Importance of the Regional Library for Other Shore Libraries 

Much of the work of a library goes on behind the scenes in the technical services department. As the regional library headquarters, the regional  library handles all of this work for the four Shore library locations.  Books and materials are ordered, received and processed, including entering them into the system-wide online catalog, placing identifying information on the book and covering it, and delivering it to the appropriate library. The regional library takes care of inter-library loan requests and collection management for all libraries.  It handles shipping and receiving among the libraries so that patrons may request books from any library location and pick them up and return them at their local libraries.  The regional library also purchases duplicate copies of bestsellers for the other libraries, maintains their computers, provides certain office and computer supplies, and performs other administrative roles.  The Nassawadox, Chincoteague and Cape Charles libraries depend heavily on the regional library; providing all of these services on their own would impose significant increases in operating costs they could not afford.

It would be difficult to imagine how the Chincoteague Island Library could serve our Island and its visitors without the ongoing support of the Eastern Shore Public Library – providing part-time personnel assistance, twice weekly courier service, use of the Evergreen circulation system, as well as our Broadband connection. The ESPL is a vital part of our ability to provide quality library services to our Community.
— Linda Ryan, President of the Chincoteague Library

Ann Rutledge, librarian at the Cape Charles library, said “Although we select our materials, the ESPL purchases and processes all of our library materials. With a staff of one full-time person, one part-time person and one 15 hour person we could never do this on our own. The ESPL also provides our library’s online circulation system and takes care of any technical problems and updates with the system”. 

Summer Dahlmanns, Branch Manager of the Nassawadox library, said “The regional library pays for staffing, and purchases books and supplies for our branch. We are able to serve the Northampton community as a result of their support.”


What a Regional Library Will Provide

The library capital project will build capacity to improve and enhance library services to the community. The footprint of the ESPL regional library will increase from 11,000 square feet to 19,300 square feet. Whether you walk, bike, or drive to the regional  library, you will be visiting a welcoming brick building with large windows surrounded by trees, a patio, benches, and public art.  

  • The entryway will be bathed in natural lighting.  
  • The children’s room will greet its little visitors with size-appropriate shelving, clean flooring, activity stations, engaging book displays, and natural lighting. 
  • Teens will have their own space wired for their personal devices with tables for studying and comfortable seating for reading.  
  • Adult reading areas will be clean and well-lit.  
  • The Eastern Shore Room will have climate control to preserve its collections and an audio room to record oral histories and podcasts, in addition to increased space to store its valuable collections.  
  • Community groups, educators, and performing artists will have meeting space for their programs.
  • All ages will enjoy mobile technology labs to become information literate.
  • Behind the scenes, new books, devices, and supplies will be received, processed, and then shipped to patrons in our other three Shore libraries.  
  • Centralized online catalog and Internet technology will be more reliable and upgraded to provide better service to all virtual visitors whether they are looking for books or searching the “Miles Files” for their ancestors.
  • Wall space will host gallery exhibitions of art and history.