Success Stories

How has the library impacted your life?

​We love to hear your stories about how the library is having a positive impact on your lives, including helpful interactions with our staff and programs that you enjoy.​​​​​​​​

​​​Share Your Story!


Genealogy computer and microfilm machine


A few months ago, I sent VBPL a request for historical information about a local family’s genealogy and land ownership in the Kempsville area. Having worked in libraries myself for over 30 years, I knew a little about reference capabilities and was expecting a fairly simple answer or referral. To say that I was speechless after receiving a response doesn’t do it justice. VBPL’s Sara G. and other staff members searched tax records, property records and more from the 1800’s, all to provide me with a detailed answer. I am proud and very honored to call Sara G. and the VBPL staff library colleagues. Very respectfully,
Connie K. from Oklahoma 


Ryan



I have been using Universal Class through the library, taking online classes like Creative Writing for Beginners. From all of the classes I took, I learned how to write scripts, and how to type and format my books with Google Docs. On June 28, 2021 my book got published. If I hadn't learned about these writing methods, I never would have gotten my book published. Thanks, Virginia Beach Public Library! - Ryan B. 



Four children pouring vinegar into a baking soda volcano



We are a very pro-library family, with four children, ages 10, 8, 6 and 4, and I am so proud of Virginia Beach Public Library for going Fine Free for Kids! This program is a gift for kids and parents alike and will go a long way in promoting a love of reading! As a homeschooling family who uses VBPL as a curriculum source, we are particularly grateful. We have a regular library day each week that the kids look forward to; choosing their own books, checking out themselves, keeping track of their checkouts, and returning the items by themselves teaches them independence and responsibility. The wide variety of books and resources available (like hoopla and Take Home Tech) broadens our curriculum options and enriches our home education in a way we would otherwise not be able to afford. Thank you, VBPL! -Katy C. 


Charlotte and her egg carton seedlings

Our family just loves the Seed Library, especially my daughter Charlotte. Her Nana collected several months of seeds from the Princess Anne Library and when Charlotte was finished with school this year, we planted them all in cardboard egg cartons. She is so excited to take care of them and replant them when they are large enough. The seed packets came with helpful information for planting and Charlotte learned all about the life cycle of a plant and also what they need to grow - sun, water, & soil! Thank you, VBPL, for this wonderful opportunity!  -Jennifer C. 



Teen displaying ox painting


Our family has really enjoyed the virtual craft programs VBPL offered in recent months. The Teen Paint Night celebrating Lunar New Year wasdefinitely a favorite and my son loves his Year of the Ox painting! The clocks made from old CDs were so fun to create and ours now functions as our 'virtual classroom' clock. My favorite was the Alma Thomas and Her Art program using the many colorful mosaic tiles. I actually used the finished creation as part of a Valentine's Day gift for my son. We are excited to see what's in store for the spring and truly appreciate all the wonderful VBPL hosts!  - Brittany C. 



3 people posiong infront of a bridge

The Reading Road Trip was a blast in 2020! Despite the pandemic, I went on epic road trips to Spain, Paris, China, UK, Cuba, Savanna, Tangier Island, Sweden and so many more exciting places! All thanks to Virginia Beach Public Library. For real life travel, I do a majority of planning our trips using travel guides from VBPL. (Rick Steves is the best!!) I have such fond memories of going to Bayside library in the early 80’s with my mom and choosing picture book after picture book, and then going there in the late 80’s and rifling through microfiche after microfiche for school reports. Thanks for being there along the ride, VBPL! -Mindi M. 


Unitra



"I chose to enroll in Career Online High School so I could finish my high school diploma; that accomplishment was important to me. I gained knowledge from the program and learned steps to successfully pursue a career. While I'm staying home now due to COVID-19 to be with my son who is in kindergarten online, my plans are to go into Corrections while I attend college for Criminal Justice. Thank you for the opportunity, Career Online High School!"  -Unitra L.




Two completed spooky paintings on display


“I love that the library is offering virtual classes during this crazy time, and that they have adult options! With two toddlers, COVID and no family nearby, date nights are harder to schedule. But the virtual Spooky Painting class allowed us to have a creative date night in. It was fun to create together and you can't beat free! We will be keeping an eye out for other adult crafting classes. Thank you VBPL for an amazing date night!” - Erin J.


Person holding up the book "Gemina" by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


“I recently saw a post about thanking library workers! I have been one of those people posting videos and pictures without thanking my local library workers. I am beyond grateful for the VBPL library workers! I have been going to the same library since I was a kid and the library workers have been helping me renew my library card, find my holds, and search for books for years. For goodness sakes, I wrote my college essay about my local library! All the library workers have been so kind every time I come to pick up my stack of books. I could never express enough gratitude for the librarians working in the summer heat to provide pickup services during these tough times. Libraries are beautiful places, and they would not be possible without the librarians and volunteers who make them function. Don't forget to thank your local library workers!”- Ciara V. 



Anne-Marie



"Just thinking about how differently my life might have turned out were it not for our local public library growing up. It as a safe and nurturing space within walking distance of home, air conditioned in summer, with so many books inside. Thanks, VBPL!  -Anne-Marie A. 



Cassandra in graduation cap and gown




"I just wanted to thank you for the life-changing experience of Career Online High School. Since obtaining my high school diploma (with a career certificate in Homeland Security), I went to TCC and gained my Medical Assistant certification. I now have decided to go back to college and become a nurse and I hope to start school in July to become an LPN. I'm trying to take full advantage of the opportunities given to me. I would advise people who are considering furthering their education to never give up! No matter how old you are, or what life has thrown your way, dream big! "You can't be what you can't see" by Marian Wright Edelman is a quote I live by. Thank you for this program and this opportunity; it truly changed my life." -Cassandra G. 





Child holding books


"When Sadie was little, we attended all the library classes; she just adored visiting the library. Once she started attending school, she missed the library visits and we made it a point to go weekly. We would check out 30 books at a time and consume them within the week! Every Saturday, we were back at the library getting new books. For her birthday, I said, “We can go anywhere. Where do you want to go?” She 
responded, “the library!” It was her favorite place in the world - that is until we couldn’t go anymore because of the coronavirus pandemic. Sadie quickly went through all the books we had at home and started rereading chapter books. She longed for the library and new books. Then I remembered all the valuable resources available online! She quickly began downloading and returning books daily. She easily reads between one and two chapter books from the digital library every day. We are so thankful for Virginia Beach libraries! --Kimberly C.

Family of four




"VBPL,  I just want to say thank you for all the services you provide and all the help you have been to our family. We go to the Kempsville branch weekly but also visit other branches for different events and activities. My daughter loves your Teen Time, art classes, Knitting for a Cause and so many more. She is hoping to volunteer there when you all reopen! My son loves your comic book section, Brick Builders and Pokémon club. You were amazing during the remodel, letting us pick up holds at the Treasury Office. VBPL has become a part of our family and we dearly miss seeing the kind faces at Kempsville and other branches. I know you all are doing all you can, and I appreciate getting to keep my books until you reopen! Thank you for being such a lifeline to so many families. Looking forward to browsing the shelves very soon!" -- Jennifer N. 


Three children reading



"Every week or two I take my kiddos to the library. They all love looking at books and having me read to them. It's awesome that the library offers programs and incentives for children (and adults!). The kiddos especially look forward to the Summer Reading Challenge! They get rewarded for doing something they already do! It's so easy to keep track of books we read by logging onto the library website. When we go in to get more books, the assistants are able to log on to view everyone's progress. Everyone gets their reward, then we go get more books!! I usually let them play for a few minutes afterwards. They don't even mind when it's time to leave because they know we'll come home to read those books!" -- Rhonda ​






Group of eight Rowdy Library Ladies

“I want to let you know how much I appreciate your librarians. I frequent Bayside Area Library and the Central Library with a group of friends; we call ourselves the Rowdy Library Ladies. At Bayside, we come every Tuesday for Coloring for Adults. Cathy H. makes sure that the room is set up and supplies are provided. She will even provide us with themed coloring sheets for holidays and such. She’s never without a smile and is truly a sweetheart. At Central Library, we’ve been coming to play games like dominoes, Left Center Right, UNO and Skip-Bo for about 3 years now and Kris M., Dotsy H., Susan H. and Sara G. are a joy to see each time. These ladies brighten my visits and each goes above and beyond to see that we have a wonderful time. I just want to thank them for all they do!” – Joan 



Six friends at a table

"The Virginia Beach Public Library brought my book club together. Our members all differ in the way we like to read the chosen book- some like to download it from OverDrive onto their e-readers, others like to check out a physical copy and some like to listen to it on Hoopla. Through the library we have the opportunity to branch out in our choices of books and discover new reading material. This has helped improve our book discussion and most importantly, strengthen our friendship. Thank you VBPL for being a great resource for local book clubs!" – Stephanie 

Child sitting on an adult's lap looking at a book



"My son and I visit the library on an almost weekly basis. We enjoy looking through the shelves, and picking several books to read throughout the week. He also participates in the Summer Reading program, which I believe has increased his reading abilities and allowed him to explore and gain new interests.  also enjoy looking through the shelves, and often find interesting reads to enjoy." – Kalie


Exterior picture of the Kempsville Area Library


​"We moved to Virginia Beach when our first child was five months old. A month later, I signed her up for 'Rhyme Time' library storytime with Miss Amy (at Kempsville Area Library), and every week we enjoyed singing, dancing, reading, signing, and picking out books at the library. It was there that I was able to make friends for both my daughter ​and myself, which led to play dates, shared birthday parties, and lots of fun together. We have since moved away from Virginia Beach and we now have eight children, but the friendships we made at story time and with our VAB librarians have continued to this day. We are so thankful for the investment they made in our family." - Kirsten


 Family of three


"I moved here from a smaller town in a different state & was amazed at the amount of programs the library offers for free here. We have favorite staff at several locations & we sign up for kid programs every session! The library has helped me meet other moms in our kids' classes, taught my husband & I about the 3D printer, & offered lessons as I homeschool. We are so thankful for the library & it's many programs!" – Angel 



Baby biting plastic dinosaur




​"My little guy loves his toy he got from the summer reading program! Thank you guys so much for putting this on!! … I love the libraries." – Rachael, mother of 2½-year-old Logan and 1-year-old Corbin (pictured)