The Alexandria Library offers five branch locations throughout the city of Alexandria, including the Beatley Central Library building, originally constructed in 2000 and named in honor of a beloved former 20th-century city mayor. The lovely central library building, which was designed by architect Michael Graves, is a favorite stop for families visiting the Alexandria region, offering a wide variety of family storytime and activity events throughout the week.
Guests can peruse the library’s special collections, including its local history and ADA-accessible talking book collections. Periodic special events such as pajama parties and Lego nights encourage the entire family to come along and celebrate the wonders of reading. An open-air reading garden offers to seat and plays space for young ones, along with free wireless internet for parents to enjoy.
The library offers a wide variety of programs and services, both in the branches and via the Web site. Each branch has computers for access to the Internet, the catalog, downloadable material, and databases. Library-sponsored programs include summer reading, One Book/One City, literary discussion groups, author book signings, children storytimes and other events for the City’s diverse population. The Alexandria Library also started offering passport services at the Barrett Branch and Beatley Central Library in October 2016.
Non-Residents of the city who work, own property or attend school in the city may obtain a library card without charge. Non-Residents that live in an area that will offer reciprocal library card privileges to Alexandria residents may also obtain a free library card. Thus residents of the District of Columbia, the Maryland Counties of Montgomery, and Prince George’s, the Virginia cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, and Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, and Prince William are all eligible.