Eastern Shore Public Library


CONTACT:  CARA BURTON, 757-787-3400


Librarian Tiffany Flores with backpack and books

Photos above of the RED! Project activities.

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA)  August 25, 2021 – Eastern Shore Public Library (ESPL) has partnered with regional organizations to ensure future readers will have books in their home, thanks to a grant from the Soho Center (http://www.child2000.org/).  The Library of Virginia’s Division of Library Development and Networking contacted Tiffany Flores, the ESPL Youth Services Librarian, and asked if she would like to participate in the Read Every Day! (RED!) program that promotes children’s literacy, school readiness, and school success.  The RED! program’s goal is to distribute ten books to every Kindergartner and First Grader in Accomack and Northampton County public schools.  The answer was “Yes!” and the local partnership began.

To minimize any burden on school teachers in implementing the RED! project, ESPL Director Cara Burton recommended pre-stuffing nylon backpacks with the books, so that teachers can more easily handout the presorted books.  CARES Covid-19 relief funding was used to print customized backpacks and flyer inserts that promote ESPL resources for youth.

The challenge was to find volunteers to stuff 900 backpacks with the 9,000 books and identify a location for the fifteen palettes of books.  Burton contacted Northampton County’s Sheriff David Doughty to request community service help from the Eastern Shore Regional Jail in Eastville.  Sheriff Doughty involved Rev. Kelvin Jones, Director of the inmate re-entry program along with Program Coordinator Rev. Vincent Thomas to oversee the activity.  “It was great to see the job skills used by the inmates during this project,” observed Cara Burton, Library System Director. “They worked long hours in the heat, replicating a work environment that required following directions and teamwork.  I am sure they will remember this experience when they reenter the workforce.”

The next challenge was to identify a staging area to deliver fifteen palettes of books.  Doughty’s staff reached out to Northampton County Schools and the mechanic’s training shop was selected as an ideal location.  Meanwhile, Librarian Flores contacted both counties’ school systems to arrange for pick-up of the book-stuffed backpacks.  The day arrived for the book delivery and the packing slip listed not 9,000 books delivered, but 15,000!

It took six inmate two and a half days to stuff the backpacks.  The schools picked up their backpacks as well as several additional cases of books for distribution to students.  Cape Charles Memorial Library’s Sharon Silvey contacted Migrant Headstart which picked up five cases of books.  Burton contacted the Eastern Shore AAA/CAA Project Head Start Director Tange Francis who accepted fifteen cases for her pre-school students and will take more at a later date.  The remaining books will be distributed by ESPL and the Friends of ESPL at library outreach events.

Children who are read to every day will have a better attention span, know more about many different topics, have a bigger vocabulary, and want to learn to read.  Children who are read to every day will find it easier to learn to read and better understand what they are reading.  Flyers given to the families with the books include websites to help them raise good readers:  www.kidsliteracy.org and www.daybydayva.org.  Parents wanting to learn more about ESPL Youth Services should visit espl.org and follow them on Facebook.

While the RED! Project was a challenge for Librarian Tiffany Flores, Sheriff Doughty’s staff, and the other project participants, more than 900 families will soon have brand new hardcover pictures books in their homes ready for reading every day.

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CONTACT:  Tiffany Flores, 757-787-3400



Drawing program 

Photo above: Image of digital art tablet

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) April 19, 2021– On Fridays, Eastern Shore Public Library will be hosting virtual “Draw With Me” art programs for youth. During these sessions, young artists of any skill level will be able to draw and chat online with Youth Services Librarian, Tiffany Flores.  The one hour drawing program will teach basic art skills, about digital art and the technology behind it. While not required, participants are encouraged to draw along with the Librarian with their own art supplies, ask questions, and give drawing suggestions. Additionally, participants are encouraged to share their artwork on Instagram by tagging Eastern Shore Public Library’s new Instagram @ESPLyouthservice.

Virtual sessions will be hosted on Zoom webinar every Friday at 11:00 am.  All ages are invited to register for this free event and join in on this hour of fun, creativity, and digital learning. Registration is now open and available in an ongoing basis. To register, visit espl.org and click on the calendar. Questions about the Zoom interface and online safety, can be directed by email youthservices@espl.org or call the library at 757-787-3400.

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CONTACT:  Barbara Schwenk, 757-787-2500


(ONANCOCK, VIRGINIA) September 14, 2020 – The Eastern Shore Public Library and C. D. Marsh Jewelers have joined forces to help fund construction of a MakerSpace at the new Eastern Shore of Virginia Regional Library and Heritage Center currently under construction in Parksley, Virginia.

What is a makerspace?  MakerSpaces have been installed in public libraries to provide the technology, equipment and space to foster creativity and invention.  Many think of makerspaces as a room with 3-D printers, but the concept covers a broader scope and is more flexible.  ESPL’s makerspace will focus on audio-visual technology needed for creating videos and recordings in a sound studio.  This provides equity for students needing to create videos for class.  Historians can record oral histories and podcasts.  Businesses can record advertisements and training videos.  The ESPL MakerSpace will enable ESVA residents to better respond to our changing world of communication.

To fund this project C. D. Marsh Jewelers has created a custom design “Beyond Books” bracelet of its signature Chesapeake Bay bangle.  The bracelet is a sterling silver cuff with two shape choices:  flat or the traditional curve.

To place your order, go to espl.org/fundraisers or call Marsh Jewelers at (757) 787-3333. Each bracelet is $125, plus tax, and shipping is available.  Personalized engraving on the back of the bracelet is available for a small additional fee.  Stop by the jeweler’s at 25 Market Street in Onancock to be sized to ensure correct fitting.

Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and a portion of the purchase of the bracelet can be tax deductible as a contribution to the “Makerspace” at the new ESVA Regional Library.

What a perfect gift for birthday celebrations, employee gifts, holiday events or just to say you are special!  If you need additional information, please contact the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation office at 757-787-2500.

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Off the shelf March 2019 ESPL news article

The Missing Jail of Eastville by Jenean Hall

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