Library Expansion and Renovation Project

Project Highlights

The library's ribbon cutting took place in September 2021. Download a PDF flyer of these highlights.

Quick Facts

  • Built in 1957, expanded in 1968 and 1992
  • Expanded to 25,727 sq. ft. (from 19,100 sq. ft. – a 6,600 sq. ft. expansion)
  • Construction started March 2020; Ribbon Cutting September 10, 2021
  • The library was temporarily relocated with a reduced physical collection to the trailers by Oak Street Elementary School; curbside service was introduced and online services remained robust and readily available
  • City of Falls Church Voters approved a referendum in November 2016 for the City to borrow up to $8.7 million for the project
  • $10.3 million total budget

More Space, Refined Amenities, and Updated Infrastructure

  • The children and teen sections on the lower level offer three times the space to explore, read, and relax with ample stroller parking, moveable tables and chairs, and an area with stadium seating.
  • The upper level is devoted to adult fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. New tables and chairs next to windows with outlets provide cozy spaces to read and relax. The new Adult Reading Room has plush chairs and ample lighting.
  • The upper level conference room is three times the size of the previous room. The brand new lower level conference room holds 139 people and will be host to storytime and other children’s performers.
  • ADA accessibility throughout with wider aisles and more generous turn-around space.
  • The public restrooms were renovated and expanded to include four family bathrooms, no-touch fixtures, and updated plumbing.
  • The HVAC system was upgraded and expanded to cover the additional square footage, and all lighting was replaced with energy efficient LED fixtures.
  • A new public elevator was installed conveniently next to the entrance of the building.
  • Security measures were added including cameras, secure card access, and adding an emergency exit.

High Tech Solutions Make the Library Accessible and Convenient for Everyone

  • The new Meescan app lets patrons check out books instantly. Patrons can also use the self-checkout kiosks or full service counters on the upper and lower levels.
  • Meescan can also be used during curbside hours to let staff know you have arrived to pickup materials.
  • There are 11 public computers with privacy screens. Printing is available through WiFi connection; the first ten copies are free, making the service accessible to all.
  • Both conference rooms offer assisted listening devices, projectors, and TVs. Reservations will be available starting in October.

LEED Silver Certification
Many factors contributed to the LEED Certification, including:

  • Water use reduction through the touchless faucets and fixtures in the restrooms
  • Energy efficient lighting with occupancy sensors
  • Larger windows in expansion area allow for more natural light
  • Upgraded HVAC system creates better heating and cooling efficiency

Meeting Rooms

The previous layout offered one conference room with limited seating and little availability. The renovated library offers multiple meeting rooms and study rooms. Some rooms have projectors, TVs, and assisted listening devices. Reservations will start being available in October 2021, and will be open to patrons and community groups. 

  • Upper Level: Medium Meeting room – 91 Occupants
  • Lower Level: Large Meeting Room – 139 Occupants; Small Meeting Rooms – 13 Occupants each

Mary Riley Styles Public Library Foundation Contributions

The MRSPL Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, contributed several features. Murals in the children's area add bright colors of farm scenes, complimenting the wood cutouts of butterflies, leaves, birds, and more. The Foundation also donated new staff furniture to complete the work areas.