Eastern Shore Public Library

Library Updates

Freading eBooks for Children and Teens (and Parents)

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If you are hoping to keep your children stocked up with reading material while they are out of school, the library’s Freading eBook app can help. With thousands of eBooks for children and teens, both fiction and nonfiction, Freading has something for every age and interest. Freading also has tons of eBooks for adults, including some excellent titles on parenting. All eBook titles are available to download at any time, are checked out for a 4-week period, and return automatically. No waiting, and no fines. Perfect. You just need to download the Freading app and Adobe Digital Editions. With your library card number and a PIN, you’ll be ready to read. Find Freading at  espl.org under the eResources tab. Questions? Need to set up or reset your PIN? You can reach us at (757)787-3400 or espl@espl.org. Freading also has an excellent help section for getting started: https://esplva.freading.com/questions/index

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Explore nature with a nature backpack from ESPL!

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Thanks to a partnership between our library, the Library of Virginia, Virginia State Parks, and the Science Museum of Virginia, we are able to offer sixteen nature backpacks for checkout! The backpacks are designed to help children and their families learn about nature — backpacks are available at Accomac, Nassawadox and Cape Charles.

Each backpack comes with:

  • Pocket guides about mammals, animal tracks, bugs and slugs, Virginia birds, and Virginia trees and wildflowers
  • A pop-up bug cage
  • A dip net
  • A magnifying glass
  • A “Leave No Trace” card
  • Sheets of suggested activities
  • A parking pass for all Virginia State Parks

They’ll also come with a short paper survey (in English and Spanish) about the backpacks.  Please encourage patrons to fill out the survey as the feedback will help the Library of Virginia in creating more great programs like this. The completed surveys can be returned to the Main Branch and we will send them to the Library of Virginia. Be sure to place a blank survey form in the pack to be completed by the next patron.

The backpacks are checked out just like any other library item, and can be renewed if there are no holds on the backpack.

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Cool websites for kids

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The first few days of an unexpected “vacation” from school can be lots of fun for everyone, but quickly families find themselves searching for ways to keep everyone busy in productive ways. It is good to remember that there are many different types of activities. Variety is not only the spice of life but also very important in meeting all the developmental needs of children. Below is a list of some great websites that provide kids with some educational fun. Make good use of them, but remember to include other fun activities in the day. Embrace the arts with crafts, scrapbooking, rock painting, decorating glass windows with dry erase markers, or creating crazy creatures from recycled items from around the house. Get some exercise by taking a nature walk, dancing to music on the radio, having a treasure hunt, visiting the park, or riding a bike. Create family time by playing board games, watching a favorite family movie, or cooking together. Try to maintain routines and make sure everyone is getting enough quality sleep. And please don’t forget to continue reading good books together!

We’ll be posting resources on our Youth Services Facebook page, so check us out there too!

Cool Websites for Kids

Best Websites for Kids – Common Sense Media


Storyline Online – Featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books


Children’s Storybooks Online – Illustrated children’s stories for kids of all ages


Reading is Fundamental


Starfall – lots of fun educational online activities for kids in PreK through Grade 3.


PBS Kids


National Geographic Kids


Scholastic Kids Site



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New year, new catalog!

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Readers will soon have an improved search tool for finding books to read at the Eastern Shore Public Libraries (ESPL).  The Shore’s library system is migrating its online catalog to another automation software system that is more user-friendly and with more features.  It will also be more efficient for library staff to catalog new books and make them available for reading sooner.

Some of the features include:

  • A searchable mobile app
  • Search word suggestions as you type
  • Library catalog searchable by series
  • Suggested “Read-alikes,” to find books similar to ones you like
  • The ability to search for eBooks within this main catalog
  • A “Community Tab” for a directory of local community groups
  • The ability for teachers to create required reading lists
  • The ability to suggest titles to library staff for purchase
  • Personalized watch lists for additions of favorite authors, topics, series, and material types to the ESPL catalog
  • Bookbags, savable shopping carts for books and materials found while browsing the catalog

“Eastern Shore Public Library wants the Shore to have a Culture of Reading,” states Cara Burton, Library System Director. “This new catalog system will be a great tool to help us meet that goal.  It will make reading more accessible and finding books more fun.  The awkward system we use now had changed its pricing, making this now within our budget.  With its increased efficiencies in cataloging and report generation, it will likely actually save us money in the long run.”

“Eastern Shore Public Library is on a fast track to modernizing as it moves into the new Regional Library now under construction in Parksley,” Burton continued.  “We have been working hard behind the scenes over the past four years to improve our workflow, procedures, technology, and interfaces.  We expect the library to be even busier in our bright, new facility and this tool will help us be ready.”

All four Eastern Shore Public Libraries will be closed for two days for staff training and the migration:  Wednesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 20, 2020.  Public orientation sessions will take place soon after and will be announced through the library’s e-newsletter, flyers, social media, and local media outlets.

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Birding backpacks

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Thanks to the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory, the Eastern Shore Public Library is pleased to announce the arrival of a Birding Backpack. Anyone with an ESPL library card from any of our four library locations in Accomac, Nassawadox, Chincoteague, or Cape Charles may borrow the backpack. The backpack includes a pair of Celestron binoculars, a field guide to the birds of Eastern North America, and a folding pocket guide to Virginia birds. Also enclosed are pamphlets and maps with information about local birding hot spots and hikes.

The creation of the Birding Backpack was made possible through a generous contribution from the Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory. To find out more about the CVWO’s research, education initiatives, and conservation work, please visit https://vawildliferesearch.org/

For more information about the Birding Backpack, please call the Accomac library at (757)787-3400, or ask about it the next time you visit.

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Educator Cards at ESPL

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The Eastern Shore Public Library is pleased to offer expanded access to library resources and services through our Educator Cards. This card is available to Educators employed at Eastern Shore of Virginia (ESVA) Pre K-12 schools as well as staff employed at licensed daycares, camps, and afterschool programs. The Educator Card offers more privileges than those available on personal cards.

More Resources! Fewer Fines!

Your new card includes a variety of unique privileges. Educator cardholders:

  • Receive no late fines for books or audiobooks
  • Check out books and audiobooks for a loan period of 56 days

How do I get one?

Complete an application for an Educator Card at any Eastern Shore Public Library location, and present our required forms of identification:

  • Valid driver’s license or DMV issued ID card; and
  • ESVA school/employee ID badge or pay stub from ESVA School or licensed daycare/camp/afterschool employment

What else do I need to know?

Loan Periods: 56 day loan on books and audiobooks; standard 14 day loan on New Books and DVDs.

Renewals: One renewal on books and audiobooks; two renewals on New Books and DVDs. Items on hold for another patron may not be renewed.

Checkouts and Returns: Items may be borrowed from and returned to any ESPL location (Accomac, Nassawadox, Chincoteague, and Cape Charles). Educator cards may not be used for personal use.

Fines: No overdue fines will be charged for items checked out on an Educator card; however, the educator will be responsible for lost or damaged items.

Library Notices: Notices will be e-mailed to you when a requested item is ready for pickup, when a borrowed item is nearing its due date, and when an item is overdue. Circulation privileges may be suspended if an account balance reaches $10.00 or greater in lost or damaged item fees, or if checked out items are not returned on time.

Card expiration: Once registered, your card will be valid for one year from the date of issuance. To renew your card, present the same documentation required for your initial registration.

Electronic resources: As with your personal card, Educator Cards provide access to ESPL’s electronic resources, including downloadable books and audiobooks, online courses including language learning, and research databases for children.

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“COUNT ME IN!” Basket Drawing Fundraiser

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Win one of twenty-five gift baskets in the Eastern Shore Public Library Foundation’s “Count Me In!” basket drawing fundraiser starting  October 1.  Funds are still needed for construction, technology, and other valuable materials for the new Regional Library and ESVA Heritage Center to be built in Parksley.

This basket drawing fundraiser has a twist:  the baskets are being displayed in multiple places on the Shore, but you can select which basket(s) you want by entering the basket identification number on the ticket.  Additionally, there is a contest between the organizations donating the baskets:  the basket with the most “votes,” (ticket entries), will win a prize!  Some of the organizations donating baskets include:  Kiwanis Club of Onancock, Onancock Rotary Club, Northampton County Public Schools Alumni Association, YMCA (Onley), Mallard’s Restaurant, Virginia Tourism Corporation, and more.

All baskets have a minimum value of $100.  Ticket packs of five are $10. The baskets will be displayed and tickets can be bought from October 1 to November 21.  The drawings will take place on November 21 at the ESPL Foundation office at Four Corner Plaza.  Basket display locations include all four ESPL libraries, the Book Bin, PNC Bank, and select other venues to be announced.  Tickets will be available at the libraries, the Book Bin, the Foundation Office, from Foundation board members, and other venues to be announced.

Help support the new library, possibly win a wonderful basket in time for the holidays, and vote on the best basket!  “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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ESPL is now a FamilySearch Affiliate Library!

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Through our new partnership with FamilySearch, researchers can view digital images of record sets that are available only at FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries.  These records used to have to be ordered on microfilm from the Family History Library and viewed at a special Family History Center, but are now conveniently available online at all four of our ESPL library locations: Chincoteague, Accomac, Nassawadox and Cape Charles.

Original records such as deeds, marriages, wills, indentures, free negro registrations and county court orders from the Accomack and Northampton County courthouses are included, but the same wealth of information is available to those searching in other locations as well.   Eastern Shore families with links to the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the western shore of Virginia—and new ESVA residents whose family roots lie elsewhere—will also find many more research opportunities than what is available from home.

FamilySearch requires that every user open a free account to use the site.  If you’ve already been using FamilySearch at home, the same account will work at the library. Digital images can be accessed using the Family History Library Catalog at FamilySearch.org.  To learn more about using the catalog, visit the FamilySearch Wiki page: https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Introduction_to_the_FamilySearch_Catalog.  Any images found in the catalog that include the notation that they must be accessed at a FamilySearch Affiliate Library can be viewed from public computers (or on your laptop!) at any of our four Eastern Shore Public Library locations.

Eastern Shore Public Library is proud to offer this new opportunity to researchers!  Remember, AncestryLibrary is also free at all four library locations.  And no matter where you are, check out our other online digital offerings:

Chincoteague Oral Histories: http://espl.org/genealogy/primary-sources/

Cape Charles Rosenwald School Oral Histories: http://espl.org/genealogy/primary-sources/

Marriage and Death notices from local newspapers: http://espl.org/genealogy/secondary-sources/

Peninsula Enterprise newspaper 1881 – 1922: http://espl.org/genealogy/primary-sources/

Accomack County Court Order Abstracts, Vol. 28, 1777-1780: http://espl.org/genealogy/secondary-sources/

Yearbooks: http://espl.org/genealogy/secondary-sources/

Church Records: http://espl.org/genealogy/secondary-sources/

Countryside Transformed: http://espl.org/genealogy/secondary-sources/

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Summer Reading 2019

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Readers of all ages will explore all things space this summer when the Eastern Shore Public Library presents “A Universe of Stories” as the summer reading program theme. All four Eastern Shore of Virginia public libraries are offering children a reading challenge program and a variety of fun events.  Young readers can sign up at their local library, receive reading incentive prizes, and get their fines waived!  The summer program is scheduled to begin on June 24 and end on August 18, 2019.

In addition to reading great books, library patrons can attend exciting summer program events where they can:

  • Be entertained and informed by special programs including wild animals and interesting people from near and far.
  • Design and create with Legos, recycled items, blocks, and more.
  • Participate in STREAM events that will explore Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Art, and/or Math.
  • Check out a nature backpack, enjoy a free visit to one of the Virginia State Parks, and explore nature using the contents of the backpack.

In Accomac on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Nassawadox on Mondays and Wednesdays, a free lunch will be served to children age 18 and younger at 12:00 noon as part of the libraries’ participation in the Summer Food Service Program, a USDA program sponsored by the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore and Accomack County Parks and Recreation department.

All events and programs are free and open to the public and do not require a library card. Some require preregistration due to space limitations. Remember, a current calendar of events is always available on the Eastern Shore Public Library’s website at www.espl.org or visit your local library for a print copy. Some key events to watch for include the Virginia Living Museum, Salisbury “Zoo 2 U,” storyteller Lynn Ruehlman, Bright Star Theatre, yoga with Claudette Lajoie, juggling with Cascading Carlos, mime and magic illusions with Chris “Hoopoe” Yerlig, along with other surprises. All events are subject to change, so please call your library prior to the event to check on dates and times and registration requirements.

Support and/or prizes are provided by the generous donations of area groups and families and the Library of Virginia. Financial and volunteer support also comes from the Friends groups of Cape Charles, Nassawadox, and Accomac libraries and the large group of volunteers at the Chincoteague library.


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Upcoming hot title releases at ESPL

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You’re going to want to read these!


January 2019

Liar Liar by James Patterson

Turning Point by Danielle Steel

Untouchable by Jayne Anne Krentz

The Sweetest Thing by Judith McNaught

Daughter of War by Brad Taylor

Crucible by James Rollins

Tear it Down by Nick Petrie

The Burglar by Thomas Perry

The Night Agent by Matthew Quirk

The Rule of Law by John Lescroart

Judgment by Joseph Finder

The Best of Us by Robyn Carr


February 2019

Connections in Death by J D Robb

The Chef by James Patterson

A Justified Murder by Jude Deveraux

California Girls by Susan Mallery

The Black Ascot by Charles Todd

The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen

A Case of Bier by Mary Daheim

Chocolate Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke

American Duchess: a Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt by Karen Harper

All in by Shelley Shepard Gray

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

The Lost Man by Jane Harper


March 2019

The Last Second by Catherine Coulter

Deep Harbor by Fern Michaels

Dark Tribute by Iris Johansen

Blood Oath by Linda Fairstein

The First Lady by James Patterson

Silent Night by Danielle Steel

Wolf Pack by C. J. Box

Celtic Empire by Clive Cussler

Wild Card by Stuart Woods

The Big Kahuna by Janet Evanovich

Run Away by Harlen Coben

The Last Act by Brad Parks

Cemetery Road by Greg Iles

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See


April 2019

Kiss the Girls and Make them Cry by Mary Higgins Clark

Neon Prey by John Sandford

New Memory Man Thriller by David Baldacci

The 18th Abduction by James Patterson

Far and Away by Fern Michaels

The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr

Before we were Wicked by Eric Jerome Dickey

The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith

Under the Table by Stephanie Evanovich

Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline

Triple Jeopardy by Anne Perry

The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis

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