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Nonprofit Receives $50K Check

Friends group contributes funds toward new Fairfax City Library.

Friends of the Fairfax City Regional Library presented a check for $50,000 on Aug. 30 to the Fairfax County Library Foundation to be used for the new Fairfax City Regional Library.

Funds have been raised through the Friends' twice-a-year used book sales and other ongoing book sales, said Marilyn Feldman, president of the group. The books typically sell for $2-$3 for a hardcover and 50 cents for paperbacks, Feldman said.

The Friends group was started in the 1960s, and the funds have been raised over that time.

"That's a lot of volunteer work," said Roberta Longworth, executive director of the Library Foundation. Since the libraries are operated by Fairfax County, groups may not make direct contributions to them, Longworth said, which is why the money is given to the nonprofit foundation instead.

"This is a very small group," Feldman said of those who do the bulk of the work prepping for the book sales. She estimated that eight-12 volunteers come in every Tuesday to work with the books. "We're all people who read to live and live to read," Feldman said.

Tina Cunningham, branch manager for the library, hopes that the funds will go toward something substantial in the new library such as an information desk or another piece of equipment. "Hopefully, something we can put a plaque on," she said.

The new library's construction is dependent on voters’ approving a bond referendum in the November election. If the bond passes, construction will begin as part of the redevelopment of downtown Fairfax City. Construction would likely begin in 2005, and the new facility would open 12-16 months after that.

"We're all excited about that new library," said Mary Petersen, who sits on the county's Library Board. "The friends are such an important part of that."