ESPL History

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 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. The main library moved to a new location in Parksley, VA in August 2023. Now named Eastern Shore of Virginia Regional Library & Heritage Center, the new 20,000 sq. ft. facility was built to serve the increasing needs of residents and researchers in the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

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.