News & Events

New Petersburg library closer to becoming a reality

PETERSBURG – The city is closer than ever to having a new – if slightly reduced in scale – library.

Last night, City Council voted 6-0 with Mayor Brian Moore abstaining, to approve seeking $5 million in general obligation bonds to assist in funding the construction of the library.

During a presentation from the director of library services for the city, Wayne Crocker said that the Petersburg Library Foundation has been working to raise the necessary money to build the new library at an estimated cost for Phase I – the main library building – of $10.6 million.

Phase II, which includes an auditorium space, can be built at a later date for an estimated cost of $2.5 million. The auditorium space was included in the original concept for the new library, which will be built at the corner of Washington and Market streets.

Gil Entzminger of Enteros Design, said that the auditorium is the only change to the plans for the library, which still includes a rotunda, several large meeting rooms, gallery space, an outdoor water feature, and lots of large windows for natural light.

“It’s always a pleasure to come and talk to you about the library,” said Bob Walker, chairman of the Petersburg Library Foundation.

Crocker added that the foundation has been constantly amazed by the amount of community support for the new library, including spare change drives in the city’s schools, more than 700 individual donors, businesses and civic organizations bringing the goal of a library well within reach.

“We have a couple of financial institutions that are really close to getting us there,” Walker said. He added that the project is a little less than $500,000 away from being able to start the project as soon as April 30.

While construction will start without the auditorium, it is still something Walker said he is passionate about after seeing some of the programs that the library offers to children.

“I feel that the auditorium is still necessary and a really important feature,” Walker said. He added that currently the library does programs for 300 to 400 children at times, but must use off-site locations, including churches and Union Station because there isn’t enough room at the library. “It think it’s really important that young children, not just in Petersburg, but across the nation, learn to love their library. That’s where they learn to love reading.”

City Manager William E. Johnson III said that a revised memorandum of understanding between the city and the Library Foundation will be brought back to council for consideration no later than the March 20 City Council meeting.

Council approved seeking the general obligation bonds, which could be issued for up to a 30-year term to pay for the new library, on a 6-0 vote on a motion by Councilman Howard Myers. Moore abstained from the vote because he is a member of the Library Foundation Board.

Progress-Index–  F.M. Wiggins may be reached at 804-732-3456, ext. 3254 or

Petersburg Public Library thanks those who helped with African-American Read-In

To the Editor:

The Petersburg Public Library, William R. McKenney Central Branch, participated in the 23rd National African-American Read-In on Tuesday, Feb. 14. This event was first sponsored in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English. In 1991, the National Council of Teachers of English joined in the sponsorship, and the Read-In has been endorsed by the International Reading Association. Over 1 million readers from around the world have participated in this event. The solitary goal of the Read-In is to make the celebration of African American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities.

The Petersburg Public Library would like to thank the following individuals for participating in this event as readers: Sorena Campbell, Mary Chandler, Addie Eliades, Elizabeth Hilbert, Laura Ingram, Cierra Johnson, Brittany Jones, Breyanna Kelly, Ashley Roberts, Erin Sweet, Sydney Sylvester, Destiny Taylor, Sidney Tilghman, Hannah Bracey, Brenna Geraghty, She’ryl Harper, Tynisha Smith, Catherine Turner, William Miles, Ashley James, Candria Hicks, Lynsey Freeman, India Burns, Ashia Elder, Jasmine Davis, Patricia Smith, Beverly McLaughlin, Curtis Russell, Brian Moore, Nigel France, Alex Newsom, Brandon Johnson, Sharon Mallory, Willie Bell, Jr., Willis McCombs, Jimmy Clark, Andrew Farrar, Calvin Farr, Mary Ann Bailey, Johna Vasquez, Ernest Shaw, Elsie Weatherington, Patricia Diaw, Carl Matthews, Alvera Parrish, Shannon Smith, Regina Kearney, Ken Pritchett, Dona Edmondson.The Petersburg Public Library would also like to offer our heartfelt appreciation of the many individuals who attended and supported this event as listeners.

 The works read were at times thought-provoking, lighthearted, dramatic, and inspiring. Petersburg Public Library is proud to sponsor programs and events which promote and support literacy throughout the City of Petersburg.

Janet Sullivan, Library Assistant

Petersburg Public Library

Scores hold Read-In at Petersburg Public Library

Ashley James, a student at ARG, reads as the African-American Read-In hosted Tuesday at the Petersburg Public Library as part of Black History Month.

PETERSBURG – As part of Black History Month, more than 50 people participated this week in the 23rd annual African American Read-In at the headquarters of the Petersburg Public Library.

Diana Watts, children’s coordinator for the library, said that the purpose behind the event is to “keep someone reading all day long.” Readers are asked to read selections from African-American authors.

Nationally, the read-in day can take place on any day in the month of February, according to the backing organization, the National Council of Teachers of English – the most important part though is to have an event.

According to the website for the National Council of Teachers of English, the first African American Read-In was sponsored by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1990. A year later, the National Council of Teachers of English joined in the sponsorship. The Read-In has been endorsed by the International Reading Association. Over a million readers of all ethnic groups, from 50 states, the District of Columbia, the West Indies, and African countries have participated. The goal is to make the celebration of African-American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month. 

Among the participants at the Petersburg event Tuesday were Mayor Brian Moore, Sheriff Vanessa Crawford and students from the Appomattox Regional Governors School.

Moore said that he felt the event is an important one, especially to be hosted at the Petersburg Library where much of the local civil rights movement was focused. In fact, the room where the read-in event took place was off limits to African Americans prior to desegregation.

“A lot of the national civil rights leaders also came from Petersburg,” Moore said. “Where a lot of us are today wouldn’t have been imaginable in that time.”


F.M. Wiggins may be reached at 804-732-3456, ext. 3254 or

Petersburg Public Library System expanding services

Progress-Index, Published: February 15, 2012

PETERSBURG – Petersburg Public Library System has expanded its services with audiobooks, eBooks, music, and video, available to download from the library’s website. Library card holders can check out and download digital media anytime, anywhere by visiting .

Users may browse the library’s website, check out with a valid library card, and download to PC, Mac®, and many mobile devices. Users will need to install free software. For audiobooks, music, and video: OverDrive® Media Console™.

To read eBooks, users will need Adobe® Digital Editions. Titles can be enjoyed immediately or transferred to a variety of devices, including iPod®, Sony® Reader™, and many others. Some audio titles can also be burned to CD to listen on-the-go. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period. There are no late fees.

“We are very excited about bringing e-books to Petersburg. More and more people are getting on the e-reader bandwagon, so we see this as a necessary move to stay relevant. We also hope that we can expand our patron base by bringing our library outside of the physical walls that have constrained us until now,” says Dana Cragg, Adult & Circulation Services librarian.

This new service, powered by OverDrive, is free for patrons with their library card. To get started downloading audiobooks, eBooks, and more, visit .

In addition to offering this new service, Petersburg Public Library also offers Kindles for circulation. These devices can be checked out for 14 days, and come preloaded with titles that are updated on a regular basis. Kindles are available only at the William R. McKenney Central Branch located at 137 South Sycamore St.

Petersburg Public Library cards are issued at all branches and are free to any person living in or owning property within the city limits of Petersburg, as well as to armed service personnel and their dependents.

Residents of Chesterfield County, or an area served by the Appomattox Regional Library System, may receive a Petersburg Public Library card at no charge.

For more information regarding the Petersburg Public Library System, visit

Site Prep Work Begins!

Crews are preparing to begin the installation of the storm sewage system.

At the site of the new Petersburg Public Library, you can see the materials to be used in adding additional storm sewer lines!

Website Design By