Arlington, VA

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
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