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Library system to name local-history center after Charlie Clark

Noted author 'one of those special people who knit the community together'

​​​​Arlington County officials will pay tribute to a late local historian and author, by naming the library system’s Center for Local History in his honor.

The facility will now be known as the “Charlie Clark Center for Local History,” library officials announced.

“Charlie was a community ‘weaver,’ one of those special people who knit community together,” library director Diane Kresh said in a statement. “He was a great friend to the library, a consummate storyteller and thorough researcher who was frequently using our archives. Renaming the Center for Local History is a fitting tribute to Charlie.”

Clark, who spent most of his life in the county, died last November after a battle with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a debilitating brain disorder. He was 70.

A journalist by profession, Clark wrote a number of books on topics of local history, was a frequent speaker at community events, and penned the weekly “Our Man in Arlington” column for the Falls Church News-Press until his death.

The decision to rename the Center for Local History (for many years known as the library’s “Virginia Room”) at Central Library in honor of Clark may run slightly against the grain of the county government’s facility-renaming policy, which requires a person to be deceased at least five years to be eligible for such an honor. That policy relates to the naming or renaming of “facilities,” which in this case may not technically be the case as the Center for Local History is located within Central Library itself.