News

Resources on Racial Equality + Protest in the United States

Dear reader, 

I am broken by the pictures I see on the news and on social media right now.

Racism is toxic to our community and our society. History shows again and again that silence in the face of injustice achieves nothing. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr noted this “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Public Libraries are institutions of welcoming acceptance.At Skidompha we proudly offer access to our building, our services, and our resources to all regardless of race, color, nationality, age, religion, political affiliation, educational background, sexual orientation, gender expression, or physical ability.

In this time of national conflict the Skidompha Library will continue to support and represent the principles of access, equality, and fairness and will stand with, listen to, and learn from communities of color in our country.

Providing access to information is a primary role of a library in our society.At this unsettled time it is especially important for us to meet this aspect of our mission to help our community make sense of the emerging crisis in our country. Please review and explore the varied list of resources below that shine a light on America’s history of racism, civil unrest and protest, as well as a list of periodicals that are available online to all who have a Skidompha library card.

It is important that we call each other in to this work.We will stand together in the strength of our community to speak out against racism. We hope you will join us in committing to this work beyond the pain and anguish of this moment in history, but in ongoing and sustainable ways.

Please listen and learn with us, and work with us to move our community and our country into a more perfect union.

In solidarity and good health, 

Matthew Graff 
Executive Director
Skidompha Library
 

Anti-Racism + Protest History Resources for Adults

Resources for Conversations with Children

Resources for Teens

Giving Tuesday Now

Dear friends,

This Tuesday, May 5, Skidompha will be participating in #GivingTuesdayNow – a global day of giving and unity developed in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19.

At a time when we are all experiencing this pandemic, generosity is what brings us together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone power to make a positive change in the lives of others.

As you may know, Skidompha relies heavily on the generosity of individual donors for a significant percentage of our annual operating budget. In light of the current pandemic, we have put off our annual spring appeal and our Book Shop has been closed, significantly impacting our funding. At the same time, we have kept all of our staff employed through our closure, and have developed new programming to engage our community remotely.

Join us on GivingTuesdayNow
to help us make up our fundraising deficit
because our commitment to our community remains resolute
even as our doors are closed.

Skidompha will remain a trusted resource to our community, supporting you through this uncertain time, and helping you find your way as we settle into our new normal. We can’t wait to see you all back at the library soon!

With best wishes for health and happiness for you and yours, and sincere appreciation for your commitment to our community,

Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

It’s National Library Week!

Dear reader,
We are living through a time like no other. At Skidompha, we are working to find our way to understanding–and thriving–in a changed world. 
This week is National Library week, and typically we’d be celebrating with you at our beloved 184 Main Street home. But this is not a typical spring. Even as our doors are closed to help stop the spread of Covid-19, our commitment to our community remains resolute. 
In recent weeks, our staff has come together to find a number of new ways to support our patrons. Our youth librarian, Jessie, and our teen librarian, Sophie, have offered daily book read-alouds online for our youngest patrons and created new Facebook groups for youth and teen services. One of our adult librarians, Jeannette, has developed online poetry and writing groups. Our staff genealogists, Kathy and Emily, have hosted online genealogy meet-ups and have been answering genealogy inquiries remotely. Our other staff have been checking in with patrons, sewing face masks for the community, planning for the future of the library, and working to provide a wide range of online resources to our community. 
Please join me in celebrating our wonderful library staff for National Library Week. They are a committed crew who care deeply about supporting our community. We all miss you, our amazing patrons, and can’t wait to see you again soon at Skidompha. In the meantime, be well, and find joy in the emerging spring!
 
Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Library
**Please note that neither Skidompha Library nor Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop will be opening on April 27th. The library will be closed until further notice. We are paying close attention to the words and recommendations of both Governor Mills and Dr. Shah of the Maine CDC, as well as communicating with the Maine State Library on a weekly basis. We look forward to opening when it is safe to do so.
We miss you, we miss working with you, and we look forward to getting back to the library.

Skidompha Online Programs During Closure

Dear reader,
Skidompha is more than a building. Though our building is closed until at least April 27th, our staff want to connect with you online. We hope you’ll check out some of our upcoming online programs listed on our “Programming” website pages and join a zoom group, a Facebook Live event, post a photo of your #SkidomphaPet, or get #CaughtReading!
We miss you all.
Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

Skidompha + Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop Closed until 4/27

Dear reader,
We hope that this note finds you well.
In the interest of everyone’s health and safety, Skidompha will extend our closure to at least April 27th. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will follow CDC and state guidelines.
Our Skidompha staff is hard at work finding ways to connect with our community while our building is closed.
  • Jessie, our Children’s Librarian, continues her daily story time on Skidompha’s Facebook page.
  • Sophie, our Teen Librarian, has posted her weekly Hoopla recommendations; check them out on our Facebook.
  • Our Adult Circulation staff is looking into virtual book groups and connecting with seniors offline.
  • In an effort to get reading materials to children out of school, we gave away books donated to Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop at the Healthy Lincoln County free lunch pick up last week. We’re hoping to repeat this effort in the near future.
  • Unfortunately, we cannot check out any Skidompha lending materials at this time based on guidance from The Maine State Library and the CDC. We look forward to being able to serve you when it is safe to do so.
We encourage you to keep an eye on our social media, website, and e-newsletter for updates to online program offerings.
We miss seeing your friendly faces at the library. We’re all in this together; and together, we’ll get through this!
Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

Skidompha + Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop Closed until 4/1

Dear reader,
 
After careful deliberation, Skidompha has decided to close, effective immediately. We are tentatively scheduled to reopen on April 1, and are actively monitoring the news and are following the best recommendations from the State of Maine and the CDC.
The Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop will also be closed, effective immediately. Please do not bring any book donations to the Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop until we reopen.
 
We feel that closing Skidompha is the best way that we can support our community effort to discourage crowds during this challenging time. 
 
You may keep all checked out materials until we reopen (regardless of what your account due date reflects.) As always, we will not charge late fees as long as you bring your library materials back. If you are encountering a problem with your account, please contact call us at 207-563-5513 and leave a message. We will do our best to resolve account issues during our closure. 
 
All AARP Tax appointments have been cancelled through April 8. We do not yet know when (or if) they will be rescheduled. We expect to hear specific guidance from the IRS over the next few weeks. Please check your email or our website for any further announcements. 
 
We know this closure will adversely impact some of our patrons. If you are in need of social services, we encourage you to review this helpful list of services from 211 Maine. 
 
In solidarity and good health, 
Matthew Graff 
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

Skidompha COVID-19 Readiness Update

Dear reader,

As you know, we are all facing a difficult public health situation: the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It is an unsettling time, and I assure you that at Skidompha, we are carefully monitoring the situation and taking appropriate steps to protect our patrons and our staff.

In an effort to proactively limit the spread of the coronavirus, we have decided to suspend all public programs beginning Saturday, March 14, through March 31. This includes all events (classes, programs, workshops, etc.) in our meeting spaces. As of now, the library will remain open with regular operating hours.

Please know that this was not an easy decision for us to make. We know that library programs are an important resource for our patrons and cancellations will be a hardship for some in our community. However, out of an abundance of caution, we feel that this is the best way that we can support our state’s efforts to discourage crowds during this challenging time.

  • In addition to the cancellation of programming, we are taking a number of steps to support the health of our community:
  • Increased cleaning throughout the library
  • Removal of toys from the children’s room
  • Cancellation of volunteer shifts at the library
  • Encouraging social distancing by suspending the use of our meeting rooms, spreading out public computers and increasing spacing between seats throughout the library
  • Temporarily halting all book donations to the library and the Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop

We will continue to look to the State of Maine and the CDC for guidance, and we encourage you to do the same. We will adjust our plans as needed as the situation evolves, and will communicate any changes to you in a timely manner. It is possible that the library will need to limit our hours or close for a period of time. Please let us know if we can help you access support from other community organizations if this is to happen. Stop by our circulation desk and let us know what help you anticipate needing. We will do our best to find you support. As with all library communications, these discussions will be kept confidential.

Above all, remember that this too shall pass. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to best serve and protect our patrons and staff.

Yours in good health,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Library

 

TIPS FOR VISITING SKIDOMPHA

We will adjust our hours as needed as the situation evolves, and will communicate any changes to you in a timely manner. It is possible that the library will need to limit our hours or close for a period of time.

Unsure if the library has updated hours? We will send out updates to you via email. You can also visit our website, check our social media pages, or call us on the phone (207-563-5513) if you have questions.

We are still asking the following of all of our patrons who visit the library. Remember that your actions matter and that we are in this together.

  • Please stay home if you are sick. Be aware that seniors and those with compromised respiratory and immune systems are at increased risk.
  • Please wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20 seconds. (Hand sanitizer gels are helpful, but effective hand washing is best.)
  • Keep your hands and fingers away from your face and mouth (I know, this is really hard!) and cough and sneeze into a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hand.
  • If you have loved ones or neighbors who are at high risk, work with them to help minimize their trips away from home.
  • When entering or exiting Skidompha use your elbow to push the ADA door buttons and avoid using your hands to push or pull the doors. (Or wash your hands after using the handle.)

 

Our favorites for Black History Month 2020

We’re celebrating the important stories, contributions, and achievements of African Americans with a book display in our atrium throughout the month of February. 

Black History Month Book recommendations from our Adult Circulation Librarians + Library Staff: 

  • Terry (Adult Circulation – Head Librarian) recommends An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. “This book is one of Oprah’s Book Club selections. It follows the wrongful imprisonment of a young black man and its impact on him and his new wife. It is filled with breathtaking twists and turns, bursting with realized and unrealized dreams. My heart ached for all of those impacted by the situation. It is the winner of the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction, and received the NAACP Image Award for outstanding literary work.”
  • Yvonne (Adult Circulation Librarian) recommends Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. “This suspenseful novel tells the story of Hiram Walker, a man born as a slave who was gifted with a mysterious power. This book was selected for Oprah’s Book Club, and was named a “Must Read Book of 2019” by Time Magazine, and made the best of 2019 lists in The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. It’s not to be missed.”
  • Yvonne also recommends Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. “This fictional book is set in the 1980s in a middle-class neighborhood of Atlanta. The storyline centers on the two families of secret bigamist James Witherspoon. The book explores secrets, new friendships, and growing up.”
  • Jeannette (Adult Circulation Librarian) recommends The Best American Poetry 2000 with guest editor Rita Dove. “This collection is edited by one of the first poets who opened my heart to the idea that beautiful lyrical language can also tell stories, offer witness to history, and represent people’s lived experience. I love poetry because it can be devoured, or nibbled on. It offers us, as readers, the chance to connect to language, to new ideas and experiences, and eventually to one another. There are so many incredible African American poets, and while I chose this text for Rita Dove, I want to highlight the voices of other poets we have, and some we are in the process of adding to Skidompha’s collection — Langston Hughes, June Jordan, Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, Audre Lorde, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Maya Angleou.”
  • Carrie (Development Director) recommends Notes from a Young Black Chef (A Memoir) by Kwame Onwuachi. “As a daughter of restaurateurs, a fan of Top Chef, and a want-to-be foodie, I thought this book was a great read. It’s a coming of age story that shines a light on the racism and classism that exists in the food industry in the US.”
  • Carrie also recommends In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose by Alice Walker. “I read this many years ago. Having devoured works by Alice Walker and Zora Neal Hurston, I was eager to dive into this book of essays for a different glimpse into their worlds. Though decades old, this is still a relevant and important collection for all to explore.”

Black History Month Book recommendations from our Young Adult + Children’s Librarians:

Sophie (Teen Librarian) recommends:

  • March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell. “March is a powerful story, rooted in Congressman John Lewis’s personal narrative, and is a compelling reflection on the Civil Rights Movement. I love graphic novels; they bring stories to all types of  readers in a new, accessible format.” 
  • Obviously: Stories from My Timeline by Akilah Hughes. “This coming-of-age memoir is a must read for teens and adults alike. Hughes brings the reader along for laugh-out-loud hilarity as well as her more cringe-worthy moments.”

Jessie (Children’s Librarian) recommends:

  • The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander. The Undefeated just won the Caldecott Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, and was named as a Newbery Honor Book. The illustrations are beautifully detailed and realistic. The book is actually a poem written by Alexander as a love letter to Black life in America. It highlights the trauma of slavery, the empowerment of the Civil Rights Movement, and brings the reader all the way to contemporary Black heroes and icons. His words are simultaneously haunting and empowering.
  • Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey by Ashley Bryan. Maine author and artist, Ashley Bryan, beautifully tells the story of his life from his time in World War II to the present. This title was recently named as a Coretta Scott King Award Honor book. Exquisite, detailed illustrations are paired with copies of letters, documents, and newspaper clippings to tell the story of how he came to a place of peace. This book was written for kids, but adults will find it equally, if not more, illuminating. There is so much detail, readers will undoubtedly learn something new about this wonderful Mainer.
  • Ghost by Jason Reynolds. “This is the first installment in a series of four books about a track team. Ghost tackles issues of poverty, racism, violence, and more. Even if you’re not a runner, you’ll find something to connect with through these characters. Author Jason Reynolds is the newly minted National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and he never disappoints in his storytelling. I enjoyed the audiobook version of this story, as the reader does a phenomenal job.”
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. This book changed me. Winner of the National Book Award and written in verse, it is a beautiful exploration of growing up, how one’s view of the world changes, and how to navigate those changes. Xiomara, the main character, has always written poetry, but when encouraged by a thoughtful teacher, she begins to explore spoken word. She finds herself through this outlet for her struggles and victories.

    Skidompha CLOSED on 2/7/2020

    This is an update to an earlier post. We have decided to remain closed for the day due to the icy conditions. 

    In cases of inclement weather, please check Skidompha’s

    website: www.skidompha.org
    facebook or instagram: @skidomphalibrary
    or phone messages: 207-563-5513

    before making your trip to the library.