MRSPL Wins Two Awards from Virginia Public Library Directors Association

This spring 2024, Mary Riley Styles Public Library received two awards from the Virginia Public Library Directors Association (VPLDA). Both awards focused on Virginia libraries serving under 25,000 people. 

Outstanding Program in Cooperation with Other Libraries or Agencies

On June 4, 2023, Mary Riley Styles Public Library held a panel discussion and community conversation on the history of library desegregation in Falls Church. Facilitated by Devanshi Patel, co-founder and CEO of the Center for Youth & Family Advocacy, the program was designed to acknowledge and raise awareness about the history of racial restrictions in libraries serving the black population of Falls Church; highlight the efforts by community activists in the 1950s to secure full library access for everyone; and engage the community in a conversation about how libraries can continue working to guarantee equal access for all. Panelist included:

  • Edwin Henderson II – founder of the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation, which was founded in 1997 to preserve the early civil rights history of Falls Church and vicinity;
  • James Page - Sr. Pastor, Galloway United Methodist Church, a historically African American Church serving the Falls Church area
  • Jenny Carroll - MRSPL Director (now Interim Deputy City Manager) 
  • Chris Barbuschak - co-author of the recently published Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries, which includes an entire chapter on Falls Church
  • Paula Hawkins – MRSPL staff member who has extensively researched the topic of segregation in our library using the library’s Local History Collection

>> Watch a Recording of the Program

Virginia Public Library Gold Standard of Excellence 

Mary Riley Styles Public Library was also recognized for meeting the gold standard for benchmarks set forth in The Standards for Virginia Public Libraries (published by the Library of Virginia) and covering the following categories:

  • Governance and Administration
  • Funding
  • Staffing and Staff Development
  • Access and Services
  • Collections
  • Facilities
  • Technology
  • Programming, Publicity, and Advocacy


The Virginia Public Library Directors Association brings together library directors from Virginia's 93 public library systems.  

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