Eastern Shore Public Library



CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400


new youth services librarian 

Photo Above.

(ACCOMAC, VA) January 11, 2021 – Tiffany Flores has joined Eastern Shore Public Library as the new Youth Services Librarian.  This position is responsible for the children’s and teen collections and programs at the Accomac and Nassawadox libraries.  She also coordinates programs, such as the Summer Reading Program, with the ESPL affiliate libraries, Chincoteague Island Library and Cape Charles Memorial Library.  Communications with the Library of Virginia’s Youth Services Coordinator is also handled by Ms. Flores.

Ms. Flores received her Masters in Information and Library Science from the iSchool at Syracuse University, which also happens to be where Library Director Cara Burton received her Masters.  Ms. Flores received her Bachelors in English online from Ashford University in San Diego, California and Associate in Liberal Arts degree from Northeast Lakeview College in Universal City, Texas.  She has most recently worked at Smoot Memorial Library in King George, Virginia.  Ms. Flores stood out from other candidates with her friendly personality, creativity, expertise with technology and online learning, and her enthusiasm for literacy.

“Ever since I began looking into being a Librarian,” Flores stated, “I envisioned my job being one where I could inspire kids of all ages to read and learn. I am excited to begin working at Eastern Shore Public Library because I feel like I can finally do what I have always had in my mind.”

Flores has already participated in an outreach event when she distributed children’s books at the recent “Books and Bikes” event co-sponsored with Accomack Parks and Recreation at Sawmill Park.  She is currently working on planning the Summer Reading Program which will include the BeanStack virtual reading portal.

Flores is beginning her career during a challenging time for libraries when many programs are virtual and visitors cannot enter the library due to COVID-19 safety precautions.  ESPL is distributing “Take-Away Activity Bags” for children, with new themed bags each month.  The library’s website, espl.org, has a special section for Youth Services with helpful links and news as well as many youth electronic materials under the “e-Resources” tab.

ESPL will host a virtual “Meet and Greet” with Librarian Tiffany Flores on Friday, January 29, 2021 at noon.  This is a great opportunity to not only meet Ms. Flores, but also to give feedback about library programs to assist her in future planning.  Click on this link to register for this free Zoom event:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VAa-yRh3TsOKEMd_XWLMOg

For more information about the Meet and Greet, other library programs, curbside pick-up services, free downloadable e-books, and more, call the library at 757-787-3400 or visit espl.org.

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Photo above:  John T. Williams of Williams Funeral Homes in Parksley and Onancock presents the library’s cornerstone to Library System Director Cara Burton.

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) December 31, 2020 – Eastern Shore Public Library’s new regional library and Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center recently received a donation of the cornerstone to be installed on the new building, now under construction in Parksley, Virginia.  The cornerstone was donated by Williams Funeral Homes in Parksley and Onancock.  The library’s cornerstone is inscribed with “2021,” to commemorate the completion of the new library.

The library’s construction started in October 2019 and moved along briskly until the pandemic hit.  Accomack County, which manages the project, recently granted a second time extension pushing the completion date to mid-April 2021.  The new facility’s design will support post-Covid-19 community needs including individual study rooms and offices that allow for isolation, self-checkout of materials, automatic entry doors, modern HVAC air circulation systems, and technology for distance learning and conferencing.  Reading has become an even more popular pastime during the pandemic.  Library online services and downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks have become more essential.

Other donation opportunities are available for the new Eastern Shore of Virginia regional library and Heritage Center, including commemorative bricks and naming options.  Information can be found at shorelibrary.com or by calling the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation office at 757-787-2500.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400


(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA)  December 9, 2020 – To kick off a fresh new year, the Eastern Shore Public Library is holding a Bookmark Contest for all age groups.  The theme of the bookmark is “What I Want to Read in 2021.”  The winning bookmarks in each age category will be printed for distribution in the four Eastern Shore of Virginia libraries.

The winning entry will be judged based on creativity and visual appeal.  Your drawing needs to be clear and uncluttered so that it will reproduce well as a bookmark.  It can be in color or black & white.  Your entry can be a drawing.  It can have words, like a poem.  It can be both a drawing and words.  No photography will be accepted.  Judging will be at the discretion of library staff and volunteers.

2021 will be a big year for the Eastern Shore Public Library!  The new Eastern Shore of Virginia Regional Library and Heritage Center will be opening in early summer.  This contest is one of many ways the library system will celebrate.

Bookmark entries must be drawn in a two inch by seven inch rectangle.  Entry forms are on the Eastern Shore Public Library website, espl.org and Facebook page. Return your drawing and form by January 5, 2021 in an envelope in your local library’s book return or mail to: “Bookmark”, Eastern Shore Public Library, PO Box 25, Parksley, VA 23421.  Questions or scanned entry forms can be emailed to espl@espl.org.

Make this a family fun activity over the holiday and join the library system in celebrating the start of a better new year!

Printable Bookmark Contest Form

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(Accomac, Virginia) December 7, 2020 – As COVID-19 cases increase on the Shore, Eastern Shore Public Library will return to curbside pickup by appointment beginning Tuesday, December 8th, 2020.  Library users cannot enter the buildings until further notice.  Outdoor wifi is available in the parking lots.

Curbside pickup of library materials placed on reserve will be available at the Accomac library Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Curbside pickup will be available at Northampton Free Library in Nassawadox, Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Chincoteague Island Library will have curbside pickup Tuesday through Saturday at the times posted at espl.org. Library staff will be available to answer calls during these hours, as well. Curbside delivery times will be posted on the library’s website, espl.org, and on each library’s telephone message machine.

Library eResources are available 24/7.  Many eResources require an ESPL library card.  Library card registration is available online at espl.org.

Library patrons will need to reserve materials well in advance by using the ShoreCat online catalog or by calling library staff during the above hours of operation.  Reserved materials will be checked out and placed in a clean, new bag labeled with the patron’s name.  At the scheduled time of appointment, the bag will be placed on a table outside the entrance (in good weather) or in the library lobby.  Masks will need to be worn in the lobby.

The ShoreCat online catalog is available at the library’s website, espl.org. If you have any questions about your current reserves, or need help with using ShoreCat, our online catalog, to request items, please call (757)787-3400 or email espl@espl.org.

E-books and audiobooks can be downloaded for free anytime from the library’s e-resources with your library card number and PIN. Links to these resources can be found under the eResources tab at espl.org.

Free public wifi is available outside all Shore library buildings, even when the libraries are closed. Additionally, public wifi hotspots can be found throughout Accomack and Northampton counties at the locations shown at https://www.esvachamber.org/freewifihotspots

Library materials can be returned anytime in the library’s book return slots.  Library staff encourages everyone to continue practicing social distancing, washing hands frequently, wearing clean masks properly, and maintaining good health with exercise and balanced diets. All of these are great Steps to Well-Being.

Eastern Shore library buildings will re-open to the public at a future date, to be announced.  Questions and concerns should be directed to the ESPL Library Director Cara Burton at (757) 787-3400 or by emailing espl@espl.org.

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400

Eastern Shore Public Library’s Ebooks and Audiobooks Have Moved from RBdigital to Libby Reading App


Photo above: graphic of Libby

(Accomac, Virginia) December 4, 2020 – Eastern Shore of Virginia residents can browse, borrow and enjoy even more ebooks and digital audiobooks from Eastern Shore Public Library through the award-winning Libby reading app. Digital books previously available through the RBdigital app have been moved to the library’s OverDrive service and are available through Libby. OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide and creator of the Libby app, recently acquired RBdigital.

Patrons already enjoying the Libby app will experience no change, other than they may notice even more great titles available through Eastern Shore Public Library’s digital collection. With a valid library card, members of the community can borrow from the library’s digital collection by visiting espl.org or downloading Libby.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, readers have turned to ebooks and audiobooks with many using them for the first time.  It is wonderful that we can provide the more user-friendly OverDrive platform for our patrons to access these resources,” said Cara Burton, System Director of Eastern Shore Public Library.  “In addition to our Freading ebook collection which is financially supported by the Friends of ESPL, patrons have good options to meet their reading needs.  And remember, these ebooks are available at no charge when you borrow through the library!”

Libby seamlessly connects first-time users and experienced readers with ESPL’s digital collection. This tailored collection offers ebooks, audiobooks and magazines including bestsellers and new releases in a variety of topics. Readers of all ages can select from virtually every subject ranging from mystery, romance, children’s, business and more.

Readers may browse ESPL’s digital collection, instantly borrow titles and start reading or listening for free with a valid library card. This service 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.

To get started enjoying ebooks, audiobooks and more or to register for a library card online, visit espl.org or download Libby today.



(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) December 1, 2020 – Eastern Shore Public Library’s Accomac and Nassawadox locations will be closed on the following days in December.  On Fridays, December 4 and 18, the libraries will be observing Wellbeing Days to promote awareness of self-care during the stressful time of the pandemic and the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.  Holiday closings will take place on December 24, 25 and 31 and January 1.  Many library resources such as downloadable e-books and audiobooks are available 24/7 at espl.org.

            The staff and board of the Eastern Shore Public Library are grateful for the patience and support of the Shore community as it has worked to maintain library services during the pandemic while following CDC safety guidelines for library visitors, staff, and volunteers.

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Eastern Shore Public Library Thanksgiving Holiday Closings

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) November 20, 2020 – All four Eastern Shore Public Libraries will be closed for Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26.  The libraries in Accomac, Cape Charles, and Nassawadox will be closed on November 27 and 28.  Cape Charles Memorial Library will be closing at noon on Wednesday, November 25.  Chincoteague Island Library will be open on November 27 and 28, normal hours.  E-books, registering for a library card, and other e-resources, as well as hours of operation during the pandemic, are available 24/7 at espl.org.

            The Eastern Shore Public Library staff, trustees, Friends, and Foundation thank the Shore community for their generous support in 2020!

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SHORE LIBRARY DIRECTOR HIGHLIGHTED IN MICROSOFT NEWS                                                                                                      

Photograph of Cara Burton 

Photo above of Cara Burton, Library System Director for Eastern Shore Public Library

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) November 20, 2020 – Eastern Shore Public Library may be a small library system in rural Virginia, but it has attracted national attention with its work breaking down the digital divide.  Cara Burton, Library System Director for the four-library regional system, was recently interviewed by Microsoft for its “On the Issues” column for an article called, “Bridging the Digital Divide:  A New Chapter in the Life of the Public Library.” The online article interviewed librarians about the transformation of libraries to meet the digital access needs of their communities during the pandemic.

“It was quite an interesting interview,” reports Burton.  “The writer lives in England.  It was fun to chat with someone from the other side of the pond during a time when our traveling is so limited.  Isn’t technology wonderful?”

“Eastern Shore Public Library received several grants this year because the Shore’s online access needs are so high, we stand out in the national statistics of the digital divide,” said Burton.  “We were fortunate to receive these grants when we did.”  An American Library Association Digital Lead Grant, supported by Microsoft, provided ten mini-laptops.  These enabled staff at all four libraries to continue working during the lockdown by providing online meeting equipment, telecommuting capabilities for technical services, and collection inventory tools. The laptops were also used at outreach events for the 2020 Census.

The library also received an American Library Association Library Census Equity Fund grant that provided two SmartBus portable wifi access devices.  One was installed in the Town of Tangier.  The other’s installation elsewhere on the Shore is in the works.  Another grant, from the Public Library Association, provided for two outdoor wifi access devices that were installed at Accomac and Nassawadox in September.  More recently, the library received a federal Institute for Museum and Library Services CARES grant through the Library of Virginia that is funding a self-checkout and inventory management system for the new regional library.

“Because the Shore has such a digital divide, I was encouraged to apply as only a couple of other libraries in the state were eligible for these grants.  Securing support from these outside sources helps us gain ground to provide our community what other library systems offer,” Burton continued.  “We can’t wait to be in the new regional library now under construction in Parksley.  We will have the space to provide training to use new technologies and the equipment to do so.  We thank everyone who has supported this new library.”

To read the Microsoft article, follow this link: https://news.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2020/10/20/digital-divide-public-libraries-airband-covid-19/

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CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400


Photo above of Professor Evie Terrono

(ACCOMAC, VIRGINIA) November 10, 2020 – The Eastern Shore Public Library is hosting a free virtual program by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 7:00 pm.   “From Invisibility to Political Activism: the Black Experience in American Art” is a free talk by Evie Terrono, Professor of Art History at Randolph-Macon College.  You can enjoy this informative forty-five minute talk from the comfort of your home.  Pre-registration is required with a link posted at espl.org/news.

Historically, and in our own time, African American artists have foregrounded in their work the social, political, and cultural successes of Black Americans and have offered vociferous critiques of violations of their civil rights, and of systemic racism. In their art they questioned racial stereotyping and engaged their audience in thoughtful, but also provocative interrogations of the cultural and socio-political marginalizations of African Americans in American society. This lecture will analyze works by African American artists in the collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, among others, as the means of resistance and political activism aiming to dismantle racial prejudice and celebrate multilayered African American identities.

Almost 85 years ago the state legislature gave The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts the mission to send art related programs to the entirety of Virginia. “VMFA Statewide is particularly proud that we made it a priority and have so often reached the important rural countryside that the Eastern Shore represents,” states Trent Nicolas, Media Programs Coordinator with the Virginia Museum.

Eastern Shore Public Library is also planning to host the return of the Virginia Museum’s artmobile in April 2021, with details to be announced at a later date.  For questions about the November 17th talk on African American art, call the library at 757-787-3400.

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Click Here to Register for Art Lecture

CONTACT:  Cara Burton, 757-787-3400



Photos attached: 

  1. The new bus shelter installation was a team effort with Library Branch Manager Barbrielle Rogers, Library Trustee David Poyer, Mayor Patsy Stith, Contractor Bill Burton, STAR Transit Manager Bill Moore, and Library Director Cara Burton.

  1. STAR Transit Manager Bill Moore demonstrates the bike rack on a bus.

  1. The Northampton County bike station has a variety of tools and a rack for on-the-road bike repairs.  Cyclists can also get out of the rain and use public wifi at this convenient pit stop.

(NASSAWADOX, VIRGINIA) October 15, 2020 – A new bus shelter and bike station will improve access for visitors to Northampton Free Library and Nassawadox.  A STAR Transit bus shelter and a county bike station were recently installed at the public library at 7745 Seaside Road.

The STAR Transit shelter provided by the regional public transit program and installed by the Town of Nassawadox.  “We are excited to offer this shelter for the people in town waiting for the bus,” stated Nassawadox Mayor Patsy Stith.  “We are looking forward to having another one on Hospital Avenue near Heritage Hall.  The Town appreciates STAR Transit for providing the shelters.”  Bus schedules are available on the shelter and in the library.  Nassawadox is on the red and purple routes and STAR buses are handicap accessible.  The library is a “call” location, requiring a call to STAR to ask for a stop at the library.  The library’s outdoor public wifi is available within the shelter.

The bike station has tune-up tools and air for bicyclists.  The station was installed by Northampton County and funded by the Northampton County Tourism Infrastructure Grant.  This location provides a good pit stop for visiting bicyclists with the public library access and nearby eateries and trails.  Nassawadox is a crossroads between the Seaside and Bayside Roads.  Cyclists can even load their bike onto STAR Transit buses that have bike racks.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   

CALL:  Barbara Schwenk, 757-787-2500



Photo above:  A “Money Cake” is one of ten prizes in the Count Me In drawing.  The drawing is December 4th, 2020.

(ACCOMACK, VIRGINIA)  September 21, 2020 – Win one of ten gift baskets in the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation’s second annual “Count Me In!” basket drawing fundraiser.  Funds are still needed for construction, technology, and furnishings for the new ESVA Regional Library and Heritage Center under construction now in Parksley, Virginia.  Each basket has a minimum value of $125.  This year’s basket drawing fundraiser will support furnishing the Arthur W. Perdue Children’s Room.

Baskets can be viewed and tickets purchased for $5 each online at espl.org/fundraisers or at the Eastern Shore Public Libraries in Accomac, Chincoteague, and Nassawadox.  Tickets are also available at the Book Bin in Onley or C.D. Marsh Jewelers in Onancock.

Sponsors of the baskets include Onancock Sailing Adventures, Burnham Guides Padding Adventures, Red Queen Gallery, Mallards at the Wharf, Friends of the Eastern Shore Public Library, Corner Bakery, Jerusalem Baptist Church, the Exmore Rotary Club, Holden’s Residential Rental, Family Fun & Games, WalMart Supercenter # 4378, Roses Department Store, Center for Community & Family Development Corporation, Another Level Career & Wellness, LLC, and the Onancock Rotary Club.

Help support furnishing the new library’s Arthur W. Perdue Children’s Room and, possibly win a wonderful basket in time for the holidays!  The drawing will be Friday, December 4 and you do not need to be present to win. “Count Me In!” is a fundraiser everyone can participate in, helping to make the new library truly a community library.

For more information contact the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation at (757) 787-2500.

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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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