Library Services Facts

old-library-bookMany have asked about Library Services in the City of Manassas.  This page answers many of the questions City staff are being asked about this topic.

A little background:

For many years (since 1976) the City of Manassas has participated in the Prince William County Public Library System.  A little more than 5 years ago, the City took a close look at the agreement and agreed to a new agreement signed by both the City of Manassas and the City of Manassas Park.

On Monday, June 8, City Council signed an agreement with Prince William County on Library Services.  The agreement, which goes in front of the Board of County Supervisors on June 16, provides for a library branch in the City of Manassas located at 10104 Dumfries Road.

This Manassas Branch will be run by the Prince William Library System and be leased by Prince William County.  City of Manassas citizens will be able to continue using Prince William County libraries and the new Manassas Branch on Wellington Road, as will Prince William County residents.

The terms of this agreement between the City of Manassas and Prince William County are for ten years beginning July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2030 with a five-year automatic renewal term after that unless terminated by either party.  The City will purchase the furniture and fixtures, including shelving, for the completion of the build-out of the Manassas Branch with an estimated cost to the City of $500,000. 

“Libraries are an essential way that communities ensure access to materials and free educational resources for all residents,” said City of Manassas City Manager W. Patrick Pate.  “Having a branch in the City limits will provide City residents enhanced opportunities to take advantage of these resources as well as provide a great space for community activities.”

For library services in the City of Manassas and continuing in the Prince William County System, the City of Manassas will pay $1.2 million annually with a three percent escalator.  The Manassas Branch will be open to the public by February 1, 2021.

Documents:

Other facts to know:

  • In the citizen survey 50 of the 65 service areas assessed were higher than the national averages but the Library services rankings were 7% below the national average.   
  • According to the Prince William Public Library System Monthly Statistics for June 2018, 70% of Prince William County residents have library cards but only 45% of Manassas residents have library cards and the number is down from the previous year.  
  • Manassas residents account for 5.5% of library cards but pay 8.3% of the library costs ($1.35 million in the last shared service allocation report).  
  • In looking at the use (total circulation) of Central Library, which is the closest library to City residents, Manassas accounts for less than 27% of the usage, while Manassas Park is 14.5% and County residents make up more than 60%.  
  • The overall circulation or use of Central Library is also lower than Chinn Park, Bull Run, Gainesville, and Potomac libraries and only slightly above Montclair.  This may be due to the age and functionality of Central Library compared to the newer facilities.