A few weeks after celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Oakton Library will host the fourth annual Library Jubilee to help raise money for the Fairfax Public Library Foundation — an organization that helped the Oakton community secure bond money to build the library ahead of schedule.
"We hope that Oakton hosting such a large community fundraiser during this special anniversary year will give a greater sense of community to this event, helping to spread support for libraries," said Susan Harman, executive director of the Fairfax Library Foundation. "We're not only celebrating the Fairfax County Public Library and the Oakton branch, but also the communities which sustain them."
On Saturday, the library will welcome best-selling author David Baldacci and his wife, Michelle, for the foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year, where they will receive an award for their continued efforts to promote literacy. The jubilee, with this year's theme of "Let Loose in the Library," will feature cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, live music, and a silent auction that includes an African Safari, vacation/winery packages, sporting events, autographed books and more.
Tickets to the jubilee, which can be purchased at the foundation's website, cost $70 per person or $125 per couple. All proceeds will supplement Fairfax County Public Library.
Last year, the jubilee raised more than $80,000 to benefit initiatives such as Early Literacy Outreach, Changing Lives Through Literature, scholarships, eBooks and non-print materials, programs and author presentations.
Ahead of this year's fundraiser, the foundation has already raised $100,000 through ticket sales and donations.
Oakton Library's history is one of enormous community support, as it boasted a Friends group to help raise money for it before the library existed.
"The IRS thought our 501(c)(3) application peculiar if not suspicious. After all, there was no library building yet," Janet Tener, cofounder of the Friends of Oakton Library, wrote in the library's September newsletter. "The agent reviewing our application called one day to ask how there could be a 'Friends' group without a library. We were able to convince the agency that there would be a building sooner if they would let us form Friends of Oakton Library. The IRS consented and we obtained our IRS exemption in 2003."
The community, spearheaded by the Oakton Women's Club and committed citizens like the Baldaccis, then pushed the public bond process ahead of schedule to pass in November 2004 and started book sales in 2005 to raise more money.
The library's doors opened Sept. 29, 2007.
"It's hard to believe that it is already 5 years since we opened the Library, and yet it's so much a part of the community that it’s hard to believe that it wasn't always there," Supervisor Linda Smyth (Providence) wrote in the newsletter.