Purcellville Library observes 60th anniversary of desegregation

In the early 1950s, Reggie Simms mended damaged books so they could remain in circulation at the Purcellville Library. But he was not allowed to check them out for personal use.

For two decades after it opened in 1937, the library was open only to white patrons. Simms and other African Americans were excluded until the library was desegregated on April 9, 1957.

On Saturday, the library will mark the 60th anniversary of that milestone with “Cross the Line,” a day-long program focusing on the desegregation of public facilities in Loudoun County. Simms will join other African Americans from that era in sharing memories of the cultural shifts in Loudoun as segregation died a slow death in the 1950s and ’60s.

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The Washington Post, April 2, 2017

Library celebrates local authors

Karen Schaufeld (center) reads from her book “Larry and Bob” to a group of children.

When Sandra Kovacs Stein noticed that ravens were building a nest on the Purcellville water tower near her home, she began taking pictures of them.

Karen Schaufeld would watch eagles carry fish and other small creatures back to their nest on her property near Leesburg.

Cheryl Somers Aubin was moved by a newspaper story about a Callery pear tree that somehow survived the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and was buried under the rubble of New York’s twin towers.

During a celebration of local authors and food sources at the Cascades Library in Potomac Falls on June 18, the three women told of how the majesty and mystery of nature inspired them to write their books for children. They were among more than two dozen writers who participated in the first “Eat Local, Read Local” event, which helped kick off the library system’s summer reading program.

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Washington Post, June 26, 2016

Loudoun supervisors adopt budget

Torn between the competing goals of fully funding the school board’s budget request and avoiding a tax increase, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors settled on a compromise spending plan Tuesday for fiscal 2017.

Three Republican supervisors joined three Democrats to approve a $2.46 billion budget that slightly raises the real property tax rate but falls about $16.9 million short of the school board’s request. The school board is now considering options for closing the gap.

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Washington Post, April 10, 2016


Little Free Library launched in Manassas

Belinda Miller with the Little Free Library

A group of Prince William writers, joined by Manassas City Council member Ian T. Lovejoy (R), formally launched the city’s first Little Free Library in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 8.

Members of Write by the Rails, the Prince William County chapter of the Virginia Writers Club, constructed the tiny library. It will be mounted in front of the New School, which is slated to open this fall in the old post office building on Church Street in Old Town Manassas.

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Washington Post, August 16, 2015

Model railroad display


More than 400 people stopped by the Community Room at the Bull Run Regional Library in Manassas last weekend to see an assortment of model trains chugging through miniature villages, over bridges and past man-made mountains and forests.

Members of the Prince William Model Railroad Club proudly showed off the display, which nearly filled the room.

Washington Post, November 22, 2014


Symington Press


Local authors who are looking for a publisher do not have to look any further. They can publish their own books at the Rust Library in Leesburg.

The library has launched the Symington Press, a print-on-demand machine that can print, collate, cover and bind a single paperback book in a few minutes. Library patrons may use the machine to publish their books or print from a database of downloadable books by other authors.

Washington Post, July 31, 2013