochures on health maintenance and strategies for coping with cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women except for skin cancers. The chances of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman’s life is a little less than one in eight.
The books purchased with the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation award include:
- 100 Questions and Answers About Advanced and Metastatic Breast Cancer
- Better Than New (Insider Tips From a Glamour Girl on Surviving Breast Cancer, Mastectomy and Reconstruction)
- The Breast Cancer Companion: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed
- The Breast Cancer Field Manual: A Guide for Young Women, Their Families and Friends
- Breast Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do
- Cancer Vixen: A True Story
- Con Fe: Como Transformar Tu Vida Y Empezar de nuevo
- I Am Not My Hair: A Young Woman’s Journey and Triumph Over Breast Cancer
- Just Get Me Through This! A Practical Guide to Coping with Breast Cancer
- Now What? A Patient’s Guide to Recovery After Mastectomy
- The Pink Ribbon Diet: A Revolutionary New Weight Loss Plan to Lower Your Breast Cancer Risk
- Previvors: Facing the Breast Cancer Gene and Making Life-Changing Decisions
- Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors
- Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner’s Program to protect Against & Fight Breast Cancer
- The Whole Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors: A Nutritional Approach to Preventing Recurrence
- Yoga and Breast Cancer: A Journey to Health and Healing
Despite ever-advancing technology, the Library is still run by real human beings. And while some of those human beings do use advanced technology on behalf of the Library, they do other things after they punch out for the night.
Check out the story of Alex, one Arlington Public Library staff member who has followed an unexpected but joyful path, while balancing her love of art, family and your public library.
You may not know Maureen, our soon-to- be-retired Materials and Technology Division chief, but her effect on Arlington Public Library is everywhere. A person who has never sought the limelight deserves now to be celebrated for a record of accomplishment that has helped make Arlington Public Library the premier system it is.
So just who is Maureen Karl? The facts tell us something. Maureen arrived at APL in 1999 from by way of a small law firm in Washington D.C. following stints at Canton Public Library and Kent State in Ohio.
Her strengths in cataloging and technical services (including overseeing the implementation of large scale projects like online library catalogs) brought her to Arlington.Yet once here, she added responsibility for collections development to the aforementioned and here is where she truly shone brightest–advocating for the collection, watching closely the national trends in publishing and library circulation, pushing us to explore new media (such as downloadables) to meet patrons’ needs.
And she found time and energy to be the Library’s principal liaison with the Friends of the Arlington Public Library, helping them achieve their goal of the $1 million endowment initiated by my predecessor, Ann Friedman. The endowment will forever be the gift that keeps on giving, a legacy of Ann Friedman’s prescience and Maureen’s commitment to the residents of Arlington and the users of its libraries.
Still can’t place her? Maureen’s a doting grandmother, a deft writer, a champion of core library services, a patient mentor, a trusted colleague, an all-weather friend. She remembers birthdays and is good for a cake from Randolph’s. She hosted the most elegant staff holiday luncheons. She’s the one who sends the cards, remembers the welcome gift, brings the flowers and leaves a place better than when she arrived.
Is there anything else you should know? Her colleagues describe her variously as gracious and generous; smart and sensible. The linchpin, the glue, a roll-up-her-sleever, a consummate professional. And tall. All in all, a class act in spite of a predilection (which I share, in part) for some sketchy confections like Necco wafers, Valentine Conversation Hearts and candy corn.
The mark of a true talent is to make it look easy. And Maureen did. She made a lot happen, and shouldered a lot of responsibility in her own quiet way and with good cheer, doubtless buoyed by the many aphorisms handed down from her mother that surfaced in our conversations through the years. Sayings like “Can’t never did anything; try did it all.” And “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” The kinds of things people don’t say anymore but that are powerful in their understated effect. Like Maureen.
So, now that you know Maureen as we have come to know her, she must bid us “so long.” Off to reclaim her roots in Pittsburgh, home of Isaly’s Original Chipped Chopped Ham, Iron City Beer and the Klondike Bar. We will miss her–and we know you will, too.
And we’re glad you finally got to know her.
Legendary voice Bob Edwards will discuss his pioneering work at NPR and Sirius XM Satellite Radio – plus look back on his friendship with sportscaster Red Barber and the legacy of Edward R. Murrow – when he appears June 14, 7 p.m., at Arlington Central Library Auditorium.
Edwards spent 30 years with National Public Radio, anchoring “All Things Considered” before waking up millions of listeners as the founding host of “Morning Edition” from 1979 to 2004. He took his thoughtful, well-researched approach to satellite audiences with the daily Bob Edwards Show and is now also heard back on public airwaves with the weekly Bob Edwards Weekend. His many awards include a Peabody and inclusion in the National Radio Hall of Fame.
Mr. Edwards revisited his weekly NPR chats with Barber in Fridays with Red: A Radio Friendship and tackled the roots of electronic newsgathering in Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism. He’ll publish his own memoir, “A Voice in the Box,” this fall.
A longtime Arlington County resident, Edwards is the featured speaker at this year’s Friends of the Arlington Public Library annual meeting. His remarks will begin after brief Friends business.
Refreshments will be served at this event and copies of “Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism” will be sold and available for signing at the end of the evening. For more information, call 703-228-6321.