Eastern Shore Public Library


March 11, 2019                                                                       Contact: Cara Burton, ESPL – (757) 787-3400

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              Rusty Nix – (804) 310-0285

                                                                                                                            Lily Jones – (804) 698-1886

History is on the move as the WWI and WWII Profiles of Honor Tour travels to Nassawadox and Parksley, Virginia

WWI and WWII Profiles of Honor Tour








(Accomac, Virginia) March 11, 2019 – The Virginia WWI and WWII Profiles of Honor Tour will be at two locations on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in April 2019, hosted by Eastern Shore Public Library.  The walk-in traveling exhibit will be in Nassawadox on Friday, April 12 where it will be located at in the downtown municipal parking lot.  It then travels to Parksley on Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14 where it will be located in the Town Hall parking lot.  The events will also include a family archives scan-a-thon.  The exhibits and scan-a-thon will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.

The mobile museum, free and open to the public, features stories and artifacts from dozens of Virginians who served in World War I and World War II. The tour, which brings to life Virginia’s integral role in world history, is part of a statewide commemoration marking the 100th anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of World War II.

In addition to its mobile exhibit, the tour brings document scanning equipment, supported by the Library of Virginia, to each site it visits. Visitors are invited to bring World War I and World War II-related images, letters, and documents to be scanned, preserved, and made publicly accessible in the Library of Virginia’s archives.   “The Eastern Shore Public Library wants to ensure that the Shore is represented in this Virginia memory project,” said Cara Burton, Library Director. “Also, as part of our program plan for the future Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center, we want to teach families about the importance of family records and how to share them with others.” Virginia images scanned to date can be viewed at:  www.virginiawwiandwwii.org/scanning

“The Profiles of Honor Tour honors the Virginians who fought for our freedom and helps to ensure that their legacy remains for new generations as World War I and World War II slip further away from public memory,” said Virginia House of Delegates Speaker M. Kirkland Cox, who serves as the Chairman of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission. “Both wars were fought not only overseas, but from the shipyards, factories, military bases, and homes of Virginians. The Profiles of Honor Tour revitalizes that history, from the home front to the frontlines.”

An initiative of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission, which is a commission of the General Assembly, the Profiles of Honor Tour is managed in partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. A number of Virginia’s noted museums and historical societies contributed to the exhibit.

For more information on the Profiles of Honor Tour and other initiatives of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission, visit www.VirginiaWWIandWWII.org or call Eastern Shore Public Library at (757) 787-3400 or click on the “news” tab at www.espl.org.

Collection Criteria

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, (757) 787-3400


ESPL final plans CC SC Committees








Photo above:  The library’s Construction Committee and the project Steering Committee recently met to approve the construction plans.  Pictured left to right:  Tom Rakowski, Charle Ricci, Dennis Custis, Richard Lewis, Supervisor Paul Muhly, Cara Burton, Tim Valentine, Pam Holley, and Stewart Hall.

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) February 25, 2019 – The new regional library for the Eastern Shore of Virginia is moving forward to its next phase:  going out to bid for construction.  The new library facility will be located in Parksley, Virginia with groundbreaking starting this spring 2019 and opening in 2020.  On Monday, February 25, 2019 a joint meeting of the Eastern Shore Public Library (ESPL) Construction Committee and the library project Steering Committee took place at the Chamber of Commerce to review the 100% design plans for construction.  After a brief discussion reviewing a punch list of committee concerns, both committees passed motions to approve the plans and refer them to the ESPL Board of Trustees and the Accomack County Board of Supervisors for approval.  Thereafter, the county Department of Public Works will oversee the construction.

The ESPL Construction Committee was formed June, 21, 2016 by the library Board of Trustees to work with the architects, Waller, Todd, and Sadler of Virginia Beach, to design the $5 million facility that meets library program needs and stays within budget.  The committee was formed to have representation by the trustees, library staff, counties, and community members.  The 2019 committee was co-chaired by library trustee Dennis Custis and library volunteer Pam Holley.  In addition to Custis, trustee representatives included trustee Chairperson Jacqueline Davis and trustee Tim Valentine. Staff representatives included Library Director Cara Burton and Librarian Charle Ricci.  Accomack County’s Superintendent of Public Works, Stewart Hall, was the county representative.  In addition to Pam Holley, other community members included John Callander and Tom Rakowski.

The Library Board of Trustees greatly appreciates the time and dedication of the committee members in reviewing the multiple phases of library design work.  In 2016, the committee chairperson was trustee Gerry Ryan and included past Trustee Chairman Kitty Hall, trustee Paul Berge, Jeb Wilson, and Parksley Mayor Jim Eichelberger, in addition to most of the current members.  The committee lost a valued member when Mayor Eichelberger passed away suddenly in October 2017.

The committee challenged the architects to refine the plans to create a practical, aesthetically pleasing public building that will serve the library needs of both Accomack and Northampton counties for generations.  Public information meetings provided for community feedback.  The program plan was transformed in 2017 with requests to provide for the Eastern Shore’s archive preservation and access needs, creating the Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center.  It will be located in a newly constructed addition to the former grocery store. The plans are on view in the library in Accomac.

In September 2018, the construction committee began to meet jointly with the project Steering Committee, which was formed under the Memorandum of Understanding between ESPL and Accomack County.  The Steering Committee consists of a Trustee, Tim Valentine, a County Supervisor, Paul Muhly, and a community member, Richard Lewis.  Lewis, who owns Associated Grain in Parksley and served as a Parksley Town Councilman from 1987 to 1997, is the Steering Committee Chairperson.  The Steering Committee members and the library director also participate in the Parksley Downtown Revitalization Project.

The ESPL Foundation continues to raise funds for the construction and the furnishing for the new regional library.  Individuals and organizations interested in supporting this project still have time to donate for a naming opportunity, to be on the donor walls, or to buy a brick.  Information on the many ways to support the library can be found at www.shorelibrary.com, by picking up a donation form at any of the four Shore libraries, or calling the campaign office at (757) 787-2500.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400

Virginia Humanities Announces Latimer Fund for Grants Exploring African American Life and Achievement in Virginia

Frances Latimer








(Charlottesville, Virginia) February 20, 2019—Virginia Humanities announces the creation of the George A. and Frances Bibbins Latimer Fund (the Latimer Fund) to support grants exploring African American life and achievement in Virginia. The fund has been established as a permanent endowment through a generous gift from Mr. George A. Latimer, of Kissimmee, Florida, in memory of his wife, Mrs. Frances Bibbins Latimer.

The sole purpose of the Latimer Fund is to provide grants to nonprofit organizations based in the Commonwealth of Virginia to support educational projects on African American history and culture in the state. Virginia Humanities anticipates that at least $5,000 will be awarded from the fund annually, with the initial Latimer Fund grant award(s) made by the Virginia Humanities Board of Directors in December 2018.

Nonprofit organizations across the state are encouraged to apply through Virginia Humanities’ Open Grant Program.

The intent is to grow the Latimer Fund over time into a major force for continuing the exploration of African American history and African American perspectives on American and Virginia history. Additional donations to the fund, of any size, are welcomed and will expand the number and impact of this important initiative.

About Frances Bibbins Latimer: Ms. Latimer was one of Virginia’s leading community historians. She was a native of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and the Shore was the primary focus of her research and writing, but her passion for African American history extended far beyond. She was a founding member of the Eastern Shore Regional Humanities Council and the author and editor of more than a dozen books, two of which, Landmarks and Life for Me Ain’t Been No Crystal Stair, were supported by Virginia Humanities prior to her death in 2010.

“Frances—or Bea, as her friends knew her—was a tireless researcher and an accomplished historian whose work embodies the values of the humanities,” said David Bearinger, Virginia Humanities’ director of Grants and Community Programs. “She was a generous and patient teacher whose lifelong commitment to telling the history of the Shore and the stories of its African American communities inspired all of us who knew her.”

“Bea’s love for African American history, especially on the Eastern Shore, was at the heart of her life’s work,” said Mr. Latimer. “She also believed strongly in the mission of Virginia Humanities. Establishing this fund in her memory helps ensure that the work she loved and believed in will continue all across Virginia and far into the future.”

For more information about the George A. and Frances Bibbins Latimer Fund, or to make a donation to the fund, contact David Bearinger at 434-924-3989; dab@virginia.edu. Grants from the Fund will be made in accordance with Virginia Humanities’ established guidelines and review procedures. Information on applying for a grant from Virginia Humanities can be found at VirginiaHumanities.org/grants.

About Virginia Humanities: The mission of Virginia Humanities is to connect people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. As the state humanities council, Virginia Humanities reaches an estimated annual audience of 41 million through community programs and festivals, grants and fellowships, websites and digital initiatives, publications and teacher institutes, radio programs and podcasts, the Virginia Folklife Program, and the Virginia Center for the Book. To learn more visit VirginiaHumanities.org.


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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400


Carlos El Dia de Los Ninos Apr2017








Photo Above:  Cascading Carlos returns to perform at the library’s Celebrate Us multicultural festival on May 5.

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) February 14, 2019 – Eastern Shore Public Library will be hosting a multicultural festival on Sunday, May 5, 2019, at the site of the future regional library in Parksley, Virginia.  “Celebrate Us” will be an outdoor family event with local nonprofits, individuals, and entertainers showcasing the diverse cultures present on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  The event will be free and open to the public.  Organizations or individuals wishing to demonstrate a craft, game, artwork, or other activity related to a culture or wanting to have an information booth, please contact Janice Felker, Youth Services Librarian, at youthservices@espl.org or by calling (757) 787-3400.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400


Oral history photo








Photo above.

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) February 14, 2019 – Eastern Shore Public Library will host the 2019 Frances Bibbins Latimer Oral History Contest.  All Eastern Shore of Virginia middle and high school students are invited to video or audio record an interview with someone fifty years of age or older.  The fifteen to twenty minute interviews will cover the life of the person during their younger years.  Cash prizes will be awarded with first place for each age group being $500.  Contest packets are available at area schools and on the library’s website, espl.org.

The collection of oral histories will be stored for future generations at the Eastern Shore Public Library’s future Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center to be built within the new regional library in Parksley.  The contest was named after Francis Bibbins Latimer, a renowned local historian.  Latimer’s family donated her archives collection, rich with African American materials, to the Eastern Shore Public Library, and it is currently being processed for future public access.

The library would like to thank the following sponsors:  Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation, Boggs Water & Sewage Inc, Club Chautauqua, the Cosmos Club of Northampton County, Edward Jones, Holden’s Residential Rental, Kiwanis Club of Accomack, Northampton County High School Alumni Association, Devon Mack State Farm Insurance, and the Center for Community and Family Development.

For more information, call the Youth Services Librarian, Janice Felker, at (757) 787-3400.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400


Lifestyle Nutritionist Jeremy Holman







Photo above:  Lifestyle Nutritionist Jeremy Holman returns on Thursday, April 4 at 3:00 p.m. to Eastern Shore Public Library to cap off the Lifestyle Challenge program series.

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) February 14, 2019 – The Eastern Shore Public Library will be offering programs promoting improved health and your knowledge of computer technology.  The Lifestyle Challenge continues with programs held on Thursdays at 3:00 p.m.  “Less Sugar, Less Sodium” will be the topic on February 21 presented by Virginia Cooperative Extension.  On March 7, “Tranquility in Technique:  The Beauty of Arabic Calligraphy” will introduce you to the stress relieving benefits of artistic expression by creating you own rendering of Arabic script.  The health benefits of artistic expression continue with “Sea Shell Painting” on March 21.  The last Lifestyle Challenge program will bring back, by popular demand, lifestyle nutritionist Jeremy Holman on April 4.  You do not need to be enrolled in the Lifestyle Challenge to attend and it is not too late to sign-up for the Challenge.

Every Thursday at 1:00 pm, the library’s Adult Services Specialist, Wells Gregoire, hosts a Tech Hour.  This is an opportunity to learn a new technology skill and to ask him questions about your personal devices and how to use them.  Social networking is the topic for the next few weeks.  Learn the basics of starting to use Facebook on February 21 and 28.  Instagram basics will be taught on March 7 and 14.

These programs are free and open to the public with no registration required.  They are designed for adult audiences and will be held at the Eastern Shore Public Library in Accomac.  Call 787-3400 for more information or visit the library’s online calendar at www.espl.org.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, (757) 787-3400


ESPL Foundation mailing








Photo above:  ESPL Foundation volunteers stuff envelopes for a capital campaign mailing.

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) January 22, 2019 – The Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2019.  Incorporated on August 5, 2009, the Foundation was formed to assist the library board of trustees to secure funds to support the library system in ways the annual operating income did not.  The Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a volunteer board of directors.

After realizing the Accomac library building was needing expensive repairs, the library Friends and the Trustees began to talk about the need for a study of library services on the Eastern Shore of Virginia as a whole.  In 2007 the Trustees engaged Dr. John Moorman, a respected library consultant, to do such a study. The Friends paid $6,000 for the study, which was delivered in 2008.

As a result of the Moorman Report, the Trustees began to discuss the possibility of a new regional library. The Trustees decided that creating a foundation would be of assistance as the Library launched efforts for a new library, and, eventually, for building an endowment. In particular, a foundation would be a recognized vehicle for applying for corporate and government grants.  After filing Articles of Incorporation with the Commonwealth of Virginia in November, 2009, the Foundation held an organizational meeting to adopt bylaws and elect directors and officers.  The Foundation applied for and received tax-exempt status from the IRS in May, 2010.

Since then, the Foundation has raised money for the Eastern Shore Public Library through a variety of means including fundraisers, private and corporate donations, grants, and planned giving. They continue to raise funds for the new regional library and the Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center to be built in Parksley.  Foundation volunteers will be celebrating their tenth anniversary throughout 2019 as they reach their fundraising goals for the building project.

One of the anniversary events will be the Groundbreaking ceremony in spring 2019.  Generous contributors offering the largest donations will be given special recognition at the Groundbreaking and Grand Opening ceremonies. The ESPL Foundation also plans to recognize substantial donors by engraving their names on the donor recognition walls.  One wall will be for library contributors and another donor wall will recognize donors to the ESVA Heritage Center.  Those wishing to commemorate or memorialize family members will have the opportunity to name components of the new Heritage Center in their honor.

The ESPL Foundation will hold its Raising the Green for the New Regional Library fundraiser on Saturday, March 16 at the Island House Restaurant.  To purchase tickets call (757) 787-2500.  To donate to the new library or the Heritage Center, please send donations to ESPL Foundation, PO Box 554, Accomac, VA 23301.  Those wishing to discuss naming opportunities, pledges spread over a number of years, or gifts of stock or other property please contact the ESPL Foundation President Colette Nelson at (757) 787-2500.

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The Missing Jail of Eastville by Jenean Hall



  • Eastern Shore Public 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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