Eastern Shore Public Library

Library Updates

To Be Sold: Slideshow and discussion sessions

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A series of slide presentations followed by facilitated audience discussion using Guidelines /Touchstones for Respectful Conversations.

Thursday, October 6, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Ancient African Contributions to World Civilization

Thursday, October 13, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Overview of a World History of Enslavement

Saturday, October 22, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Selected Vignettes of Enslavement and its Immediate Aftermaths in Virginia and the Eastern Shore of Virginia 

Saturday, October 29, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

“Race“ The Power of an Illusion: The Difference Between Us; The Story We Tell; The House We Live In 

All sessions are hosted by Dr. Arthur Treherne Carter, a retired physican who works to promote peace, ethnic reconciliation, restorative and social justice.  He is a founding director of Coming to the Table (CTTT) a partnership with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennorite University, Harrisonburg, VA. He has facilitated fifteen monthly presentations and community discussions on “The American Institution of Enslavement: Truth and Reconciliation” at the Eastern Shore of Virginia Community College, and Eastern Shore Truth and Reconciliation (ESTAR) gatherings and discussions at local churches.  He is active with the Eastern Shore Multi-ethnic Spirituals and Group Ensemble known as MESSAGE, as well as with local and regional CTTT and racial reconciliation efforts.

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To Be Sold: Storytelling and movement sessions

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These InterPlay sessions will use movement, music, storytelling and stillness to help us explore our thoughts and feelings about the “To Be Sold.” exhibit.  Especially beneficial for children and youth, but helpful for all of us as we unpack our relationships with our national, state, local, and personal histories as well as our connections to one another.

Four ninety minute sessions will be offered to families and individuals with emphasis on each of the three sections of the exhibit:  The Slave Trade and the Rise of Abolitionists, Eyre Crowe and His Paintings, and The Memory of the Slave Trade.  Additionally we will explore how our history impacts our lives today, and ways we can seek to Be A Good Ancestor Now.

All sessions will take place at the Accomac library and are free and open to the public.

Saturday, October 8, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Saturday, October 15, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Thursday, October 20, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Thursday, October 27, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Sessions will be led by Karen Hatch, a certified Interplay leader. She has offered workshops locally for both youth and adults, and also in Washington, DC and North Carolina.

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Legendary Legacies: Virginia Wheeler and Spartico Cerasoli, the Salty and the Sweet

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by John W. Edmonds, IV, Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation Capital Campaign co-chair

When you think of the people in library, people who work with words usually come to mind, be they staff or patrons. A library however, needs more than just words: it needs something to preserve the words and something to hold the people using those words.  In our past, two quite opposite personalities made sure everything in the Accomac library was in order: Virginia Wheeler made sure words were kept safe and Spartico “Tony” Cerasoli made sure people were kept comfortable.

Another thing that unites these two people was their origins: they were come heres. Miss Wheeler was a puckish maiden lady from Chicago whom everyone enjoyed in the library. Her great talent was manual skill: she repaired books during her tenure. She lived in the tiny white house across the street from the library with her spinster sister. They spent their time reading The New Yorker and entertaining; their Friday evening cocktail parties are still renowned over half a century later. The sign Miss Wheeler posted over the used book sale table conveyed her wicked sense of humor: “No Refunds for Unhappy Endings.”

Tony Cerasoli was a fixer, an assembler and a faithful donor of his money and his time. After serving in WWII, he came to the Shore from New York and met his second wife on the bookmobile in Oak Hall; though Mr. Cerasoli really was more interested in what he could hold and cherish than he was in reading books. He ended up in the library via the Federal Green Thumb Grant for older people in the workplace. He proved such a hard worker that he was later hired part-time. Spartico would cover books, fix things and assemble furniture. Though outwardly a grumpy grouse, he made sure everybody had what they needed but he made his disapproval of certain people quite clear, calling them goldbricks.  Mr. Cerasoli came in early and he worked hard. Though he did not make oodles of friends, he made sure we could enjoy the library in comfort. His devotion to the library only ended with his passing away, and only then because he could not drive to the library from the cemetery. But if Tony could, he would today.

When Miss Wheeler’s house was threatened by a flood, they floated to her front door in a boat to row her and her sister to safety. They would only let her take one thing from the house; that was an easy choice. She took an album of her photographs.  How ironic that there is no photograph of her nor of Tony Cerasoli, not even in the library’s archives.

You need the salty and the sweet, even in a library: a charming little lady who could drink you under the table (“… Because that’s how you preserve things – you pickle them!”) and a crusty curmudgeon whose wife always repeated how handsome she had found him in that most romantic of settings: the bookmobile.  We are lucky that both Miss Wheeler and Mr. Cerasoli put their hands to the benefit of their community on the Eastern Shore.



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Adult Summer Reading?!

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Summer reading isn’t just for the young. At the library in Nassawadox we decided to have a game for adults to play. Participants were given a bingo card and had to read 4 or 5 books, each in a different category to make a bingo. For every bingo they were able to take 5 chances on 7 different prize baskets. The baskets included gift cards donated by local businesses and other theme centered treats donated by our Friends group.

We closed out the summer with 17 people playing and a total of 29 bingos made! Everyone had a great time figuring out where their books would qualify on the bingo card and then trying to choose which basket they liked best.

Many thanks to our supporting businesses: Northampton Lumber Company, The Smiling Dolphin, Teresa’s Quilts, Machipongo Trading Company, Eastern Shore Dog, Appleseed Nursery and Don’ s Tackle Shop. And we couldn’t have done it without the help of our great Friend’s group.

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The importance of local history

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By Kentoya Garcia, Eastern Shore Public Library staff

Have you explored your local history lately?

While there are many benefits to understanding an area’s local history, The Eastern Shore Room can help you make genealogical discoveries with the following three important benefits:

All history is local! At the end of the day, the results of all political choices are felt in communities, neighborhoods, and the lives of individuals.

Local history can help you understand your ancestors in context! It gives you more than just an overview of the broad aspects of American history. It leads to questions such as “How did these events affect American small towns and the lives of those who lived there?”

Local history helps shape who you are! There are plenty of stereotypes out there concerning people who came from various parts of the United States. While there are many examples, there is evidence that suggests the places in which we live do play a significant role in how we perceive the world.

We are lucky to have The Eastern Shore Room as a home to an impressive collection of objects and records relating to area history. There are history books and manuscripts, cemetery records, census records, area maps and photographs, genealogical records, historic magazines and books, and files full of clippings that highlight past events. The contents of the history room are a rare, precious, and important historic resource. It is up to us, as a community, to ensure this collection is safeguarded for current and future generations.


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Summer Reading Fine Amnesty Program 2016

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Summer reading programs play an important role in student success. Studies have shown that reading over the summer prevents the loss of reading skills while school is not in session. By the end of 6th grade, children who lose reading skills over the summer can be up to two years behind their classmates.

  • The Fine Amnesty runs from June 20 to August 20, 2016.
  • Only juvenile and YA materials will be waived.
  • You will be able to borrow one book at the start of the fine amnesty, if you bring all of your overdue items back to the library.
  • Some libraries will have a box of non-cataloged books to borrow if you are unable to borrow books for the program. One book can be borrowed at a time from the box, please!  You can also read books within the library, with or without a library card.
  • Fines will be waived one time during the eligible time period.

What fines and fees are covered?

  • Overdue fees
  • Card replacement fees

What fines will NOT be covered:

  • Non-resident fees
  • Future overdue fines (i.e. creating a credit on an account)
  • Replacement costs for lost or damaged items

Start the school year with a clean slate.  Read down your library fines this summer!

Some Restrictions Apply.  Ask a library staff member for more information.

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Curiosity Creates!

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This year Eastern Shore Public Library was awarded a Curiosity Creates grant–one of only two given to Virginia libraries–that enabled 2nd graders in the ESL program at Metompkin Elementary School to learn more about “Making My World a Better Place.”  Volunteers Pam Spencer Holley and Doris Gebel worked with educators at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station to develop seven programs designed to teach kids about the unique ecology of the Eastern Shore.  Through activities held at both the school and the public library, students learned about marshes and beaches, including native plants and animals found in these areas, plus the importance of being good stewards of all our watersheds.

Chincoteague Bay Field Station staff brought touch tanks filled with native animals to the programs, used games to explain the value of wetlands, and taught the 2nd graders how to explore marshes using nets and sieve boxes. Members of the Eastern Shore Master Gardeners assisted with the activity stations while volunteers from the Eastern Shore Literacy Council worked with some of the parents of the students. A field trip to Assateague Island enabled students to put together what they had learned about marshes and sea animals and brought the grant to a very satisfying conclusion.

The grant is sponsored by Disney and administered by the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.

Curiosity creates 2 Curiosity creates 1 Curiosity creates 6 Curiosity creates 3 Curiosity creates 5 Curiosity creates 4

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Director’s Update from Cara Burton

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Summer Readers = Achievers

Children are out of school for the summer, but that should not mean they are out of reading!  “Summer Reading Lag” is a real phenomenon teachers have to work with in the fall when children have not been practicing their reading over the summer.   Help prevent reading lag by bringing your young readers to the library this summer.   All four libraries on the Eastern Shore have programs and reading challenges to make this fun!  Visit our website for a calendar of events.

What are some fun ways to incorporate reading into your summer activities?

  • Put our calendar of events on your calendar!   Arrange your errands around library programs.  You do not have to “belong” to a library to attend these programs.
  • Join your children in a reading challenge! We give incentive prizes to kids that read 15 minutes each day.  Have your children give you a reading goal to match or have a Family Reading Challenge. Children model after their parents.
  • Make reading inclusive and accessible. Keep books and magazines in the car.  Invite their friends to read.  Make it inter-generational by encouraging family members to read to or with your children.
  • Do “Destination Reading.” Pack a picnic lunch and go to a quiet spot to read.  Read at the beach!  Read in a public garden.  Read at the ball park when there isn’t a game.
  • Library visits can be a “staycation.” Explore the Shore!  Make a goal of visiting each ESVA library and two attractions nearby.  Keep it simple:  library, walk on nature trail, ice cream.  Library, museum, bakery.
  • Traveling? Visit the public library at your destination.  This can provide some needed “down time” for your child and neat insight into that locality.  While you are there, take some notes about what you like in that library and let us hear about them.  We are looking for suggestions for our new library!


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Learn a new language with iPad apps

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Learning a new language on the iPad sounded intriguing to me. I decided to try to learn German. I only know a few words even though my husband is German and speaks the language fluently. I figured that I could use his knowledge as a resource if needed.

The first app that I tried out was Nemo German, which provided limited instruction. I was able to learn 10 to 50 new things, essential words, and phrases. If I wanted to learn more with this app I would need to pay for the service.

The second app, Duolingo, offers individuals many new language choices. I chose German as a comparison. I was able to complete Basics 1 and Basics 2 without difficulty. The phrases category failed to follow the same teaching techniques, and I was expected to know German words that I had not learned in the application. An English to German dictionary may be a necessary resource when facing this obstacle.

Duolingo is a free app and is more extensive than Nemo German. I would definitely recommend it to individuals who want to learn a foreign language.


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Newspaper resources in the Eastern Shore Room at ESPL

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The newspapers of the Eastern Shore chronicle the everyday lives of the people who lived here. To the family historian, newspapers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries can be helpful because of their abundance of personal news and social items. Besides descriptions of occurrences within the community, they also include information on national, regional, and state events. This provides a wealth of information for the family historian.

Articles of genealogical importance that can be found through newspaper research include much more than birth, marriage, and death notices. Other items may include:

  • Detailed obituaries and marriage notices that provide a great deal of family information and sometimes migration background
  • Social items, such as notices of visitors from out of town, visits of local people to other places, illnesses, community events, and celebrations, etc.
  • News stories in which ancestors played a role, such as automobile or buggy accidents, fires, hurricanes or other disasters, crimes, meetings of local government, a list of candidates for upcoming elections, etc.
  • Advertisements which often include the name of the proprietor of a shop, and provide today’s  readers with an idea of what business was like during that era

The Eastern Shore Room has a number of newspapers on microfilm that get used on a regular basis by many different people. Listed are a few examples.

Accomack News (Onancock) 1905-1924

Chincoteague Beacon 1954-1958

Eastern Shore Daily News (Onancock) 1949

Eastern Shore Herald (Eastville) 1904-1949

Eastern Shore News (Cape Charles) 1920-1924

Eastern Shore News (Onancock/Accomac) 1925-2014

Northampton Times (Cape Charles) 1930-1964

Peninsula Enterprise (Accomac) 1881-1964

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  • Main Library
    23610 Front Street
    P.O. Box 360
    Accomac, VA. 23301
    Phone: (757) 787-3400;
    (757) 678-7800;
    (757) 824-5151

    Cape Charles Memorial Library
    201 Mason Avenue
    Cape Charles, VA 23310
    Phone: (757) 331-1300

  • Contact Us

  • Northampton Free Library
    7745 Seaside Rd
    P.O. Box 729 Nassawadox, VA 23413
    Phone: (757) 414-0010

    Chincoteague Island Library
    4077 Main Street
    Chincoteague, VA 23336
    Phone: (757) 336-3460

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