Locations & Hours

Main Library

MON - THU 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
FRI 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
SAT 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
SUN 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Damascus Library

MON, WED, FRI 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
TUE & THU 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
SAT 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
SUN closed

Glade Spring Library

MON closed
TUE & THU 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
WED & FRI 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
SAT 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
SUN closed

Hayters Gap Library

MON closed
TUE & THU 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
WED & FRI 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
SAT 9am - 1 p.m.
SUN closed

Mendota Library

MON closed
TUE - THU 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
FRI closed
SAT 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
SUN closed

Stewart Harris: The Constitution and Freedom to Read

Posted September 18th, 2018 in Uncategorized

Due to unforeseen circumstances, it is necessary to cancel the program “The Constitution and the Freedom to Read” presented by Stuart Harris, creator of the National Public Radio show “Your Weekly Constitutional” . The program was to be at the Abingdon Library on Sunday, September 30th at 3 PM.  There are plans to reschedule the program.  

Our most deeply held beliefs are the freedom of speech and the freedom to read. As part of this year’s celebration of Banned Book Week, we’re hosting Stewart Harris,  He’s  a constitutional scholar and radio host. Cool combination, huh?

Stewart Harris is the creator of the National Public Radio show “Your Weekly Constitutional.”  He speaks at the main library in Abingdon, Sept. 30 at 3 p.m. His topic is “The Constitution and the Freedom to Read.”

About Stewart Harris:

Harris is a visiting associate professor of law at Lincoln Memorial University. His talk is part of the library’s observance of Banned Books Week, which celebrates the freedom to read.

Harris graduated from Princeton University in 1983. In his sophomore year, he was selected for admission to the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His independent work at the Wilson School focused primarily upon international security and nuclear weapons policy.

In 1999, Harris began teaching at the University of Florida College of Law. From 2001 to 2016, he taught at the Appalachian School of Law. While there, he earned the Faculty Scholarship Award and multiple awards for teaching. He also teaches constitutional law during the summer semester at the University of Tennessee College of Law. In 2016, he started teaching at the Duncan School of Law at LMU.

In 2011, Professor Harris created a public radio show,” Your Weekly Constitutional.” The show is produced at WETS-FM, the NPR affiliate in Johnson City, Tennessee, and syndicated nationally. YWC is underwritten by the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at Montpelier, the historic home of the Father of the Constitution, James Madison. The show is on Facebook and Twitter, and podcasts are available on iTunes.

Come join us and celebrate the Freedom to Read!

Story Time Returns

Posted August 20th, 2018 in Uncategorized

story time logoIt’s Back to School time, which means our story time and children’s programs are starting anew.

We’ve made a few changes this year, so please check schedules carefully. The easiest way to do that is to check out the calendar on our website.

Programs at Main

Our story time has become an All Ages Story Time. It’s held three days a week at the main library in Abingdon: Mondays and Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Tuesdays at 10 a.m.

Did you know that our staff creates a lesson plan for each week’s story time? Each one has a theme, and the lesson plan includes the stories they’ll read, and the related songs, activities, etc. They even include a prop list. They’re so organized, it’s scary.

The main library’s homeschool activities continue on Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m. We’ll explore a new science, technology, engineering or math theme on the first Wednesday of each month. Our popular Lego Play is back on the second Wednesday of the month. An art program is held on the third Wednesday.

Our Saturday Lego play continues on the third Saturday of the month, but it moves to 10 a.m.  Many of you told us that there were conflicts at our old time. We listened and moved Lego Saturday to an earlier time. Come and join us.

Programs at branch libraries

The Glade Spring branch library holds story time on selected Wednesdays at 11 a.m. They offer an after-school film club Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m. Participants learn to make and edit their own films. Glade Spring offers a STEAM program the first and third Wednesday of the month at 2 p.m.

The Hayters Gap branch library holds a STEM program every other Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and a special Saturday story time on selected dates.

Mendota branch library story time is held on some Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Please check the calendar for exact dates.

Dial a Story

If you haven’t checked out our Dial A Story, you should. Rick McVey from Barter Theatre reads our stories, and he is amazing. Just call 276-676-6234 and give it a listen.

Coming Up

We’ve got Halloween programs, face painting and more planned.


Beth Macy visits Abingdon

Posted August 10th, 2018 in Uncategorized

Beth MacyBeth Macy, the author of “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America,” is coming to Abingdon Sunday, Aug. 19, at 3 p.m. at the Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church as part of her national book tour.

“Dopesick” is the first book to fully chart the opioid crisis in America – an unforgettable portrait of the families and first responders on the front lines of the country’s 20-plus year struggle. The book is set in Southwest Virginia, in Lee County, Lebanon, Abingdon and Roanoke, as well as northern Virginia and the town of Woodstock.

Beginning with a single dealer who lands in St. Charles, Lee County, Virginia, and sets about turning high school football stars into heroin overdose statistics, Macy endeavors to answer a grieving mother’s question of why her only son died and comes away with a harrowing story of greed and need. From the introduction of OxyContin in 1996, Macy explores how America embraced a medical culture where overtreatment with painkillers became the norm.

Macy is a former journalist with the Roanoke Times who over the last several years has become one of America’s finest writers of creative non-fiction. She is the author of “Factory Man,” about the death of the textile industry in Southside Virginia, and of “Truevine,” the true story of two African-American brothers who were kidnapped and displayed as circus freaks in the early twentieth century.

The event is part of the literary series, Sunday with Friends, sponsored by the Friends of the Washington County Public Library.

Friends having big book sale

Posted July 31st, 2018 in Uncategorized

photo of main library with book sale bannerThe Friends of the Washington County Public Library are holding their annual Virginia Highlands Book Sale  through Sunday, Aug. 12.

The FOL book sale volunteers have worked hard to select the very best books and AV materials for this sale.

“We’ve had a perfect storm this year to make our summer book sale really special: a steady supply of exceptional donations, a growing number of dedicated volunteers who sort and prep the books and AV materials and stuffed full storage units. We didn’t have our March sale this year so we’ll have a generous supply to keep this sale stocked for the full two weeks with high quality merchandise at bargain prices,” says Susan Brown, co-chairman of the book sale committee.

Thousands of books, including popular fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, romance, reference, cooking, gardening, classics, inspirational as well as books for children of all ages are available for bargain prices in the conference room of the main library in Abingdon, Virginia. In addition, the collector’s section has vintage and out-of-print books. A selection of DVDs, audiobooks and CDs is available.

Prices range from 50 cents to $2 for most offerings. Higher value items are specially priced. New books are brought to the sale daily. There will be flash sales during the second week of the sale.

A preview sale for Friends of the Library only is Sunday, July 29 from 5-8 p.m. Scanning devices are not permitted at the preview sale. Refreshments are served. Door prizes are given away and a silent auction is held. Memberships are $10 and are available at the door.

Monday through Thursday hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday hours are 1-5 p.m. The popular bag sale is held Sunday, Aug. 12 when a bag of books is $5.

MasterCard, Visa and Discovery are accepted.

All proceeds of this sale support programs and services of the Washington County Public Library System.


Summer Reading is coming

Posted May 22nd, 2018 in Uncategorized

little girl readingIt’s one of my favorite times of the year – summer. It’s time for barbecues, creeks, the whir of a fan, the first juicy bite of a perfect sun-kissed tomato, walks in the cool woods. All the things that remind you of when you were young and summer was a great adventure.

There was also another part that I loved about summer – reading. When the heat and humidity got too much, it was time to take my book into the shade or up a tree, curl up and see where it would take me.

That’s one of the things we love about summer – our Summer Reading Programs. We have two: one for children and one for adults.

Kids and Teens

We’ve planned six weeks of fun programs for kids filled with magic, storytelling, animals,Bingo and even live theater. Bright Star Theatre brings its production of “Alice in Wonderland” to all our library locations. We’re really looking forward to going down the rabbit hole with Alice and the other characters in Wonderland.

We have movies, crafts, Lego, STEM programs and more.

We have special teen only programs at the main library and Glade Spring branch library. The main library offers teen crafts. The Glade Spring branch library offers teens only movies and teen crafts.

We have weekly prizes for teens and kids. We’re also giving away bicycles. Kids bring their book logs to the library, and they’re entered. We’re doing the drawing at the end of the six weeks. Maybe you’ll be the winner of a bicycle to take on long summer rides.

Kids just need to visit their local library and register. They’ll get an overdue fine forgiveness card, a tote bag, and we’ll show them how to fill out their book logs. A complete schedule of events can be found here.

Teens compete in weekly activities and are entered to win gift cards for movie tickets, music downloads and more.

Join us this summer and share the excitement of a good book.


Trail Days Celebration

Posted May 10th, 2018 in Uncategorized

front of Damascus libraryThe Friendliest Little Library on the Trail (our Damascus branch library) joins the Trail Days Celebration in Damascus, May 18-20.

Visitors to the library can relax on the front porch, go into the visitor center or inside where it’s cool. The branch offers high-speed Internet, charging stations, computers and all the usual library amenities.

They also have bike racks and free paperbacks for hikers. The paperbacks are provided by the Friends of the Library are small and easily transportable.

Special programs are planned for Trail Days.

They’ll have board games (including Catan, a board game quest), coloring pages, sidewalk art and trivia with hikers.

The third annual movie festival runs from Monday through Thursday at 2 p.m. We’ll watch movies on the big screen and enjoy free refreshments. Movies include “Appalachian Trail,” “Sustainable,” “Backcountry,” “Footprints: The Path of your Life,” “Wolfpack” and a surprise classic. Viewers decide which movie to watch each day.

Thursday, May 19 at 6 p.m., Dr. Hamed, professor of biology at Virginia Highlands Community College, will discuss Salamanders of White Top Mountain.

Hiker crafts are available all day Friday, May 18.

Ben Casteel returns Saturday, May 20 at 11 a.m. for his popular Foraging for Edibles on the Trail program. Ben, a horticulture instructor, explains which plants on the trail are edible and how to find them. The event begins with instruction, which is followed by a hike.

Come sit a spell with us during Trail Days and discover why hikers call the Damascus branch library, the Friendliest Little Library on the Trail.

We thank the Friends of the Library for their sponsorship of these special programs.

Sunday with Friends videos

Posted May 2nd, 2018 in Uncategorized

movie reelOur Sunday with Friends literary series celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. A Friends of the Library sponsored author series began in 1998, although it didn’t get a name until 2000. For several years, we have tried to ensure that we caught speakers on video, but for the 20th anniversary we made a special effort.

If you’ve missed a Sunday with Friends or would like to hear a favorite writer again, you can visit the Sunday with Friends page or click here.

Those aren’t the only videos of library events we offer.  Check out our YouTube channel’s variety of videos. Some are from Sunday with Friends, some were created by teens at the Glade Spring library, some are from other programs such as Donnamarie talking about planting by the signs.

There is a video of Charles Vess when he spoke about working with Ursula K. Le Guin. There’s video of Ann Patchett and Barbara Kingsolver from a fundraising event they were kind enough to do for the Friends of the Library. Frances Mayes, author of “Under the Tuscan Sky,” was here, and her talk is also on our YouTube channel. There are short videos from The Big Read kick-off celebrations and other little gems.

There are some adorable clips of children’s programs, including performances from The Barter Players, who are kind enough to visit story time.

Upcoming Writer Visits

In June, our Sunday with Friends series has a special Saturday with Friends at 3 p.m., June 30. Silas House is coming to talk about his new book, “Southernmost.” In the book, a flood washes away much of a small community along the Cumberland River in Tennessee, Asher Sharp, an evangelical preacher there, starts to see his life anew. He has already lost a brother due to his inability to embrace his brother’s coming out of the closet. Now, in the aftermath of the flood, he tries to offer shelter to two gay men, but he’s met with resistance by his wife. Furious about her prejudice, Asher delivers a sermon where he passionately defends the right of gay people to exist without condemnation.

In the heated battle that ensues, Asher loses his job, his wife, and custody of his son, Justin. As Asher worries over what will become of the boy, whom his wife is determined to control, he decides to kidnap Justin and take him to Key West, where he suspects that his estranged brother is now living. It’s there that Asher and Justin see a new way of thinking and loving.

Adriana Trigiani is coming for a fundraiser for the Friends of the Library July 26. It will be held at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center beginning at 6 p.m. Adriana and her sister Mary talk about their cookbook.  We’ll enjoy a lovely meal based on recipes from their cookbook. There are two ticket options. Tickets for the dinner, music and talk are $50. If you’d like to attend the VIP reception which adds a cocktail party, meet and greet, photo opportunities and reserved seating at the dinner, tickets are $100. More details will be available soon.

Charles Vess will be back in October and there may be a couple of surprises still coming.

In the meantime, check out the videos.

Wiley Cash speaks at library

Posted April 17th, 2018 in Uncategorized

Wiley CashSunday with Friends hosts Wiley Cash April 29 at 3 p.m., at the main library in Abingdon, Virginia.

New York Times bestselling writer, Cash is an acclaimed young Appalachian novelist celebrating the publication of his third novel, ”The Last Ballad.” Set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events, the book chronicles a single mother’s desperate struggle for her rights in a textile mill. Lyrical, heartbreaking and haunting, it is a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression.

Christine Baker Kline, the author of “Orphan Train,’’ said, “Lives are changed in this intimate and yet expansive novel about a real-life 1929 North Carolina mill strike. With subtlety and insight, Wiley Cash reveals the dignity and humanity of people asking for a fair shot in an unfair world. Fraught with the turmoil of social change, ‘The Last Ballad’ moves inexorably toward a devastating moment of reckoning. A timely and topical portrait of a community in crisis.”

Lee Smith has said that the book is amazingly relevant for today’s world, when workers’ rights are besieged as they haven’t been since the Great Depression.

Cash is a writer-in-residence at UNC-Asheville and is the author of two earlier novels, “A Land More Kind Than Home” and “The Dark Road of Mercy.”

A reception and book sale follow the presentation.


“Permanent” director visits Abingdon

Posted March 15th, 2018 in Uncategorized

We’re doing something a little different for our next Sunday with Friends event. The Friends of the Library have partnered with the Arts Array cultural outreach series at Virginia Highlands Community College for a special series of events.

Colette Burson, the Abingdon native who is the director of “Permanent,” visits and participates in a number of public discussions about her film career and the making of “Permanent.” We suggest that you come and listen to one of her talks and then see the movie.


Sunday, April 8: Burson is our Sunday with Friends speaker at the main library in Abingdon at 3 p.m.

Monday, April 9: She speaks at Virginia Highlands Community College in room ISC 130 at 1 p.m.

Film plus discussion

Monday, April 9: “Permanent” is shown at the Abingdon Cinemall at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., as part of the Arts Array. Burson conducts a question and answer session after each movie.

Admission is free for all students and staff members of VHCC, Emory & Henry College, King University and Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, including participants in the College of Older Adults who purchase an Arts Array pass. Community admission is $7.75.

About the film

The film is based on Burson’s memories of growing up in Abingdon. It stars Academy-Award winner Patricia Arquette, Rainn Wilson and Kira McLean. In the 1980s, “perms” are all the rage, and 13-year-old Aurelie dreams about getting one to finally fit into her new school. However, when her clueless parents take her to a hairdressing academy to save a few dollars, things go incredibly wrong.

The film is about adolescence, socially awkward family members, and “bad hair.” Burson is the award-winning writer/director of the HBO series, “Hung,” which ran for three seasons, as well as an earlier feature film, “Coming Soon.”


Environmental writers speak at main library

Posted March 1st, 2018 in Uncategorized

Our next Sunday with Friends speakers are environmental writers Janisse Ray and Holly Haworth. They read from their latest works Sunday March 11 at 3 p.m., in conference room of the main library in Abingdon.

We invite you to come and listen to their tales of longleaf pines, fossils, family and long train rides.

About Janisse Ray

Writer, naturalist and activist Janisse Ray is author of six books. She holds an MFA from the University of Montana, and has been awarded two honorary doctorates, one from Unity College in Maine and the other from LaGrange College in Georgia. In 2015 she was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame. Her work has been translated and published in France and Turkey. She lives in rural southern Georgia.

Her first book of creative nonfiction rocketed Ray onto the literary scene. “Ecology of a Cracker Childhood,” a memoir about growing up on a junkyard in the ruined longleaf pine ecosystem of the Southeast, was published by Milkweed Editions in 1999. Besides being a plea to protect and restore the glorious pine flatwoods of the South, the book looks hard at family, mental illness, poverty and fundamentalist religion. Essayist Wendell Berry called the book “well done and deeply moving.” Anne Raver of The New York Times said of Janisse Ray, “The forests of the South find their Rachel Carson.” 

Ray has won many awards, including a Southern Booksellers Award for Poetry 2011, Southeastern Booksellers Award for Nonfiction 1999, an American Book Award 2000, the Southern Environmental Law Center 2000 Award for Outstanding Writing, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award 2000. ” Ecology of a Cracker Childhood” was a New York Times Notable Book and was chosen as the Book All Georgians Should Read. “The Seed Undergound” won the Nautilus Gold Book Award Better Books for a Better World in the Green Living category 2013, American Horticultural Society Book Award 2013, American Society of Journalists & Authors Arlene Eisenberg Award for Writing that Makes a Difference 2013, Garden Writers Association Gold Award of Achievement for Best Book Writing 2013, and Green Prize for Sustainable Literature Award.

About Holly Haworth

Haworth’s writing brings nature to life in your imagination. You may never have seen a Tennessee pigtoe mussel, but reading ” Its nacre—the interior layer—was the white of a winter sky, distant light gathering behind thick cumulus,” creates a vivid picture.

Haworth is a Tennessee native, who teaches at the Blue Mountain School in Floyd, Virginia. She is a writer and reporter based in Southwest Virginia, where she lives along the West Fork of the Little River. She grew up in Boyd’s Creek, Tennessee, home of her great-great-great-great grandfather.

Her work appears in Lapham’s Quarterly, the Oxford American, Orion, Virginia Quarterly Review, Parabola, Earth Island Journal, Paste, Still: The Journal, Flycatcher, the On Being radio program blog, and Terrain.org, among other places.

She has written essays and reported on the harvest of mescal agave, mycelium networks, mushroom foraging, urban watersheds, root-digging and medicinal plants, the timber, gas and coal-mining industries, coal ash spills and coal ash dumps, the detriments of artificial night lighting, ancient fossils, extinction, public art, native freshwater mussels, cricket song, music and sound and long train rides.

She is a recipient of the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, the Russell Fellowship at Utah State University, the Thomas J. Lyons Fellowship from the Western Literature Association, and the Jackson Fellowship at Hollins University, where she received her MFA.


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