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

Glade Spring Library

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

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

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

Sunday with Friends: Mark Powell

Posted February 19th, 2019 in Uncategorized

Sunday with Friends hosts Mark Powell, author of “Small Treasons,” Sunday, Feb. 24 at 3 p.m.

Please note: This event is held at the Community Center of Abingdon NOT at the main library. The event was moved because of the renovations at the library.

About the book:

Powell brings his acclaimed eye to an American marriage on the verge of rupture, spinning an all-too-current tale of the world we live in and the world we fear—and how we may not be able to tell the two apart.

Tess Maynard is coming apart. At home with her three young children in her husband’s Georgia hometown, people keep asking if she’s depressed, if she and John are okay.

Secretly, she’s becoming obsessed with the war on terror—an ISIS beheading video in particular. Something about the victim’s captivity on the computer screen resonates with her. Something inside of her demands endless prayers for a world gone mad.

The carefully constructed life of her husband is likewise beginning to unravel. Now a college counselor, John’s former life bears persistently into the present. Once a contractor at a CIA black site that interrogated suspected terrorists—and one innocent civilian—he is given a choice by the Justice Department: either help with a problem in the homeland, or they investigate.

Forced by an old colleague to spy on a new one, John’s experiences abroad come home to roost in Georgia. For his wife, for his family, he goes along with the game. But just as he and Tess work to salvage their life together, the world comes between them in the form of a young man slowly being radicalized by the professor John is reporting on.

In a moment Tess imagined and never wanted to see, the intersection of their three lives is as devastating as the bomber’s explosion of hate and metal, and as inevitable as the battle between powers great and personal.

About the author:

Powell’s work includes “Prodigals,” “Blood Kin,” “The Dark Corner,” “The Sheltering” and “Small Treasons.”

He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, Sewanee Writers’ Conference and in 2014 was a Fulbright Fellow to Slovakia.

In 2009, he received the Chaffin Award for contributions to Appalachian literature. He holds degrees from Yale Divinity School, the University of South Carolina and the Citadel. He teaches creative writing and contemporary fiction at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina.

Sunday with Friends: Bill Sizemore

Posted February 13th, 2019 in Uncategorized

Sunday with Friends hosts Bill Sizemore, author of “Uncle George and Me: Two Southern Families Confront a Shared Legacy of Slavery.”

Please note: This event is held at the Community Center of Abingdon NOT at the main library. The event was moved because of the renovations at the library.

Journalist and author Sizemore spent eight years researching and writing the story of his slave-owning Virginia ancestors, their slaves, and the descendants of those slaves.

His great-great-great-grandfather was a small-time tobacco farmer in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. In contrast to large planters with hundreds of slaves, he was far more typical: He owned fewer than 20. The book traces the lives of generations of African-Americans who descended from his slaves, up to the present day. In microcosm, it is the story of Virginia and the South from the slavery era through the Civil War, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, the civil rights era, and the continued racial disparities of our time.

Thousands – if not millions – of American families on both sides of the color line spring from similar roots, but theirs is a seldom told story – perhaps due to a sort of self-induced amnesia, a defense mechanism to avoid confronting a painful past.

This book is an attempt to overcome that amnesia and thereby stimulate a biracial dialogue about slavery and its crippling legacy, which continues to bedevil the nation today.

Sizemore is retired from the Virginian Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2007, he has written about topics as varied as stage government and politics, the private military contractor Blackwater, the televangelist Pat Robertson and Virginia prison-building boom.

Hosted by the Friends of the Library, book sale/signing follows.


Universal Class

Posted January 3rd, 2019 in Uncategorized

Universal Class ButtonWe are excited about our new online learning tool – Universal Class. We know that phrase sounds a little geeky – but we don’t really care. We recognize a fun way to learn something new when we see it. And this is it.

It is jam packed with online classes – just for fun and for work/school. Classes may include videos, assignments and even tests. You can take up to five classes at one time. The classes are self-guided and instructor-led, so you can go at your own pace and talk with an  instructor via email.

You earn a certificate when you complete some classes.  Universal Class is also accredited as an authorized provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training.

We offer classes in multiple categories. Some categories are alternative medicine, accounting, crafts and hobbies, pets, business, career training, real estate, languages, history, web development, computer programs, psychology and many more.

All you need is a library card, which we’ll be happy to give you if you need one. If you don’t have a computer or Internet, just visit one of our libraries. We’ll be happy to let you use ours.




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.


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