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Neighborhood Expert: Celebrating Banned Books Week with Fairfax County Libraries

Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

This week is Banned Books Week, where we get to celebrate our freedom to read.

Fairfax County residents are lucky — we have a strong library system to enjoy. We have libraries in Oakton, Vienna, McLean and the Pimmit Hills/Tysons branch. You can visit any of them for internet use, books browsing, returning books to any branch and, of course, getting book suggestions from a librarian. But did you know there are so many more opportunities at the library than just borrowing books?

Take a look:

  • Download the Libby app, and you can borrow e-books to your Kindle or Kindle App for free. Just log in to your Fairfax County library account.
  • Download audio books for yourself or your kids. We use this on road trips — my kids love audiobooks. (The “Dairy of a Wimpy Kid” series is a favorite in my house).
  • Many events are held at the library, including author events, book sales, knitting groups, book clubs and toddler reading time.
  • You can reserve the meeting room space at the library for nonprofit events.
  • Stream kids’ videos on animals, math, science, history and more!
  • STEAM Opportunities for the youth — camps (some virtual during COVID), activities and resources.
  • AP/ACT/SAT test prep materials, plus other homework assistance resources.
  • Tuesday morning classes with a master gardener on native plants and best practices for your garden.
  • Various workshops throughout the year.

If you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, each library has a “friends of” group that helps the library with various tasks like book sales to raise money for the library. Find your local library here.

Additionally, over the summer, the library generally does a reading challenge for school-aged kids and motivates them to complete a reading task in exchange for a reward that’s usually coupons for free items around town (ice cream, mini golf, etc.).

Happy reading!

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