Chinn Park Library Reflects on 30 Years, Looks Toward the Future with Community Event

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Provided by Prince William County

Chinn Park Library in Woodbridge has been a cornerstone of Prince William Public Libraries (PWPL) for 30 years as one of its two regional libraries. The first regional library to be built in Prince William County, Chinn Park Library was opened on Oct. 26, 1991. Chinn Park Library was built, together with Bull Run Library, from funds generated by an $11 million bond referendum approved in 1988.

History

Chinn Park Library was constructed on the old “Camp 6” site, a work detention camp set up by the State Justice System and operational in the 1970s. The Chinn Regional Park, Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center, and Chinn Park Library were named for Mary Jane Chinn and her family for their contributions to the Prince William County community. Mary Jane and Tom Chinn were slaves who, after emancipation, purchased several hundred acres along what was formerly Davis Ford and Telegraph Roads in Woodbridge. Mary Jane Chinn was born in 1827 and died in 1907. She is buried in the cemetery of Mt. Olive Baptist Church, still located on Telegraph Road in Woodbridge.

“While Chinn Park Library is deeply rooted in the history and development of the county, it also stands as an example of the future of libraries and their immense value to the community,” said Deborah L. Wright, library director. “As the most-visited library in our system, Chinn Park Library truly is a hub connecting people to information, literacy, and innovation.”

A Community Event

In commemoration of 30 years, Chinn Park Library will host a community event on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be programs for all ages including Touch a Truck and a Petting Zoo, Friends Book Sale, food trucks, giveaways, and more.

“We strive to not only be a resource to the community, but a welcoming, inclusive space for learning and entertainment,” said Zach Roberts, Chinn Park Library’s branch manager. “We continue to offer new services, such as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, and programs like local author visits and English and Spanish Conversation groups to encourage members of the community to see Chinn Park Library as their library.”

The 25,000 square foot building features a dramatic clerestory window, and houses PWPL’s Administrative Support Center in its lower level. There are 21 computers with internet, two individual study rooms, a group study room with a smart TV, quiet Study Room, children’s area, Teen Center, and a 125-seat Community Room. Free Wi-Fi is available both inside the library and its parking lot, and the Management and Government Information Center (MAGIC) is a special collection and information service available to the community, including local government agencies and area businesses and nonprofits.

Among the most popular programs are art programs, book discussion groups, English and Spanish conversation, Reading to Dogs, story times for children, and Movie Nights, and holiday-themed programs.

About Prince William Public Libraries

Prince William Public Libraries consists of 12 branches throughout Prince William County and the City of Manassas, providing free access to books, e-books, e-audio, print and digital magazines, Digital Library, and CDs/DVDs. PWPL also offers free educational and entertaining programs for all ages. Learn more at pwcva.gov/library.

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