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Board of Trustees Policy Manual

The purpose of this manual is to provide to the members of the Fairfax County Library (FCPL) Board of Trustees, the Library Administration and staff, all of the basic statutes, regulations and policies pertinent to the overall direction of FCPL

Addendum 11. Guidelines for Establishment of Libraries & Facility Size Standards

  1. Guidelines for Establishment of Libraries
    Establishment of Library facilities is based on a combination of many factors, including population and distance from existing libraries.
    Regional libraries should serve a population of approximately 100,000 and have a variable service area depending on satellite libraries included in the region. Community libraries should serve a minimum population of 25,000 (Level I) or 50,000 (Level II) and have a two-mile service area. Mini-libraries (neighborhoods and portables) should serve a population of 15,000; the nature of the service area would determine the level of the library service.
    Location of Sites
    Sites should be adjacent to or within a high traffic commercial development, be centrally located in terms of the service area, population distribution and distance, and have direct access to an existing or planned arterial highway. All libraries should be easily accessible to the citizens immediately served, and Regional libraries should be accessible to libraries for which they provide support services. Identification of traffic patterns and proximity to other libraries are vital in locating library sites. Proximity to high school/intermediate school sites can be considered provided other library location criteria are met.
  2. Facility Size Standards
    The total system should provide at least .5 square feet of library space per person.
    Regional libraries should have 25,000-30,000 square feet, and Communities should have at least 12,000 square feet. The size of mini-libraries depends on the type of structure, but leased space should provide at least 2,000 square feet.
    Site Size and Parking
    The standard for site size has been determined by County staff by combining the land needed for the library structure to the land necessary for required parking. Parking requirements are as follows in the Zoning Ordinance: One space per 2.5 patrons based on the occupancy load plus one space per employee on a major shift. With this as a basis, Regional libraries should have a site of 3-5 acres, and Community libraries should be located on 2-3 acres.
Adopted by Library Board December 17, 1980


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