The Alexandria Library system is comprised of 4 branches.
Like many American Libraries, the Alexandria Library was a subscription library. In those early days, it was known as the Alexandria Library Company.
In 1937, Dr. Robert South Barrett donated funds for a public library in memory of his mother, Dr. Kate Waller Barrett. The Queen Street branch now takes its name from Dr. Barrett.
The Society of Friends granted a 99-year lease for use of its old Quaker Burial Ground as its site on Queen Street. This lease was recently renewed, but alas not for another 99 year period.
The Library Company signed an agreement with the Alexandria City Council turning over its collections to City of Alexandria. The City agreed to include operating expenses for the public library in its budget.
Today there are four library branches and two special divisions: The Local History & Special Collections in the Barrett Library and a Talking Books division for the blind and visually handicap.
The library system checks out more than a million titles in a year including books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, eAudioBooks, and other items.
The current Director of the library is Rose T. Dawson.
The library offers a wide variety of services both in the branches and via the Web site. The library has computers for access to the Internet, the catalog, downloadable material and databases. The library sponsors various programs such as summer reading, One Book/One City, literary discussion groups, and author book signings, children story times and other events for the diverse population.
The library has more than 150 employees which includes more than 40 staff with Master’s degrees in library science.