Gallery: Eastern Shore Public Library in Parksley now open

September 11, 2023
Library Ribbon Cutting

The Eastern Shore Public Library in Parksley is officially open.

A crowd of about 100 gathered for the ceremony Friday afternoon in downtown Parksley. Speeches were given by Accomack County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Harrison Phillips, Northampton County Board Chair John Coker, Delegate Rob Bloxom, Parksley Mayor Frank Russell, Senator Lynwood Lewis and former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam.

The crowd was treated to tours of the new state of the art facility, which was once the Fresh Pride in Parksley. According to Curtis Badger, “the major addition to the library is the long-awaited Eastern Shore of Virginia Heritage Center. The old library in Accomac had a collection of local books, photographs, manuscripts, and genealogical material in an area called the Eastern Shore Room. The Heritage Center is like the Eastern Shore Room on steroids.

“The area is accessed off the entry hall by a corridor that doubles as gallery space which will feature a revolving exhibit of art, photography, maps, and other media dealing with Eastern Shore history and heritage. To the right of the gallery space is the Brooks Miles Barnes Archive Room, more than 1,000 square feet of storage space for Eastern Shore documents, maps, photographs, and other material. The items in the room are stored in archivally proper, fireproof conditions. Adjacent to the archive room is the Eastern Shore Room, where materials from the old room in the Accomac library are stored.

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“The documents and other materials in these spaces are available to researchers and students, and new materials are being scanned and will be stored electronically.

“The Heritage Center provides the only facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore where historic documents and other material can be stored in archival conditions and made available to researchers. Previously, documents created by local historians, researchers, and writers were either lost to the public or went to libraries and museums off the Shore.

“Across the gallery hall from the archive room is the Dennis R. Custis Lecture Hall, a meeting room where classes and public presentations will be held. The area includes a catering kitchen where meals can be prepped and served.

“This wing also has a special section for teenage readers and maker space where small classes can be held. The Friends of the Library will operate a gift shop in this wing, just off the main entry hall.”


Complementary ice cream was also given out to attendees from the Island Creamery on Chincoteague.

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