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Mission Statement

The ESPL System enhances the of life in Accomack and Northampton Counties. Its
users enjoy free access to resources that document our community’s past, meet its present
interests, and explore its future.

Vision Statement

The Eastern Shore Public Library System is an inviting environment for everyone. It enables
lifelong learning, historical knowledge, and entertainment.

Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center Mission Statement

The Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center of the Eastern Shore Public Library collects, preserves, and makes available to the public documents, images and rare published materials that record the rich and complex history of Accomack and Northampton Counties.

Core Values

The board, staff, and volunteers of the Eastern Shore Public Library believe that all residents of our community should have the opportunity for literacy, lifelong learning, continuing education and personal development.  Therefore, we value:

  • Diversity – We serve all members of the community equally.
  • Respect – We serve our patrons with dignity.
  • Literacy – We foster an appreciation of information and learning.
  • Partnership – We build collaborative relationships with the community.


The Eastern Shore Public Library began as a demonstration project of the Commonwealth of Virginia on January 16, 1957, in Accomac’s Community Hall with 6,000 books and a bookmobile which visited more than 50 different locations every four weeks.  When it opened as a regional public library on July 1, 1958, the Eastern Shore Public Library had a collection of more than 16,000 volumes.  The current main library building in Accomac, constructed on a piece of land donated by the Town of Accomac, opened in 1965 and was built and furnished at a cost of $75,000.  By 1982, it was obvious that more space was needed for the library’s growing collections and activities, so a campaign to raise funds for a 5,000 sq. ft. addition began.  The Friends of the Eastern Shore Public Library was organized to assist in this effort and the addition was finished in December, 1984.

Today, the Eastern Shore Public Library is truly a regional system serving the citizens of Accomack and Northampton counties through four locations.  The Northampton Free Library in Nassawadox is a full-fledged branch library. The Cape Charles Memorial Library in Cape Charles and the Island Library on Chincoteague are affiliated locations.  The system has 140,000 volumes and offers 30 public access computers and wireless access at all four locations.