News

Black Authors at Skidompha

It is our goal at Skidompha to provide you with access to a diverse collection of materials to borrow. 
We were grateful to receive a generous anonymous donation to support the purchase of literature by Black authors for our collection. Below is the list of books purchased so far with this funding. We hope you will order these titles from Skidompha through curbside pickup

 

Title Author ISBN Category
Kindred Butler, Octavia 978-0807083109 Fiction
Queenie Carty-Williams, Candice 9781501196010 Fiction
What we lose Clemmons, Zinzi 978-0735221710 Fiction
The Water Dancer Coates, Ta-Nehisi 978-0399590597 Fiction
Halsey Street Coster, Naima 978-1503941175 Fiction
This mournable body Dangarembga, Tsitsi 978-1555978129 Fiction
Freshwater Emezi, Akwaeke 978-0802127358 Fiction
Travelers Habila, Helon 9780393239591 Fiction
Not without laughter Hughes, Langston 978-1121880627 Fiction
Silver Sparrow Jones, Tayari 978-1565129900 Fiction
An American Marriage Jones, Tayari 978-1616208776 Fiction
Who fears death Okorafor, Nnedi 978-0756406172 Fiction
Boy, snow, bird Oyeyemi, Helen 978-1594631399 Fiction
Mumbo Jumbo Reed, Ishmael 978-0241305812 Fiction
Ghost Reynolds, Jason 978-1481450164 Fiction
Salvage the bones Ward, Jesmyn 978-1608195220 Fiction
The Nickel Boys Whitehead, Colson 978-0385537070 Fiction
Another Brooklyn Woodson, Jacqueline 978-0062359995 Fiction
Red at the Bone Woodson, Jacqueline 978-0525535270 Fiction
Notes from a black woman’s diary Collins, Kathleen 978-0062800954 Fiction
Friday Black Adjel-Brenyah, Nana Kwame 978-1328911247 Fiction
What it means when a man falls from the sky Arimah, Lesley Nneka 978-0735211025 Fiction
The Undefeated Alexander, Kwame 9781328780966 Kids
Dragons in a Bag Elliott, Zetta 9780525636090 Kids
Antiracist Baby Kendi, Ibram X 978-0593110416 Kids
I am Farmer: Growing an environmental movement in Cameroon Paul, Baptiste and Miranda 9781512449143 Kids
Lu Reynolds, Jason 978-1481450249 Kids
Patina Reynolds, Jason 978-1481450195 Kids
Sunny Reynolds, Jason 978-1481450218 Kids
Just South of Home Strong, Karen 9781534419384 Kids
Brown Girl Dreaming Woodson, Jacqueline 9780147515827 Kids
Harbor Me – audiobook Woodson, Jacqueline 9780525639107 Kids
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi 978-1524733131 Nonfiction
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness Alexander, Michelle 978-1595581037 Nonfiction
Fire shut up in my bones Blow, Charles M. 978-0544228047 Nonfiction
Between the World and Me Coates, Ta Nehisi 978-0812993547 Nonfiction
Eloquent Rage: a black feminist discovers her superpower Cooper, Brittney 978-1250112576 Nonfiction
Collected Poems: 1974 – 2004 Dove, Rita 978-0393354935 Nonfiction
Difficult Women Gay, Roxane 978-0802125392 Nonfiction
Out of the house of bondage: the transformation of the plantation household Glymph, Thavolia 978-0521703987 Nonfiction
The Last Black unicorn Haddish, Tiffany 978-1501181825 Nonfiction
The Sisters Are Alright: Changing The Broken Narrative Of Black Women In America Harris, Tamara Winfrey 978-1626563513 Nonfiction
Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo Hurston, Zora Neale 978-0062748201 Nonfiction
Call me American Iftin, Abdi Nor 978-1524732196 Nonfiction
How to be an Antiracist Kendi, Ibram X 9780525509288 Nonfiction
Stamped from the Beginning Kendi, Ibram X 978-1568585987 Nonfiction
When they call you a terrorist: a black lives matter memoir Khan-Cullors, Patrisse 978-1250171085 Nonfiction
Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr. King, Martin Luther Jr. 978-0446676502 Nonfiction
Heavy: a memoir Laymon, Kiese 978-1501125652 Nonfiction
The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde Lorde, Audre 978-0393319729 Nonfiction
They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore And A New Era In America’s Racial Justice Movement Lowery, Wesley 978-0316312479 Nonfiction
So you want to talk about race Oluo, Ijeoma 978-1580056779 Nonfiction
Notes from a Young Black Chef Onwuachi, Kwame 99781524732622 Nonfiction
Farming while black Penniman, Leah 978-1603587617 Nonfiction
So close to being the sh*t, ya’ll don’t even know Retta 978-1250109347 Nonfiction
You Can’t Touch my Hair: And Other Things I Still Have To Explain Robinson, Phoebe 978-0143129202 Nonfiction
Hidden Figures Shetterly, Margot 978-0062363596 Nonfiction
Feel free Smith, Zadie 978-1594206252 Nonfiction
In search of our mother’s gardens: womanist prose Walker, Alice 978-0156028646 Nonfiction
My larger education: chapters from my expirience Washington, Booker t. 978-1604591972 Nonfiction
The autobiography of Malcom X X, Malcom 978-0345350688 Nonfiction
With the fire on high Acevedo, Elizabeth 978-0062662835 Young Adult
The Poet X Acevedo, Elizabeth 978-0062662804 Young Adult
Children of Virtue and Vengeance Adeyemi, Tomi 978-1250170996 Young Adult
Kings, Queens and In-Betweens Boteju, Tanya 9781534430655 Young Adult
A place for wolves Jackson, Kosoko 9781492673651 Young Adult
She Would Be King Moore, Wayetu 978-1555978177 Young Adult
Akata Warrior Okorafor, Nnedi 978-0670785612 Young Adult
Akata Witch Okorafor, Nnedi 978-0670011964 Young Adult
The Dark Fantastic Thomas, Elizabeth Ebony 978-1479800650 Young Adult

 

Skidompha Book Shop Is Now Open

The Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop in downtown Damariscotta, which has been closed since March because of the pandemic, is now open Monday through Saturday, 9 to 4.

Safety protocols are in place to help protect customers, donors, and volunteers.

Anyone in the shop over the age of 2 will be required to wear a mask – no exceptions — and will be expected to maintain social distance of at least 6 feet. The shop can accommodate five customers at a time.

Donated books and other items will be accepted from 8 to 10 a.m., Monday through Saturday, at the back door only, with a limit of one box or bag per donor. These restrictions are designed to help protect the volunteers who sort and price donations, and reflect the fact that donations are being managed by a smaller crew than usual.

As always, donors are asked not to leave their donations outside. Even a few hours of exposure can damage books so that they cannot be sold.

According to Rosie Bensen, co-manager of the shop, “Our volunteers have missed the shop and our customers. And I know that some of our regular customers have been looking forward to visiting the shop again. We’re happy to welcome everyone. We’ve given careful consideration to our safety procedures, and we ask that people observe them as we do our best to keep the shop open.”

The book shop is a major fundraiser for Skidompha Public Library. It offers thousands of books as well as puzzles, music CDs, and movies on tape and DVD. All items are donated, all staff members are volunteers, and all proceeds support the library’s collections and programs

It’s located on the river at 17 Back Street Landing.

For more information, phone the shop at 563-7807 or the library at 563-5513, or visit the book shop’s website, skidomphbookshop.org.

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.