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Library

Our Mission

 The Fauquier Public Library is the hub of the community, connecting residents
to resources, ser
vices, and experiences that educate, enrich and inspire.

Our History

From its earliest days the Fauquier Public Library has been an important part of the Fauquier community. In 1907, the Warrenton Library Association formed a library for private use of its members. The association financed the library by hosting events to raise money.

In addition to lending books, the Warrenton Library Association’s primary goal was to find a permanent home for the library. In 1922, Judge John Barton Payne, the Secretary of the Interior under President Wilson, and later, head of the American Red Cross, donated funds for a building on Main and Winchester Streets in Warrenton. The Warrenton library operated from this site, known as the John Barton Payne building, until 1982. Today the John Barton Payne building houses the Friends of the Fauquier Library Book Cellar, a used book shop, while the upstairs room is available for library events and as a community meeting room.

During World War II the library opened three nights a week for use by the Signal Corps at Vint Hill and participated in the Victory Book campaign. In 1969, the Warrenton Library Association Board of Trustees voted to turn management of the library over to county officials. A fire in 1976 closed the library for two weeks. Only a small part of the collection was lost during the blaze but a 1924 portrait of Judge Payne by Gari Melchers was damaged. The restored painting now hangs over the fireplace mantel in the John Barton Payne building.

In 1979, local businessman Edward L. Stephenson donated the current site, a former Buick dealership, for a Warrenton library. Private contributions and county funds were used to renovate the building and the library was dedicated in April 1982.

The library has grown and evolved since it moved to Winchester Street. During the 1980s technology was introduced to library operations. The 1990s brought new and expanded facilities with a small branch library opening in Bealeton in 1991. The Warrenton library expanded to include a second floor at its present location in 1993. In 1996, the Bealeton branch doubled in size and a new branch library, the John Marshall library, opened in the Marshall Community Center. The Marshall branch doubled in size in 2001. A freestanding Bealeton library was completed in December 2003, and in November 2010 renovations to the Bealeton Depot were completed. The charming 800-square-foot historic depot is used as a program room for the Bealeton library and as a meeting room for business and community events.

As Fauquier County has grown, so too has the need to provide library services. In September 2022, a book lending kiosk opened in the Vint Hill Community Center. The kiosk, with a collection of materials for children, teens and adults is accessible with a Fauquier Public Library card. 

While the library continues to change and grow with the times, it strives to maintain the ideals of friendly, thorough service adopted by the Warrenton Library Association when it started lending books in 1907.

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