Libraries make a difference! The Central Rappahannock Regional Library was honored with the annual Community Impact Award from the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce on January 30, in recognition of the library’s bold vision to expand opportunities for people in the community.
The library has taken an active role in responding to the educational, recreational, and informational needs of community members in both traditional and innovative ways:
- Volunteers and staff members at the Salem Church and Porter branches farm small plots on the library grounds, donating the harvest to local food banks.
- The library’s Job Help Center at England Run, in partnership with Rappahannock Goodwill Industries, coaches job seekers in honing their computer skills, refining their resumes, and finding employment.
- Students of all ages consult with live, online tutors through the library’s website.
- Free fax and notarial services appeal to small business owners.
- WiFi and library computer access bring the Internet to everyone.
- A 24/7 online reference chat service provides immediate answers.
- Materials for the blind and hearing impaired are available in conjunction with the Library of Congress’ National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
- One-on-one computer instruction and training sessions keep community members computer literate.
- Cutting-edge technology is showcased in MakerLabs, equipped with 3-D printers.
- Museum-quality exhibits inspire visitors. The latest is the Discover Tech exhibit, exclusive to just 13 libraries in the country and supplemented by dozens of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) classes, events, and workshops at the library.
The Central Rappahannock Regional Library continues to be a flexible, diverse, and progressive public institution, offering a wide variety of ever-evolving services based on customer demand and changing technological trends and innovations. A large part of the library’s success depends on the volunteer help from community partners such as FredWorks, the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, Stafford 350, Adventure Brewing, The George Washington Foundation, Friends of Chatham, Friends of the Rappahannock, area scout troops, and dozens of others.
Library Director Donna Cote said, "We at the CRRL are honored by this recognition from the Chamber of Commerce. We strongly believe that public libraries make an impact on everyone in the community, whether through our classes and events, our services, or, of course, our books, music and video. We appreciate the many community partners who help us to provide even better services to the people in the Fredericksburg region."
Featured in photo from left to right: Samantha Thomason, Media Strategies Librarian; Martha Hutzel, England Run Library Branch Manager; and Christie Hoerneman, Head of Research at England Run Library.