Eastern Shore Public Library


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                     CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400











Photos above:  Images from Eastern Shore yearbooks are now available online.  Pictured are faculty from the Practical School of Nursing which was in Nassawadox and the artistic cover of Cape Charles High School’s “The Arrow.”

ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA (May 11, 2018) – The Eastern Shore Public Library is participating in the Library of Virginia’s digitization project to make school yearbooks available online.  Sixty-six Eastern Shore of Virginia yearbooks are now online and can be viewed through a link under the “digital history” page of the “genealogy” tab on the library’s website, espl.org.  The project is funded through the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Yearbooks, also called “annuals,” are a valuable resource for people researching their family history and provide historic information on the school’s clubs, sports, and academics.  The books are also valued for their artwork.  The Eastern Shore yearbooks now online include several from Cape Charles schools titled “The Arrow,” loaned by the Cape Charles Museum.  Various titles from the ESPL Frances Bibbins Latimer collection including Northampton High School’s “The Lighthouse” and the Hampton Institute “Hamptonian” were scanned.  The collection also includes annuals from the Northampton-Accomack School of Practical Nursing’s “White Caps” and four years from Onancock High School’s “The Beacon”. The nursing school annuals were donated to Eastern Shore Public Library by Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital prior to the hospital’s move to Onley.

The Library of Virginia yearbook project includes yearbooks from across Virginia, however the ESPL project focuses on Accomack and Northampton county schools.  Individuals wishing to include their yearbook in the online database can contact the Eastern Shore Public Library at (757) 787-3400 or email espl@espl.org for information.  Your yearbook can either be permanently donated to our archives or loaned to ESPL only for the duration of the scanning project.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                Contact:  Cara Burton, (757) 787-3400



(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) May 11, 2018 – The Eastern Shore Public Library Board of Trustees approved at their May meeting a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Accomack County that moves the five million dollar new regional library capital project closer to being fully funded.  This action follows the approval of the MOU by the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation Board of Directors at a special meeting on May 3, 2018.  The agreement provides for the two million dollar contribution by the County of Accomack pledged in May 2015.  Combined with the five hundred thousand dollar allocation from the Library of Virginia in 2016 and over eight hundred thousand dollars raised by the Foundation in donations and grants, the capital project now has nearly four million dollars in hand.  The library construction committee plans to break ground in the fall of 2018 with the new regional library completion in December 2019.

The new regional library will be 20,110 square feet compared to the 11,500 square feet facility now in Accomac.  Built in 1964, the main library location will be closed and transferred to the County as part of the agreement.  Accomack County will also own the new library as collateral for its two million dollar loan and will act as the fiscal agent managing project payments.  A Steering Committee will be formed with representatives from both the County and the Library to work jointly on project oversight.  Waller, Todd, and Sadler is the architectural firm designing the library in partnership with Greg Lukmire, an architect with library design expertise.

The county-library partnership continues the collaboration since 1958 when the Eastern Shore of Virginia regional library system was created. The new regional library will also include the Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center to house the expanding local history archives and special collections.  For more information about the library capital campaign or to donate, visit shorelibrary.com or call (757) 787-2500.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                          

CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400



Tidewater reads photo







Robin Butler (left), a patron of Eastern Shore Public Library, receives a first place plaque presented by internationally renowned regional author Kwame Alexander for her poem in the Tidewater Reads poetry contest.

ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA (May 1, 2018) – Eastern Shore Public Library recently announced that two of the winners in the Tidewater Reads regional poetry contest are from Northampton County.  Kayla Durst placed third in the teen competition and Robin Butler placed first in the adult competition.  Both attended the awards ceremony at the Slover Library in Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday, April 28th, 2018.  Tidewater Reads is a literary collaborative of libraries on the Eastern Shore of Virgnia and in Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and York County along with the Muse Writing Center and the Suffolk Art League.

In its third year, Tidewater Reads’ goal is to build a sense of community by encouraging people across the region to read and talk about the same book or author and participate in related activities.  Kwame Alexander was chosen this year as the selected author because he writes children’s, teen, and adult books as well as poetry.  Alexander was the guest speaker at the awards ceremony and spoke about growing up in Tidewater and how his parents instilled in him a love of reading and writing.

Prior to the regional poetry competition, the Eastern Shore Public Library held a local contest.  Fifty six poems entered the local competition with entries from all four libraries in Accomac, Cape Charles, Chincoteague and Nassawadox.  First place winners in the Eastern Shore competition are:  Currin Burrell for grades K to 2, Ava Siegrist for grades 3 to 5, Josephine Kohler for grades 6 to 8, Kanijah Brickhouse for grades 9 to 12, and A’Marie Bailey in the adult category.  The poems of these first place winners as well as the second and third place winners in the Eastern Shore Public Library contest were submitted to the regional Tidewater Reads competition, making a total of local fifteen poems competing against entries from six other Tidewater library systems.

The Friends of Eastern Shore Public Library supported printing a compilation of the fifty six local poems.  Winning entries in the regional competition will be compiled into a digital poetry book and available at tidewaterreads.org.  To read books by Kwame Alexander and for more information about library programs, contact the Eastern Shore Public Library at (757) 787-3400 or visit online at www.espl.org.

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For Immediate Release                                                                                                                           

Contact:  Cara Burton, (757) 787-3400




Dollar General grant

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (April 23, 2018) The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) has chosen Eastern Shore Public Library to be one of twenty public libraries in the United States to receive its 2018 Summer Teen Intern Grant.  The grant will allow these public libraries to hire teen interns to assist in the implementation of their summer learning programs, while also helping teens gain real world work experience and develop professional skills. Each grant is worth $1,000. The grant is possible through the generous sponsorship from The Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

Janice Felker, the Youth Service Librarian of the Eastern Shore Public Library, is very grateful and excited to be awarded this grant.  “With the generous support of YALSA and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the library will be able to set the stage to develop a strong teen intern program,” Felker announced.  “Internships lead to many growth opportunities for our community teens including volunteer or employment positions in the future and the creation of a Teen Advisory Board to help us plan young adult programs.”  The new regional library will have a room designed specifically for teens that includes space for graphic novels and young adult books, comfortable seating, and access to a technology makerspace.

Two teen interns will be hired, one for the Accomac and one for the Nassawadox location.  Students interested in applying for the part-time, temporary summer internship program should visit the library’s website, www.espl.org, to register or stop by one of these two libraries to get the form.  The student must be between sixteen and eighteen years old, a resident of either Accomack or Northampton County, and have transportation to the library.

For years, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has provided Youth Literacy Grants to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations in hopes to provide assistance in implementing and expanding literacy programs for youth. For more information about Dollar General and its Youth Literacy Grants, visit www.dollargeneral.com.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                 

CONTACT:  Cara Burton, Library Director, (757) 787-3400



            (ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) February 21, 2018 – Saving Eastern Shore history has become a focus of community support for the new regional library to be built in Parksley, Virginia.  Eastern Shore Public Library Board of Trustees recently approved naming the addition to the former grocery store the “Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center” which will house archives, a research room, lecture hall, and makerspace.  Since October 2015, when the Library bought the Fresh Pride building in Parksley, a growing number of local historians and genealogists have worked together to create a building program that expands what is now the Eastern Shore Room at the current main library in Accomac.  The $5 million regional library will be a 20,110 square foot facility of which the Heritage Center will be 7,600 square feet.

            Since 1984, the Eastern Shore Room has provided research materials for people searching for information about their family history, scholars researching the earliest beginnings of the United States, authors writing stories about the Eastern Shore culture, and students learning about local history.  The rare books and manuscripts, along with the expertise of librarian Dr. Brooks Miles Barnes, became well-known drawing visitors from all over the world.  The library received the donated collections of local historians like Nora Turman and James Egbert Mears, however, in recent years Dr. Barnes had to turn away donations due to space limitations.  Archives pertaining to the Eastern Shore started to be donated to the historical societies in Richmond and out-of-state.  Dr. Barnes took this as a call to action advocating that the new regional library have a large, climate controlled room to safely store our local history here on the Eastern Shore.  Even after his 2016 retirement, Dr. Barnes helps a fundraising committee focus on securing funding for the planned Heritage Center.

            The Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation has focused recent fundraising efforts on securing grants and donations to fund the Heritage Center in the regional library.  Current plans include relocating the Katharine H.S. Edmonds Eastern Shore Room and creating the Brooks Miles Barnes Archives Room.  Additionally, the Dennis R. Custis Lecture Hall will enable the library to host public programs, workshops, and conferences.  The makerspace will have audio and video recording equipment for collecting oral histories, interviews, recording audio-books, and other digital publications.  A Young Adult room will be next to the maker space and lecture hall to engage students in local history.  An archivist’s office is included for the professional that will prepare and preserve materials for use and organize public programs.  An endowment to fund this position has been started with a bequest from local historian and author, Kirk Mariner.

            Local author Curtis Badger recently wrote, “This will give us the opportunity to usher in a new era for the study of Eastern Shore history.  Today we have the opportunity to ensure that Eastern Shore documents remain on the Shore, providing a new generation of writers and historians with ample material to study and interpret for many years to come.”

            The new Eastern Shore Regional Library and the Heritage Center are scheduled to open in the Fall of 2019.  History cannot wait.  Recent donated archives of Francis Bibbens Latimer and Kirk Mariner have to be stored in off-site locations.  The Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation is seeking financial donations to support the building.  To donate, visit www.shorelibrary.com or send a contribution to ESPL Foundation, PO Box 554, Accomac, VA 23301.  To donate stock or for additional information, call the Foundation office at (757) 787-2500.

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Other News

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Archaeologists Present on Eyreville Findings

Architectural and Engineering Services for Public Library

BB&T Lighthouse Project Supports Reading

Black History Month Events

Bloxom AND McMath to be Honorary Chairs of Eastern Shore of Virginia’s Regional Library Capital Campaign

Chincoteague Island Library to Celebrate “Locals Week at the Library”

Chincoteague Resident Joins Library Foundation

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Coady Receives Library Trustee of the Year Award

Committee of Historians Seeks Funding for Local History Room in New Regional Library

Diamond Jubilee

Early Learning Computer Donated to ESVA Library

Eastern Shore Public Library Goes TOBACCO-FREE

Eastern Shore Public Library Holds Children’s Event at Future Location

Eastern Shore Public Library Hosts Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Exhibit

Eastern Shore Public Library Joins Foundation Center’s Global Network

Eastville Resident Joins Library Foundation

ESVBA wifi

Exmore Town Hall Book Return

February 2017 Winter Reading Program

Food for Fines 

Food for Fines December 2017

Frances Bibbins Latimer Collection

Introduction to Finding Grants Workshop

January 2018 Holidays

Library of Virginia Touring Slave History Exhibit in Accomac

McMath and Bloxom Honored for Library Capital Campaign Support

National Friends of the Library Week 2017

Nelson Receives Outstanding Community Leader Award

Nora Roberts Foundation Awards Grant For New Shore Library

Northampton Free Library Announces Community Garden Grant

Oral History Contest Form

Perdue Foundation Commits $100,000 to Support Campaign to Build New Eastern Shore Public Library in Rural Virginia

Perdue Foundation Grant Supports Campaign to Build New Eastern Shore Public Library in Rural Virginia

Regional Library Building Party

Request for Proposals for Internet/Wide Area Network Services

Shore Library Campaign Website Wins Awards

Spanish Language Collection

Summer Food Program

Summer Reading Program

ESPL Newsletters

April 2016 newsletter

July 2016 newsletter

September 2016 newsletter

Check Me Out Kickoff Event

November 2016 newsletter

Visit with Santa 2016

February 2017 newsletter

April 2017 newsletter

June 2017 newsletter

July 2017 newsletter

September 2017 newsletter


The Missing Jail of Eastville by Jenean Hall



  • 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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