Middlesex County Public Library, Inc.
P.O. Box 189
Urbanna VA 23175
Mission Statement

The mission of the Middlesex County Public Library is to provide timely and appropriate materials and services to meet the educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs of our community in an efficient, friendly and dependable manner.

CEO/Executive Director Ralph Gerald Oppenheim
Board Chair Thomas Llewellyn Samuel
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired attorney
Contact Information
Address P.O. Box 189
Urbanna, VA 23175
Telephone 804 758-5717
Fax 804 758-5910
E-mail oppenheim.mcplva@gmail.com
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1986
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $296,060.00
Projected Expenses $254,383.00

The mission of the Middlesex County Public Library is to provide timely and appropriate materials and services to meet the educational, informational, cultural and recreational needs of our community in an efficient, friendly and dependable manner.

Impact Those who think of the Middlesex County Public Library as a just couple of small rural library buildings staffed by friendly people and blessed by a good collection of books and other material couldn't be more wrong! The Library is much more than that. The Library plays an important role in building a strong, vibrant community by connecting people with ideas. Particularly through our programming we create a public cultural crossroads where people of all walks of life can meet in a non-commercial setting. That opportunity is all too rare today.
                We're proud of the impact our children's programming makes. We've created a literacy-rich environment where children can discover the joy of reading and learning. Our story hours, summer reading program and special events are components in developing critical early literacy skills. School readiness is a primary focus.
                We try to engage adults in intriguing experiences through a diversity of programming.
                Access to the Internet has become indispensable to functioning in today's society. For example, applying for jobs and government benefits online is often the only avenue. We provide the only Internet access available to a large number of county residents. Our computers have become a vital resource connecting residents to the to the online media that supports social activities and lifelong learning.

We need more patrons! We've got an excellent little pair of libraries. Our collections are becoming top notch. What we'd like to see are more people who recognize the value of the Middlesex County Public Library. We need to get the word out to the uninitiated that the Library offers helpful staff, excellent programs, and great material. Our circulation statistics indicate that we check out lots of books to our patrons.  We'd like to see more people checking out our material. We'd like to see more people come to our programs. Once more residents recognize the Library as a primary cultural asset we'll receive more support. More support translates into more volunteers, more programs, and all the things that more money can provide. But we don't necessarily need to be a bigger library. We do, however, aspire to be a better library. 

The Middlesex County Public Library is celebrating its centennial this year! We trace our roots back to 1915, when fifteen ladies formed a book club. The books were signed on the fly leaf when borrowed and returned. The Urbanna Library was created in 1927 and a library funded by the U.S. Works Administration (WPA) was formed in Deltaville during the 1930s. The latter was discontinued in the 1940s. In the 1950s, the Deltaville Library was reorganized by two ladies who traveled throughout the community with books to lend in their cars. Library service was discontinued once again until volunteers reorganized a library in the 1980s.

Under the guidance of the Virginia State Library, the Urbanna Library and the Deltaville Library merged in 1987 as the Middlesex County Public Library, Inc. (MCPL). It was organized as, and remains a, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. MCPL is one of thirteen independent public libraries in Virginia. While MCPL receives State Aid and support from Middlesex County and the Town of Urbanna, we are heavily dependent upon the generous support of individuals in the community. 
In the early 1990s, MCPL conducted a capital campaign which raised over $700,000 by public subscription. Funding sources included pledges and donations from individuals and corporations, as well as grants from Middlesex County, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federal Government. With this money the Board built a new branch in Urbanna and extensively renovated a former drug store in Deltaville. Both facilities opened in 1993. 
Together the two branches house a collection of over 54,000 items, including rare books, a book collection of Middlesex County and Virginia history and genealogy, a Chesapeake Bay collection, children’s and adult books. We have magazines, newspapers and books on CDs and DVDs. E-Audiobooks and eBooks can be downloaded from the Library’s website. Both branches offer Wi-Fi. In 2011, over 38,000 items were checked out and we had 35,000 patron visits. Six computers are available for public use at each branch. In addition to the services expected of a modern public library, MCPL sponsors a variety of community activities and is recognized as a principal cultural resource in Middlesex County. The Library is well-known for the diverse programming it presents. We offer children’s Story Times at the Urbanna branch and at various sites around the County. MCPL sponsors a Summer Reading Program for children ages 4-12.
CEO Statement I’m pretty sure that the first thing that will strike you when you visit either branch of the Middlesex County Public Library is the friendliness of the staff. I’m pretty sure you’ll be greeted when you enter the building. There’s no need for a tour guide or a floor plan to figure out where you are. Both branches are small and the staff is eager to help you find what you’re looking for. You may be a boater back on shore after being at sea for weeks eager to check your email. We get plenty of boating people. If you are a boater, you might want to know about our Chesapeake Room at the Deltaville Branch which has extensive holdings of books about sailing and power boating.  Middlesex County was settled around 1640, so if you’re interested in history you’ll find plenty here. The Urbanna Branch has bookcases filled with local history and genealogy resources.

If you’re a child, you’re in luck! We’ve got computers loaded with children’s games and programs. Our staff provides three public story hours every week at the Urbanna Branch, the YMCA and at the Urbanna Methodist Church. During the summer there’s an active Summer Reading Program with crafts and activities. And most every week during the summer there are even professional entertainers. 

So, what will be the second thing to strike you when you visit our libraries? Perhaps it might be our book collections. We have an outstanding children’s collection. We have a fine periodical collection at the Urbanna Branch and are improving our fiction and nonfiction holdings every day. And, if you don’t find a title you’re looking for just ask one of the staff. We’ll either purchase it or borrow it through Interlibrary Loan. There are no book stores or even news stands in Middlesex County. The Library is the only source for literature in the County. That makes us a pretty popular place in the community. We’re important to the community now, and will remain important in the future.

Areas of Service
Areas Served
Middlesex County
We serve the needs of the Middlesex County communities. We also serve the needs of anyone who enters our branches. We do not deny anyone access to our resources. Anyone who wishes to borrow materials can obtain a membership card as long as they have adequate identification.
Board Chair
Board Chair Thomas Llewellyn Samuel
Company Affiliation Retired attorney
Term Jan 2014 to Dec 2017
Email tls19@verizon.net
Board of Directors
Board Members
Parker T Boggs Retired
Susan Chaney Retired
Chyrel Coloff Retired
Connie Harris Vanderbilt University
Mary Elizabeth Hoinkes Community Volunteer
Carol King Retired
Joalyn Mullins Retired
Jean Rhame Retired
Robert Todd Retired
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 2
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 0
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? No
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Ralph Gerald Oppenheim
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 5
Volunteers 60
Contractors 0
Organization has a Strategic Plan?
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Outstanding Library Director Award - Ralph OppenheimVirginia Public Library Directors Association2013
CEO/ED/Board Comments
           There are two well-known challenges that all public libraries face today. First, is finding adequate funding to continue programs. Second, are the costs and the struggle to keep up with the demands to remain current with the libraries’ ever-changing technological needs.
           The Middlesex County Public Library, needless to say, shares these challenges which are both frustrating and exciting. We recognize that as a small library in a sparsely populated County we will never be able to be at the cutting edge of technology. This is a perfectly acceptable state.
           The greatest challenge we face is the danger of becoming irrelevant to the members of the community who share a common culture of literacy. Technology has encouraged readers to obtain content from online booksellers. Even the library itself unintentionally encourages readers to stay away from the library by providing content that can only be downloaded from outside the library building. Library-provided databases and Internet search engines satisfy nearly all of these peoples’ information needs and can be accessed from the comfort of home. When the library competes with the living room, the living room generally wins.
           If the library is to survive it will have to compete in the marketplace of ideas by providing programs that are not available anywhere else. It also means providing content that might not be available online. When the library is doing its job well it provides content and material that the otherwise well-informed patron might be unaware of. This means that staff has to spend sufficient time seeking out high quality material often using nontraditional selection tools. It means reading widely and learning about books from non-popular sources. This takes time and effort. It also means spending money for books that won’t achieve the circulation figures reached by books on the top ten lists. Essentially, I advocate that a small library such as ours focus on satisfying the needs of discerning patrons. These patrons develop into advocates and supporters of the library. Patron involvement with the library often becomes patron investment in the library. This ensures the long-term survival of the library.
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $296,060.00
Projected Expenses $254,383.00
Endowment Value $268,733.00
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$186,643$182,573$0
Individual Contributions$5,361$4,368$3,057
Investment Income, Net of Losses$9,212$18,982$53,408
Membership Dues------
Special Events$101,993$69,838--
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$252,155$226,145$207,032
Administration Expense$60,073$65,223$56,441
Fundraising Expense$10,926$12,273$30,022
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.990.971.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses78%74%71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%5%982%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$631,320$636,084$645,031
Current Assets$41,464$298,436$319,709
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$0$0--
Total Net Assets$631,320$636,084$645,031
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit Application Confirmation 5/2016View