News

Curbside Pickup for Kids & Teens Returns Next Week

 
 

Dear Friends,

Starting next week, September 28, we will offer on-demand curbside pickup for kids and teens. Parents and kids may still come into the library to browse and borrow; this service is an additional option for those who would like to use it.  The health and safety of our community’s young people are of critical importance to us, and we want to provide an option for parents during this time of rising case numbers and disrupted school schedules. All other Library services will remain the same.

To request curbside pickup, please email your requests to children@skidompha.org or call 207-563-5513 to connect directly with Youth and Teen Services. We will fill your requests as quickly as possible and contact you with details on how and when to pick up your items. Due to staffing limitations, we cannot guarantee a 24-hour turnaround, but we will do our best to be expedient.

We have an excellent selection of books and resources for kids and teens at Skidompha, and we hope the addition of curbside pickup will allow more kids and teens to get them in their hands! At this time, we will limit this service to kids and teen resources only.

Thank you and be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

Use Our Free Park Passes to Explore This Fall!

Dear Friends,

In early June, I wrote to you about all of the plans I was making to check out new things in Maine over the summer, and I had been especially excited about using some of the museum passes we have to check out places around the state. This weekend I spent time wandering in the woods by my house. The air was crisper, the light changed, and I noticed my mind was wondering—what are the things I meant to do this summer but didn’t? Those museum passes rose to the top of the list. I made it to only one!

When I first moved to Maine, I learned that fall is a pretty fabulous time to be a tourist close to home. Most places are still open, and I often run into neighbors and patrons when I’m out exploring. So I’m setting the goal again to visit some of the cool places nearby, and in case you also need the reminder, I’m sharing the list of passes we have at the library.

Check out the following passes with your Skidompha Library Card: 

 

Center for Maine Contemporary Art
Admits 1 adult

    Farnsworth Art Museum
Includes: The Olson House and Farnsworth Homestead
Admits 1 (up to 4 passes may be checked out at one time)

Maine State Parks – DAY PASS
Admits occupants of up to a 17 passenger vehicle to
day-use facilities of most Maine State Parks and Historic Sites
(see back of pass for list of parks NOT included)

         

The following passes do not require a Skidompha Card:

Boothbay Railway Village
Admits 2 adults and all the children accompanying them

Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine
Admits up to 6 people—1 pass per day.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
1 pass per day. Admits up to 2 adults and their children/grandchildren under age 18. Reservations will be made under the name Skidompha Library.

Maine Wildlife Park
This pass is a discount pass, not a free pass – each member of the group age 3 and up using this pass will be charged a $3.50 admission fee – cash or checks only.

Portland Museum of Art
Admits up to 2 adults and 6 children
Skidompha passes check out for a 2 day period. There is a $5/day fine if overdue.
Reservations can be made up to a week ahead.

 

Don’t have a library card? Sign up here. Annual library cards are free for residents of Newcastle, Nobleboro, and Damariscotta, and residents outside those three towns can get a card for a yearly fee of $40. Please call 563-5513 with any questions.

 

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

Accepting Student Submissions for EPOCH Volume 7!

 
 

Dear Friends,

I’m excited to let you know that Jeannette, a creative writing workshop leader and Skidompha’s Director of Communications and Online Programming, is beginning work on Volume 7 of EPOCH. EPOCH is a biannual creative magazine by and for teens in grades 7 through 12 and one of Skidompha’s crown jewels. I eagerly anticipate the publication of each issue, and I am proud that we offer this opportunity to local teens. 

We are now accepting student submissions! Submissions are due September 24, 2021. Please let the teens in your life know that we are looking for poetry, prose, fiction, non-fiction, flash fiction, photography, artworks, comics, drawings, paintings—we want to see what they create! It can be a piece they’ve been working on for a while or something they make in the next few weeks to share with EPOCH.

We are also hosting a free virtual writing workshop for teens on September 13 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. to inspire new creative writing ideas, give teens a chance to meet other teen writers, and help generate a piece of writing for fun or consideration in EPOCH. To register, please email jeaton@skidompha.org.

The dedicated group of teens on our Editorial Board choose the pieces to publish. This group meets for six weeks to do some writing together and to select the works that will end up in the printed issue of EPOCH. The system they use keeps pieces anonymous until final selections are made. The editorial board believes in the power of creativity and knows that submitting work for review takes courage. They hold every piece with care and respect, and the group spends a lot of time thinking about what makes a piece of art or writing strong. They look for pieces that make them feel or make them think. They are interested in well-crafted and unique pieces. 

All the info you’ll need to submit artwork and writing, as well as the permission to publish form, is up on our website—http://www.skidompha.org/programs-events/epoch-magazine/. You can email your submissions and your questions to Jeannette at epoch@skidompha.org.

We love that this project amplifies youth voices and highlights their creativity. We are grateful to all teens who share their work with EPOCH, and we are proud of the teens and the adult mentors and teachers who support this project. We hope to have Volume 7 printed in January, and we’ll be excited to share it with you when it’s ready.

In the meantime, we appreciate your support of this project and our area youth. We have free issues to share of EPOCH Volume 6; you’ll find them at the library or check out the digital issue on our website. 

 

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

We’ve Got a Book For That!

Dear Friends,

I don’t know about you, but I tend to take stock of things when seasons shift. Like many of you, I had imagined fall looking a bit different this year, but even as I grapple with the consistency of change, I remember that, for me, the routine of fall brings with it the subtle pull toward discovery. Though my school days are long behind me, some part of me wants to learn and try something new when fall rolls around.

Do you feel this way too? Let me remind you how easy it is to learn something new from the library if you do. We’ve got books to help you try out yoga, woodworking, quilting, gardening, cooking, needlepoint, decluttering, painting, and writing. Our shelves contain volumes that open up other worlds—both fictional and real. We have audiobooks to help you practice a new language, poetry books and nature writing to offer a chance to slow down and notice the every day in a whole new way. We have books to help make sense of the world, to teach where we’ve come from, and books to help us think about where we’re headed and where we want to go. We have books on aging and health, an entire art alcove, and an incredible genealogy department.

Since I spend so much time in the library, it’s easy to overlook what we have here. So I try to remind myself of everything to discover, free of charge, to help me look at the library with fresh eyes. Whether I’m checking out a book we just put on the shelves or something from deep in the stacks, new to me, I am grateful to live and work in a town that supports the library. In the coming weeks, I’ll be searching for the next thing to learn or to practice, and I’ll keep you posted if I find something good. I hope you, too, will stop in when you feel like trying something new and that you’ll let us know what you discover. We love to hear your stories.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

Virtual Adult Book Groups Returning in September

Dear Friends,

I find myself saying yes to things these days that get me outside in the sun—naturally doing as much as I can to soak up summer on a daily basis. Yet even as I choose to notice and savor the season, my mind turns toward fall with some longing for the routine and sense of settling that arrives in September. For us at the library, we’re thinking ahead to the programs we want to offer this year, and I’m excited to share news of some of our upcoming book discussion groups for adults.

Our monthly Virtual Book Discussion Group for Adults returns on Monday, September 13 at 10:00 a.m. and will continue to meet every second Monday of the month from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. over Zoom. This group is for anyone who loves to read and talk about books! The discussions aim to be relaxed and open, and group members shared that having a chance to meet new people and discover new genres and books they might not have chosen themselves kept them coming back each month. Please feel welcome to join us for each session or for only the books that catch your eye. We will post titles for the upcoming month in our newsletter and on our website.

We have a successful mindfulness meditation group that has been meeting and practicing together weekly since April of 2020. We are excited to announce a new Virtual Mindfulness Meditation Book Discussion Group to extend and complement that weekly class. You are welcome to join this book group even if you don’t join our meditations. The book group will meet quarterly to allow for time to read and digest each book in the series. Each session will begin with a short silent meditation and then dive into discussion and reaction to the text. For September, we’ll be discussing Radical Compassion by Tara Brach. This group will meet on Monday, September 27, from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. over Zoom. Thank you Jeannette for providing a place of comfort, calm, and community for our patrons over the pandemic.

For more information on either of these two groups or to sign up, please email Jeannette at jeaton@skidompha.org.

We are grateful to Leigh Anne Keichline, a Skidompha patron and educator trained in racial equity and diversity work, for offering another Anti-Racism Book Group for Skidompha patrons this fall. This small group book club will meet one Wednesday evening mid-month through Zoom, discussing one text/film, using guided questions and supplemental materials. September’s focus is High on the Hog, a highly-praised short series on African American culinary history and present. The first meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 15, at 5:30 p.m. over Zoom. Email Leigh Anne at paperandshells@gmail.com to express interest. Please put “Skidompha Book Club” in your subject line.

We look forward to sharing other offerings with you in the coming months. I hope that you are finding ways to soak up summer, too, and I hope to see you soon at the library.

Be well,

Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

Kids & Teen Summer Reading Program Progress

Dear Friends,

It feels like I just sat down excited to write to you about the kickoff of our Summer Reading Program, yet today I’m writing to let you know that the program officially ends during the last week in August. There is still time for kids and teens to complete their tracking sheets and challenge forms—September 10 is the last day to claim prizes. As things wind down, I want to take the time to share some of our summer highlights with you.

The 2021 Tails and Tales Summer Reading Program has been wildly successful! Even with the need for flexibility around curbside and shifting hours, kids and teens have been busy crafting and reading throughout the summer. We’ve signed up well over 150 participants for this year’s program, with just as many kids and teens participating in virtual programming. We’ve had virtual art, jewelry making, music, and even learned about the bats of the world.

The most successful and well-loved offering from the summer has to be our take-and-make craft kits. Kids, teens, and families have been able to swing by and pick up crafts they can do together from home. All of the kits are free and we’ve handed out close to 500! From hand kites to woven bookmarks to keychains, they’ve flown out the door.

Every child that signed up for the Summer Reading Program received a free book at sign-up—we’ve put more than 150 books in the hands of our community’s youth. When kids and teens finish the Summer Reading Program, they get another free book. Folks are already stopping by to bring home their second books and we know the end of August will bring a flurry of completed forms.

During a summer that is still asking so much of our staff and our community, it has been wonderful to see so many kids, teens, and families returning and taking part in this program. It matters to me to know they are joining youth around the country who are also participating in Tails and Tales at their own local libraries, and happy to think of all the joy libraries bring to others through programs like this.

Whether you participated by joining a virtual program or by stopping in for books once or multiple times this summer, we thank you for bringing your time and your energy to the library. We’re already curious and excited to think about what the theme for next summer may be.

We hope to see you, and the kids and teens in your life, at the library soon!

Be well,
Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

Covid Update + Safety Guidelines

The CDC has raised the level of transmission in Lincoln County to the substantial transmission category. Based on the CDC recommendations, we again require masks inside the library, regardless of vaccination status, for the safety of our staff and our community.

We thank you for your patience and flexibility and we’ll keep you posted as things continue to change.

New WiFi, New Phones, Pausing Curbside Pickup

Dear Friends,

We have a number of announcements to share this week. I’m excited to let you know we’ve created a new WiFi account for our patrons. You will no longer need a password to connect and you can print from this account as well. Look for and connect to the Skidompha Guest WiFi account (Settings -> WiFi -> Skidompha Guest) . You should be able to use this account right away—let us know if you have any questions.

Starting next Tuesday, August 3, we plan to stop offering curbside pickup. It has truly been our pleasure to offer this service during the last 15 months or so, and we are pleased that this transition away from curbside and back to in person browsing and borrowing marks the expansion of our services in other ways. All Interlibrary loans, holds, and other items previously offered at curbside will be available at the main circulation desk.

With tinges of the same delight I found last week to have a new washer/dryer installed at home, staff is feeling happy about the installation of a new phone system here at the library. Neither of these things are particularly glamorous, but they sure do affect how much easier it is to get things done! We ask for, and appreciate, your patience as we get up and running with this new system. You may notice the changes when you call—notably a new phone tree that aims to direct you to just the department/person you wish to speak with!

I’m so grateful for our staff and volunteers for the time and energy they give to the library and for their work and flexibility as we continue to make changes and improvements.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director
Skidompha Library

We’ve expanded our hours & services!

  • We’ve expanded our Browsing and Borrowing hours! Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday we are open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. & Saturday from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. Curbside service will continue to be available during those hours as well.
  • Masks will continue to be required for anyone who is unvaccinated and for people entering the children’s room. Masks will be optional for the rest of the library.
  • In the main library, we will no longer limit your length of stay. Stay the whole day!
  • We do request anyone using the children’s room continue to keep their stay to a maximum of 30 minutes.
  • WiFi and public computers are available as well, however public computer use may be limited to 30 minutes if there is a wait.
  • The front door will be open to people entering and exiting the library.
  • Furniture will be available for our patrons to sit down, relax, read, and work.
  • Our public meeting rooms continue to be closed for the time being, but we look forward to offering them soon.

 

       

        Skidompha’s Updated Covid Response

        Dear Friends,
        Well, it seems we’ve reached the point where as soon as we’ve thought through one public health announcement there is new information to consider. We are grateful to all of the folks working locally and nationally to help us navigate each new stage of this pandemic.
        The Governor has updated Maine’s Moving Forward Plan, based on the most recent guidance from the CDC. The most recent update states that as of May 24, 2021 the requirement that face coverings be worn in all public settings is repealed, except in schools and childcare settings.
        While we are delighted to see Maine’s progress with declining case rates and continued vaccinations, the library will still require mask use inside the building at this time.
        The Library is enriched by having widely diverse patrons, many of whom are children under age 12 and many who are still vulnerable to the virus. Some of our patrons are not eligible for the vaccine due to their age, or may have underlying health issues that preclude them from receiving a vaccination or from developing its full immunological effects. Mask use remains a critical part of our strategy to ensure continued safe access to the library for all of our patrons.
        The above does not in any way disrupt the library’s current plans to expand our Browsing and Borrowing hours to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Fridays. We’ll still be open from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays, and we look forward to continuing to expand our hours and services over the spring and summer.
        Be well,
        Matthew Graff
        Executive Director
        Skidompha Library