THURSDAY 9/15: Author Talk with Sara Fitzgerald

The League of Women Voters of Falls Church will kick off its 2011-12 program year with an event featuring a new biography of a nationally known female political leader written by one of its members.

The book signing, which will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday September 15 at One More Page Books, 2200 Westmoreland Street, will spotlight “Elly Peterson: ‘Mother’ of the Moderates,” written by Sara Fitzgerald. The event is free and open to the public.

Peterson was a leading figure in moderate Republican politics in the 1960s and 1970s. She was an early leader of the National Women’s Political Caucus, and later served as co-chair, with Liz Carpenter, of ERAmerica, the coalition of organizations, including the League, that worked for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1976, she served as deputy chairman of the Gerald R. Ford’s presidential campaign, at that time the highest professional job a woman had held in a presidential campaign. She was the first woman to chair a state party organization for the Republicans, ran for a U.S. Senate seat from Michigan in 1964, and twice served as assistant chairman of the Republican National Committee.

When Peterson stepped down from the RNC in 1970, the late David S. Broder wrote: “It is, I think, accurate to say that her abilities would have earned her the national chairmanship were it not for the unwritten sex barrier that both parties have erected around that job.  Certainly, her organizational talents made her views as respected and her advice as sought-after among her colleagues in the party as anyone in the past decade. . . .”

Fitzgerald, a former editor at The Washington Post, earned a B.A. in history from the University of Michigan and was the first woman to serve as editor-in-chief of The Michigan Daily, the campus newspaper. Her work on the book included personal interviews with Peterson before her death in 2008. Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Haynes Johnson contributed a Foreward to the biography.

July at the Library – Sunday Hours Return


July 1, 2011

New hours start today. The library will still be open 64 hours each week but with the following changes:

Sunday hours, which were suspended in FY11 because of budget cuts, will be reinstated starting July 10.

In order to reinstate Sunday hours, the library will be closed Wednesday mornings.

The Local History Room will no longer have regular hours but will instead be accessible by appointment. (To schedule an appointment to use the Local History Room, please stop by the Reference Desk or call 703-248-5035).

The library will be closed Sunday, July 3, and Monday, July 4 for Independence Day..

July events at the libary include Peter McCrory’s One Man Band on July 6, Waiting for Harry Potter on July 11, and Didgeridoo Down Under on July 21.

Details on these and other July events are available in the library’s newsletter.   [click on Read More to access]

June at the Falls Church Library


June 1, 2011

June book discussions in June include The Helpby Kathryn Stockett (June 2) and Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Artby Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo (June 7).

A reception to celebrate the life of TJ teacher Carey Rainey Gray will be held June 18, at 10:00 am.

Summer reading registration begins on Monday, June 20.

Details of these and other events are available in the Library’s monthly newsletter.

THURSDAY 5/12 – SATURDAY 5/14: To Kill a Mockingbird at GMHS

Don’t miss George Mason High School’s Department of Performing Arts presentation of To Kill a Mockingbird by Cristopher Sergel, adapted from the novel by Harper Lee, directed by Pamela Ricker.

Opening Thursday, May 12, running through Saturday May 14th.  Curtain is at 7:30.  Tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults.

George Mason High School Auditorium, 7124 Leesburg Pike.

May at the Falls Church City Library


May 4, 2011

This month the Library is conducting a brief survey which can be completed either there or online via the Survey Monkey link on its website.  Please take the time to complete it as customer opinions and suggestions are very important. 

Book discussions in May include The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt (May 5) and Which New Era Would That Be by Nadine Gordimer (May 10).

The Libray will open at 1:00 pm on Monday, May 6, and will be closed Monday, May 30.

Details on all May events are available in the Library’s Newsletter.

Thursday, 4/7: Question & Answer Session with Writer Warren Goldie at ArtSpace

April 7, 2011

Falls Church Arts is sponsoring a meet-the-writer session with novelist, playwright and essayist Warren Goldie at 7:30 pm at ArtSpace Falls Church.  Entitled, “Publish! Secrets of a Professional Writer” Goldie will give a brief introductory presentation and then participate in a Q&A session, sharing what he has learned as a professional writer about story structure, agents and publishers, rejection and self-publishing. The event is free and open to everyone.

Writer Warren Goldie will speak and answer questions from the audience on Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 pm at ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 S. Maple Avenue.

ArtSpace Falls Church is located at 410 S. Maple Avenue.  Free parking is available in the garages at 410 and 400 S. Maple Avenue.  For more information about this event, see

April at the Falls Church City Library


April 1, 2011

On Wednesday, April 13, the library will celebrate National Poetry Month with an open mic night and poetry slam.  Winners of the library’s fourth annual Young People’s Poetry Contest also will be announced.

Magician Mike Klee will perform on Saturday, April 16.

Spring Break activities will be available April 18 – 22.

April book discussions include The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa, Distributive Justice by John Rawls, and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson.

Full details on these and other events are available in the library’s monthly newsletter.

OPINION: City Library Facing the Unkindest of Cuts

March 23, 2011 by · 17 Comments 

Falls Church Times Staff

March 23, 2011 

“It’s the latest, it’s the greatest, it’s the library!”

That song, which is well over 40 years old, came to my mind today when I thought about the impact of the proposed budget cuts on the Mary Riley Styles Public Library.  Not so long ago the tune still held true here, but now it would seem an appropriate local lyric would be “It’s cut, it’s shut, that’s our library!” 

Actually, though cut last year and facing further cuts this year, it’s not entirely shut, but long-time library board member John Lawrence warned at last Saturday’s town hall meeting that the potential loss of state aid, which provides 10% of the facility’s budget, could signal “the beginning of the end.”

That might take a few years, but the trend line is well established.  Last year the weekly hours were reduced from 68 to 64, due to Sunday closings.  Sunday hours will return under the proposed FY 12 budget, but the total number of hours will drop to 55 due to later openings and earlier closings during the week.

Shorter library hours will mean further staff cuts.  Six other city departments are scheduled to have one position either eliminated or reduced to part-time.  However, the library will lose two part-time librarians, one part-time library assistant, one part-time page, and see three other positions have their hours reduced.  

“It’s a huge, huge hit,” said Mr. Lawrence.  “You may say they were part-time, but that’s what most library work is.  I can’t think of any year in the last three when we haven’t had staffing cuts.  People who’ve been here 20-25 years have left and their positions haven’t been filled.”

More than hours and staff will be cut.  The book budget will be reduced.  The periodical collection cut in half, with the 21 foreign language publications especially hard hit.  The local history room, now open three days a week, will be closed except by appointment.  Library expansion, long deferred, likely will be pushed back once again.      

“I want to make it clear, the library board hates this,” said Mr. Lawrence.  So do I.

The library is one of Falls Church’s most popular institutions, routinely breaking circulation records.  More than 25,000 people now have Falls Church library cards, including 92% of the City’s residents.  Over 1,000 children participated in the library’s Summer Reading Program.  For the third consecutive year the library was designated one of America’s Star Libraries by the Library Journal.  

“It’s one of the markers that sets us apart,” said Vice Mayor Dave Snyder, upon receiving the library’s annual report in January.  Johannah Barry, Council liaison to the library, called it a “small organization, large in heart, that provides extraordinary service.”   Indeed it does, even in the face of the reductions imposed in recent years, but it is becoming increasingly difficult for the library to maintain its stellar reputation.

If you believe that the library is facing more than its fair share of reductions, speak out at the upcoming public hearings, either next Monday or on April 11, or at the town hall meeting on April 16.  Alternatively, forward written comments via [email protected].  To support the library directly, please consider contributing to the Mary Riley Styles Library Foundation Trust.

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