Eastern Shore Public Library

Library Updates

New Graphic Novel Sections

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ESPL now has expanded graphic novel collections!  Thanks to a generous donation by Pam Holley, the library recently purchased 150 new children’s, young adult (YA), and adult titles and gave them their very own locations, making them easier to browse.  The adult and YA graphic novels are now located next to the YA fiction books, and children’s graphic novels are on the tall center stacks, next to audiovisuals.


Graphic novels are an increasingly popular “genre” that can be fiction or nonfiction and are appreciated for their artwork.  The Internet Public Library aptly describes them: “Graphic novels are, simply defined, book-length comics. Sometimes they tell a single, continuous narrative from first page to last; sometimes they are collections of shorter stories or individual comic strips. Comics are sequential visual art, usually with text, that are often told in a series of rectangular panels. Despite the name, not all comics are funny. Many comics and graphic novels emphasize drama, adventure, character development, striking visuals, politics, or romance over laugh-out-loud comedy.”


You may be familiar with Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk in graphic novels, but classic literature and history can come in graphic novel forms.  Teachers like to use them for reluctant readers as they have visual appeal which aides in reading comprehension. 


The library greatly appreciates this generous donation that jump starts this collection.  A retired librarian and past board member, Mrs. Holley often provides new ideas to staff, pushing us to think outside of the box and look at more innovative ways to provide library services. Thank you, Pam!

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ESPL Hosts Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Exhibit

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The Eastern Shore Public Library will host an educational exhibit, Uncovering Home: A Visual Essay on Jamestown Archaeology,” on loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.  What’s new on Jamestown Island? Archaeologists from the Jamestown Rediscovery project at Historic Jamestowne are uncovering James Fort’s oldest artifacts, and creating a revised picture of life in the first permanent English settlement in America! This limited security exhibition is perfect for schools, libraries, and art centers.

The exhibition’s 12 panels paint a vivid picture of the struggles of the early colonists, while illustrating critical processes of historical archaeology.  Are you looking for ways to generate enthusiasm for SOL-related Virginia history, science, and math? Come see this exhibition!

The exhibit will be at ESPL from April 19th to June 27th and viewable during hours of operation. There is no cost to view the exhibit.  Plans are underway to extend the tour to Northampton Memorial Library in Nassawadox.  Corresponding programs will take place as well, dates tbd.

ESPL has become a “statewide partner” with VMFA, making the library system eligible for their touring exhibits and speakers.  Community, schools, homeschool, and church groups are invited to tour the exhibit and are encouraged to make reservations for general library tours or a corresponding program.

To learn more, call the Eastern Shore Public Library at (757) 787-3400 or visit online at www.espl.org.

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Spanish language materials at ESPL

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Library users can easily find books and magazines in the Spanish language through any of the Eastern Shore Public Libraries.  The regional library in Accomac now has its Spanish language books in one location, both fiction and nonfiction titles.  These books can also be delivered to any of the other libraries in Cape Charles, Chincoteague, and Nassawadox via ESPL’s courier service.  Freading, one of the library’s online downloadable e-book sources, has 162 Spanish language books available.  Zinio, the online magazine source, has eight Spanish magazines available to download including Cosmopolitan and Sport Life.   The online books and magazines can be downloaded to your smartphone, tablet, or computer — all for free!

Children will enjoy the Spanish language children’s books, videos, and puzzle games on “Tumblebooks” online.  “Day by Day” is a daily calendar of activities for preschool child caregivers that is also available in Spanish.  Here you will find ideas for stimulating your child’s mind and imagination using materials found in your home, as well as lists of books, music, and other educational resources that you can obtain through your local public library.

You need to have a library card to check out both the print and online books and magazines.   Staff at the library can assist you in getting your library card and setting up online accounts.  These resources and more are available at no cost with your Eastern Shore Public Library card.  There is also a bilingual Notary on staff in Accomac.  Your local public libraries also have computers, photocopiers, scanners, and fax machines for public use for which a small fee may apply. Stop by the library to find out more or call (757) 787-3400.

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ESPL welcomes new Youth Librarian Janice Felker

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The Eastern Shore Public Library has hired Janice Felker as the new Youth Services Librarian.  This new position will be responsible for coordinating youth literacy programs for the Eastern Shore Public Library of Virginia system of four libraries in Accomac, Cape Charles, Chincoteague, and Nassawadox.  These programs include the Summer Reading Programs, a new Winter Reading Program, STEM resource hubs, and some new initiatives.  Mrs. Felker will be meeting with literacy leaders and educators to plan library priorities for providing the children of the Eastern Shore with vibrant, relevant programs and promoting the many library resources available to help their education.  She will be collaborating with and supporting the initiatives of other literacy and education providers, such as Healthy Communities, HeadStart, and our local schools.

Mrs. Felker most recently worked as librarian at Broadwater Academy and previously in the Suffolk Public Library System.  Also known locally as co-owner of Mattawoman Creek Farms, Felker earned her Masters in Library Science from Catholic University.  Her office will be co-located in Accomac and Nassawadox libraries.

Educators and literacy providers interested in talking with Mrs. Felker about youth library programs can contact her at youthservices@espl.lib.va.us or call the Accomac library at (757) 787-3400.

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Eastern Shore Public Library’s 2017 Winter Reading Program

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It is always a good time to snuggle and read a good book with a child, but winter is an especially great time! During the month of February, the Eastern Shore Public Library is offering a Winter Reading Program called “Snuggle with a Book.” Sponsored by the Library of Virginia, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Smart Beginnings, this program encourages parents and caregivers to read aloud with young children ages 0 to 6, and is open to families, daycare providers, and teachers. Many studies indicate that frequently reading aloud to children helps them develop a love of reading and leads to future success in school. We all know it is a great way to create some quality family time.

There are two ways to register for the 2017 Winter Reading Program. You can complete everything online by using the link https://espl.readvirginia.org.  If you prefer the paper method, you can visit your local Eastern Shore Public Library in Accomac, Cape Charles, Chincoteague, or Nassawadox to pick up the 2017 Winter Reading Program materials. Each child will receive a “Snuggle with a Book” packet including a reading log, a Book Booster Activity Sheet, and a bookmark. At the end of the program, a certificate of completion will be awarded. The program begins Monday, February 1 and runs through the end of the month. We hope to see you at the library!

For more information about the Winter Reading Program call the regional library at (757) 787-3400 or stop by your local library.

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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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  • 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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