Publisher’s Note

We knew you had seen those little glassed-in boxes around town and wondered how the “little library” system worked so we dedicated a few months to gathering the facts for you. We identified and mapped almost 80 free little libraries in Alexandria for you, reminding us again how connected and quite frankly, how literate and generous our citizens are.

It is little wonder Alexandria was just recognized as the FOURTH best small city in the country by Condé Nast Traveler magazine, falling just behind Charleston, SC, Santa Fe, NM and Savannah, GA. It is an amazing ranking, and with it comes tremendous responsibility.

It means we can’t lose sight of the historic preservation that makes people want to visit our charming town with its revolutionary and Civil War landmarks, its picturesque streets and specialty shops.

Keep in mind those shops that are so attractive and make you so proud of where we live ALWAYS need our support. “Small Business Saturday” is on November 24, and instead of crashing the lines at Target and Nordstrom, why not make a day of it in Old Town, Del Ray and the West End? To keep “big box” out of our cobblestoned landscape, we all need to continually put cash in the registers around town, not just that day, but every day.

So this holiday season, please shop small and help our merchants pay their rents and taxes so they will always be here, part of the essential fabric that recently put Alexandria at the top of that best city list.

Mary Wadland, the publisher!