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Preview: Maine State Library News

Maine State Library News

Maine State Library news and related news about libraries throughout the Maine.

Copyright: Copyright 2017 All rights reserved.

Seventeen Maine Libraries Awarded Grants from Income Tax Check-off Fund

Fri, 07 Apr 2017 11:42:28 EDT

Augusta - Funding collected through the voluntary Maine Public Library Fund Income Tax Check-off program was awarded this week to 17 Maine public libraries to help develop innovative library programs and services and support professional development for library staff.

The grant projects ranged in size and scope from investments in creative technology such as 3-D printers, robotics equipment and virtual reality stations to the launch of summer reading programs, children's yoga programming and library conference participation for staff. A panel of librarians from the Maine State Library selected the projects from a group of 38 proposals submitted by Maine libraries in March.

Awardees include:
  • Jay-Niles Memorial Library, Jay, ($5,000) to create a Makerspace Center at the Jay-Niles Memorial Library for Tweens and Teens where they can create, invent, and learn;
  • Berwick Public Library ($2,500) to develop a teen/tween robotics club;
  • Rockport Public Library ($2,500) to purchase a state-of-the-art Virtual Reality (VR) Station to develop programming leveraging educational materials from NASA, and others to provide patrons access to this exciting new technology;
  • Windham Public Library ($2,500) to expand and enhance educational technology tools for the Children's Room;
  • Brooksville Free Public Library ($1,000) to support librarian participation in a national leadership institute;
  • Millinocket Memorial Library ($1,000) to develop a community film program with partner, Our Katahdin;
  • Bowdoinham Public Library ($1,000) to fund a portable bookshelf of picture books on the immigrant and refugee experience for Maine school and public libraries;
  • West Buxton Public Library ($1,000) to develop a makerspace and creative play area
  • Martha Sawyer Community Library, Lebanon, ($1,000) to develop a Lego architecture club for teens;
  • Acton Public Library ($1,000) to create an outdoor StoryWalk® family literacy project
  • Skidompha Public Library, Damariscotta, ($500) to support training for a children's librarian to do yoga programming;
  • Kezar Falls Circulating Library ($500) to develop a community garden program for educational purposes and to help alleviate food insecurity;
  • Winter Harbor Public Library ($500) to develop a children's summer reading program
  • West Paris Public Library ($500) to fund staff attendance at conferences;
  • Palermo Community Library ($500) to fund staff attendance at conferences;
  • Vassalboro Public Library ($500) to fund attendance to the Maine Library Association Conference; and
  • Parsons Memorial Library, Alfred, ($500) to fund paid performer during summer reading celebration.

  • The Maine Public Library Fund Income Tax Check-off allows Maine taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to support Maine public libraries on Maine Income Tax form Schedule C-P.

    "The generosity of Maine taxpayers through the tax check-off has helped Maine public libraries develop transformative programming and services that responds to the needs of their communities," said Maine State Librarian James Ritter. "Many Maine libraries operate with very limited budgets and the grants from the Maine Public Library Fund have made many new things possible for these institutions and the people they serve."

    The program funded seventeen similar projects in November 2016 and has supported significant growth in the Maine InfoNet library of downloadable e-books and audiobooks.

    For more information about the Maine Public Library Fund, visit:

    RESCHEDULED FOR MAY 2, 2017 Gardening Experts to Host Book Discussion at Maine State Library

    Tue, 04 Apr 2017 08:49:41 EDT


    Augusta - As caretakers to the natural world around us, gardeners can promote biodiversity and fight species extinction by selecting the certain trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals that nurture insects, birds, and amphibians and help create a self-regulated ecosystem.

    On TUESDAY MAY 2 at 6:00 PM, Maine authors and gardening experts Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto will host a program at the Maine State Library to share ecologically-minded garden planning strategies. Admission is free and open to the public. The authors will remain after the presentation to sign books. Copies of their book will be available for purchase at the event.

    Manley and Peronto recently published The Life in Your Garden, a must-read call to action for gardeners concerned about Earth's biodiversity crisis. The title is a follow-up to the duo's 2013 book, The New England Gardener's Year: A Month-by-Month Guide for Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Upstate New York.

    Reeser Manley has gardened in South Carolina, Washington state (while earning a Ph.D. in Horticultural Science), Massachusetts, and, for the last 15 years, in Maine. From 2007 through 2015, he wrote about the garden in a weekly column for the Bangor Daily News. He taught courses in horticulture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and the University of Maine, Orono. In 2013 he retired from teaching chemistry and physics at a small high school on the coast of Maine to devote his time to gardening and garden writing. Marjorie Peronto, a professor for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, has been teaching courses in fruit and vegetable gardening, ecological landscaping, and pruning for 26 years. She is a resource among her colleagues on native and invasive plants of the Northeast. Marjorie oversees Downeast Maine's Master Gardener Volunteers Program, training individuals to conduct community outreach projects that promote sustainable gardening and food security. She has developed nationally recognized school gardening courses for teachers.

    For more information about the program, please contact the Maine State Library at 207-287-5600.

    Maine Libraries Launch New Download Service for E-books and E-audiobooks

    Wed, 01 Mar 2017 08:06:27 EST

    The Maine Download Library, a service providing Maine library patrons with online access to over 10,000 e-books and e-audiobooks, has launched a new digital content management platform called cloudLibrary. The new app-based service will provide access to Maine's existing collection of digital content plus new titles and additional copies of popular titles. The cloudLibrary app allows users to customize the interface to focus on their interests or quickly identify new and popular titles in the download libraryThe new download library application can be downloaded by visiting: or visiting and following the links to login via your library.Users of Kindle devices should be advised that the Kindle Fire (2nd generation or newer) works with the cloudLibrary, but e-ink Kindles do not.Frequently Asked Questions How do I use the new cloudLibrary system?The cloudLibrary system is best experienced through the cloudLibrary App. Simply go to and follow the directions! You can download the app, called cloudLibrary, in the Playstore for Android devices, the App Store for Apple/ iOS devices, and the Windows Store for Windows devices. For Kindle Fire devices go to and click on the "available on Kindle Fire" link on the right side of the page. You can also access the cloudLibrary system using a browser by going to and logging in by selecting your library from the list provided and logging in with your library card.What devices are compatible with the cloudLibrary app?What devices work:Tablets Laptops Smart Phones Nook readers Kobo eReaders Kindle Fire (2nd generation or newer) Desktop computers Iphones, Ipads, Ipod TouchWhat devices do not work:eInk Kindles (such as the Kindle E-reader and Paperwhite) Ipods Mp3 players that do not support appsWill I be able to use my Kindle eInk reader?Unfortunately, no. Amazon does not support the ePub format.How can I get help?The cloudLibrary support site is located at: There you can download a cloudLibrary User Guide, watch how-to videos or search for other help topics.Why is this switch being made?Maine InfoNet and the Maine InfoNet Board of Directors are continuously looking for opportunities to provide better services at a better value for Maine libraries. The existing Download Library received regular criticism that the system was too difficult to use. The cloudLibrary is app-based and has a simpler process to check out and download titles. Libraries in Maine that have offered both systems say the cloudLibrary is much easier for library patrons to use. Additionally, the cloudLibrary will allow more Maine Libraries to participate in the Maine InfoNet Download Library. Under the old platform, many types of libraries were not allowed to participate due to limitations imposed by Overdrive. Now, by switching to the new cloudLibrary, any library wishing to participate will be allowed to join. Allowing more libraries to join and participate in the Download Library translates directly into more people in Maine reading and more content being purchased - a great thing for all of us.[...]

    State Library Receives Grant for Digitization of Historic Maine Newspapers

    Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:47:11 EST

    Augusta - The Maine State Library will digitize over 100,000 pages of historical Maine newspapers and make the content available online as part of a two-year, $275,000 grant announced this week by the National Endowment for the Humanities.The project will involve imaging master microfilm copies of Maine newspapers and optimizing the newly-created digital files so that text of the newspapers can be searched. The digitized content will then be uploaded to the web-based Digital Maine repository at , and the Library of Congress Chronicling America archive at . "Digitization of these historic newspapers will greatly enhance access to first-hand accounts of Maine history as it unfolded," said Maine State Librarian James Ritter. "Anyone with an internet connection will be able to browse the papers or perform a quick keyword search to look for stories about specific people, places or events from the past." Any Maine newspaper printed prior to 1923 could be included in the project provided that the master microfilm is available for imaging. Newspapers printed between 1923 and 1962 might also be eligible for digitization, if the publisher is willing to provide a waiver of copyright to permit the content to be imaged and shared.The Maine State Library is encouraging institutions and individuals holding master microfilm copies of historical Maine newspapers to contact the library if they are interested in having their collection considered for inclusion under this project. Given the limited number of pages funded through the project, not all eligible papers can be imaged at this time. Priority will be assessed on a number of factors including historical value and geographic coverage. Visit for more details and contact information.Information gathered through this project will update a 1999 Maine State Archives directory of Maine newspaper holdings and provide for an interactive online database to allow users to search newspaper holdings by institution, media format, and availability online.Urgent Need for Additional Newspaper Digitization EffortsA significant share of Maine newspapers won't be imaged through microfilm digitization because quality master film can't be located or may not have ever been created. Newspapers printed in the late 19th Century and the first half of the 20th Century are at particularly high-risk of permanent loss because of the instability of the paper that they were printed on. Even when stored in optimal conditions, the acid in the newsprint will cause the paper to become brittle over time. "Some original copies of Maine newspapers are so fragile that they can't be handled without causing permanent damage," said Adam Fisher, director of Collections Development and Digital Initiatives at the Maine State Library. "There's an urgent need to get quality images of these papers today before the information contained in them is lost to time." Although the Maine State Library does not have permanent staff or dedicated revenues for digitization, the institution has developed a partnership or sponsorship model that led to the digitization of bound original volumes of historical newspapers using high-resolution book scanners located at the library's offices at the Maine State Capitol Complex in Augusta. Earlier this year, the Maine State Library partnered with Friends of Libby Memorial Library in Old Orchard Beach to digitize two local newspapers from the past, the Old Orchard Apple and the Old Orchard Mirror. Contents of those papers can be found online at The Maine State Library is now engaged in a similar project with the Oquossoc -based Maine Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum and the Phillips Historical Society to digitize the Maine Woods newspaper published between 1900 and 1909. Copies of those papers will be available online later this year."The process of imaging larger format papers on book scanners mo[...]

    Children's Book Award Winners Announced at Maine Reading Conference

    Thu, 07 Apr 2016 13:53:25 EDT

    Augusta - Nearly 350 librarians and educators from public and school libraries from around Maine converged on Augusta today for the 27th Annual Reading Round Up conference promoting reading and literature for children and young adults. One of the highlights of the event was an award ceremony honoring books, authors and illustrators representing excellence in the field of children's and young adult literature.

    2016 Lupine Award

    Four titles received recognition through the 2016 Lupine Award honoring living authors or illustrators who are residents of Maine or who have created a work prominently featuring Maine. The award was first given in 1989 and is sponsored by the Maine Library Association.

    Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson and The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose received awards in the Lupine Award juvenile and young adult category. Awards in the picture book category went to Island Birthday, by author Eva Murray and Illustrator Jamie Hogan and Growing Up Pedro by author and illustrator Matt Tavares.

    2016 Katahdin Award

    Maine author Cathryn Falwell received the 2016 Katahdin Award from the Maine Library Association. Established in 1999, the award recognizes lifetime achievement and an outstanding body of work of children's literature in Maine.

    2016 Chickadee Award

    The 2016 Chickadee Award went to Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by author Lynne Cox and illustrator Brian Floca. The award is given to by the Maine Children's Choice Picture Book Project to honor works created in the picture book category for children in kindergarten through fourth grade.

    2016 Maine Student Book Award

    El Deafo by Cele Bell received the 2016 Maine Student Book Award. The award recognizes works selected by students in grades 4-8 and is sponsored by the Maine Library Association, Maine Association of School Libraries, and Maine Reading Association.

    About Reading Round Up

    The Reading Round Up conference is an annual event offering learning opportunities for children's and school librarians. The conference is sponsored by the Maine State Library and organized by a statewide committee of librarians dedicated to promoting literacy and love of reading in children and young adults. More information can be found online at: .

    Special Genealogy Program Offered at State Library on March 26

    Mon, 21 Mar 2016 14:23:16 EDT

    Have you ever wondered who your ancestors are? Where they came from? Whether they were kings or paupers?

    On Saturday, March 26 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm, representatives from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) will host a genealogy workshop at the Maine State Library to help guide new and experienced family researchers in discovering answers to mysteries from their past. The program is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required.

    This workshop is the first in a series of events organized through a partnership between the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Maine State Library. Subsequent events will be held the last Saturday of each month. For more information about these programs or the work of the DAR, visit: or call (207) 512-0249.

    Post-holiday Programming at State Library for New Tablet / E-Reader Users

    Wed, 30 Dec 2015 14:38:23 EST

    Augusta - Not quite sure how to use that new e-reader or tablet device Santa brought you for Christmas? The Maine State Library is hosting a series of events after the holidays to help you get started.

    Four classes will be held in January to show patrons how to use their new devices to download free e-book and audiobook content online. Each session is tailored to address one of the four major operating platforms used by tablet and e-reader devices. The class schedule is as follows:

    - Kindle e-ink session: Tuesday, January 12 from 10:00 AM -12:00 PM - Kindle Fire session: Wednesday, January 13 from 2:00-4:00 PM - iPad/iOS session: Tuesday January 19 from 10:00-12:00 PM - Android / Nook session: Tuesday, January 26 from 2:00-4:00 PM

    Each class is free and open to the public, but preregistration is required due to limited space. Save your seat by calling 207-287-5600.

    The Maine InfoNet Library can be found online at: ">"> Online support with the Maine InfoNet Library can be accessed by clicking the help button at the top of any page on the site.

    October 2015 Edition of the Maine State Library Genealogy Newsletter

    Mon, 07 Dec 2015 11:11:33 EST

    The October 2015 edition of the Maine State Library genealogy newsletter, Genealogy Notes from Emily is" target="_blank"> available online.

    The newsletter is published several times a year by Maine State Library reference librarian and genealogy expert, Emily Schroeder. The October edition highlights new titles of interest in the Maine State Library Genealogy Collection.

    The Maine State Library is home to the largest genealogy collection in the state as well as town histories and published vital records for towns in Maine and a good deal of New England, materials on the Maritime Provinces of Canada, and genealogy reference materials.

    In 2013, Schroeder launched a Genealogy Club at the Maine State Library. The group meets monthly with the goal of promoting interest in genealogy, celebrating ancestral history and sharing best practice strategies for family research. New members are always welcome.

    To learn more about genealogy resources at the Maine State Library, please contact Emily Schroeder at or call 207-287-5600.

    Maine Readers' Choice Award Winner Announced

    Fri, 25 Sep 2015 09:48:04 EDT

    BANGOR, Maine - The Maine Readers' Choice Award Committee is pleased to announce that author Anthony Doerr's novel, All the Light We Cannot See, has been named the 2015 winner of the Maine Readers' Choice Award. The award was announced today at the Northeastern Maine Library District Fall Council Program.The Maine Readers' Choice Award was officially established in 2013 by the Maine State Library and the Maine Library Association with the aim of increasing awareness and reading of adult literary fiction. The launch also came on the heels of a controversial decision regarding one of the literary world's top prizes for fiction. "In 2012 the Pulitzer Prize committee did not award a Fiction Prize," says Valerie Osborne, committee chair and library consultant for the Northeastern Maine Library District. "Members of the library community, booksellers, publishers, authors and avid readers were outraged with the indecisiveness of this esteemed group of judges. We set out to do it better. It is ironic that this year's winner, as well as last year's winner, both won the Pulitzer Prize for their books." The first year's award went to a virtually unknown author, Wiley Cash, for his debut novel A Land More Kind Than Home.In order to be considered, books must be published in the United States in the previous year, appeal to a wide audience and be judged by the Committee to be notable works of exceptional quality. The committee, which was comprised of 20 librarians, booksellers, literacy advocates, reviewers and writers, selected the following from an initial field of more than 125 works of fiction: Euphoria by Lily King (Atlantic Monthly Press); Redeployment by Phil Klay (Penguin Press); and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner) "As a MRCA committee member, I usually puzzle over my picks. This year, All the Light We Cannot See, was an easy choice. Author Anthony Doerr has woven a remarkably engaging tale about the strength and resilience of the human spirit. The experience lingers with you long after the book has been returned to the shelf," said Charlie Campo."In a year of especially wonderful books, the heavy reading was a pleasure. I met a few writers I didn't know and revisited some old favorites. All the Light We Cannot See was just that: filled with light. I loved it," said Maine author, Monica Wood.The final selection for this year's winner was done by the readers of Maine who were encouraged by Maine libraries and booksellers to read the finalists over the summer months. Online voting took place in September to select this year's winner. Book discussions were offered in a number of libraries across the state to promote the three finalists. All the Light You Cannot See is from the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighbourhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and [...]

    Maine Libraries Benefit From Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation Grants

    Fri, 18 Sep 2015 11:15:35 EDT

    Several Maine libraries were the recipients of recent grants from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation. According to a list compiled by the Maine State Library, at least sixteen libraries received funds during the latest round of grant awards from the foundation.

    "The Kings continue to be supportive of our public libraries," said Valerie Osborne, a consultant with the Maine State Library. "So many of our public libraries the benefited from their generous gifts over the years."

    The types of projects funded include infrastructure upgrades, like a new windows or paving, and renovation projects to improve existing space. One grant went to support the development of a multiuse green space.

    Recipients include:
    • King Middle School (Portland, ME) $3,000 to add to their collection;
    • Blue Hill Library (Blue Hill, ME) $30,000 green building initiative;
    • Milo Free Library (Milo, ME) $30,000 window replacement and a heat pump;
    • Case Memorial Library (Kenduskeag, ME) $35,000 building renovations and collection development;
    • Swan's Island Library (Swan's Island, ME) $35,000 to transform the reading room to a conference center;
    • Thomaston Public Library (Thomaston, ME) $2,500 to fund a summer reading and activities program;
    • Orono Public Library (Orono, ME) $25,000 for a multiuse green space behind the library;
    • Caribou Public Library (Caribou, ME) $15,000 for new carpeting;
    • Rumford Public Library (Rumford, ME) $45,000 to restore the reading room ceiling;
    • Harrison Village Library (Harrison, ME) $15,000 new coding system;
    • Cundy's Harbor Library (Cundy's Harbor, ME) $5,000 to pave the driveway and parking area;
    • Hamlin Memorial Library (South Paris, ME) $10,000 for renovations;
    • Lawrence Public Library (Fairfield, ME) $15,000 for roof replacement;
    • Weld Public Library (Weld, ME) #50,000 for interior renovations;
    • Joanne Waxman Library, Maine College of Art (Portland, ME) $2,000 for the development of an emergency preparedness and recovery plan; and
    • Soldiers Memorial Library (Hiram, ME) $10,000 to make the front entrance handicap accessible.

    "Many of the libraries that received grants were small town institutions that serve as the cornerstone of their communities," said Maine State Librarian James Ritter. "This funding will help them undertake important projects that will help them remain sustainable in the future."

    The Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation conducts two grant reviews each year with deadlines on June 30 and December 31. Applications can be submitted at any time, but will not be considered until after those deadlines. For more information, visit the foundation's website at:">">

    Legislature Looks at Funding Options for Maine School and Library Broadband Network

    Wed, 01 Feb 2017 14:11:28 EST

    In an effort to provide sustainable funding levels for the network that provides high-speed broadband to Maine schools and libraries, Maine lawmakers are considering a measure to make changes to a funding mechanism that has shrunk in recent years due to changes in the telecommunications industry.

    The Maine School and Library Network (MSLN) uses centralized procurement and contracting with private providers to provide fiber-optic broadband connectivity and related services to 950 schools and libraries throughout Maine. The service reaches nearly every school in Maine with speeds ranging from 100 Mbps to up to 1 Gbps.

    A portion of the funding for the network has been provided through the Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund (MTEAF) assessment on certain in-state telephone revenues. Driven by declines in landline telephone service and a shift in revenue from voice to data and text, funding from the assessment has dropped an average of six percent each year since 2010. The trend is expected to accelerate in the coming years.

    Sponsored by Biddeford State Representative, Martin Grohman, LD">">LD 256 - An Act To Ensure Continued Availability of High-speed Broadband Internet at Maine's Schools and Libraries, changes the limit on the amount collected on prepaid telecommunications service from a percentage to a flat amount. The bill also requires the Public Utilities Commission to convene a stakeholder group to evaluate and provide recommendations regarding the method of collection of funds to support telecommunications access at libraries and public schools.

    The public will have the opportunity to weigh in on the legislation at hearing of the Joint Standing Committee of Energy, Utilities and Technology at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. The meeting will be held in room 211 of the Cross Office Building in Augusta.

    For more information about the Maine School and Library Network (MSLN) and related funding concerns, visit:">"> .

    Maine State Library Books-By-Mail Program Now Part of URSUS Catalog System

    Mon, 07 Dec 2015 11:23:30 EST

    The Maine Books-By-Mail">">Books-By-Mail is now part of the URSUS">">URSUS catalog system used by all other patrons of the Maine State Library.

    New Catalog for Books-By-Mail Patrons

    Beginning, Tuesday, August 18, Books-By-Mail patrons can begin requesting titles in the URSUS">">URSUS catalog system. If you aren't able to find the title you need in URSUS, you can search and request the item through the MaineCat">">MaineCat catalog.

    What does this mean for Books by Mail Patrons?

    • You will retain your library card, and you will continue to receive the same access to MARVEL databases, the Maine State Infonet Download library, and you will continue to be served by our Books-By-Mail staff.

    • You will continue to see the Books-By-Mail collection when you perform online searches. You will now have easier access to titles in the general collection of the Maine State Library, and the collections of other URSUS libraries.

    • You will no longer see the same collections from other libraries in the Minerva system, but you will be able to search those catalogs using MaineCat catalog.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-762-7106.

    Books-By-Mail is a program of Maine State Library's Outreach Services, funded by the Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and administered by the Maine State Library.

    Information for Libraries Concerning Upcoming Changes in Maine Library and Patron Confidentiality Law

    Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:57:37 EDT

    State law protects the privacy of patron records maintained by Maine public libraries, the Maine State Library, the Law and Legislative Reference Library as well as the libraries of the University of Maine System, Maine Community College System and Maine Maritime Academy.

    In early 2015, Maine lawmakers amended the Maine Library and Patron Confidentiality Law to enhance and clarify patron privacy protections. Those changes are reflected in Public">">Public Law 2015, Chapter 81 and will become effective this fall - 90 days following the adjournment of the First Regular Session 127th Maine Legislature.

    Summary of 2015 Changes in Maine Library and Patron Confidentiality Law

    The amended language in Public Law 2015, Chapter 81 does the following:
    • Specifies that personally identifying information about the library patron is confidential
    • Clarifies that confidential patron information may be released to library officers, employees, volunteers and agents of the library for administrative purposes.
    • Allows aggregated and statistical data about library use to be published so long as the confidentiality of a library patron's personally identifying information is not jeopardized.

    Frequently Asked Questions about Maine Library and Patron Confidentiality Law

    In an effort to assist Maine libraries in understanding changes in law, the Maine State Library has posted background">">background information and frequently asked questions on its website.

    The Maine State Library offers "Let's Talk About It" Book Group

    Wed, 21 Oct 2015 12:24:44 EDT

    Augusta - The Maine State Library has been selected by the Maine Humanities Council to offer "Let's Talk About It", a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. This program is provided by the Maine Humanities Council's Maine Center for the Book in cooperation with the Maine State Library.

    The series Modern Times in Maine and America, 1890-1930, begins Tuesday, July 7th at 1:00 p.m. at the Maine State Library in Augusta and continues for a total of 5 sessions, through August 4th.

    Books to be read and discussed in this series include: The Jungle by Upton Sinclair; Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis and As The Earth Turns by Gladys Hasty Carroll. A scholar provided by the Maine Humanities Council will facilitate the discussions.

    Date Book Title Author
    July 7 Modern Times Video
    July 14 The Jungle Upton Sinclair
    July 21HerlandCharlotte Perkins Gilman
    July 28BabbittSinclair Lewis
    Aug 4As The Earth Turns Gladys Hasty Carroll
    Each Tuesday session will meet at 1:00 p.m. at the Maine State Library Studio on the third floor for approximately 90 minutes.

    "Exploring ideas and issues through literature has a unique and fun way of creating community," said Nicole Rancourt, director of Let's Talk About It. "We find that there is great interest among adults in getting together to discuss what they've read with others. Having a discussion leader like Lisa Botshon who is both excited about the readings and skilled in facilitating can help to deepen this experience." Lisa is the Coordinator of the Humanities Department and a Professor of English at the University of Maine at Augusta.

    Books for the program are available for loan at the Maine State Library. Please call the library at (207) 287-5631 by Wednesday, July 1st to register by phone or email Please provide us with your complete contact information including name, address, telephone and email. After you have registered, come in (as soon as you can!) to pick up your personal book bag containing all four books in the series. Registration limited to 25 so sign up early! For library hours and directions visit the website at:

    This program is offered to Maine libraries through the Maine Humanities Council in partnership with the Maine State Library.

    For more information about the "Let's Talk About It" Book Groups and the work of the Maine Humanities Council, see or call the office in Portland at (207) 773-5051.

    Six Maine Librarians Chosen for Library Leadership Program

    Mon, 18 May 2015 13:22:27 EDT

    The Maine State Library and Maine Library Association have announced the names of participants in the second Maine Library Leadership Institute. The 2015 class includes Marcela Peres of the Lewiston Public Library, Abby Morrow of the Ellsworth Public Library, Erica Irish of the Belfast Free Library, Michelle Connors of the Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook, Mary Beckett of the Edythe Dyer Community library in Hampden, and Lisa Neal Shaw of the Caribou Public Library.

    The Maine Library Leadership Institute is a year-long program that prepares library leaders to bring effective and innovative services to Maine citizens so they can meet the challenges of today and the future.

    The kickoff event for the institute is the week-long New England Library Association's "New England Library Leadership Symposium" in August, led by Maureen Sullivan, a past president of the American Library Association and a nationally recognized speaker on leadership.

    Each month the cohort will meet to learn about and discuss solutions to challenges facing the library profession. The participants will also be responsible for designing and completing a project that will address Maine library needs. The year will culminate with a presentation of the projects at a state-wide meeting of librarians.