Essex Public Library

Library Updates

Library Lovers’ Bingo Fundraiser

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Ad for Bingo Event

Want to show some love for your community library? Join the Friends of the Essex Library for Library Lovers’ Bingo on Saturday, February 8, at 2:00 p.m. at Old Beale Sanctuary, located at 202 S. Church Lane in Tappahannock. The cost is $15, paid at the door. Entry includes 12 Bingo games and light refreshments.

Prizes include a range of fun experiences, food and entertainment, donated by local businesses and organizations, including the Essex County Museum, To-Do Cafe, Ingleside Winery, 17 South Restaurant, and themed gift baskets.

February is National Library Lovers Month, so it’s time to show your library some love and win some lovely prizes during this fun Bingo event.

Funds raised by the Friends of the Essex Library support special library programs and events serving Essex County and the greater Tappahannock community.

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Feb. 8 Presentation on Green Book Businesses of the Middle Peninsula

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A special presentation scheduled on February 8 will focus on historic local businesses listed in “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” a publication which listed businesses that served African Americans during the Jim Crow era. This lecture will take place on Saturday, February 8 at 11:00 a.m. at Essex Public Library, located at 117 North Church Lane in Tappahannock.

Published annually from 1936 to 1966, The Green Book enabled African-American travelers to find lodging, restaurants, and other businesses that would serve them along the road.

Representatives from the Fairfield Foundation and architectural historian Susan Hellman will share their research about Green Book businesses in our region.

Those who are familiar with any of the following local businesses are invited to attend the presentation and share their recollections:

  • Middlesex County: Oliver’s Restaurant and Texaco Station at Jamaica; G. L. Davis Service Station and Midway Auto Repair at Stormont.
  • Essex County: Mark Haven Beach at Center Cross; Sessons Tavern at Caret; McGuire’s Inn, Harris’ Grill, and Way Side Inn at Tappahannock.
  • West Point: White’s Restaurant and Barber Shop, Morton’s Restaurant, and Jordan’s Enterprises.
  • Gloucester: W.J. Stokes Restaurant, Watkins Motel, and Watkins Florist.

This event is sponsored by Essex Public Library, The Fairfield Foundation, and Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical and Historical Society.

For more information, call Essex Public Library at (804) 443-4945

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Fall 2019 Evening with a Writer

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Ribbons of Scarlet Book Cover

Date: October 18, 2019
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Essex Inn, Tappahannock, Virginia
Cost: $35

The Friends of Essex Public Library invite you to the Fall 2019 Evening with a Writer, featuring three authors of the anticipated new historical novel Ribbons of Scarlet. The book’s six authors bring to life six diverse female characters whose paths cross during the French Revolution. The result is an epic novel illuminating the power of women to change the world.

Three authors, Laura Kamoie, Heather Webb, and Sophie Perinot, will be the event’s guest speakers. The evening’s festivities will be held at the Essex Inn in Tappahannock. Tickets are $35 and are available for purchase at Essex Public Library or online at:

The ticket price includes a glass of wine and French hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are limited and must be purchased no later than Wednesday, October 9. Proceeds benefit Essex Public Library.

A book signing will follow the authors’ reading and discussion. Copies of the book will be available for sale.


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Stuffed Animals Invited for a Sleepover on May 4th

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It’s well known that stuffed animals enjoy a good story. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week, Essex Public Library will host a Stuffed Animal Sleepover the evening of Friday, May 3.  Community stuffed animals are invited for an evening of games, crafts and stories before being tucked in for a giant sleepover.

Children are welcome to drop off stuffed animals between 3:00 and 6:00 on Friday, May 3rd.  The sleepover will end on Saturday, May 4 at 10:30 during a special storytime where children will find out what things their stuffed animals have been up to.

Photo of Ms. Beth with Stuffed Bear


Owners of stuff animals will be asked to register their friends at the front desk during drop-off so that the staff can be properly introduced to them.  It can be hard to choose which particular stuffed animal you want to bring, but it’s very important to remember that it should feel comfortable spending an entire night away from you.  We really don’t want any of our friends at our sleepover party getting homesick in the middle of the night!

Because Ms. Beth needs to know just how much pizza to order for all the stuffed animals, registration is required.  Call Essex Public Library at 443-4945 or e-mail

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Best of 2018 Staff Picks

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We see thousands of books move across our service desk each year at Essex Public Library. As big-time book lovers, we discover many fresh favorites as they hit our shelves, and of course we also hear about lots of great reads from our library users. At the end of 2018, we took a little time to reflect on our year of reading. We created a list of seven favorites, and we hope that one of these books will become a favorite for you in the new year.

Circe by Madeline Miller

You don’t need to be a classics scholar to enjoy this mythical retelling from the Greek goddess Circe’s point of view. Mounting rivalries among Circe’s powerful family and her encounters with mythical creatures add drama and suspense. Circe’s voice is warm and intimate, yet her sweeping story stretches across countless years. This novel, ultimately a celebration of humanity, will remind you why these myths are so enduring.

Don’t You Ever: My Mother and Her Secret Son
by Mary Carter Bishop

In this compelling memoir, Mary Carter Bishop explores deep family secrets after discovering that she had a half-brother who was given up at birth in a home for unwed mothers, the result of their mother’s shameful youthful “mistake.” Bishop’s powerful story explores themes of guilt and fate, and the Central Virginia setting makes Don’t You Ever especially interesting to our local reading audience.

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
by Leslie Connor

This novel was written for middle grade readers, but both kids and adults will find twelve-year-old protagonist Mason Buttle a remarkably memorable character. Mason is the biggest, sweatiest kid in school, and he has a learning disability. When he finds his best friend dead at the base of their tree fort, things get even worse. Written with sensitivity and compassion, The Truth Told as Told by Mason Buttle is a heartwarming story about resilience and love.

An American Marriage
by Tayari Jones

As one of Oprah’s 2018 Book Club picks, An American Marriage isn’t exactly an under-the-radar choice for our list, but it deserves the attention. The story centers on a modern African-American newlywed couple, Celestial and Roy, ripped apart by terrible and unexpected circumstances when Roy is wrongfully convicted of a crime Celestial knows he did not commit. This intimate novel is a striking portrait of the ensuing devastation of their marriage and family

Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Waterman of Vanishing Tangier Island
by Earl Swift

Chesapeake Requiem is a respectful study of the past, present, and tenuous future of Chesapeake Bay’s Tangier Island and its residents, mainly families who have been rooted on the island for generations. But Tangier Island is disappearing. The proof is everywhere and mounting each year. As the graves of their ancestors are washed out by the tide, Tangier’s residents battle to maintain the only way of life they know. Here is more excellent nonfiction which will have high appeal for our region.

A Princess in Theory
by Alyssa Cole

Romance readers should not miss Alyssa Cole’s “Reluctant Royals” series, which begins with A Princess in Theory. In this delightful and steamy contemporary royal romance, our heroine Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairytales. Emails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince have been interrupting her busy life as a grad school student with multiple jobs. She, of course, deletes them. But the ever-dutiful Prince Thabiso is willing to go to great lengths to track down his betrothed. Can this city Cinderella find happiness with Prince Charming?

The Word Is Murder
by Anthony Horowitz

The brilliant Anthony Horowitz dazzles readers in this inventive mystery in which he centers a fictional version of himself as the ghostwriting “Watson” to a modern-day “Holmes.” His Holmes is an eccentric, disgraced London investigator named Daniel Hawthorne, who asks Horowitz to write a book about him. Together, they investigate the death of a woman who walks into a funeral parlor to arrange her own funeral and then is murdered six hours later. As the murder suspects are revealed, readers will find the testy relationship between Horowitz and Hawthorne just as intense as the unraveling murder plot.


We wish you lots of good reading in 2019. Happy New Year from Essex Public Library!

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  • Hours

    Monday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Tuesday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Thursday: 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
    Friday: 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    Saturday: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Sunday: Closed

  • Location

    Essex Public Library
    117 North Church Lane
    Tappahannock, VA 22560

    Phone: 804-443-4945

  • About Essex County

    Essex County

    Town of Tappahannock

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