Eastern Shore Public Library



CONTACT:  Cara Burton, (757) 787-3400


Emmet Gowin

Photo:  Emmet Gowin describes the genesis of his photograph in an interview.  The artwork can be viewed May 5 on the VMFA artmobile visiting Parksley. 

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA)  April 17, 2019 – The Artmobile is back!  It will be in Parksley on May 5th and 6th, 2019.  Shore residents may remember it from the 1960’s.  The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has brought it back to life with a new project called “VMFA on the Road.” The current exhibit is How Far Can Creativity Take You: VMFA Fellowship Artists, which celebrates the role VMFA has played in the lives of fellowship recipients. The exhibition includes works by the following acclaimed artists, who all have some connection to Virginia: Julien Binford, Ann Chenoweth, Esther Worden Day, Steven Fishman, Emmet Gowin, Sally Mann, Arthur Sawyers, Charles Sibley, Cy Twombly, Benjamin Wigfall, and Dennis Winston.

One of the artists, Emmet Gowin, lived on Chincoteague in his youth.  He is now an internationally acclaimed photographer exhibiting in museums around the world.  Cara Burton, Library Director, worked with Mr. Gowin on a retrospective exhibit of his work while she was Executive Director of the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History.  “Of course we connected as we had ties to Chincoteague!” Burton stated.  “It was wonderful to work with him as he is both endearing and an intense artist.  I learned a new appreciation for photography and hope this artmobile exhibit will inspire the Shore as well.”

Gowin lived on Chincoteague on Church Street from 1955 to 1957, after which he moved to Danville, Virginia which is where the exhibit photograph was taken and his birthplace. His father was Emmet William Seay Gowin, Senior, and was pastor at Christ United Methodist Church on Chincoteague.  He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts at what was Richmond Professional Institute, now Virginia Commonwealth University, and his Masters in Fine Arts at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design in 1967.  Gowin is well known for his memorable family photographs.  Since the 1980’s he has focused on the environment with images of nature and aerial photographs and has published several books.  His work has exhibited around the world, is owned by museums, and he has received numerous awards, like the VMFA fellowship.  “Actually, I head two Virginia Museum fellowships. The first was in state to finish my senior year at RPI in 1964. The second for graduate study at Rhode Island School of Design, 1965 to 1967,” Gowin clarified when Burton asked him about his fellowship.

“For many, such as Mr. Gowin, winning the Fellowship was just the beginning of a long relationship with the VMFA that resulted in acquiring their subsequent work.” Stated Sean Kane, curator of the exhibit.  He encourages exhibit visitors to view a 1970 VMFA interview of Gowin discussing the story behind the photograph in the exhibit, entitled Barry, Dwayne, and Turkeys, Danville, Virginia.  The interview link can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/BATJJToWScQ.

The “VMFA on the Road” artmobile exhibit will be in Parksley two days in May 2019 and is free.  On Sunday, May 5, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., the public is invited to visit the exhibit during the “Celebrate Us!” library multicultural festival.  School and community groups are invited to come on May 6 and may schedule an appointment by contacting Janice Felker at youthservices@espl.org or calling (757) 787-3400. The exhibit will be back at another time, to be determined, in Nassawadox and Cape Charles.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400


Prebid Meeting April 3 2019

Pictured:  Nicole Davilli, project architect with Waller, Todd, and Sadler of Virginia Beach, provides a project overview to contractors at the pre-bid meeting.

(ACCOMACK, VIRGINIA) April 3, 2019 – Accomack County held a pre-bid meeting for contractors planning to bid on the new regional library in Parksley, Virginia on April 3, 2019.    The project includes renovation of an existing building and construction of a new addition to house the library being relocated from Accomac.  The project’s existing building is a one-story abandoned grocery store, approximately 12, 600 square feet in size.  The addition to this structure will be approximately 8,000 square feet and will house the Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center of the library.  New mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems will be provided throughout.  The project also includes changes to the existing driveway access, green space, and some new parking.  Deadline for bid submittals is April 30th, 2019.

The project will be constructed under a single prime contract and managed by the Accomack County Department of Public Works.  Stewart Hall, Deputy Administrator of Public Works and Facilities, introduced the meeting by telling the contractors that this regional library project will “be an opportunity to showcase your work,” citing that this is a major project for the county and public libraries are landmark public buildings.  Waller, Todd, & Sadler Architects designed the new library and will oversee project construction.

The Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation continues to raise funds for the new library.  Private donations and grants are sought.  Individuals and groups can purchase engraved donor bricks.  For more information on how to donate and donation options, visit www.shorelibrary.com or call (757) 787-3400.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400


girl with book

Photo:  Despite what many people think, there are still many young people who love to read. You can help make checking out at the library go smoother with your Random Act of Kindness.

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) April 2, 2019 – Eastern Shore Public Library will be celebrating National Library Week April 7 to 13, 2019 with several activities.  The library will be launching a “Random Acts of Kindness” program to support reading and will have a special “engraved brick” drawing to celebrate the new library.  Additionally, the library system is hosting the “Profiles of Honor” World War I and World War II traveling exhibit and document scanathon on April 12, 13, and 14.  The Library of Virginia’s “New Virginians” traveling exhibit will begin April 8 and be in place at the library in Accomac until May 18, 2019.  National Library Giving Day is April 10, 2019.

The Random Acts of Kindness program enables library users to provide library fine relief for children.  A jar will be at the circulation desk for library visitors to donate change that will then be used toward overdue fines on children’s library cards.  Youth cards with fines will be provided $1.00 from the jar toward their overdue account as long as donations are available.  While library fines encourage responsibility in borrowing materials from the library, staff recognize that children are often in circumstances that prevent them from returning books on time.  This Random Acts of Kindness program will help ensure children can continue to borrow materials, will help build good-will in the community, and will promote a supportive reading environment.

The brick drawing will be for an engraved brick paver to be installed at the new Regional Library to be built in Parksley and opening in mid-2020.  The drawing provides the opportunity to win a donor brick, which are available now with a donation of $100 each.  During the month of April, library visitors to the Accomac and Nassawadox locations will receive a free drawing ticket.  One winning ticket will be drawn.

National Library Week is an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities.

This year’s theme, Libraries = Strong Communities, illustrates how today’s libraries are at the heart of our cities, towns, schools and campuses, providing critical resources, programs and expertise. They also provide a public space where all community members, regardless of age, culture or income level, can come together to connect and learn.

For more information about the library exhibits and these National Library Week activities, call the library at (757) 787-3400 or visit their website at www.espl.org.  To participate in the National Library Giving Day on April 10, visit www.shorelibrary.com.

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March 11, 2019                                                                       Contact: Cara Burton, ESPL – (757) 787-3400

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              Rusty Nix – (804) 310-0285

                                                                                                                            Lily Jones – (804) 698-1886

History is on the move as the WWI and WWII Profiles of Honor Tour travels to Nassawadox and Parksley, Virginia

WWI and WWII Profiles of Honor Tour

(Accomac, Virginia) March 11, 2019 – The Virginia WWI and WWII Profiles of Honor Tour will be at two locations on the Eastern Shore of Virginia in April 2019, hosted by Eastern Shore Public Library.  The walk-in traveling exhibit will be in Nassawadox on Friday, April 12 where it will be located at in the downtown municipal parking lot.  It then travels to Parksley on Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14 where it will be located in the Town Hall parking lot.  The events will also include a family archives scan-a-thon.  The exhibits and scan-a-thon will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day.

The mobile museum, free and open to the public, features stories and artifacts from dozens of Virginians who served in World War I and World War II. The tour, which brings to life Virginia’s integral role in world history, is part of a statewide commemoration marking the 100th anniversary of World War I and the 75th anniversary of World War II.

In addition to its mobile exhibit, the tour brings document scanning equipment, supported by the Library of Virginia, to each site it visits. Visitors are invited to bring World War I and World War II-related images, letters, and documents to be scanned, preserved, and made publicly accessible in the Library of Virginia’s archives.   “The Eastern Shore Public Library wants to ensure that the Shore is represented in this Virginia memory project,” said Cara Burton, Library Director. “Also, as part of our program plan for the future Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center, we want to teach families about the importance of family records and how to share them with others.” Virginia images scanned to date can be viewed at:  www.virginiawwiandwwii.org/scanning

“The Profiles of Honor Tour honors the Virginians who fought for our freedom and helps to ensure that their legacy remains for new generations as World War I and World War II slip further away from public memory,” said Virginia House of Delegates Speaker M. Kirkland Cox, who serves as the Chairman of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission. “Both wars were fought not only overseas, but from the shipyards, factories, military bases, and homes of Virginians. The Profiles of Honor Tour revitalizes that history, from the home front to the frontlines.”

An initiative of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission, which is a commission of the General Assembly, the Profiles of Honor Tour is managed in partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. A number of Virginia’s noted museums and historical societies contributed to the exhibit.

For more information on the Profiles of Honor Tour and other initiatives of the Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission, visit www.VirginiaWWIandWWII.org or call Eastern Shore Public Library at (757) 787-3400 or click on the “news” tab at www.espl.org.

Collection Criteria

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Off the shelf March 2019 ESPL news article

The Missing Jail of Eastville by Jenean Hall



  • Eastern Shore Public 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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