Neighborhood Library Celebrates 30 Years and Honors Longtime Volunteer

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Provided by Prince William County

Joyce Phillips Pavilion at the Independent Hill Library

The Prince William County Public Library System recently held an event to celebrate the Independent Hill Neighborhood Library’s 30th anniversary, as well as the naming of a pavilion.

Coles District Supervisor Marty Nohe spoke at the event. “This library is a gathering place… [it]is truly a pivotal and integral part of the Independent Hill community. The staff here has done a great job in making sure that the resources that are available in this building are the resources that best fit the community around it.”

Heather Parisi has been bringing her son, Owen, to the library since he was a young child and said he has made friends with the staff over the years. Parisi said Owen was thrilled with the library from the start. “The first time I brought him, he thought that I was kidding that he could get whatever he wanted and check it out.”

Nohe also spoke about the pavilion at the library and how appropriate it was for the pavilion to be named after Joyce Phillips. “I can’t think of any name that’s more fitting than naming it after Joyce Phillips. Joyce is somebody who dedicated a really big part of her life to our library system, but who has dedicated an even larger part of her life to all of the young people in Prince William County.”

Nohe said the pavilion enhanced the library for everyone. “This pavilion really is a great additional amenity, particularly for families with young children. They can come out here and have a little picnic. They can make a trip to the library a special thing.”

Phillips began her career in Prince William County in 1968 when she started as a second-grade teacher at Coles Elementary school. Over the years, Phillips served as chair of the Prince William County Library Board of Directors, chair of the Prince William County Library Foundation and a member of the Virginia Library Association, which awarded her its Outstanding Trustee Achievement Award.

Speaking at the event, Phillips said, “It’s a really great honor. I’ve always loved the library and tried to do things for the library. It’s also a little embarrassing to be the center of attention.”

Mary Jo Rigby, vice chair of the Library Board of Trustees, told the crowd that Phillips was “instrumental” in getting six mini libraries, now called neighborhood libraries, opened in Prince William County. Phillips said she spent a lot of time in the board chambers. “I made a great many speeches to the Board of County Supervisors about funding and things like that.” She also had a hand in getting a bond referendum passed to fund the Independent Hill Library, Rigby said.

For more information about the Prince William County Public Library System and the programs they offer, visit



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