Eastern Shore Public Library

Library Updates

Library Winter Reading Challenge

Posted by schilders on

Winter fun is near and Eastern Shore Public Library is celebrating! Throughout the month of December, the Library is hosting a Holidays around the World Reading Challenge on Beanstack, the online reading program! This new children’s activity combines fun reading and art challenges by visiting espl.beanstack.org and selecting the Holidays Around the World Reading Challenge. Complete activities and read books to earn tickets. Each ticket will be put into a raffle for cool prizes! The Holidays Around the World Reading Challenge is free and open to any Eastern Shore of Virginia child aged 1 to 18 years. A library card is not required.

Eastern Shore Public Library in Accomac and Northampton Free Library in Nassawadox will also have activity bags full of all kinds of Christmas goodies including a Christmas ornament craft, an activity booklet, and more. Stop by and visit either of the two libraries to pick up a free kit.

Library staff would love to see all the arts and crafts you do during the month so feel free to tag them on Instagram at @esplyouthservice. If you have any questions about the programs or using Beanstack, please email Tiffany Flores, Youth Services Librarian, at youthservices@espl.org or call 757-787-3400.

No comments

Holiday e-Reading

Posted by schilders on

As the holidays approach, schedules can become overly full and stress levels begin to rise. The Eastern Shore Public Library (ESPL) offers a solution to the busyness of the season with e-Reading. eBooks and eAudiobooks are always available for download from the library’s website, even when the library is closed. Plus, the mobile app versions of the library’s eBook services make it easy to take your eBooks with you, wherever you go. Whether you’re traveling or just hunkered down at home on a cold day, eBooks can provide a much-needed break from the holiday hustle and bustle.

Both seasoned eBook readers and those who have always preferred books in paper form, can expand their reading horizons tremendously with the library’s digital book collections. The ESPL offers not only a huge selection of eBooks, but also plenty of eAudiobooks and eMagazines to choose from as well. The following sections highlight three collections for digital reading and listening: Libby, Freading, and JLGDigital. All three can be found on the eResources tab on espl.org, and are free to use and enjoy. Some require a library card. Remember, if you need a card, you can apply online through our ShoreCat catalog system.

Libby by Overdrive

Libby seamlessly connects both first-time users and experienced eBook readers with the ESPL’s digital Overdrive collection. It includes eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines, and features bestsellers and new releases on a variety of topics. Readers of all ages can select from virtually every subject ranging from mystery, romance, children’s, business and more. With over 2,500 eBooks, 1,100 eAudiobooks, and 3,000 eMagazines to choose from, there is sure to be something for everyone.  The Friends of ESPL and NFL volunteers generously support the expansion of our eBook collections with their donations.

With a valid library card and PIN number, readers may browse ESPL’s Libby collection, instantly borrow titles and start reading or listening. Libby is compatible with all major computers and devices, iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets and Chromebook™. Through Libby, readers can also “send to Kindle®”.  All titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Readers can also download titles onto Libby for offline use.

The award-winning Libby app is easy to use and will guide readers through the setup process and get them connected to the ESPL to start reading or listening on their phone or tablet in just a few minutes.


Thanks to the generous support of the Friends of the Eastern Shore Public Library, Shore residents have access to over 100,000 Freading eBooks. From seasonal cooking and crafts to general fiction, history, graphic novels, and science, Freading offers a huge variety of subjects to choose from.

The Freading service can be used to read and download eBooks on both desktops and laptops, or on mobile devices with the Freading app. Freading works well with both PC and Mac computers and laptops, as well as iPhone®, iPad®, and Android™ phones and tablets, and the Kindle Fire.

A recent upgrade to Freading has made the setup process very simple. After entering a library card number and PIN, readers will be prompted to add their email address and choose a password. It’s that simple! Freading eBooks are available to download at any time, are checked out for a 2 week period, and return automatically. With new content added weekly, Freading is definitely worth checking out.

Junior Library Guild Digital (JLG Digital)

For younger Shore readers, JLG Digital offers a collection of Gold Standard eBooks and eAudios for K-12 students. The content is refreshed every 30 days, so there is always something new to read. JLG Digital can be used on computers and laptops as well as on iOS or Android mobile devices. A library card is not required to use JLG Digital, and log in details can be found by clicking the Audiobooks and eBooks button on the eResources tab of espl.org.

JLG Digital provides an unlimited number of copies for each title, which means that readers never have to wait for a title they are interested in. All items in this collection are always available!

Find all of these eBook Collections at espl.org

Be sure to check out these great eBook collections. They are each a bit different, but combine to form an excellent way to relax and unwind during the holidays. Find them all by clicking the Audiobooks and eBooks button on the eResources tab of espl.org, or by visiting https://espl.org/how-do-i/audiobooks-and-ebooks/

To request a library card online, visit https://esplva.booksys.net/opac/espl/#url:RegisterForLibraryCard?

For help with PIN numbers or getting set up with Libby, Freading, or JLG Digital, Accomac library staff are available at (757)787-3400 between 10 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

The Eastern Shore Public Library System has four libraries: Accomac, Cape Charles, Chincoteague, and Nassawadox. ESPL library cards can be used at any of the four libraries. To learn about the regional library building project and ESVA Heritage Center in Parksley, opening in 2022, or to donate, visit www.esplfoundation.org. For more information about library services, library hours of operation, or your library account, visit www.espl.org, like us on Facebook and Twitter, or call the library at 757-787-3400.

No comments

Do you want a COVID-19 Test-kit?

Posted by cburton on

You may pick up a Rapid Covid-19 Antigen At-Home Test-kit here at the Eastern Shore Public Library. Although the Eastern Shore Public Library is a distribution center, this test is provided by the Virginia Department of Health.

Once you have requested a test, a library staff member will place the test kit in the foyer at the designated time. The test kit will be in a bag with your name on it. Your kit will be available in the foyer for one hour. If you do not pick up the test kit within one hour, you will need to request another pick-up time. There is a limit of 2 tests, per person at this time.

If the person picking up the test has ANY COVID symptoms, do not come into the library. Please practice social distancing when you pick up your kit from the foyer.

You will need to connect to the internet using Wi-Fi or cell phone data in order to access eMed and to download the testing app, called “Navica”. Each person taking a test must create an account. The account will require primary contact information.  You will then need to go to eMed.com to obtain a proctor who will walk you through the testing process. Be prepared to show the proctor your photo-ID.  There is no cost for the test or eMed guide. You may access the public Wi-Fi from your vehicle in the parking lot, if necessary. Results should be available within 15 minutes. These instructions are provided with the test kit. Library staff will NOT be able to assist you or answer any questions. Any and all questions about the test-kit, testing process, and results may be directed to the Virginia COVID information Center, or at the program website found at vdh.gov and via the link found on espl.org.

Keep in mind that this is a Rapid COVID-19 Antigen test and this may NOT satisfy any travel testing requirements. For any additional questions, please refer to the testing app or the contact information provided. Please dispose of any materials from the test-kit properly.

No comments

ESPL has free COVID-19 tests kits for a limited time

Posted by cburton on

VDH Partners with Libraries to Provide COVID-19 Antigen At-Home Test Kits at No Cost

(RICHMOND, Va.) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced its partnership with 18 libraries and library systems across the commonwealth to distribute COVID-19 rapid antigen at-home test kits at no cost.  The pilot program begins this week and will run through Friday, Dec. 31.  Eastern Shore Public Library is participating.

Individuals can pick up a virtually-guided Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 Antigen Card Home Test from the library, use it in the privacy of their home and receive digital test results in 15 minutes. The program is designed to increase access to COVID-19 testing, especially among rural, remote, under-resourced communities, and other vulnerable populations.

“We are pleased to work with public libraries to provide another testing option for our community and to increase accessibility,” said Dr. Laurie Forlano, DO MPH, deputy director, Office of Epidemiology. “Testing continues to be important to stop the spread of COVID-19, particularly as we enter the holiday season when people gather.”

The at-home test kit uses the eMed digital platform. Users will need a mobile device or computer to create an account and to join a virtual testing session with an eMed assistant who guides users through the testing process. Once the test has been completed, the user will receive a test result within 15 minutes, and eMed will report the results to VDH.

Individuals can request a free test kit from their local library by calling (757) 787-3400 to pick up at the library in Accomac or (757) 414-0010 to pick up from the library in Nassawadox. VDH recommends that tests be used within two weeks to avoid expiration.

If you are feeling ill, call your library about contactless pick-up options or send someone to pick up the test kit for you.  Individuals experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms should not enter the library.

For more information, please visit the library program webpage or email testinginfo@vdh.virginia.gov.  Other testing sites/options can be found on the VDH testing locator page.

No comments

ESVA Heritage Center collections assist community initiatives

Posted by schilders on

In preparation for the Board of Trustees Strategic Planning project, staff was asked to prepare recommendations of our own departmental goals for consideration by the Board. To that end staff has been looking over the Heritage Center’s Mission, Vision and Value Statements which were approved by the Board last month.

At the same time, we answered a query from the Eastern Shore of Virginia Rail Trail Working Group partnership, the group tasked with promoting and supporting development of a 50-mile hiking and bicycling trail along the Eastern Shore’s railroad line. As a member of the partnership, Library Director Cara Burton asked staff to check our digital image collections for photos of the railroad and tracks for a rack card the group is creating.

The request (and Director Cara Burton’s involvement as a member of the group) ties into the second bullet point of the ESVA Heritage Center Value Statement about partnerships: “We build collaborative relationships with educational systems, cultural institutions, community-based organizations and local governments.” And it fits with the first bullet of Historical Stewardship which states that we will “share our rich heritage.”

We were happy to contribute to a Shore-wide economic and cultural development project. It also provided a great opportunity for us to spread the word about our diverse collections to members of the group and to anyone picking up that rack card in the future. The Heritage Center is not just about collecting our history but making it as accessible and available as possible – not only for the benefit of individual researchers, but also for the benefit of the greater community.

No comments

Coming soon – a website for the new ESVA Heritage Center!

Posted by schilders on

The existing online presence of local history and genealogy at Eastern Shore Public Library is, much like the current Eastern Shore Room’s physical presence, just one small component of the larger library system. That was sufficient when local history was simply one part of the library’s services, but as we grow into the Heritage Center – a state of the art archive and Eastern Shore of Virginia history cornerstone – we need a website that reflects that expansion and conveys our new role in the community. As we have outgrown our building, we have also outgrown our website.

A new, more intuitively and professionally designed website will make our collections much more accessible to the public—both in person and virtual visitors. Users will be able to easily learn about our online and archival collections and resources in the Eastern Shore Room, how to prepare for a visit to the Heritage Center and how to contribute to our collections.

It will demonstrate how the Heritage Center fosters a culture of “citizen historians” who document, share and preserve local history by a variety of means, big and small, from learning how to preserve their own family photos to self-publishing and podcasting. This updated and modern website will reinforce the Eastern Shore Room’s reputation as a trustworthy repository of information and support for local history and genealogy research, a reputation fostered by Dr. Miles Barnes during his 40 years of service to the library.

TGD Communications have met with staff to determine the the site’s purpose and components, work out a timeline for the project and discuss the first phase of site navigation via a wireframe. A wireframe is a two-dimensional skeletal outline of a webpage that provides overview of the page structure, layout, information architecture and functionality, therefore text, color, and graphics are kept to a minimum. This process allows all stakeholders to agree on where the information will be placed before the design process begins.

Though still a few months away from a final product, we are so excited to have this project underway!

No comments

“Colored Voters” Register: A Valuable Resource Worth Saving

Posted by schilders on

The Eastern Shore of Virginia regional public library and Heritage Center is now under construction in Parksley, to be completed this spring. The state-of-the-art Heritage Center aims to bring Eastern Shore stories to light through its extensive reading room collections, microfilm and especially valuable primary source documents in the archives. This is the story of one item in the collections, a voting register.

After a year of debate, Virginia passed a new state constitution that went into effect July 1, 1902. Its effect on the electorate as a whole was disastrous, but for African Americans it was particularly devastating. New voter qualifications such as payment of land taxes, a literacy test and a $1.50 poll tax caused the numbers of all voters in Accomack County –White and Black – to drop significantly from what they had been just after the Civil War. African Americans living in Accomack County, for instance, saw their share of the electorate drop precipitously, from 40% before 1902 to only 12% after the new constitution was adopted.  Among that 12% was fifty-year-old oysterman and father Parker Handy, born in 1852. Also the Rev. G.H.T. Byrd, who in 1902 was a deacon at Jerusalem Baptist Church but who later broke off from that congregation to help found and become Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Temperanceville. Another was Alfred Justice, a 60-year-old laborer born in 1845 and a Civil War veteran who had served in the 2nd Infantry, Company A, United States Colored Troops. Younger men born after the war also registered to vote in 1902 like farmer George D. Justice, age 29, born in 1875. Their names were recorded at that historic moment in the “List of Colored Voters Registered at Temperanceville Precinct in Atlantic Magisterial District.” The actual register is held in Eastern Shore Public Library’s archives, but a complete digital image is now available to view on our website at https://espl.org/genealogy/digitalhistory/

The book also reveals those few Black women in northern Accomack County who registered in 1920 when passage of the 19th Amendment legalized women’s suffrage. Women like Mary F. Brown, 44, a housewife and mother who lived with her family in Withams. And 30-year-old Estella Tull, also of Withams, who was listed as a housewife when she registered to vote October 2, 1920, but who later became a schoolteacher. Not only is the register a monument to local historical events, it is a monument to family. Everyday people – a laborer, a farmer, a mother – left their mark on history and are a part of the story of a place and its people. For their descendants, many of whom still live on the Shore today, individual lines in a register reveal an important piece of their family story. A seemingly distant and abstract historical fact – Virginia adopted a new state constitution in 1902 – can become very personal. ESPL invites you to learn more about your own family’s story with it’s genealogical and local history resources here.

No comments


Posted by cburton on

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) October 6, 2021 – Halloween is near and Eastern Shore Public Library is celebrating! Throughout the month of October, the Library is hosting a Hallow-Read Challenge on Beanstack, the online reading program! This new children’s activity combines fun reading and art challenges by visiting espl.beanstack.org and selecting the Hallow-Read 2021 Challenge. Complete the Challenge for cool prizes that will be awarded throughout the month.  Hallow-Read is free and open to any Eastern Shore of Virginia child aged 1 to 18 years. A library card is not required.

Eastern Shore Public Library in Accomac and Northampton Free Library in Nassawadox will also have activity bags full of all kinds of Halloween goodies including an adorable bat puppet craft, an activity booklet, and goodies. Stop by and visit one of the two libraries to pick up a free kit.

Library staff would love to see all the arts and crafts you do during the month so feel free to tag them on Instagram at @esplyouthservice.

If you have any questions about the programs or using Beanstack, please email Tiffany Flores, Youth Services Librarian, at youthservices@espl.org or call 757-787-3400.

No comments

This site is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is managed by the The Library of Virginia Library Development and Networking Division.