Great Free Legal Resources

3 May

Henrico County Public Library’s Government & Law Library Manager Benjamin Almoite has written up some of the best free legal resources you can access online and through our website.  Read about local and state laws, learn about your rights, and access free legal forms with the databases and sites listed below!

LegalForms — available using your Henrico library card
This comprehensive database contains “thousands of legal forms” covering “hundreds of legal subjects and issues.” In addition, LegalForms includes a national attorney directory, links to tax forms from all 50 states, a database of legal definitions, and a legal “Q & A”. Here is a tip: The database also includes a huge number of nonlegal sample letters that can help users with their business and/or personal correspondence. Type “nonlegal” in the search box at the top of the homepage to get the entire list.

Henrico County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office
The Clerk’s Office website presents much information on its services, including handling marriage licenses, recording land records, registering business names, and processing permits to carry a concealed weapon. There are also quick links to related sites, such as the Virginia Judicial System’s court forms that can be filled out online. It is a great place to start if one plans to visit or do business at the Circuit Court.

Henrico County Municipal Code
These are two sites where you can find the Henrico County code online. The code as maintained by the County Attorney’s website is presented as PDFs. The code is also available at and is easier to navigate, including a basic search feature for users.

Code of Virginia
While Henrico County’s larger Area libraries and the Municipal Government & Law Library all have official print copies of the state code, the official online version can be accessed here. Also included at the Code of Virginia homepage are links to the Virginia Administrative Code, the Virginia Assembly and the Constitution of Virginia.
This website is geared to assist low-income individuals, but the information it offers can be very helpful to everyone. It covers many legal issues such as evictions, guardianships, and workers’ compensation. There is even an interactive “do-it-yourself divorce” interview module, to see if one’s circumstances might be appropriate for filing a divorce pro se, or without an attorney.

Varina Library Earns LEED Silver Certification

14 Apr

InteriorWe are happy to announce that the Varina Library has earned the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification!

The LEED rating system promotes buildings that reduce impact to the environment and improve the indoor environment for building occupants. The project achieved LEED Silver certification in April 2017, becoming Henrico County’s 14th LEED-certified project. To earn LEED certification, a project must meet specific design and construction requirements in the categories of: sustainable site, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation.

Low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce potable water use by nearly 40%, anticipated to save 200,000 gallons of water per year.  Energy-efficient building systems such as the building envelope, HVAC, and lights were designed to reduce energy use by 35% compared to a building that just meets the building energy code.  A variety of building materials include structural steel and metal panels with high recycled content, regionally quarried sandstone on the building exterior, and bio-based wood paneling and linoleum flooring.  The library interior provides abundant daylight and views to the outside, and low-chemical emitting building material selections to improve indoor air quality.

This is Henrico County’s 14th LEED-Certified building! The others are:

  • Holman Middle School, LEED Silver (2011)
  • Glen Allen High School, LEED Gold (2011)
  • Glen Allen Branch Library, LEED Silver (2012)
  • Firehouse 12, LEED Gold (2012)
  • Firehouse 13, LEED Gold (2013)
  • Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, LEED Silver (2014)
  • Gayton Branch Library, LEED Silver (2014)
  • Kaechele Elementary School, LEED Silver (2014)
  • Firehouse 7, LEED Silver (2014)
  • Henrico Health Department East Clinic, LEED Gold (2015)
  • Firehouse 3, LEED Silver (2016)
  • Crestview Firehouse 10, LEED Gold (2016)
  • Libbie Mill Library, LEED Silver (2017)

Varina Library Wins Library Architecture and Design Award!

7 Apr


We are so happy to let you know that the Varina Library won the prestigious AIA/ALA Library Building Award!

The library, designed by Richmond architecture firm BCWH and Tappe Architects of Boston, was one of eight American and European libraries to be recognized.  The Library Building Award is presented by the American Institute of Architects in conjunction with the American Library Association and is the only award that recognizes whole library buildings for their design.

Varina Library was noted for “[bridging] its rural and historic context with the contemporary ambitions of the community.”  The design was praised for its variety of indoor and outdoor spaces, supporting collaboration, communal activity, quiet study, project production, self-directed access to information, and appreciation of the natural landscape.

This is a great award and we are happy to be able to provide such a wonderful facility for you. If you haven’t visited the Varina Library yet we hope you will soon!

More Hoopla!

3 Apr

Last June we launched Hoopla, a service that gave everyone the option to borrow digital movies, television shows, and music. We are happy to let you know that we have added more formats to our Hoopla collection!

You can now borrow eBooks, audiobooks, comic books and graphic novels from Hoopla! Best of all, everything you see in Hoopla is always available. NO HOLDS!

Hoopla provides access to thousands of books, movies, shows and music – and all you need is a library card. It works on most mobile devices via the Hoopla Digital app and on computers with a web browser. Get the app from your device’s app store or go to to get started!

Visit our eBooks & More page for more detailed information and instructions for getting started.

We hope you will enjoy all the Hoopla!

Help us design the new Fairfield Library!

20 Mar

Fairfield Planning slider

The architects for the new Fairfield Area Library (BCWH) are looking for input from the community. They have scheduled six meetings and ask that interested people attend and let them know what they’d like to see in the new Fairfield Library. The meetings will be held on the following dates and times:

Tuesday, March 28 at the Fairfield Library

2 pm focus on Seniors

5 pm focus on Teens

7 pm General Meeting for All

Wednesday, March 29 at the Fairfield Library

11 am focus on Parents and Caregivers of Small Children

Wednesday, March 29 at the Eastern Recreation Center

7 pm General Meeting for All

Saturday, April 1 at the Fairfield Library (extra session!)

10 am General Meeting for All

We hope you can attend one of these meetings and let the architects know what you’d like to see in the new Fairfield Library.

You can also take a quick survey (pdf) to provide input.

The architects have provided descriptions of different areas of the library, their functions, goals and general location within the library. These documents have descriptions of library functions in the left column and descriptions of goals and possibilities for the new library in the right column.  You can print these sheets out and highlight ideas in the right column that you would like to see in the new Fairfield library.  If you do not like an idea in the right column, cross it out.  Feel free to write in ideas as well.  Return completed program sheets to any HCPL service desk.

Naturalization Information Sessions

9 Mar

If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming a U.S. citizen we will be hosting a series of Naturalization Information Sessions over the next few months. The sessions will be conducted by a representative of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. They will cover:77ipnnzd_400x400

  • Naturalization eligibility requirements
  • The naturalization process
  • The naturalization test
  • Rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship

More information about the sessions and naturalization can be found on the USCIS website.

The dates, times and, locations for the sessions are:




Explore the Wonders of Springtime in Henrico with Our Nature-themed Backpacks!

6 Mar

Add a little fun to your next outdoor outing by checking out one of our nature-themed backpacks this spring:

Nature Exploration Backpacks


Each backpack is designed to make any outdoor visit a fun learning experience and can be checked out for 14 days. Contents include:

  • Parking Pass for free parking/entrance to all Virginia State Parks
  • Pocket Naturalist guides:
    • Bugs and Slugs
    • Animal Tracks
    • Virginia Birds
    • Mammals
    • Virginia Trees & Wildflowers
  • Port-A-Bug Field Observation Container
  • Magnifying Lens
  • Dip Net
  • Laminated activity cards

Check our catalog for availability and check out your Nature Backpack on reserve today!

Birding Backpacks

birdingbackpacksEach backpack is designed to introduce young children to the joys of birdwatching and checks out for 14 days. Contents include:

  • Pair of child-size binoculars
  • Assorted picture books about birds and birdwatching
  • Easy-to-use field guide of Eastern birds
  • Laminated activity cards

Check our catalog for availability and check out your Birding Backpack on reserve today!

Stop by our children’s departments for your very own starter Birding Life List  and information on Henrico parks located on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail.