Thursday, October 29, 2015

Reston Regional Library: Community Dialogue Meeting

For Immediate Release                                                            Contact: Catherine Hanes
October 19, 2015                                                               703-478-0283

Reston Town Center North Community Dialogue Meeting

On Wednesday, November 4, 2015, Supervisor Hudgins will host a Community Dialogue meeting to discuss the future development plans of the Reston Regional Library and the Embry Rucker Homeless Shelter as part of the redevelopment of Reston Town Center North (RTCN). 

At the meeting, Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) will be soliciting comments from community stakeholders related to the Reston Regional Library and Embry Rucker Shelter. All residents interested in the future of these facilities and their role in our community are invited to come share in this process.  A brief presentation will be provided about the Town Center North-Mixed Use Area, including the most recent Request for Proposal (RFP) process and potential development scenarios that may be considered for RTCN.

The meeting will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at South Lakes High School– Lecture Hall, 11400 South Lakes Drive, Reston.   To RSPV, please send a message to, or call 703-478-0283.

Additional information regarding the RTCN project, including maps, timeline, and benefits, is available on the County’s website at

Saturday, October 24, 2015

NY Times: Reinventing the Library

"If we change the role of libraries and librarians without preserving the centrality of the book, we risk losing something irretrievable."  From op-ed piece by Alberto Manguel, NY Times.

Plato, in the “Timaeus,” says that when one of the wisest men of Greece, the statesman Solon, visited Egypt, he was told by an old priest that the Greeks were like mere children because they possessed no truly ancient traditions or notions “gray with time.” In Egypt, the priest continued proudly, “there is nothing great or beautiful or remarkable that is done here, or in your country, or in any other land that has not been long since put into writing and preserved in our temples.”

Such colossal ambition coalesced under the Ptolemaic dynasty. In the third century B.C., more than half a century after Plato wrote his dialogues, the kings ordered that every book in the known world be collected and placed in the great library they had founded in Alexandria. Hardly anything is known of it except its fame: neither its site (it was perhaps a section of the House of the Muses) nor how it was used, nor even how it came to its end. Yet, as one of history’s most distinguished ghosts, the Library of Alexandria became the archetype of all libraries.

Libraries come in countless shapes and sizes. They can be like the Library of Congress or as modest as that of the children’s concentration camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the older girls were in charge of eight volumes that had to be hidden every night so that the Nazi guards wouldn’t confiscate them. They can be built from books found in the garbage, like the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass., set up in 1980 by the 24-year-old Aaron Lansky from volumes discarded by the younger generations who no longer spoke the tongue of their elders, or they can be catalogued in the mind of their exiled readers, in the hope of resurrection, like the libraries plundered by the Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories of Palestine. It is in the nature of libraries to adapt to changing circumstances and threats, and all libraries exist in constant danger of being destroyed by war, vermin, fire, water or the idiocies of bureaucracy.

But today, the principal danger facing libraries comes not from threats like these but from ill-considered changes that may cause libraries to lose their defining triple role: as preservers of the memory of our society, as providers of the accounts of our experience and the tools to navigate them — and as symbols of our identity.

The rest of the article can be read here:

Friday, October 16, 2015

Outreach Meeting for Redevelopment of Reston Library, November 4, 7:30 pm

A meeting on the Reston Town Center North redevelopment of the Library and Shelter parcel will be held for community outreach and participation, Wednesday, November 4, 7:30 at South Lakes High School, 11400 South Lakes Drive in Reston.  

Meeting announced by Andrew Miller of Fairfax County DPWES at the Library Board of Trustees meeting October 14, 2015.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Before Libraries Go Digital

The following letter-to-the-editor was printed this week in the Reston Connection. 

To the Editor:

It has been suggested that we don't need libraries or books anymore as everything is available digitally and on the Internet. All books are not available digitally and won't be for many years due to copyright laws. Libraries have to pay much more for digital books than they have to pay for print books. Cost-per-checkout can be 10 times higher for digital books. Much of the information on the Internet is inaccurate.

Before we throw away all our books and switch over to digital books in our libraries and schools we should wait to see the results of the ongoing European study to evaluate the effects of digitization on reading.

Fifteen European countries currently are engaged in a three-year emergency study to evaluate the evolution of reading in the age of digitization. COST, the European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research, has embarked on this study because it appears from current research that children do not learn as well when reading from digital screens vs. print books. Anne Mangen of Stavanger University in Norway is coordinating the study.

At a time when the future of the Reston Regional Library is in question, we need to be aware of this ongoing study and the potential effects of prematurely transitioning to digital books in our libraries and in our schools and the damage that could be caused to our children by that transition.

Kathy Kaplan
Fairfax Library Advocates

This is the link to the article:

This link has further information about the European COST study.