Pearl Bailey Library


The Pearl Bailey Library is located in the Southeast Community of the City of Newport News. It is named after singer, actress, and scholar Pearl Mae Bailey, a native of Newport News and the Southeast Community.

Pearl Bailey Library
2510 Wickham Avenue
Newport News, VA  23607
(757) 247-8677
Special Hours
Monday - Thursday:  10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday - 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday:  1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Branch Highlights

  • Free Public WiFi
  • Laptop areas with charging tables
  • Virginia Career Works Job/Career Board
  • Computer Lab with printers
  • Dedicated space for youth in a technology-free area
  • Youth technology includes children’s computers,  AWE Early Literacy Stations, and iPad kiosks
  • PS4 game console connected to a 55-inch display 
  • Self-serve check-in and checkout stations
  • Document Translation Service
  • Copy, Scan & Fax Station
  • Cell phone Charging Station 
  • Meeting and Program Room
  • Safe Zone for Kids 
  • 2016 Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Community Based Violence Prevention Grant
  • Parking lot with designated Accessible spots
  • Bike racks (must provide own lock)
  • Accessible by 104, 101, and 403 bus lines
  • Peninsula WorkLink Share Network Access Point
  • Driving University and Safe 2 Drive Testing Site

Makerspace Highlights

Cricut, Cameo, Silhouette Curio, Sewing Machine, and 3D printer!

Get started with our Makerspace Online Orientation

Branch History

Newport News Public Library Branch #1 first opened in 1949 at the Doris Miller Recreation Building. The branch was located on the second floor of the facility in part as a response to a request by attorney W. Hale Thompson to open the West Avenue Library to people of all races. The Doris Miller Recreation Building was a “separate and equal facility” for African American residents and was located just two blocks from the World War II Recreation Building serving white community members. After the daily closing of the school libraries, this library was the only one available to students because of segregation laws. The West Avenue branch was opened up to all adults in 1952 by the board of directors. In 1963 the school system took over the Doris Miller Recreation Center and the library moved to the World War II Recreation Center. In 1970 it was renamed the Wickham Avenue Library and in 1971 moved into the Wickham Avenue Neighborhood Facility, now the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center.

In 1985, Newport News Public Library opened the Pearl Bailey Library at its current location. The name was chosen by the community after the Library Board ran an ad campaign in the Daily Press for suggestions. The branch has been a member of the Wickham Avenue Alliance since 1995, a collective including the C. Waldo Scott Center, Doris Miller Community Center, Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, and the YWCA Virginia Peninsula. In 2013, the branch received the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama for its dedication to youth empowerment and programming. The branch continued to honor local heroes through a re-naming ceremony of the community meeting room as the W. Hale Thompson Room in 2012 and the unveiling of an outdoor mural of Pearl Bailey by local artist Asa Jackson in 2018.

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

Free Notary Service

  • Limit of 3 notarized documents per visit
  • Please call to schedule an appointment