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JULY 8, 2022


Luis Labra has been appointed Deputy Director of the Alexandria Library. Labra is currently an Area Director for the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) where he oversees the daily operations of four library branches and supervises 12 direct reports. His prior roles include Branch Manager at the Barrett Branch Library in Alexandria and Reference Librarian and Assistant Branch Manager in the Fairfax County Library system.
Labra is a member of the PGCMLS Phased Reopening Team that planned for various stages of safely providing service and the gradual reopening of the library during and following the pandemic. Labra currently oversees the Passport Services Program for the Prince George’s County Library System and serves as a certified passport agent. He has also managed the GED testing center at South Bowie library and was a certified proctor for the system. He has served as President of the Staff Association, a non-management organization for the 350 library employees of the Prince George’s County Library System. Labra is a member of the PGCMLS professional development team that oversees staff training and was the Maryland Library Representative for the Snowbird Leadership Conference.
Labra holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Masters of Library Science from The Catholic University of America. He is an active member of the Maryland Library Association.
Labra’s first day as the Alexandria Library Deputy Director will be Monday, July 11.

MARCH 14, 2022


Digital content distributor OverDrive is removing its legacy app "OverDrive" from the Apple App Store, Google Play and the Microsoft Store this month in preparation for the app’s full retirement. Libby, the OverDrive replacement app released several years ago, is now the primary mobile access.

OverDrive will no longer be accepting new users. If you use OverDrive, consider switching to Libby now for the best experience. Read more about why they are making the change.

 DECEMBER 3, 2021


The public parking lot of Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library, located at 5005 Duke Street in Alexandria, is currently under construction. The branch and parking lot will remain open during construction; however, sections of the parking lot will be closed during construction, causing limited parking. This project is aimed to improve parking conditions for Library customers at this location and is estimated to be complete in March 2022.

Please consider using public transit to reach the library. Metrobus 8Z, 29K, 29 N, 21A and 25 B all stop near the library. DASH buses AT7 and AT8 also stop at the Beatley Library.

AUGUST 3, 2021


Library Director Rose Dawson interviewed Andrew Aydin, the author of “Run”, the graphic novel and memoir of Representative John Lewis at this year’s ALA virtual conference. You can view the interview here

The book was released this week. You can read more about it at the Washington Post.

The library now has a subscription to the Washington Post. You can access it here.

DECEMBER 7, 2020


Based on user feedback and testing, Overdrive has decided to discontinue support for the Libby app for Windows starting on December 7, 2020. Windows users will still be able to use Libby on their device in-browser at The Libby app for Android and Apple will continue to be supported.

When Window users transition to the browser, Overdrive will preserve as much of the reading data as possible, including saved libraries, library cards, and active loans and holds. Note that tags and historical timeline activity will not carry over to the browser.

If you have any questions about this, please contact the Digital Services Librarian at



Digital books and audiobooks previously available through the RBdigital app will be moved to the Alexandria Library’s OverDrive and Libby service on October 6, 2020.

Patrons already enjoying the Overdrive and Libby apps will experience no change, other than they may notice even more great titles available through Alexandria Library's digital collection. With a valid library card, members of the community can borrow from the library’s digital collection by visiting OverDrive library website URL or downloading the Overdrive or Libby apps.

Ebooks and eaudiobooks checked out in the RBdigital app will be available through the remainder of the lending period, so readers can finish the title without disruption. Holds will not be moved, but library patrons may export their Transaction History from the RBdigital app then borrow or place holds on those titles again.

Digital magazines on RBDigital will not be migrated at this time and will still be available through the RBDigital app.

Need help getting started with the Libby app?  Join us on October 1, 2020.

AUGUST 17, 2020


The Library started PHASE THREE of the reopening plan.

Read More Here.

MAY 2020


The Library is pleased to announce the addition of JSTOR to our list of digital resources.

JSTOR provides access to more than 12 million academic journal articles, books, and primary sources in 75 disciplines.

This database is only available from inside a library branch. You may use the catalog computers, the public computers or bring your own laptop and connect through our wi-fi.

Learn more about this resource with this online tutorial.

FEBRUARY 18, 2020


In March, Overdrive is introducing a new option for available holds: Deliver later. This feature gives you more control over your holds, so you can borrow and read titles when it's most convenient for you.

To support this feature, the automatic hold checkout setting will be removed from your library's OverDrive collection. You'll need to manually borrow your holds when they're available (including any current holds).

How will delivering holds later work?

Available holds have a three-day pickup window. When a hold becomes available for you, you'll receive an email and a notification in your library's OverDrive collection. You'll be given the option to borrow the hold, have it delivered later, or cancel it.

If you choose to have it delivered later:

1.      You'll stay at the front of the wait list.

2.      The current copy will go to the next person in line.

3.      You'll choose the earliest date you'd like the title to be delivered. Then, after that date, you'll get a copy when the next person returns it.

Once per hold, if you take no action:

1.      The "deliver after seven days" option will be automatically applied at the end of the three-day pickup window.

2.      You'll stay at the front of the wait list.

3.      The current copy will go to the next person in line.

If you take no action a second time, your hold will be canceled automatically.

How will I know when my book has become available?

Don’t worry! You’ll receive a notification from the Libby or Overdrive app.

FEBRUARY 5, 2020


On April 30, 2020, Alexandria Library customers will no longer have access to the Kanopy on-demand film streaming service. The Library began offering the service in July 2018 due to public demand for download movie streaming services. We were offering customers 8 titles per month “free” at a pay- per-use cost of $2 to the Library for videos that played longer than 4 minutes. We soon incurred extremely high costs and in an attempt to maintain the service, lowered downloads to 4 titles per month to ease our budget costs. Kanopy then decided to “package” offerings into specialty groups and increased the price to $5 per download, cancelling any cost savings and overrunning our budget.

Additional and continual changes within Kanopy’s price packaging structure have made it difficult for the Library to continue offering the service.

DECEMBER 27, 2019


Due to low usage and redundancy Today’s Science database by Infobase will not be renewed and will expire on January 31, 2020.

To see other databases about Science, please click here.

DECEMBER 2, 2019


On Monday, December 16th, the RB Digital website will be down for maintenance from 5 a.m. ET for approximately three hours.

NOVEMBER 1, 2019


Alexandria Library, in alliance with a majority of Virginia Public Libraries, has made the decision to temporarily cease buying new eBooks from Macmillan Publishers.

Alexandria Library will continue to provide new copies of Macmillan print books, CD audiobooks, and e-audiobooks for checkout since they have no purchasing restrictions.




Starting on September 4, 2019, when using RB Digital resources either on the desktop or the mobile app, users will notice a light blue accessibility icon on the right side of the screen. When clicked, the accessibility toolbar will display and users can choose from a wide range of features.

The toolbar also provides a link to a help desk staffed by accessibility experts and tailored to people with disabilities to ensure that their specific needs are addressed. This toolbar displays on the desktop web patron interface after the patron clicks an accessibility icon, and includes:

  • Reader—allows end-users to customize the visual display of the page to more effectively read and consume information through changing text/background color and contrast, fonts, and magnifying text as needed
  • Player—users can listen to web content read aloud via a built-in player and text-to-speech functionality which is not dependent on third party accessibility tools
  • Site Menu—simplifies and optimizes the site menu for keyboard users and individuals with cognitive disabilities
  • Page Elements Menu—built-in keyboard shortcuts to quickly navigate the webpage
  • Settings—allows users to customize settings to meet their individual preferences

These features will work with third-party accessibility software and readers, including VoiceOver, TalkBalk, JAWS, NVDA, and Windows Narrator.

AUGUST 23, 2019


Gale databases are performing unexpected system maintenance, which is impacting multiple points of user access and customer support. Gale products are not experiencing downtime, but some websites and access points may not be available.

If you are trying to access Gale products from outside of the Library please use this method:

  • Go to
  • Click on the purple "Access Databases From Home" button.
  • Type in your library card number.
  • Click "Gale Databases" in the left column.

These products may require you to use the temporary link for access:

Career Transitions:

Kid InfoBits:


JULY 16, 2019


We are excited to introduce a new way to read magazines through your RB Digital app! The new reader provides an enhanced user experience through improved ease of use and readability. The new reader offers these features:

  • New Look and Feel—A fresh new look and feel enhances the user experience and makes it easier to navigate the app. For example, now you can access the content menu from the navigation bar.
  • Text to Speech*—For the first time, RBdigital users can listen to all articles in audio format, which improves reading comprehension and allows you to listen to the article while doing other things. *Available for iOS only.
  • New Color Themes—In addition to the current light and dark themes, the new reader adds sepia and gray to improve readability of text and reduce eye fatigue. Scalable Font and Screen Brightness Controls—Instead of an action sheet selector, the new reader uses a slider control for finer grain control over the font size and screen brightness.

Click here for more details about the new reader. Users will need to update their app to see the new reader.

JULY 1, 2019


As of August 23, 2019, the current version of Books & Authors will be going away to welcome a new design and functionality upgrades to provide a better user experience and maintain accessibility standards.  Books and Authors will now be referred to as Gale Books and Authors.

The "My Reading Room" feature is being discontinued and will be replaced with the ability to share, save, and download content via integrated G Suite for Education and Microsoft Office 365 tools. Books & Authors users will need to download and store their saved lists in another location by August 22, 2019 to avoid any loss of data.

JUNE 24, 2019


Effective July 1st, the Great Courses on Kanopy will be available for a continuous rolling 30 day period. 

Once you press play on any video in a Great Courses series, you can watch that entire series without using any further play credits for a rolling 30 day period.

There will be 70 new series on Kanopy to choose from also starting on July 1, 2019.

MAY 30, 2019


Effective June 15, 2019, the eBook service from Freading is being discontinued.  Any items checked out at this time will be returned from your device at the end of the loan.  The Android and Apple app for this service will no longer work with your Alexandria Library card number.

Other eBook service from Overdrive, EBSCO and RB Digital will still be available and can be found on the website here:

MAY 28, 2019


On Thursday, June  6, 2019 the library's catalog will receive an upgrade and will be migrated to a new server.  The work will begin about 3:00am EST and take approximately 6-8 hours. 

The catalog search feature on the website will be inactive while the migration is in process, but customers can utilize the Classic Catalog interface here.  The Classic Catalog can be searched, items can be renewed, accounts reviewed and items can be renewed. 

MAY 21, 2019


Today, the American Library Association (ALA) announced that Alexandria Library is selected to participate in Libraries Lead with Digital Skills, an initiative of ALA and the Public Library Association (PLA), sponsored by Grow With Google, the tech company’s economic opportunity initiative. Alexandria Library will use the funding to expand their technology and digital literacy programming and events.

MAY 6, 2019


Effective July 1, 2019, the Alexandria Library Mobile App is being discontinued by our vendor. Please login to your online account to sync or move saved lists. If you require assistance with reviewing your lists please contact Technical Services at
You may continue to view your account by using the Log In feature on the banner of the Library’s website:, and then selecting My Account at the top of the page.

MAY 2, 2019


What is changing with Kanopy Kids?
Kanopy Kids now provides 30-days of unlimited plays for any video in Kanopy Kids. This means once a video in Kanopy Kids plays 5 seconds or more of a video, you will have unlimited plays for any video in the Kanopy Kids section for 30 days. This is on top of the four play credits each received each month.

What types of videos are available on Kanopy Kids?
Kanopy Kids features a collection of films and TV series that inspire and inform, helping children develop social emotional skills and reinforce valuable learning topics, such as history, science, and new languages. Kanopy Kids has a diverse selection of educational and entertaining content that range across Movies, TV Series, Animated Storybooks, Live Action, and Animated favorites.

What age range is suitable for Kanopy Kids?
Kanopy Kids is appropriate for children ages 2 and up, with a focus on Kids age 2-8. Parents can also choose to implement parental controls to enable them to stay within the dedicated Kanopy Kids area for age-appropriate content.

What devices can be used to access Kanopy Kids?
Access Kanopy Kids on a computer, television, or mobile device. A list of supported mobile and TV apps can be found here:

Are there parental controls?
Yes.  With Parental Controls enabled, parents will need to enter their custom PIN when exiting Kanopy Kids in order to watch content outside of the kids collection. Parental Control PINs can be created directly in Kanopy Kids, and can be changed anytime by parents.

If you have questions about this, please contact Cara Sonnier at or 703.746.1733