Libraries’ “Books on the Beach” Wins Innovative Outreach Award

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

​Virginia Beach Public Library's Books on the Beach program, which brings library services to Virginia Beach residents and visitors at the boardwalk during summer, received the Innovative Outreach Award at the Virginia Public Library Directors Association (VPLDA) annual conference held in Syria, Virginia in late April. Library Director Eva Poole accepted the award on behalf of Virginia Beach Public Library.

From June through August 2015, VBPL staff rode bikes from the Oceanfront Area Library branch to the boardwalk in pairs, four days per week, two hours per day. The goal for Books on the Beach was for library staff to interact with Virginia Beach residents and vacationers in a non-traditional setting, and to provide them with information about library services as well as to give them free, gently used books to read for pleasure while at the beach. At the end of summer, VBPL staff had spoken with more than 2,300 people, promoting library card sign ups, programs and services, including free Wi-Fi, and delivered more than 3,000 gently used books to beachgoers.

VBPL will again offer Books on the Beach during summer 2016, from June through August. Library staff members will bike it to the boardwalk with books from 9 to 10 a.m., Monday through Thursday. Stops are planned between the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier and 17th Street Park. The Friends of Virginia Beach Public Library provided funding for a new, industrial bicycle for 2016 as well as t-shirts and caps for staff.

About Virginia Beach Public Library
A community anchor for more than 50 years, Virginia Beach Public Library includes a central library, a joint-use library in partnership with Tidewater Community College, seven area libraries and a public law library. Services include workforce development and job-search support, small business resources, computer and technology classes, early literacy classes and outreach, and local history archives and programs. In addition to books, music, magazines and movies in tangible and digital formats, the library provides online research tools accessible from home or work, and a variety of specialty collections. Visit for more information.

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