Fairfax County Public Library News

Fairfax County to audit Friends groups

We are very dismayed to learn that the Board of Trustees has voted to audit Friends groups. This action is a serious blow to the relationship that Friends groups have with the county, and a hamper to our ability to fulfill our mission.

Read more about the audit here: http://reston2020.blogspot.com/2014/12/fairfax-county-to-audit-friends-of.html

Summary of the September 10th Friends Forum

The Fairfax Library Friends met at Kings Park library to discuss the most recent agenda of issues the library system will face. The library foundation considers the Friends groups to be of paramount importance in tackling these issues.

First, Sam Clay discussed the “Four Cs: Cash, Catastrophes, Capital, and Conversations”.

Cash: It is no secret that money is tight. The foundation was asked to submit a budget projecting cuts of 1%, 3%, and 5%. A 1% cut represents approximately $275,000 — roughly the cost of being open later hours one or two days per week. Anything larger than that may start to affect human capital. Several variables have yet to play out, among them: county investments, salaries, school transfers, and so on. We must accept the fact that the current environment IS the “new normal”.

Catastrophes: Fairfax County in general was extremely fortunate with regard to the earthquakes and storms. Damage could have been much worse, and much more costly. That statement is not intended to dismiss any suffering that took place, merely to point out that those disasters could have eaten up considerably more resources than they did.

Capital: It is a good sign that capital investment is still taking place. Buildings are being renovated and opening, and architectural plans exist for expansion and/or re-location of four libraries (Pohick, Reston, JM, and Tysons-Pimmit).

Conversations: Sam and his staff have held several conversations directly with library patrons. they went extremely well and covered issues from digital content, and applications, to hours.

One take-away from these conversations is the fact that many Friends groups are donating money with specific earmarks.

Susan Harman, executive director for the foundation discussed additional board issues. She specifically asked the attendees whether they have any community or civic groups that would want to invite the Foundation to attend. She also mentioned the $219,000 in scholarships given out by the foundation.

The Library Jubilee will be on Saturday October 15th at Thomas Jefferson, 4pm-7pm. Tickets are still available. Click here for more information.

Pamela Chin gave an update on her efforts to get blue bins removed from the county. It is going extremely well. For those who would like to read more about this ongoing initiative, please visit

The book sale donation posters have been given out to branch managers, and we can choose where we would like to display it in our library.

A transitional committee has been elected to take over the job of hosting friends forum meetings. I am a part of this committee and would like to bid that we host one of the next meetings. I would like to discuss this at the next meeting.

Funding Clowns

For the 2011 Summer Reading Program’s kickoff event on June 21, the branch has requested funding for two clowns, $340 total ($170 each).  One clown paints faces and hands, and the other clown twists balloons.  Last year the clowns were very popular with young library patrons, with long lines of kids waiting.  Please vote on whether you want us to fund this year’s request.  The voting lasts a week, closing May 25–please stick to one vote per member of the Friends.  And remember to use the “comments” section for discussion.

Will the Friends of Kingstowne Library fund the request for two clowns ($340) for the June 21 Summer Reading Kickoff?

  • Yes. (86%, 6 Votes)
  • No. (14%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Please Vote: Cleaning of upholstery

We finally got a quote for upholstery cleaning!  And it’s way better than we expected.  (We thought it would be $10 per chair.)  The total is $97 for 17 of the meeting room chairs ($3 each) + 20 of the wooden framed chairs ($2 each) + one of our benches ($6).  Can you please ask the Friends to vote on this?  Thanks!  (Voting will be open for one week, through April 3.)


Should the Friends fund the $97 for cleaning of a bench, 20 wooden-framed chairs, and 17 meeting room chairs?

  • Yes (100%, 10 Votes)
  • No (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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2 Votes Regarding Branch Chairs

As you know, we’ve discussed reupholstering some of our chairs (the ones with ripped fabric) and also cleaning some of our other chairs (many of them are stained).  Jennifer is still trying to get a quote for cleaning the seats of our wood-backed chairs (the ones at the tables throughout the branch) and also the fabric on the green chairs you see all over the branch (at Internet stations, in the meeting room, etc.).  As soon as we get that, we will submit a request for Friends funding.

Meanwhile, we got a quote from Crystal Upholstery, a company that county FMO has worked with successfully in the past.  They reupholstered over 30 chairs at Centreville and did a great job for a reasonable price.  We asked them how much it would cost to get the “comfy” chairs in the branch reupholstered.  These are the chairs that have wood along the arms, legs, and back but are mostly covered in fabric.  Three of them have big tears in the fabric, and the remaining ones look iffy – probable candidates for torn fabric in the future.  The original fabric color is rather “meh,” sort of a striped grayish pattern.

Crystal Upholstery would normally charge $430 per chair (includes pick-up and delivery), but FMO talked them down to $415 per chair.  I know, that’s a lot of dough!  However, that is apparently a good deal (FMO knows this stuff way better than I do), plus Jennifer and I found similar new chairs online for well over $800 – and they may not even be the “industrial grade” chairs we would need for the branch (like the loveseat we ordered recently).

So we have two requests for you all:

  1. Would the Friends fund the reupholstering of our three torn chairs?  That would come to $1,245.  The Management Team chose a nice fabric – industrial grade, kind of a dark blue with a nice wheat-colored dotted pattern throughout.  It should blend nicely with our existing colors plus it should hide stains well.
  2. Would the Friends fund the reupholstering of all twelve of our “comfy” chairs?  That would come to $4,980.  I know, wow!  But this would give the branch a nice upgrade and would also keep all the chairs looking consistent and fresh.

Would the Friends fund the reupholstering of our three torn chairs? That would come to $1,245.

  • Yes (100%, 5 Votes)
  • No (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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Would the Friends fund the reupholstering of all twelve of our “comfy” chairs? That would come to $4,980.

  • Yes (100%, 5 Votes)
  • No (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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