Virgil I. Grissom Library
Named after the legendary astronaut and former Newport News resident, the Virgil I. Grissom Library is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of the vibrant Denbigh community. We offer a variety of engaging programs for young and old alike – all in the effort to foster community, provide information and reward curiosity.
- Computer Assistance Beginner-level computer programs (basics, Microsoft Office, internet & email) and weekly 1-on-1 appointments
- FandomFest is an annual event open to all ages that celebrates all things fandom with games, contests, panels, and vendor displays
- Open Mic Night quarterly event that allows patrons of all ages to share their talents with the community
- Off-site Book Clubs include Books & Beers at Tradition Brewery and Between the Wines that meet monthly to discuss the book of the month
- Monthly Meet-Ups Coupon Swap, Writer's Workshop, Adult and Teen Anime Clubs, Adult Recess, Film Screenings, and Loosely Knit Group provide open social gathering experiences
- Health & Wellness yoga and meditation classes, Mindfulness Book Club, nutrition (cooking and low-carb groups), and Spring Master Gardening Series (from February to May)
- AnjiPlayDate offers an unstructured, drop-in program of exploration and play
- Animanga for ages 12-17, Watch anime, discuss Japanese culture, play games, cosplay, and have fun! We meet the first Monday of every month from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
- Sensory Storytime engages the senses and meets the needs of children of all abilities, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorder for ages 3-10
- T(w)een Techsplorations provides an interactive, hands-on learning program about coding, circuitry, and robotics for ages 10-17
- Homeschool Thursdays – STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) offers enrichment programs for homeschooled children ages 5-11
- Full STEAM Ahead: Preschool Adventures builds early literacy; for ages 2-5
- Coding for Preschoolers teaches basic coding and programming through STEAM-based storytimes; for ages 3-5
The original library on Old Courthouse Way didn't really have a name back then. It was simply known as the Denbigh branch of the Newport News Public Library System. That all changed when one of Newport News’ most famous residents, Virgil I. Grissom, took flight on July 21, 1961. On that Friday afternoon, Grissom became the second American astronaut to rocket into space.
Grissom’s flight only lasted fifteen minutes but it captivated residents in Newport News. Days after the flight, city officials wanted to bestow their official appreciation. The most lasting of the resolutions was submitted by Newport News City Councilman J. Fred Christie who proudly proclaimed: “I cannot think of a better way for our city to show its appreciation to Capt. Grissom …than to name the branch at Denbigh the Virgil I. Grissom Library.”
The previously unnamed Denbigh branch, constructed in 1810, finally had a name to remember. It was not long before the library needed a new building. Talk started in the mid-sixties and by the time the mid-seventies rolled around, the problem was getting worse.
The Grissom branch already accounted for nearly 40 percent of the system-wide circulation and library officials expected the number to grow with Denbigh’s increasing population. Newport News officials eventually found a solution. After purchasing a four-acre site in a mostly residential area on Deshazor Drive, the city opened the new library on September 18, 1977.
Adaptive Computer Equipment
Assisted devices to help accommodate individuals with disabilities are available for use at this branch upon request.
- High Contrast Keyboard
- Kensington Trackball
- NVDA Screen Reading Software
- Speech-to-Text Technology
Copy, Scan & Fax station, document translation service, public computers with printing, free public WiFi, PS4 console for Teens, mobile device charging station, self check-in and check-out, drive-up item return, youth iPad kiosks, computer lab, and AWE early literacy stations, Driving University and Safe 2 Drive testing site, and more!
If you enjoy crafting, creating, and the use of technology Grissom Library is the place for you. We offer monthly DIY crafting programs and sessions on the use of the Ultimaker 3-D printer and the Silhouette Curio and Cameo. Please call us to schedule an orientation or classes!