At Monday night’s Board meeting, RCA officially selected Kathy Kaplan as the 2013 Citizen of the Year.  Kathy was recognized for her tireless and dedicated efforts to stop the proposed library “Beta Plan” and protect Fairfax County’s libraries from cuts to funding, staff, and collections.  Below is the is the text of Kathy’s nomination, submitted by Terry Maynard.

With great pleasure, honor,
and admiration, I nominate Kathy W. Kaplan for
RCAs 2013 Reston Citizen of the Year for her exceptional work in stopping a Fairfax County Public
Library (FCPL) Strategic Plan to
undermine its libraries in
name of organizational efficiency. As one of twoguinea pigs” for this strategic plan, Reston Regional Library
ground zero for
this degradation. The key
features of the
ill- considered County library strategic plan
  • Reducing the County library budget by a third over the last six years;
  • Culling books throughout the system, a quartermillion of which had already been
  • Drastically reducing the library
    f, including plans to reduce the Reston
    by one-third;
  • De-professionalizing
    library staff requirements by replacing certified librarians with customer
    ervice specialists who
    may not be
    nowledgeable of library science; and
  • Eliminating
    Youth Services—librarians and collections—throughout the library

Without Kathy’s leadership, unswerving dedication, and
perseverance, the County’s libraries would
likely still be on
a downward spiral
ith the Reston Regional Library as a guinea pig” in that effort. Kathy’s extraordinary efforts were singularly consistent with Reston’s goal of providing a high
quality of life for people of all backgrounds and
in fact, an inspiration
for  an August 2013 RCA Board of Directors resolution calling on
the Board of Supervisors to abandon
its wrong-headed FCPL Plan.
Among her activities beginning this
summer and
  •  She identified and began to work with County
    ans and other library friends
    eeply concerned about
    mplementation of the County strategic plan;
  • She wrote letters and emails to
    County officials, community organizations, and
    media (including an interview with the Washington Post) noting the planned decimation of the libraries;
  • She encouraged residents to  sign an online petition calling for
    County Library Trustees to stop
    reevaluate the Strategic Plan before implementing the beta plan” for Reston, a petition that
    imately garnered more than 2,000 signatures;
  • She  acquired and shared photographs of the books thrown in
    central library operations
    mpster that led Supervisor Patty Smyth
    personally visit the site, bring back several current books in good condition, which
    she sh
    owed to senior
    library and County officials
    whom she told
    stop destroying books
  • She conducted extensive research on
    County library’s
    plan and
    activities, including a review of eight years of County Library Trustee minutes
  • She acquired through FOIA requests at considerable personal expense important FCPdocuments detailing
    the destruction of more than a 400,000 books
    in recent years
  • At the request of the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations
    (FCFCA), she drafted an FCFCA report on the FCPL Strategic Plan that
    detailed the Strategic Plan and
    its impacts; and 
  • She met with senior County staff and
    elected officials
    several times to learn more about the strategic plan and to share the results of her research.

As a result of her efforts and the
efforts of those
worked with, the Library
Board of Trustees recommended and the County Board of Supervisors approved on
November 18, 2013, a resolution to eliminate the process that
led to the trashing
of hundreds of thousands
of books and
also throw out a controversial plan to reduce the number of librarians and children’s services in
county branches. The Trustees are to come to the Board
their further recommendations early
next year.

Reston Regional Library
is the County’s busiest library with circulation exceeding one million items per year despite its small size
and outdated facilities.
 It is a focal 
point for
community access not only to books
and magazines, but to online subscription services not
readily available
to residents. It
has a substantial children’s wing vital to exposing
children to the joys
and knowledge of reading. It also
emphasizes the needs of
new citizens and those with handicaps.