Local Authors Discuss Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries

Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries Book Cover

Leesburg, VA – This coming Sunday, October 29, the Thomas Balch Library is set to become a hub of historical reflection and discussion. At 2 p.m., local authors and historians Chris Barbuschak and Suzanne LaPierre, will take center stage to unravel a chapter of Northern Virginia’s history that remains overshadowed—the desegregation of public libraries.

In their book, “Desegregation in Northern Virginia Libraries,” Barbuschak and LaPierre delve into a time when libraries, pillars for education and free thought, were battlegrounds of resistance against racial integration. The discussion promises to shed light on the struggles faced by the black community during the Jim Crow era, a time when even public libraries were not immune to the clutches of segregation.

The narrative journeys through the aftermath of the seminal verdict in Brown v. Board of Education, spotlighting the activists’ ardent efforts, who, through protests and lawsuits, championed the cause for equal library services. Their stories echo in today’s efforts as libraries consistently strive to rewrite their roles in a society marching towards inclusivity.

The event isn’t just a book discussion; it’s an homage to the resilience and relentless pursuit of equality by citizens turned activists within our community. It’s a reminder of where we’ve been, the barriers we’ve broken, and the work still left to do. Attendees will also have the opportunity to secure their own copies of this significant work, as the book will be available for purchase.

Chris Barbuschak brings to the table insights nurtured by his roots in Fairfax County. With a history degree from Loyola University Chicago and an MLIS from Dominican University, his current role as an archivist/librarian at Fairfax County Public Library’s Virginia Room makes him a voice of authority in this discourse.

Joining him is Suzanne S. LaPierre, acclaimed for her literary contributions to various national and international journals. LaPierre’s extensive academic background includes an MLIS from the University of South Carolina, an MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University, and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She currently serves as a Virginiana Specialist Librarian for Fairfax County Public Library.

Interested attendees should note that pre-registration is mandatory to gain access to this enlightening session. To secure your spot, reach out via phone at 703-737-7195, email balchlib@leesburgva.gov, or register online through the library’s official channels. Don’t miss this chance to be part of a vital conversation about our community’s history and the ongoing journey toward inclusivity.