Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Petition to Save API Building in Reston From Demolition

At 48,000 sq ft, the API building is big enough to house Reston Regional Library which will be bulldozed to make way for residential high-rise buildings in Reston Town Center.

The county has said they want 39,000 sq ft on the ground floor of one of the residential towers for the new library; however, parking will be limited.   The middle of Reston Town Center is not an ideal location for a regional library.  Additionally, the community will have no library during construction and that could be 2 to 4 years.

There is $10 million available in library bond funds to pay for the new regional library. 

Here is the petition which has more information on Marcel Breuer and the API building.  Please sign the petition by June 13 so signatures can be sent to the Fairfax County Planning Commissioners.

American Press Institute Building a New Home for Reston Regional Library?

Fairfax County's Architectural Review Board has asked that the county reconsider bulldozing the American Press Institute (API) building on Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston.  They believe the building, designed by Hungarian-born architect Marcel Breuer, has historic architectural significance and should not be taken down and replaced with townhouses.  API is the only building in Virginia designed by Breuer. 

This building at 48,000 sq feet is large enough to house a regional library.  It's in an excellent location.  The $10 million library bond approved by voters is enough to purchase and renovate the building.  Current development plans for the library parcel in Town Center North and for the API site on Sunrise Valley Drive need to be paused to consider an adaptive reuse of the API building as a public library.

Please write the Planning Commissioners and the Board of Supervisors as soon as possible to ask that this option be considered.

More information in RestonNow article here:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Please Complete Library Survey by May 31, 2016

The deadline is May 31, 2016.

The Fairfax County Public Library Board of Trustees is undertaking an interactive project to solicit input about the types of services and programs the Library could offer in the future. The project seeks information from the public and staff regarding perceptions about the Library; the types of services that will meet current and future community needs, interests and concerns; and how the Library can better communicate its value to the residents of Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

FCPLEA President's Statement to Library Board, May 11, 2106


This month, we want to celebrate the news that 44 current pages working in the branches have completed the Circulation (Circ) Mentoring Program. This program enables pages to have opportunities to shadow current library aides and other circulation staff in order to increase their skills, confidence, and hire-ability for circulation department openings as they are announced.

While this program is not new, it is a prime example of ways FCPL can and should be actively nurturing the growth of its staff.  When we build viableladders” for internal promotion, we contribute to the kind of succession planning that enriches the best library systems across the country and creates the leader-managers we need most.  Recently retired City of Fairfax Branch Manager Kathy Hoffman moved up from a 10-hour a week Librarian I position over 30 years ago to eventually master a leadership role that not only reflected her own experience of active mentoring, but her skills as a mentor to current and future managers within our system.

Whether we are growing non-merit pages for merit positions, circulation staff preparing for information desk and programming roles, or library school graduates for management roles in our system, we need to see our branches and our human resources department as partners in an ambitious laboratory based on respect, opportunity, imagination, and growth for all.

Jessica Hudson’s story of being inspired as a student shelver or page in her local public library to pursue the impressive career and achievements that have brought her to us should not be an exception, but a model.

As we move to the next phase of the Public Engagement Project with its telephone and online surveys, we need to remember that the proof of each public library’s value is in the experience of its current and future users.  And that experience in turn depends on having staff with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to imagine and create peak experiences.

Like other managers in our system, I am beginning to work on annual performance evaluations for my staff. Key to the success of these conversations is being able to respond to the dreams staff bring to me for training, for promotions, and for experimental projects that may or may not lead to immediate success. We are at our best when we see these evaluations not as driven by a judging attitude that focuses on minimally acceptable standards, but as aspirational flights that nurture trust, ambition, skill-building, and better outcomes for all.

For each of us, the colleagues and managers who saw beyond our limits to help us reach higher are the ones we thank most when we look back. Let’s be a library system that makes that achievement happen for the greatest number of staff.  Our library users will benefit from that strength.

Thank you.

Deb Smith-Cohen
President, Fairfax County Public Library Employee Association