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Discover more at Alexandria Library. Did You Know...


  • You can learn over 40 languages by using our Mango Languages database. This online language-learning system can help you learn languages like Spanish, French, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Greek, Italian, Russian and more.


  • Non-Alexandria residents can borrow books. Our reciprocal borrowing system allows library privileges to be extended to those who live in the following counties or cities: Arlington, District of Columbia, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Montgomery, Prince George's, and Prince William. Live outside of these areas, but work, own property, or go to school in Alexandria?  You are also eligible to borrow books. Inquire at the circulation desk at any of our branches to find out more.


  • One of the nation's earliest Civil Rights sit-ins and trailblazing efforts took place at Alexandria Library at 717 Queen Street in 1939. Led by Samuel Wilbert Tucker, an African American attorney, the sit-in involved Tucker and his peers applying for library cards. When refused, they sat and read books as a peaceful protest that would receive news coverage and help spark the movement that is recognized 16 years after their act of civil disobedience.


  • During the spring season, the All Alexandria Reads program allows city residents to be on the same page in their shared experiences as they read the same book. Designed in 2008, this community-centered initiative invites people of all ages to participate. For the spring of 2012, AAR asked 7,500 community members to pledge to read “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” over 75 days in honor of the 75th anniversary. The memoir, having both juvenile and adult editions, was chosen because of its cross-generational, multi-cultural and socio-economic appeal, as well as its theme of sustainability. The book and initiative were well-received, with 8,837 pledges from residents. AAR’s book selection for 2013 will be Listening Is An Act of Love, a compilation of personal stories from NPR’s StoryCorps, a national oral history project. As part of the AAR programming, Alexandria Library has also been chosen to host StoryCorps, and will facilitate interviews of community members at Beatley Central Library and three additional Alexandria locations.


  • Beatley Central Library has solar panels. The 42.3 Kilowatt solar photovoltaic system converts sunlight to electricity, and features 180 panels that spread across each of Beatley's five south-facing roof sections. This eco-friendly system helps offset a portion of the building’s electricity consumption and peak demand, as well as reduces the City’s greenhouse gas emissions. The installation was made possible by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Grant from the US Department of Energy.


  • You can borrow electricity monitors, available at all library branches. Patrons can take them home and plug them in to conduct a simple energy use audit.


  • The James M. Duncan, Jr. Branch Library was the first Alexandria City government building to receive a green roof, when it was renovated in 2005.


  • We Deliver! Free home delivery of library materials are available to those who are homebound and unable to visit the library. A rotating collection of books delivered to area retirement homes, nursing homes and senior centers to supplement their libraries. Call 703-746-1730 for more information. 

  • The award-winning architect and product designer Michael Graves designed the Charles E. Beatley Jr. Central Library in 2000.

  • Our Talking Book Department, which services people who are visually impaired and handicapped, is one of  98 libraries to do so in the nation. Administered by the Library of Congress National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, TBS libraries are responsible not only for assisting patrons in their communities, but also providing these services for libraries in that region. Anyone who cannot read standard print for any physical reason can use our Talking Book Service after completing an application. Interesting info tidbit: while Virginia has 7 TBS libraries in the state, Texas has only 1.

  • As libraries face economic challenges, your donations and financial contributions are greatly appreciated. Contributions help Alexandria Library's vision of being the central resource for reading, listening and viewing materials for imformation for all residents, students, organizations and businesses, whether they borrow materials for home use, or utilize our services on site, via telephone or through remote computer access.

  • City of Alexandria residents and employees can borrow materials that are not in the Alexandria Library system from other libraries. This Interlibrary loan system requires a $5 non-refundable fee per request and a limit of 5 requests per borrower including pending and circulating items.
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