Arlington County, Virginia News

For Immediate Release

Monday, March 12, 2007

Contact:Lindsay Eagle 703-228-6328 (voice) 703-228-4611(TTY)

Shirlington Library Welcomes Community to Grand Opening Festivities

Arlington celebrates first new-from-the-ground-up public library in 45 years

ARLINGTON, VA -- The highly anticipated opening of the new Shirlington Library -- Arlington County's first new-from-the-ground-up library in 45 years -- takes place Sunday, March 18, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon, followed by a variety of events for all ages.

“Shirlington’s new library will offer programs and events of particular interest to this community, and we invite people who live and work here to help us build a welcoming place to learn, share and connect to each other," said Diane Kresh, Arlington County Director of Libraries.

WHERE: Shirlington Library is at 2800 S. Stafford Street, in the Village at Shirlington. There is a parking deck behind the library with 35 dedicated library spaces, plus van-accessible and regular designated handicap parking.

WHEN: Sunday, March 18, 2007, from 12 to 5 p.m. (building opens to the public at 1 p.m.).

Festivities begin with ribbon cutting

The day's festivities, which are free and open to the public, begin with a ribbon cutting ceremony on the plaza in front of the library from 12 noon to 1 p.m. The library opens to the public at 1 p.m. and there will be events inside the library throughout the afternoon. Events include:

      • Origami storytelling and hands-on demonstration
      • Traditional Japanese music and dance
      • Talks by the buildings architect and the mosaic artist who created the plaza fountain

The library will be open for business from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on opening day, and will be open its regular hours (Monday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., CLOSED Sunday), beginning Monday, March 19.

For more information, including a complete schedule of events, please visit the Arlington County Libraries website.

Building highlights include 26 public PCs, internet access, public meeting room

Highlights of the new 15,000 square-foot library include:

      • 26 public PCs with common software applications and Internet access
      • High-speed wireless Internet access throughout the building
      • 75-person capacity meeting room with SMART board and videoconferencing capability
      • RFID technology that allow customers to check out materials by the stack rather than individually

The expanded collection includes a selection of standard theatrical works and other theatre-related titles, to support Shirlington Library's unique relationship with its neighbor, Signature Theatre.


The library/theatre complex is an Arlington County "smart growth" public/private partnership, built in cooperation with Signature Theatre. It was designed by Lukmire Partnership, Inc. and built by Sigal Construction. The building is a concrete structural frame with intervening cantilevered steel and glass bridge elements facing the public plaza, combining a traditional/industrial feel with a more modern, open design that encourages social interaction.

Erwin Redl designed the exterior LED installation, and local artist Martha Jackson-Jarvis created the mosaic fountain. Eric Schaeffer, Signature Theatre's artistic director, painted the abstract "Earth-Sun," which hangs in the library's children's area.


Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.

Last Modified: September 13, 2007
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