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Library Releases Interactive History Timeline

by ARLnow.com August 5, 2011 at 9:45 am 2,895 15 Comments

To help mark its 75th anniversary, Arlington Public Library has introduced an interactive timeline of the past 100+ years of library history in Arlington.

Among the noted developments, by decade:

  • 1890s: The Young People’s Library Association operates a publicly-accessible book collection at Carlin Hall (5711 S. 4th Street)
  • 1920s: Glencarlyn, Cherrydale, Clarendon, Aurora Hills and Columbia Pike libraries open
  • 1930s: Library Department formed in 1936, private libraries come under county control
  • 1940s: Henry L. Holmes Library opens, becomes official “colored” branch
  • 1950s: Assistant county librarian, children’s supervisor positions created
  • 1960s: Arlington Central Library opens at 1015 N. Quincy Street, Shirlington Library opens at 2700 S. Taylor Street, Westover Library opens at 1800 N. Lexington Street
  • 1970s: A video cassette system is introduced at Central Library; the first Friends of the Library book sale is held
  • 1980s: A computer catalog system is introduced at Central Library, Glencarlyn, Aurora Hills, Columbia Pike and Westover
  • 1990s: Major renovation of Central Library; first public internet terminals installed in 1995
  • 2000s: Ebooks and eAudiobooks introduced
  • 2010s: New “high-tech” catalog system installed

  • Rosslynite

    They forgot to include the 2011 budget cuts reducing staff and hours.

  • MC 703

    I love libraries

  • JimPB

    Government entities can be pace setters. The library is impressive for the breath of its offerings and its continual incorporation of technology to provide better services and lower costs.

  • Chris

    The library has been a vital resource for me. The first day I moved to Arlington all I had was a mattress, a dresser and a tv. No couch, no chairs, no bed frame. I walked from my apt to the Giant to pick up food and walked right by the library. I got my library card that day and a book. It was a godsend for a person with no money. I think I even checked out a video tape later that month after I bought a VCR. Now, I have a bit more money and travel a lot. I still use the library a lot. I check out new books regularly, but now I am addicted to using the ebook options. If I ever win the lotto I know I will be donating money there for more books and to restore hours.

  • Arlington Public Library, Public Information Office

    Thanks everyone for the kind words about Arlington Public Library.

    If the Library has changed your life in some way, please share your story with us: http://arlingtonvalib.blogspot.com/2011/08/looking-ahead-tell-your-library-story.html

    We’re collecting such anecdotes so we can reach out to others as we chart the next 75 years.

    Thank YOU Arlington!

    • CrystalMikey

      Thanks ArlCo Libraries!

    • Clarendude

      Everyone loves the library!

      I’m interested in finding out when there was a branch in Clarendon in the Telegraph Building which was at the corner of Irving and Washington (Wachovia parking lot now). I have a picture of that building that shows a sign indicating it was being used as a library branch.

      • Arlington Public Library, Public Information Office

        Sounds like your photo shows the Clarendon Branch Library when it was located at 1059 N. Irving Street from 1940 until it was eliminated in the early ’60s when Central Library opened.

        We love to see your photo. If you’d like to get in touch, please email [email protected]. Might be something for the Virginia Room collection. Thanks.

  • novasteve

    You still honor Helen Thomas in the Central library. Otherwise i’m a big fan of it.

  • charlie

    one of arlington’s best.

  • They are celebrating their 75th anniversery by looking at the past 100 years?

    Does not compute

    • Aaron

      It’s the 75th anniversary of the founding of the County Library Department. Obviously there were libraries in the County long before that but they were in the private sector and therefore don’t count.

  • YTK

    I remember visiting the Columbia PIke library when I was a little kiddo — you entered it thru a door on the Glebe Road side of the building that is now the Clinic in the Westmont shopping area. I would walk from my home, in the hot sun (there was MUCH LESS pollution back then– it was a very pleasant walk on Columbia PIke), open the screen door and step into the cool library to be greeted by the smiling faces sitting at the table waiting for the young peoples’ book discussion (Summer Reading Program) to start. We had a party on the last day — i stil have (somewhere ) a postcard announcing the party and a button they gave all of the attendee kids.

  • SaveDaveMcKenna

    I really enjoy :
    the Wi-Fi available at all locations
    the Art Displays
    the new garden at Central

  • Suggestion

    I think the libraries should get rid of the internet connections, which have become de facto homeless daytime camping spots, where they sit and play solitaire, etc. Maybe have a few computers reserved *exclusively* for APS students. The homeless problem at Central Library ends up turning a lot of poeple away. And homeless people, not being county residents, shouldn’t be able to get library cards anyway.


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