Friday, May 28, 2010


We get asked this question a lot.  So the next time you're in the Reston Library, look around. Look at the tables. Look at the chairs. Notice the new info desk and the new teen area. Observe the wi-fi bar for laptop use. Do you see those big screen monitors? Have you noticed the smaller, more maneuverable carts for transporting books? How about signage?

ALL of that has been paid for by the Friends of the Library.

I hear your question now, "But isn't that the County's responsibility?" Umm...well....yes. But if the County was left to pay for everything we pay for, our library would look a lot more like the lobby of the police station or the mental health center. Sparse. Utilitarian. Not very inviting. And when times are tough, there should be one sanctuary for people to relax in, look for a new job, build their skills, or just find a good book to escape in for a little while.

We also hear your question, "yeah, but the bathrooms are the WORST. Why don't you spend some money on them?" Sigh. We tried. We really tried, but the County said "no" on that one. There are some things (facilities maintenance and personnel) that the County has to maintain control over.

But imagine stripping away everything that makes the Reston Library space useful and accessible.

And then you understand the true value of supporting the Friends of the Library. There is very little you see at the library that the Friends haven't had a hand in funding.  Even the book collection has received generous donations from the money we've raised. The County simply can't do it and if you WANT the County to do so, you will have to pay LOTS more taxes...isn't it better just to give money to the Friends group and see it work directly and quickly in YOUR OWN community?

But (as they say on TV), THAT'S NOT ALL . . . .

We also get the privilege of helping the Friends Group that supports Access Services. They aren't as large and don't have the physical space and ability to hold used book sales, so we help them fund things that the disabled patrons of Fairfax County Public Library System really need.

Recently, we helped underwrite the cost of their Technology Fair which matched up the latest in new technologies to assist the disabled with interested people.  Here are some photos:

So, support the Friends group. Join us. Or donate books. Or purchase books and other Friends group stuff. Just don't be on the side lines.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Onward into the 21st Century

The Friends of Reston Regional Library are happy to announce that we now have a . . .



Now to some of you, that will seem like a pretty lame announcement. But our prior situation was that if you wanted to call us, you'd call the library, leave a message, and then someone from the Friends would eventually (hopefully) get the message and call you back.

But through the wonders of Google Voice, we have our own number! Yes, you'll still leave a message, but we'll get it right away and call you back probably the same day!


So, if you want to join us in the 21st century, give us a call.  AND/OR you can go to our RestonFriends1 site on Amazon, and pick up one of these:


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Is a Good Friend?

I'm sure you've all heard the joke that goes along these lines:

A friend is someone you can call at 2am after you've been arrested for partying too enthusiastically.

A good friend is someone who is right there with you in the cell asking, "was that fun, or what?"

Well, most of the Friends of the Library are a wee bit more mature than that, but we still have some descriptions of Friends, Good Friends, and Best Friends.

A Good Friend according to OUR definition is someone who goes above and beyond in supporting the Friends of the Library. It is someone who thinks $15 per year to support the Friends isn't enough. Good Friends give at the $50 per year level.

A Best Friend is one who goes even further, and supports the Friends group at $100 per year.

Now, if you can only afford $15 per year, that's fine! We will love you and help you find your books on Friends night just like we do the others. But if you can afford more, that gives the Friends group that much more to use in helping maintain collections at Reston Regional Library and other places in the county. It helps us to support the Access Services branch. They're the ones who make sure people who are sight-impaired or unable to get to a library due to disability or incarceration still have the opportunity to READ. And we know that reading is essential to making more out of life than a humdrum daily existence.

We are fortunate that we do have several people who give at the Good and Best Friend levels. Every year. And we really do appreciate it.

The final category in our memberships is Special Friend. That is giving at the $250 per year level. This is a rarified elite level, i.e. we don't have many of those. But you could be among the few, the proud, the truly supportive. And we'll make sure the money is well spent.

You can make these donations by clicking on the JOIN button on the side bar and then using PayPal. Or e-mail us and we'll help you figure out a different way!

Thank you so much to all of our Friends, Good Friends, Best Friends, and Special Friends.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Changes at the Reston Library

Lots going on at the library, as usual. But here are a few of the changes:

  • newly configured information desk with increased capacity for service (Paid for by Friends of Reston Regional Library, Inc.)
  • newly defined area for teens/youth behind the info desk/reference area  (Carpet and Chairs paid for by Friends of Reston Regional Library, Inc.)
  • many staff and personnel changes (you can thank your county supervisors for this). Several of our favorite staff members are moving on to other positions in the system. We wish Elizabeth, Deb, Nevin, and Amanda well and we're grateful that they're all still employed! Those libraries are lucky to get them. If I've missed anyone, please e-mail me.

As for used book sales, things are quiet until August 21-22 when the Children's and Young Adult sale will occur. Remember, at this sale, we do not allow scanners and we do limit quantities. Our aim is to serve our local patrons, not provide stock for book dealers.

Comments? Questions? You know where to find us!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Finds for Father's Day

First, thank you and congratulations to the officers of the board of Friends of Reston Regional Library, Inc. who have all agreed to serve for another term. We are:

Brian Jacoby, President
Mike Kenney, VP and Membership
Jen Scutella, Treasurer
Judy Konnert, Secretary
Charly Karlsson, Book Sale Chair
Rik Karlsson, Member at Large
Pam Chin, Member at Large
Kelley Westenhoff, Member at Large

If you have concerns, questions, ideas, suggestions for the Board, please e-mail us.

Now, for Father's Day:  If you click on the photo, it will take you to where you can purchase the book. As always, if you're a current local Friend, you can avoid shipping by picking up at the library.




Thursday, May 13, 2010

FOUND - The REAL King Arthur

Yep, we found him, and he's on Amazon at the RestonFriends site. You can find him too!

$38, appears to not have been read  SOLD

For another other-world experience, how about this?

Again, in un-read condition

And finally, feeling like your cooking style has gotten predictable?

$45 and all the yummy photographs to show you how!

All of these are available to current local Friends members shipping-free.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Eat Well, Run Well, Cook Well

On our Amazon site, RestonFriends, you can purchase some exceptional books that have been donated recently. If you are a current, local Friend, you can avoid postage. E-mail us!

Here are the three the title of this post suggest:




Friday, May 7, 2010

Is Your Mom a Computer Geek?

If so, and you haven't gotten her anything for Mother's Day yet, it's NOT too late. If you're a current, local Friend and you see anything on our RestonFriends site at Amazon, there's still time to get it.

And if it's your dad who is the geek -- PLENTY of time.  Father's Day is next month!  Take a look at what we have -- this is just a sampling!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Annual Meeting

The Friends of the Reston Regional Library, Inc. will be holding its Annual Meeting on May 19 at 6 the Reston Regional Library. All are welcome.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Coming Full Circle

Do any of you remember back in November 2009 when we published a negative that had been found inside a donated book? It came in an envelope that had a lot of information potentially interesting to genealogists researching that family. It also had a short letter inside.

We ran the negative and asked if anyone remembered it. There was resounding silence. The facts suggested a Canadian connection so the blogger called up there to the town mentioned, but no answer.  When that didn't pan out, the blogger was unable to stand it, so posted a query on (which you can access via the FCPL system) under the surname in question.

Finally, the blogger received a query from a McGrath descendant in North Carolina (are you following this? Virginia, Canada, North Carolina...). Contact established, the blogger sent the photo to the person in NC. This was back in late November 09.

A few days ago, our blog received a response from the Reston end of the puzzle.  This is the gist:

I am just getting involved in this as it is being passed on to me by my McGrath relatives in Canada via my McGrath brother in California. It must have come from me because from time to time I drop books off for donation. (I wish I knew the book title that it was found in). My father must have been reading something while visiting here in VA. He was last here in 2002 and he passed in 2007. Thank you so much for bringing back to us this wonderful negative!!! Also, thanks for bring some cousins together who hardly know each other! We all come from such large families and are all over No America as well as a few on other continents.
(Name Withheld - but it does contain McGrath!)
(Reston resident)

What's really cool about this is that the person who contacted us through the comment section of our blog turns out to be the realtor who connected us with the fabulous collection that eventually led to our CATastrophically successful CAT book sale in the Summer of 08. Who knew?

So, the point of the story is that the Friends of Reston Regional Library is about more than supporting the library through book sales.  We connect people. We encourage people. And we try very hard to be kind and have fun while we do it.  Wouldn't you like to be part of this community? Join us by clicking on the box on the sidebar. Or e-mail us to volunteer!

And here's the reverse of the negative (done by the blogger's 13 year old son)...

Nice to come full circle.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fantastic Sponsors

I think I've mentioned before that during the set-up and book sale, the volunteers eat VERY WELL. Some of the great food comes from volunteers who bake before they come (yummy brownies, and sweet rolls, and shortbread cookies). However, the majority of the food comes from corporate donors. Our tireless Helen T. goes to these sponsors before the sale and asks what they'd like to donate, and they always come through with flying colors! Here is the list of the community partners who stepped up and donated food and other items to ensure that the volunteers for the Spring 2010 Semi Annual Used Book Sale at Reston Regional Library were well fed!

Baja Fresh, Reston
Baskin Robbins, North Point
Chipolte, Reston
Chutzpah, Fairfax
Costco, Fairfax
Great Harvest Bakery, Herndon
Harris Teeter, Reston
Home Depot, Fairfax
Ledo Pizza, Reston
Office Depot, Reston
Rite Aid, Reston
Rubino Pizza, Herndon
Safeway, Hunters Woods
Safeway, South Lakes
Safeway, West Ox
Sears, Franklin Farms
Shoppers Food, Herndon
Starbucks, Fox Mill
Target, Reston
Trader Joe's Reston
Vocelli Pizza, Reston
Willard's BBQ, Chantilly