Locations & Hours

Main Library
276-676-6233

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
276-475-3820

MON, WED, FRI 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
TUE & THU 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
SAT 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
SUN closed

Glade Spring Library
276-429-5626

MON closed
TUE & THU 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
WED & FRI 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
SAT 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
SUN closed

Hayters Gap Library
276-944-4442

MON closed
TUE & THU 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
WED & FRI 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
SAT 9am - 1 p.m.
SUN closed

Mendota Library
276-645-2374

MON closed
TUE - THU 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
FRI closed
SAT 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
SUN closed


Barbara Kingsolver talks about her new book

Posted November 27th, 2018 in Uncategorized

Barbar KingsolverThe Friends of the Library are hosting an evening with Barbara Kingsolver as their holiday gift to the community. She will speak about her new book, “Unsheltered,” Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m., at the Martha Washington Inn and Spa. Please note, we rescheduled this event. There were conflicts with other community events, and we didn’t want you to have to choose.  Also please note this event is not happening at the library. It is free and open to the public.

About her books:

Kingsolver is one of America’s leading writers. Her books, in order of publication, are “The Bean Trees,” Homeland,” “Holding the Line: Women in the Great Arizona Mine Strike,” “Animal Dreams,” “Another America,” “Pigs in Heaven,” “High Tide in Tucson,” “The Poisonwood Bible,” “Prodigal Summer,” “Small Wonder,” “Last Stand: America’s Virgin Lands,” with photographer Annie Griffiths Belt, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life,” “The Lacuna,” “Flight Behavior: A Novel” and “Unsheltered.”

Her books have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have been adopted into the core literature curriculum in high schools and colleges throughout the nation. She has contributed to more than 50 literary anthologies, and her reviews and articles have appeared in most major U.S. newspapers and magazines.

About Barbara Kingsolver:

Kingsolver was born in 1955 and grew up in rural Kentucky. She earned degrees in biology from DePaul University and the University of Arizona, and has worked as a freelance writer and author since 1985. At various times in her adult life she has lived in England, France and the Canary Islands, and has worked in Europe, Africa, Asia, Mexico and South America. She spent two decades in Tucson, Arizona, before moving to Washington County, Virginia in 2004 where she currently resides.

She was named one the most important writers of the 20th century by Writers Digest. In 2000 she received the National Humanities Medal, our country’s highest honor for service through the arts. “The Poisonwood Bible” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Orange Prize and was an Oprah Book Club selection. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” won numerous prizes, including the James Beard award. “The Lacuna” won Britain’s prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction in 2010 (the best novel in the world written in the English language by a woman). In 2011, Kingsolver was awarded the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for the body of her work.

Kingsolver established the Bellwether Prize for Fiction, the nation’s largest prize for an unpublished first novel, which since 1998 has helped to establish the careers of more than a half dozen new literary voices. Through a recent agreement, the prize has now become the PEN / Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

She has two daughters, Camille and Lily and a grandchild. Her husband, Steven Hopp, teaches environmental studies at Emory & Henry College and owns the Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, Virginia


Charles Vess speaks about Earthsea

Posted November 1st, 2018 in Uncategorized

Charles VessThe Friends of the Library host internationally-famous illustrator and author Charles Vess at the Community Center of Abingdon (300 Senior Drive) at 3 p.m. He speaks Sunday, Nov. 18 at 3 p.m.

Vess is an artist and illustrator whose studio is in Abingdon. He spent four years drawing the 54 illustrations for this book, some in color and some in black and white, in close consultation with Le Guin. Unfortunately, Le Guin died in January 2018 just as the illustrations were being completed.

Le Guin’s “Earthsea” fantasy and science fiction novels are some of the most acclaimed works in American literature. They have received prestigious accolades such as the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, the Nebula Award and many more honors, commemorating their enduring place in the hearts and minds of readers and the literary world alike.

Earthsea refers to a world of islands surrounded by an uncharted ocean. “The Books of Earthsea” brings together in one publication the five Earthsea books, beginning with “The Wizard of Earthsea” in 1968, “The Tombs of Atuan” (1971), “The Farthest Shore” (1972), “Tehanu” (1990) and “The Other Wind” (2011), along with additional stories and transcripts of lectures by Le Guin.

Vess is a world-renowned visual artist whose career has spanned more than four decades.

His illustrations as a fantasy artist include many for Marvel Comics, including the cover art for “The Amazing Spiderman;” for DC Comics, there was an 11-issue run of “Swamp Thing” and illustrating the “Sandman” series written by Neil Gaiman. In addition, he illustrated Gaiman’s book “Stardust” and Charles de Lint’s “The Cats of Tanglewood Forest.”

In addition to his illustrations, Vess is a sculptor. He co-designed and co-sculpted the 16-foot-tall Barter Theatre fountain titled “Midsummer Play,” dedicated in Abingdon in 2009. His most recent sculpture, titled “Bristol’s Cultural Heritage,” was installed at the Bristol Public Library in 2014.

At the Abingdon event, Vess will describe the four-year process of drawing the illustrations for the “The Books of Earthsea.” The drawings will be displayed at the William King Museum of Art in Abingdon from Jan. 17 to Feb. 24, 2019.

Vess’s lecture is sponsored by the Friends of the Washington County Public Library and is free and open to the public. There will be book sales and signings after the event.

For more information, call 276-676-6298 or visit www.wcpl.net.


It’s Halloween

Posted October 24th, 2018 in Uncategorized

GhostsIt’s the season for “… ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night”

Halloween isn’t just for children at the Washington County Public Library, we enjoy it as well. So we’ve planned a lot of fun for everyone.

It all starts with Halloween Bingo Saturday, Oct. 27 at 10 a.m., at the main library. Children are encouraged to dress in costume. Halloween-themed prizes and candy are awarded. If you’d rather see a movie, take a little trip to the Glade Spring branch library. Tonia will be showing the Halloween classic, “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” Saturday, Oct. 27 at 11:30 a.m.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30, children are invited to don costumes and trick or treat at the main library in Abingdon. We can’t wait to see their costumes (and we’ll be in costume too). We’ll hand out candy and judge a pumpkin contest.

Kids should bring their completed pumpkin entries by 6:15 p.m. for judging. The winners will be announced at 7 p.m. Pumpkins may be carved or painted. Carved pumpkins are judged in most original, scariest and silliest categories; painted pumpkins are judged separately.

The Glade Spring branch library holds Trunk or Treat from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31. It’s all treats and no tricks at the Mendota branch library Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A Steampunk and Harry Potter party is held at the Damascus branch library, Oct. 31 from 5-7 p.m. Dress up as your favorite Steampunk or Harry Potter character and join us for this theme party. If you really wanted to be Batman or a princess, don’t worry – come anyway. There will be refreshments, lots of props for photo taking, games and trivia.

 


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.


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