News

9.1.22 | Fall Book Groups Are Beginning In September!

 

Dear Friends,

Even though it has been years since I’ve gone looking for a backpack to hold all of my books or carefully printed out my supplies list to make sure I had the precise notebook, pencil, and calculator I’d need to begin, the rhythm of the back-to-school season still lives in my body. There’s the tiniest bit of wistful nostalgia for this time of year, and for me, it comes down to the joy of learning and the thrill of following a stream of curiosity to discover something new.

We like channeling this kind of energy—and this year, we want to help you discover something new. We’ve been offering a monthly fiction book group over Zoom for the past two years, and we’re adding a second book group this year–nonfiction! We’re excited to add this genre and hope it may inspire you to follow your own kernels of curiosity. Both groups will take place online.

Our fiction group will meet on the second Monday of the month from September – May. Our nonfiction group kicks off in October, meeting monthly on the first Thursday of the month, and will also run through May. Both groups run from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. You’ll find book titles and registration information on our website, www.skidompha.org.

Happy Reading!

Be well,

Matthew Graff

8.25.22 | We’re Not Closing Early This Friday!

Dear Friends,

Each year, I find myself learning more and more about flexibility and patience—especially true during these last three years. I got another chance to practice this week while I was traveling when a few days into my vacation, I found out I had Covid. So my plans to come back and our staff plans to close early on Friday for staff development all had to pivot.

And now I’m writing to you, feeling tired but thankfully mostly okay, to let you know we will postpone our staff development training and will be open our regular hours this Friday, 8/26. I will be away from my desk a little longer than I had planned. Our staff is phenomenal and will not miss a beat, and I will be happy when I return to work! What a wonderful feeling.

I am sad to miss the return of Novel Jazz to Skidompha this Thursday and the Porch Day concert of the Skidompha Strummers. Novel Jazz will perform a free concert in the atrium on Friday, August 26, from 7:00 – 9:30 p.m. The Skidompha Strummers, ukulele ensemble, will perform outside the Skidompha library’s front door from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 27, international Play Music on the Porch Day. You’ll find more information for these two wonderful events below.

Our Summer Reading Programs are wrapping up, another school year is right around the corner, and we are busy planning our fall programs. In whatever ways you might be transitioning in the coming weeks, I hope they go smoothly, and I will see you soon at Skidompha.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

8.18.22 | Jessie, Youth Services Librarian Here!

 

Hello all,

Jessie, Youth Services Librarian, here—Matthew’s away on vacation, so he’s left this letter in my hands this week (insert evil laugh here). All kidding aside, I’m actually just really excited to tell you all about some of the unique items we have in the Youth Services Library. Did you know we have two telescopes now? In addition to telescopes, we have two microscopes. These microscopes have digital displays and a box of prepared slides for you to explore and enjoy.

We also have several pairs of binoculars. We have you covered if you’re wondering what to do with them! We recently curated a backpack kit with ideas for binoculars beyond the usual bird watching (though this bird nerd always encourages any activities related to bird watching). Did you know that binoculars are often sufficient for skywatching? Come check out this kit or any of our pairs of binoculars and tell us what you find.

One of our most recent additions to the collection is this really cool Polaroid camera—yes, it functions just like the Polaroid cameras of yore. When you check it out, you get a box of film to go with it. We even have some black-and-white film if you’re feeling extra artsy. We can’t wait to see what people capture with this new addition to our collection.

We hope you’ll stop by the Youth Services Section sometime, you only need to be young at heart (and open to a little noise) to use our library. All are always welcome.

Happy reading, birding, and exploring!

Jessie Trafton

Youth Services Librarian

Skidompha Public Library

 

8.11.22 | Vacation Time!

Dear Friends,

Just a short note this time. I am heading to North Carolina next week to visit with family. The picture above shows the view from my dad’s backyard, where I enjoy my morning coffee. If I’m lucky, I’ll share the time with dolphins, rays, eagles, and osprey.

I hope you can find some time this week for some summery things you love.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

8.4.22 | Summer Reading Program Updates

Dear Friends,

Skidompha has been bustling this summer. I have been blown away by our staff’s commitment to offering so many incredible Summer Reading Program events and by the response from our community and visitors to Damariscotta. We still have a few weeks left to enjoy these summer programs, but I wanted to spend time this week highlighting some of what we’ve all been up to. And, I wanted to offer sincere thanks to everyone who is participating. You keep us curious, engaged, and happy to keep going!

Kids Summer Reading Program:

  • We’ve had 271 kids sign up for the summer. Since each person signing up gets a free book, that’s 271 books into the hands of our community’s youth.
  • We’ve had 251 kids attend programs this summer so far.
  • Highlights include watching eyes light up when Mr. Drew brought his animals to the library. The beautiful community-made mural hanging on the front of the library building inspires us all. We’ve also REALLY enjoyed listening to kids recite poetry for us—either poems they’ve memorized or poems they’ve written. We’ve also noticed the BINGO sheet format has encouraged kids to read outside their comfort zones. 

Teen Summer Reading Program:

  • Nearly 50 teens have signed up for the summer. We’ve remodeled the teen room and added new book clubs for teens.
  • Two teen volunteers teamed up with some of our genealogy volunteers to create beautiful bulletin boards to highlight summer programming. 
  • GSB counselor Jill Davis, who believes in the powerful connection between creativity and relaxation/stress management, taught a sewing class for children and teens. Youth ages 6-14 gathered in Porter Meeting Hall, learned basic skills, and worked on various self-driven projects, including pillows, bags, a camera case, and a sculptural “origami coffee cup.” Each teen was excited to receive a relevant and age-appropriate book to bring home and inspire more practice and projects.
  • We teamed up with Jesse Martin of Wildings, who shared his passion for the Japanese art form Kokedama with a group of teens.
  • Local artist Graham Walton worked with a group of teens in our courtyard one recent afternoon to teach them about printmaking. The teens used chisels to carve their own designs into wooden blocks, then created prints. 

Adult Summer Reading Program:

  • We have been thrilled by the enthusiasm and commitment of Adult Summer Reading participants. We’ve had 219 adults sign up for the summer.
  • The Adult Services staff have enjoyed talking with patrons about their favorite sea creatures and ocean-related books. We also enjoyed the hikes to learn about the local flora and fauna.
  • After learning about Goblin Sharks, Molly will never step foot in the water again. And if you haven’t heard of Mermaid’s Purse, please look it up—Adult Services staff are currently obsessed with this funky little sea oddity.
  • From metal fish to pen-and-ink whales, we have also enjoyed seeing everyone’s marine-themed art projects. Please keep them coming!

We hope to see you in the library soon.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

7.28.22 | Skidompha Is Now A Free Covid PCR Testing Site


Dear Friends,

We are excited to share the news that Skidompha will become a temporary Covid testing site starting this week. This service will be offered to the community through the fall.

PCR testing will be offered on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting on Friday,  July 29th. We will then send the tests away for processing, and the results will come back in 24 – 48 hours.

To get tested, patrons must meet one of these criteria:

  • Symptomatic: experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste, chill, fatigue, etc. in the last 14 days
  • Exposed: had contact with someone who has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • High-risk: diagnosed with underlying conditions such as heart conditions or high blood pressure, or immunocompromised
  • Pregnant: currently pregnant 

Please note that these tests cannot be used to meet travel requirements.

The test pick-up and dropbox will be located outside at the back entrance. People who wish to pick up a kit can call the library, and a staff member will set the kit on the table for them to pick up.

You will need to register your test online and can either do your swab here, outside of the library or take it and bring it back (on the same day). Tests will be packed up and shipped out on the same day they are collected.

Helpful Tips:

  • You will need a computer or smart device to log in to the website or scan the provided QR code.
  • You can take the test without insurance, but if you have insurance, please bring your card.
  • If you have been vaccinated, please bring a copy of your vaccination card to provide vaccination dates.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 207-887-0919.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

7.21.22 | Phone Number Update

Dear Friends,

I got up early this morning, and the joy from that decision lingers as I sit here at my computer to write to you. I love walking through town early in the morning before things fully wake up. I took advantage of the quiet to sit on one of the benches across the street from the library to watch the water glisten.

This week’s big news is twofold; the first is a reminder about our new phone numbers. We will fully transition to our new numbers on August 1, 2022. Our new main number is 207-887-0919, and our new children’s number is 207-945-1056. Please get ready to make the switch!

The second is that Lincoln County TV was at the library for our first in-person Chats since the beginning of the pandemic. They recorded William Anthony as he talked about his new book Farnsy. You can find the show at this link on LCTV’s website: https://lctv.org/chats-with-champions-june-30-2022-2022-07-09. If you missed Bill’s talk, I urge you to click on the link. LCTV has done an excellent job putting together a polished and professional show, and Bill is a wonderful and engaging speaker.

I’m keeping this message short and sweet in hopes you may use the extra time to find your own quiet Maine moment this summer.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

7.14.22 | New Art Installation Outside Skidompha!

Dear Friends,

If you’ve taken a stroll down Main Street or driven by the front of the library lately, you may have noticed the giant art installation hanging there. This gorgeous piece of collaborative community art is here thanks to the creative imaginations of Jessie, our Youth Services Librarian, and local artist Erica Qualey. They came up with the idea for a large-scale work of art to coincide with the Summer Reading Program theme, Oceans of Possibilities. Once the idea was shared, the community took over and poured their creativity into it. The result of their skills and vision is outstanding. We are excited to display this beautiful creation, made by and for the community.

Though just recently installed, the project began in February when Erica organized a group of students from Bristol to work with her on the design and initial sketches. They used illustrated books from the library to inspire life-like drawings and gathered over several weeks to draw it all on paper. After transposing the entire 18-ft tall work of art onto six different canvas pieces, it was up to our community to color it all. Canvases were available for coloring at the library. We also sent some to the Lincoln Home, Cove’s Edge, and beyond. In the end, the gorgeous work of art was colored by artists ages 18 months to 80 years. We’re beyond thrilled with the finished product and are excited to share this community-inspired and community-created work of art.

I have enjoyed looking at it again and again in recent weeks, and each time I look, I spot something new. Summer visitors to the library and regular patrons have told us they love seeing it up there. I especially love thinking about how it brought members of our community together this year—always my aspiration for the library.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a photo beneath these words, and we hope you’ll take the time to check it out in person if you can. Thank you to Jessie and Erica for creating this incredible project and to every single artist who participated!

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

7.7.22 | Summer Bees

Dear Friends,

I find myself taking extra time to check on the bees these days. With summer’s sun and warmth, the hive is bustling with activity. The population has grown immensely, and there is a near-constant activity with bees leaving and arriving back with pollen and nectar. The queen is laying eggs, and we have multiple frames of capped brood, pollen, nectar, and honey.

With the bees doing so well, I’m considering the possibility that they may outgrow their home. Our single colony may split into two distinct colonies, with one flying off with the original queen to create a new hive. This natural and regular process is extraordinary and rarely seen by anyone other than beekeepers. It begins weeks in advance when the decision to leave is made. Workers will build a queen cell where the queen will lay an egg. That egg is raised to be a new queen, and during the process, scout bees will fly out to find a welcoming site for them to alight upon. When ready, the original queen will leave the hive with approximately half the bees following her to that predetermined landing site, and scout bees will again fly out to find a spot for the new hive. The bees are at their most docile at this time. They have nothing to protect other than the queen. While it may seem slightly disconcerting to see this cloud of bees, I feel it is also a joyous thing to witness—to see this colony set out to add further to our bee population and the health of our community.

Curiously, the bees are at their most vulnerable at this time. They do not have a hive full of stores to fall back on, and they move out with only the pollen and nectar they had consumed before they left. Starvation is a possibility, as is the death of the queen, or rainy and cool weather, any of which would be the end of this new hive.

We are so fortunate to have our hive and be able to view all of its seasonal activities. I urge you to come down and see how our bees are doing. Enjoy the waggle dances; watch how a bee removes the pollen from her legs and deposits it in a cell; identify the difference between capped brood cells and honey-filled cells; even watch the queen lay her eggs.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

6.30.22 | Happy Independence Day!

Dear Friends,

Happy Independence Day! As we look ahead to the weekend, I wish that we all find even a moment to relax and be surrounded by people who bring smiles to our faces or that we find time to play or recharge in whatever ways we need. As I reflect on what it means to be a part of this community, I feel very grateful indeed.

We are delighted to see your faces in the library this summer, and having you join us for our Summer Reading Programming is keeping us energized, even with the bustle of it all.

However you spend your time this weekend, we thank you for making Skidompha a part of your lives.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Library