Locations & Hours

Main Library

MON - THU 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
FRI & 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.

Henry McCarthy, Storytelling & Pat Conroy

Posted April 25th, 2017 in Uncategorized

Henry McCarthyHenry McCarthy speaks at the Washington County Public Library in Abingdon, Virginia, Sunday May 7 at 3 p.m. His topic is “Pat Conroy: The Power of Storytelling.”

Pat Conroy was a master of the art of storytelling. He used this venerable Southern tradition to entertain and attempt to explain the world. As Conroy said at his 70th birthday party, “I have written [my] books because I thought if I explained my own life somehow, I could explain some of your life to you.”

McCarthy of Winston Salem, N.C., will talk about the power of storytelling in Conroy’s work.

Book sales and signing as well as a reception follow the reading. The event is free and open to the public.

About the presenter:

McCarthy is a poet, former assistant dean of the college of education at Appalachian State University and the host of the radio program “Poets and Writers.” The show is broadcast by NPR affiliate WEHC (90.7 FM) at Emory & Henry College.

“Poets and Writers” focuses on the philosophy of poets and writers and features artists from Virginia, North Carolina and the surrounding regions.

McCarthy is also a guest actor at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts film school. His latest book of poems is “Never Read a How To Book.”


For The Birds

Posted April 18th, 2017 in Uncategorized

Julie ZickefooseOur Sunday with Friends speaker, Julie Zickefoose, added a special treat for bird lovers to her visit to Abingdon – a Bird Walk on the Virginia Creeper Trail. What fun to get to go on a bird walk on a beautiful trail with a nature writer and wildlife illustrator.

If you want to join us  meet us at the trail head of the Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon. We’ll start the walk at 8 a.m.

For those of you who don’t go on walks or want to learn more, visit the main library in Abingdon, Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m., when Zickefoose speaks. The talk is part of the “Sunday with Friends” literary series sponsored by the Friends of the Washington County Public Library.

About Julie Zickefoose

Zickefoose celebrates her new book, “Baby Birds:  An Artist Looks into the Nest.” Life-sized baby birds wriggle, crawl and flutter off the pages of this beautiful book, the product of 13 years of deep involvement and close observation of nesting birds.  The lively writing describes the development of 17 bird species from egg to fledgling, with wonder, humor and the relentless curiosity that Zickefoose is known for.

Zickefoose started off as an illustrator of natural history subjects. A six-year stint as a field biologist with The Nature Conservancy’s Connecticut Chapter proved a strong motivator to learn more about ecosystems and to go back to drawing. Along the way, she began to write her own essays, studded with observations of birds and animals, and writing crept into the forefront of her interests.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published her first book of illustrated essays, “Letters from Eden,” in 2006. “The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds” was Oprah’s Book of the Week in April 2012. It’s an amalgam of memoir, natural history watercolor paintings and life sketches.

Zickefoose had a five-year run contributing commentaries to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered. Her natural history blog entertains around 30,000 visits per month.
Book sales and signing as well as a reception follow the reading. The event is free and open to the public.

Come join us.

National Library Week celebrated

Posted April 2nd, 2017 in Uncategorized

“Libraries Transform” is the theme for this year’s National Library Week April 9-15.


Beginning in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.


The week promotes certain ideas about libraries. They are


  • Libraries are at the heart of our communities—a resource for people of any age to find what they need to help improve their quality of life.
  • Our society is at a critical juncture with regard to the changing information landscape and the skills needed to thrive in our digital world.
  • Libraries are evolving with these changes in order to serve the public and to continue to fulfill their role in leveling the playing field for all who seek information and access to technologies.
  • Libraries also are expanding beyond their traditional roles and providing more opportunities for community engagement and delivering new services that connect closely with patrons’ needs.
  • Library professionals facilitate individual opportunity and community progress.
  • Libraries are committed to advancing their legacy of reading and developing a digitally inclusive society.
  • Libraries add value in five key areas: education, employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment and engagement.

Our celebration

To celebrate, we’ll have special displays at all our locations. Each library will also be giving away one free Kindle Fire. To be entered to win a Kindle Fire, simply check out 10 items at one time.

We’ll be offering free coffee at the main library throughout the week and the Mendota branch library is offering coffee and cookies.

It’s also a fine free week. So if you’ve been waiting to return your overdue items, this is the week to do it! however, we are not waiving the fees and other charges for damaged or unreturned materials.



March Book Sale

Posted March 28th, 2017 in Uncategorized

Book SaleIt’s time for the Friends’ March Book Sale –  March 29 through Sunday, April 2.

The conference room is filled with book bargains galore! The Friends have been reviewing book donations for months to find the best books to include in the sale. (more…)

SEED: The Untold Story

Posted March 9th, 2017 in Uncategorized

Will Bonsall of Scattered Project sits outside his barn with a rare variety of corn that he saved from a dying neighbor in Maine. Courtesy of Collective Eye Films

The award-winning “SEED: The Untold Story” is shown at the Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, Virginia, Sunday, March 19 at 2 p.m. A discussion and seed swap follow the screening. The Washington County Seed Savers Library will be on hand for people to check out or return seeds. The event is free and open to the public.

Watch the Trailer here.

“SEED: The Untold Story” is an award-winning documentary about the dramatic loss of seed diversity and the future of our food. It comes from the filmmakers behind “Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?” The film features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell and Winona LaDuke.

The directors say, “Our latest film, ‘SEED: The Untold Story’ began with an article in National Geographic reporting that up to 96 percent of the vegetable seeds available in 1903 have disappeared. Within moments we knew that was our next film. The speed and scope of this loss is staggering, and its implications for our future are stark. As the renowned naturalist and author Gary Paul Nabhan puts it, ‘Many of our seeds today are as endangered as a panda or polar bear.”’ In an era of climate uncertainty, this dearth of diversity is a recipe for catastrophic crop failure and human suffering– not unlike The Great Famine of Ireland that saw the starvation of nearly a million people when their sole crop variety, a potato, was wiped out by blight. ‘SEED’ explores a topic that is still largely unknown, yet it is increasingly urgent with climate change and the consolidation and control of the seed industry.”

This film has won 14 film festival awards nationally and internationally, including the Grand Jury Prize in the Nashville film festival. The Los Angeles Times says, “This is a gorgeously made film, put together with as much care as its subjects devote to saving the remaining varieties of seeds.”

The Village Voice describes the film as “a rare documentary from filmmakers who are not just capable but also in love with their craft. It’s a wonder of photography, animation and sound, and it’s a testament to its editors that the many interviews with activists and scientists are compelling and informative, sometimes even poetic.”

“SEED” is executive produced by Marisa Tomei, Marc Turtletaub (“Little Miss Sunshine”), and Phil Fairclough (“Grizzly Man,” “Cave of Forgotten Dreams”).

The Seed Savers Library is funded by the Raymon Grace Foundation.

Tales of food and culture at the Abingdon library

Posted February 21st, 2017 in Uncategorized

Friends of the Washington County Public Library in Abingdon, Virginia present Fred Sauceman as part of its Sunday with Friends literary series. He regales the audience with tales of food and culture Sunday, March 5 at 3 p.m. at the main library in Abingdon.

Sauceman, a native of Greeneville, Tennessee, is senior writer and associate professor of Appalachian Studies at East Tennessee State University, where he teaches a course entitled “The Foodways of Appalachia.” He also serves as news director for public radio station WETS-FM on the ETSU campus.

He and his wife Jill are regular contributors to Blue Ridge Country magazine, and he writes a regular column for “Smoky Mountain Living” magazine. In addition, he writes a monthly food column, “Potluck,” for the Johnson City Press and appears monthly during “Food with Fred” on WJHL-TV, the CBS affiliate in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Sauceman has written and edited seven food-related books including the three-volume series, “The Place Setting: Timeless Tastes of the Mountain South,” “From Bright Hope to Frog Level,” and “Buttermilk & Bible Burgers: More Stories from the Kitchens of Appalachia.” His next book, “The Proffitts of Ridgewood: An Appalachian Family’s Life in Barbecue,” will be published this fall. He is also the general editor of a forthcoming book series on Southern foodways.=

His work has appeared in “The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture,” “The Encyclopedia of Appalachia,” “Bluegrass Unlimited,” “The Encyclopedia of Alabama” and “CrossRoads: A Southern Culture Annual.” He is also a contributor to the journal Southern Cultures, published by the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In 2015, the Smithsonian and the National Museum of American History invited him to write an essay entitled “What Exactly Is Appalachian Cuisine?” for the project “What It Means to Be an American,” in partnership with Zócalo Public Square.

He has produced seven food-related documentary films, ranging in subject from red hot dogs to sorghum syrup. He is collaborating with students at East Tennessee State University on a series of short documentaries on ethnic food in Appalachia.

The talk is followed by a book sale and signing.

Nancy Johnson celebrated

Posted February 14th, 2017 in Uncategorized

Nancy JohnsonIn celebration of outstanding African Americans for Black History Month, the Glade Spring branch library recognizes Nancy Johnson, artist and invites you to meet this remarkable woman.

Nancy is a resident of Glade Spring, Virginia and is an artist and author. Her studio at The Arts Depot in Abingdon, Virginia, is where she creates colorful folk paintings that depict ethnic pride and a loving look at black American culture.

Nancy calls her presentation “Yes We Can.” She plans to talk about Martin Luther King Jr., the segregation she dealt with and her family history.

She will display some historical art and offer a few pieces of her own artwork for sale.

Free and open to the public. To read more about Nancy Johnson, visit the Washington County News.

About Nancy Johnson:

Nancy Helen Johnson grew up in Washington County, Virginia, near Emory, in what is known as the Blacksburg Community. She is the eighth child and a twin in a family of 11 children. She was raised by a physically-challenged mother who inspired her to become a nurse. Johnson graduated from the Holston Valley School of Nursing and embarked on a 17-year career in the nursing profession.

She is married to Willie Nathaniel Johnson, and they have one son, Bryant. They are the proud grandparents of three grandchildren.

Johnson is a self-taught artist who began painting in 1989. “Encouragement from my family and friends has given me what I need to make my dreams of being an artist become a reality” she says. She has a very definite philosophy about her work. She believes that art is a vision of the mind – not of the hands.

Folk Art is Johnson’s forte and her studio is overflowing with bright, vivid colored paintings in this style. An original artist, she always adds her own touches to her mixed media art. She sometimes adds flowers, butterflies and even pasta to her creations. She says she likes to use her artist hands to convey deep meaning with rich value and expression.

She takes joy in being a Depot Artist. She tells her childhood stories to the people who visit her studio and hopes that through art she is able to make a difference in someone’s life.

She says she uses art to depict the beauty and strength of the black culture. She wants to pass this on to the next generation and let them know how important these values are to people of color.

Besides being an artist, she has written two books. In her first book, “The Right Prescription,” she shares with readers her experiences as a nurse. In her latest book, “Raised by Flesh, Wood and Plastic,” she honors her mother, Carrie Lena Howard Hill, by telling the story of her life. Her mother lost her leg at age 12. Though faces with many challenges, Carrie Hill lived her life to the fullest. With little money and excruciating paint, she juggled the care of her home, husband, 11 children and a job. Her story will touch and inspire you.

Belle Boggs comes to main library

Posted February 2nd, 2017 in Uncategorized

Belle BoggsThe annual Sunday with Friends literary series at the Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, Virginia, continues with a talk from Belle Boggs, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. The series is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Boggs, an acclaimed young Southern writer, talks about her life in writing. “Mattaponi Queen,” her 2010 collection of inter-related short stories, is a portrait of a Native American community on the Mattaponi River in eastern Virginia.

Her new work, “The Art of Waiting,” is contemplation about fertility and the many choices involved in making a life and family. As she contemplates her realization that she might never be able to conceive, she ranges widely in her thoughts about the natural world, literature and contemporary film, as well as telling stories of couples struggling with fertility issues.

“Mattaponi Queen” won the Bakeless Prize and the Library of Virginia Literary Award for fiction, was short-listed for the 2010 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, was one of Kirkus Reviews top fiction debuts for 2010, was long-listed for The Story Prize, and was a finalist for the Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award for fiction.

Boggs’ fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Paris Review, Orion, Harper’s, Glimmer Train, Ecotone, the Sun and the Oxford American, among other publications.

A book signing and sale follow the talk.  All proceeds from the book sales benefit the Friends of the Library.

Sunday with Friends

Posted December 30th, 2016 in Uncategorized

Beth MacyIt’s time for our annual Sunday with Friends literary series at the main library in Abingdon. We begin with a talk from Beth Macy, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m.

Macy was a feature writer for the Roanoke Times who became a best-selling author by exploring true stories from her region. In 2014 came “Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local — and Helped Save an American Town.” That book tells the tale of John Bassett III and his struggles to save his company and his town. In 2016 Macy wrote “Truevine — Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South.” This is the story of  twin albino African-American brothers who spent decades during the 20th century as sideshow “freaks.”

Little Brown, her publisher, says this about “Truevine.”

“The year was 1899, as the old people told the story; the place a sweltering Virginia tobacco community in the Jim Crow South, where everyone they knew was either a former slave, or a child or grandchild of slaves.

“’Truevine’ is the story of George and Willie Muse, two African American brothers who were kidnapped and displayed as circus freaks, and whose mother embarked on an epic, decades-long struggle to get them back — and to get justice for her family.

“Though the Muse brothers’ narrative has been passed down for over a century, no writer has ever gotten this close to the beating heart of their story, and its mysteries: Were they really kidnapped? How did their mother, a black maid toiling under the harsh restrictions of segregation, bring them home? And why, after getting there, would they ever want to go back?

“At the height of their fame, the Muse brothers performed for British royalty and headlined over a dozen sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden. They were fine musicians and global superstars in a pre-broadcast era. But the very root of their success hinged on the color of their skin and in the outrageous caricatures they were forced to assume: supposed cannibals, sheep-headed freaks, even “Ambassadors from Mars.”

Macy has been a reporter for more than 25 years. She spent years working for the Roanoke Times and writes essays for The New York Times. She’s also written for magazines, radio and online journals. Her reporting has won more than a dozen national awards, including a Nieman Fellowship for journalism at Harvard.

The bestselling “Truevine” was chosen as A New York Times Notable Book of 2016, a Kirkus Prize finalist, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence.

Upcoming Speakers

The series continues Feb. 12 at 3 p.m., with Belle Boggs, acclaimed young Southern writer, who talks about her life in writing.

Fred Sauceman, a leading food writer in the Appalachian area, speaks March 5 at 3 p.m.  His newest work is “Buttermilk and Bible Burgers,” which he describes as “a tribute to the people loyal to the land and proud of their culinary heritage of breaking beans, the dignity of the barbecue pit, the nobility of the black-iron skillet and the transformative power of a glass of Tennessee buttermilk.”

Linda Parsons and Other Poets join in a regional poetry celebration, March 26 at 3 p.m. Knoxville poet Parsons’ fourth volume of poetry, “This Shaky Earth,” straddles time, family divisions and legacies, and the regions of her native Tennessee. Members of the Appalachian Center for Poets and Writers join her.

Julie Zickefoose speaks April 23 at 3 p.m. Zickefoose, an acclaimed nature writer and wildlife illustrator, speaks on the day after Earth Day to celebrate her new book, “Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest.”

Robert Morgan returns to the literary series May 21 at 3 p.m. Morgan is an internationally-known historian, biographer, poet and fiction writer. His new historical novel, “Chasing the North Star,” is the story of Jonah Williams, who in 1850 flees from the South Carolina plantation on which he was born a slave.

Quinn Hawkesworth performs her new one-woman show, “Suitcase Blues,” June 4 at 3 p.m.

The “Sunday with Friends” literary series is sponsored by the Friends of the Washington County Public Library. All events are free and open to the public. They include receptions, book sales and signings.

New Overdrive

Posted December 14th, 2016 in Uncategorized

Weather got you down? Is it too cold to go outside? Are you just looking for any excuse to stay inside and avoid the crowds?

Try an e-book or download an audiobook. We offer two options for these, and you never have to leave home (as long as you have your library card handy). To find them, visit the E-books section of our website. Then choose whether you want an e-book or an audiobook. Once you’ve done that, the fun begins – picking out your book.

Option 1: OverDrive

OverDrive offers e-books and audiobooks, and it’s got a new look.

It’s not just a cosmetic update, it’s actually a lot easier to use.

You can look at the picture above to see one way that the site is different.

At the top of each title is an “availability banner” that tells you whether the book is available, coming soon or if you’ll need to join a wait list. Below each title are action links so you can borrow or place a hold.

If you need more information about the book, just click on the book cover. You’ll see a synopsis of the book, be able to read a sample, borrow or place a hold. You’ll also see the available formats and other information (e.g. category, reading level).

If you’re searching for a book, use the basic and advanced searches. You can also search by collection or subject.

Parents can add filters so that their children can only see titles that are listed as juvenile or young adult.

When you’re ready to check out, just click on the book icon. If you’re borrowing for your Kindle, you’ll follow the link to your Amazon account.

Option 2: OneClickDigital

OneClickDigital offers audiobooks.

We subscribe to this service to provide you even more audiobooks than the ones that Overdrive offers.

You can check out up to 10 audiobooks at a time. Since OneClick is not used as much as Overdrive, you can often get bestsellers right away. It’s also a great place to find the classics. Go on an adventure with “The Swiss Family Robinson” or visit the west with “Riders of the Purple Sage.” If you want a more European flair, check out “Dubliners” or “Pride and Prejudice.” Listen to “A Christmas Carol” as part of your holiday tradition.

You may choose your own checkout period, up to 14 days, and renew an audiobook once if no other patron has a hold on it.


If you are confused about how to use your devices to download an e-book or audiobook, don’t worry. We can help.

Just visit the library, and we’ll show you how. We also offer classes and one-on-one help. You can call Jill at the main library at 276-676-6391 and make an appointment for one-on-one help.

The Glade Spring branch offers help every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. It’s helpful if you call and let them know you’re coming, so you don’t have to wait.

If you just have a quick question, visit any of the libraries and ask. We’ll be happy to help you.





©2017 Washington County Public Library System. All rights reserved.