All libraries will be closed Monday, October 14, in observance of Columbus Day.

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

Glade Spring Library

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

Hayters Gap Library

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

Mendota Library

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

Sunday with Friends: Sherry Robinson

Posted October 1st, 2019 in Uncategorized

Join us at the main library in Abingdon, Oct. 13 at 3 p.m. as Sherry Robinson talks about her new novel, “Blessed.”

Book sale/signing are held after the program.

About the Book:
Grayson Armstrong’s vision for a dying church has everyone in small-town Mercy, Kentucky, talking. The truth is everyone has been talking about Grayson ever since this dark-haired 28-year-old preacher with shoulder-length hair and an ill-fitting suit drove into town 12 years before in his silver convertible with his pretty wife and two rambunctious boys. It’s his untimely death, though, that has everyone trying to understand who they thought he was.

This vivid, poignant and heart-breaking story is told by multiple characters whose paths intersect with Grayson: a homeless Vietnam veteran haunted by demons of war; the local diner’s young waitress grappling with her family’s dark history; aggrieved and supportive congregants and townspeople confronting change and the power of love and hate; and Grayson’s wife and his coming-of-age gay son, struggling to understand their own feelings about Grayson.

During a time when communities and countries are split apart, Robinson’s calming prose and timely story encourages us to put aside our fears, hate, and biases and to open our hearts and challenge our perceptions. “Blessed” is ultimately a story of hope and of the power of forgiveness.

About the Author:
Sherry Robinson, an American fiction writer, is the author of two novels, “Blessed” (2019) and “My Secrets Cry Aloud” (2009). She is currently Vice Provost and Professor of English at Eastern Kentucky University, where she spent 13 years specializing in American Literature before moving into administrative positions.

Robinson is a native of Lexington, Kentucky, where her desire to be an author was also born. From an early age, she became entranced with words, but it took many years and a few detours before the publication of her first novel. Among those detours was the completion of an M.A. from Eastern Kentucky University and a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, both in English. Reading the works of so many accomplished authors taught her the characteristics of quality writing and inspired her to reignite her passion for writing. In addition to studying great works of literature, Robinson spent two summers at the Hindman Settlement School’s Appalachian Writers Workshop under the mentorship of Silas House.

Retirement party to be held for WCPL director

Posted September 9th, 2019 in Uncategorized

Charlotte Parsons, Washington County Public Library System director, retires at the end of September. A retirement party is planned for Sunday, Sept. 29 at 3 p.m., at the main library in Abingdon, Virginia.

Parsons became the library director in 1993. She retires after more than 25 years serving as the director of the Washington County Public Library System. Besides tending to the day-to-day library operations, she oversaw strengthening library services throughout Washington County.  Notable are the enhancement of services and the renovation of space in former school in the Hayters Gap community, renovation of the Peery building in the Glade Spring town square, and construction of a new Damascus Branch which opened in 2012.

The Internet age dawned shortly after Parsons became director, and she led the effort to implement library computer services throughout the county.

She made the decision to be the first public library to join the Holston Associated Libraries consortium where Emory & Henry College, King University, and Tazewell County collaborated on sharing resources.

Parsons also worked to establish the Washington County Public Library Foundation whose ‘A Tisket, A Tasket, A Literary Basket’ became a local popular fundraiser for the library.  Parsons excelled at forming partnerships with other local organizations to benefit library programs and services.

The tagline on Charlotte Parsons email signature is “Libraries Change Lives.” The belief that public libraries make a difference in individual’s lives and the life of a community is seen from her two and a half decades of leadership of public library service.


The retirement party is free and open to the public. Refreshments are served. The event is hosted by the Washington County Public Library Board of Trustees, Washington County Public Library Foundation, Friends of the Washington County Public Library and The Booklovers Club of Washington County, Virginia.

Sunday with Friends: Welch & Gold

Posted September 4th, 2019 in Uncategorized

The “Sunday with Friends” program at the Washington County Public Library, Abingdon, Va., has a special September event featuring the two authors of books on the foster care and adoptions system in the region.  The program is Sunday, Sept. 8, at 3 p.m. in the conference room at the library.

“Fall or Fly” by Dr. Wendy Welch is a compelling glimpse into the complex world of foster care and adoption in modern-day Appalachia. Welch, an ethnographer and journalist, gives a multi-faceted view of the system through the eyes of children, foster parents and caseworkers.

Her work is based on interviews with more than 60 social workers, parents and children who have gone through the foster care system. This pioneering work of journalism explores how compassion, love, money and fear intermingle in what can be described as a marketplace for our nation’s children.

Deborah Gold’s “Counting Down” is a memoir of both the rewards and the daunting challenges of being in a foster family, based on her and her husband’s 15 years of being foster parents. She introduces the reader to a remarkable fellowship of Appalachian foster parents — gay, straight, right, left, evangelical, atheist — united by love and loss.

Appalachian novelist Ron Rash says that “Counting Down” is “beautifully written. It reads like a novel and should be required reading in every child psychology and women’s studies class, and in every education, family law and medical course in the country.”

There will be book sales and signings as well as a reception after the event.


Universal Class

Posted August 28th, 2019 in Uncategorized

Universal Class ButtonWant to learn something new? We’ve got just the thing – Universal Class.

The courses aren’t just tutorials. They include lessons, exams, assignments, discussion boards and assessments of your progress.

You can learn to

  • Paint
  • Use software programs
  • Train dogs
  • Make candles,
  • Expand your language and basic business skills
  • Cook
  • and more

There is a range of accounting courses, alternative medicine, arts, crafts and hobbies, computers, entrepreneurship, finance, general education, health, history, homeschooling, how to, language arts, law, mathematics, office skills, parenting, personal development, pet and animal care, psychology, real estate, science, self-help, social work, special education, spiritual studies, teacher resources, test preparation, web development and writing skills.

The classes aren’t just for personal enrichment. Many of them can be used to help train for a new business or career or just brush up on skills.

All the classes are free. All you need is your WCPL card.



Consumer Reports

Posted August 14th, 2019 in Uncategorized

consumer reports logoScenario: The refrigerator is on its last legs. You want to make sure that you get a quality product for a decent price.

It’s very easy to compare prices online. You can read reviews online, but can you trust them? Many times, they’re written by people who are paid to post them.

So … where do you go for accurate information? Try Consumer Reports, free at the library, both in print and online.

Consumer Reports provides ratings and reviews, recommendations and buying advice for thousands of products and services. It’s been doing so since 1936.

They provide ratings and reviews of products and buying guides. The buying guides walk you through what you should consider when making your decision. It helps walk you through all the options and decide which ones you need, and which ones just sound good.

It can help you narrow down whether you want a top freezer, bottom freezer, side-by-side or French door refrigerator. Do you want a refrigerated drawer, adjustable shelving, door-in-door storage, air purifiers, split shelves or one of the many other options?

CR provides guides on how to take care of your appliances, warnings about unsafe products, alerts about recalls and more.

We keep copies of printed Consumer Reports at the main library for our patrons, or you can use the library’s online access to Consumer Reports and use our user name and password.





Back to School

Posted August 7th, 2019 in Uncategorized

It’s Back to School Time

It’s time to put away the toys of summer and return to the joys of learning.

As kids and teens go back to school, we have many tools to help with classwork – whether at home or at school.

You don’t even have to leave home for many of them.

You can use our website to access databases to help with research papers, class projects and homework. Explora Primary, Kids InfoBits and Salem Press provide access to information from reputable sources. No more wondering if that information you found on the Internet is accurate or not. Just use the sources that these databases provide.

Explora Primary and Explora Public Libraries provide age-appropriate articles, essays and primary source materials for research papers, projects and homework.

Kids InfoBits is an easy-to-use resource featuring age-appropriate, reliable, curriculum-related content covering a range of topics including animals, literature, science, technology, etc.

If you’re studying a language and need a little practice, or just want to learn one on your own, check out Rocket Languages.

Homeschooled kids and their parents can also attend our STEM/STEAM workshops at the main library and branch libraries. During these fun classes, we’ll make amazing creations and learn more about science, technology, electronics, arts and math. Check out our calendar for specific dates.

While kids are in the program creating, the parents or caretakers can learn more about the resources we have to supplement their homeschool materials.

And then there is the most obvious way we can help – visit the library and check out our books and videos. Not only are they helpful for education, but they can provide a wonderful break.



Highlands Book Sale

Posted July 16th, 2019 in Uncategorized

Book SaleIt’s that time of year again – Highlands Festival Book Sale. Our biggest book sale of the year, it runs from July 25 through Aug. 4 in the conference room at the main library, Abingdon, Virginia.

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.

“We’ve had some great donations this year, especially in our local/regional, vintage, Civil War, military and Christmas genres,” says Susan Brown, co-chairman of the book sale committee.  “We’ll probably have some flash sales in some genres, so folks can follow the Washington County Public Library’s social media posts for updates.”

Prices range from 50 cents to $2 for most offerings. Higher value items are specially priced. Books are restocked daily. The Friends ask that visitors who can, bring their own reusable bags to help them become more eco-friendly.  Book sale volunteers also ask that patrons hold donations of books and AV materials, so they can focus on the book sale set up.  Donations are welcome again Monday, Aug. 12.

A preview sale for Friends of the Library only is Thursday, July 25 from 5-8 p.m. Scanning with devices or cell phones isnot permitted at the preview sale. Refreshments are served. 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. 4 when a bag of books is $5.

Debit cards and credit cards are accepted.

Movies in the Square

Posted May 29th, 2019 in Uncategorized

Movies in the SquareSummer is always an exciting time at the library, and this summer we’re bringing back a popular event – Movies in the Square.

It’s our version of a drive-in (remember those), but without the cars.  Join us in the square in downtown Glade Spring when it gets dark – around 9 p.m.

Bring your chair or a blanket to kick back on, bring a picnic if you like. Most importantly bring your sense of wonder. There’s nothing like enjoying a movie outdoors with your friends.

The program is a cooperative effort between the library and the town.

Whatever you do – don’t forget the popcorn.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Friday June 7:  Coco–Rated PG
  • Friday June 14: Ralph Breaks the Internet–Rated PG
  • Friday June 21: A Dog’s Way Home–Rated PG
  • Friday June 28: Hotel Transylvania 3 Summer Vacation–Rated PG
  • Friday July 5: Christopher Robin–Rated PG
  • Friday July 12: Finding Dory–Rated PG
  • Friday July 19: Goosebumps 2–Rated PG
  • Friday July 26: Wonder–Rated PG
  • Friday August 2: Incredibles 2–Rated PG

Trail Days celebration

Posted May 5th, 2019 in Uncategorized

exterior of Damascus libraryThe Friendliest Little Library on the Trail, the Damascus branch library, welcomes hikers and others to Trail Days. Every day of the year, the library provides high-speed Internet to hikers. It also provides a comfortable porch and chairs and a place to store backpacks. The Friends of the Library also keep a rack of free paperback books to take on the trail. Its Visitor Center provides information about local attractions for those who want to take a short break from their hike.

During Trail Days, they develop a variety of events for hikers and celebrants.

This year, the events include movies shown at 2 p.m. from May 13-18.

Kevin Hamed visits the library May 16 at 6 p.m. Hamed is a biology professor at Virginia Highlands Community College and a certified wildlife biologist. He’ll talk about the Eastern Hellbender salamander. Hamed’s research has included the life history of the Tennessee dace, the distraction of the least weasel in Tennessee and the impact of bottle and can litter along forest service roads on small mammals. He and his students are currently studying Southern Appalachian amphibians.

Craft Day is held May 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drop by any time and enjoy one of the projects. Learn to smudge with safe, engage in some Zen coloring or bracelet making. There are even more projects.

At 11 a.m., May 18, Ben Casteel brings his popular Foraging for Edibles program back to the library. He’ll explain which plants on the trail are edible and how to find them. The event begins with instruction and is followed by a hike.


Poetry Celebration

Posted April 16th, 2019 in Uncategorized

Edison Jennings headlines our Sunday with Friends regional poetry celebration April 28 at 3 p.m.

While he has three chapbooks and his poetry has been published in various journals, he still remembers the first poem he ever wrote.

The python’s manners are quite crude.
It squeezes its prey and gulps its food.

Edison Jennings says he was “6, maybe 7, when I wrote that masterpiece. I wrote it just to entertain myself and maybe show off to my parents. They weren’t all that impressed.”

Their initial reaction to his childhood poem didn’t stop Jennings from continuing to express himself and search for meaning through his poetry.

At the poetry celebration, he reads from his two latest chapbooks “A Letter to Greta” and “Small Measures.” He also shares selections from his first chapbook, “Reckoning.” He is joined by regional poets from the Appalachian Center for Poets and Writers including Warren Harris, Rees Shearer, Delilah O’Haynes and Deborah Meacham Ledford.

Jennings earned a Bachelor of Arts while serving on active duty as an enlisted air crewman in the U.S. Navy. After military service, he completed a Master of Fine Arts at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, Swannanoa, North Carolina. He lives in Abingdon, Virginia. His poems have appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, including “Boulevard,” “Kenyon Review,” “Rattle,” “Slate,” “Southern Review,” “Southwest Review,” “Triquarterly,” “Valparaiso Poetry Review” and “Zone 3.”

Copyright 2019 Washington County Public Library System. All rights reserved.