Skidompha Seeking Director of Development [POSITION FILLED]

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Skidompha is an incredible place to be and to work. Find out for yourself by applying to our recent position opening: Director of Development.

Skidompha is seeking a dedicated, energetic, and experienced Director of Development. The Director of Development works closely with the Executive Director, the Director of Communications, the Development Associate, and the Skidompha Board of Directors. They manage all fundraising efforts for the library including the major gifts program, annual fund, planned giving, grant research and writing, business sponsorships, special events and capital campaigns.

We are looking for an individual that embraces the mission of Skidompha Library and has exceptionally strong interpersonal and writing skills. Experience in fundraising is a must, as we need a strong team to help during the transition of our library’s Executive Director. If you think this sounds like your skill set, please review the full job description on our website and send an updated resume to

Take care,
Pam Gormley
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

Skidompha Silent Auction – April 12 to April 27!

Skidompha is still working hard to raise the remainder of the project funds to create an online archive of historic local newspapers. Our February costume ball raised the majority of the funds required but we still have funds to raise. We hope you will help us raise the remainder by bidding on an item in our Skidompha Silent Auction.

Our silent auction has many eclectic finds. We have a number of pieces of art, including a beautiful Marquetry piece by Bruce Babb and an Owl Painting print by Julie Babb. We have several Geisha antique prints, housed in beautiful frames. Interested in authors Barbara Cooney or Maurice Sendak? Bid on signed prints and posters from both. We also have a photographic print of a glorious Maine sunset from photographer Dennis Boyd.

Are you more interested in antiques? We have an antique children’s book collection from author Lois Lenski, a ginger jar from the estate of Huston Dodge, a wooden typeset box, and a porcelain vase – all donated by community members as their contribution to this worthy project.

Interested in handicrafts? We have a quilt donated by Skidompha Staffer Yvonne Lamoreaux (whose work has been prominently featured in our quilt exhibits for many years), and we have felted artwork by Ann Holmes.

Please support Skidompha’s digital archive by placing your winning bid before noon on Saturday, April 27, when the auction closes. Swing by anytime during open hours to peruse – there are even more items in our auction than described here. Highest bidders will be notified shortly after the auction closes and will be able to pick up their pieces.

Here’s to preserving our shared history!

Pam Gormley

Executive Director

Skidompha Library

An Evening with Coach Mike McGraw

Friday, March 29 – BUY YOUR TICKETS!

5 pm – An Evening with Coach Mike McGraw – Porter Hall @ Skidompha Library 

$20 admission; $5 for age 18 and under

Join us for our culminating Community READ event! Get an insider’s perspective with Lewiston’s very own Coach of the Blue Devils – Mike McGraw. McGraw is heavily featured in our READ title “One Goal” by Amy Bass, and has lead his team to 3 state championship wins! 

Our tailgate will include hotdogs (“Wicked Wieners” from Wicked Scoops!), veggie options from Rising Tide, beer, soft drinks, and live music from the band Driving Charlie Home are included in the reception following the talk.

Tickets are available for purchase at Skidompha’s front desk and online at

Thank you to our Community READ Sponsors and partners: the First National Bank, Cheney Insurance, Newcastle Realty, Newcastle Vacation Rentals, Lincoln Academy, and the CLC YMCA!

Photo of Coach McGraw courtesy of the Lewiston Sun Journal.

2019 Community READ!

Dear readers,

Welcome to March in Maine! This year, we’re hosting a Community READ to get you through the last days of Winter and welcome in Spring. Have you picked up your free copy of “One Goal” by Amy Bass at the library yet? We have a number of events coming your way focused on themes found in the book!

Please join us every Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in March for a sports-themed film. All films will be shown in Porter Hall and are brought to you free of charge! Titles for the month include “Bend it Like Beckham” (2002), “Breaking Away” (1979), “Péle: Birth of a Legend” (2016), and “The Pride of the Yankees” (1942).

On March 16th, we’re hosting two events: a book discussion of “One Goal” and a Community Lunch. The book discussion will begin at 11 a.m. at the Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop (17 Backstreet Landing, Damariscotta). At 12:00 p.m., we’ll gather at the library for a Community potluck lunch. All are welcome; we ask that you either bring a dish to share or bring a $15 contribution. All participants will receive a veritable feast and a beautiful plate from Watershed Pottery to take home.

On Monday, March 18th, we’ll welcome the author of “One Goal” to speak at Skidompha! Amy Bass will speak at 2 p.m. in Porter Hall. This event is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

Interested in joining our Community READ? Check out our full line-up of programming on our events page or our community read page

Happy READing!

Pam Gormley

Executive Director

Skidompha Library

Do you have your tickets yet?

Dear reader,

Skidompha Library is committed to preserving our local history for the benefit of future generations. Our most recent endeavor is to provide online access to historical archives of The Lincoln County News. We have raised over $40,000 and are working hard to raise the remaining $10,000 to complete the project.

Why is this effort so critical? Kathy Maclachlan, our staff genealogist, puts it well: “The Lincoln County News Digital Archive project is a researchers dream come true. Some of the years covered [in the archive] have no other information resources available; this will fill gaps of people’s family history and their understanding of the times and struggles that we’ve dealt with as a community.”

Won’t you help us preserve these significant historical documents? The best way to help is to buy your ticket to Through the Pages, a formal wear costume ball. We’re hosting the ball at Skidompha (184 Main Street, Damariscotta) on February 22nd as a fundraiser to finish the project. Wear your historical finest (from any year included in the newspaper digitization – 1870s through today!) and partake in live music, dancing, light bites, a silent auction, and drinks for purchase. Both Odd Alewives and Oxbow will be pouring their beers for your enjoyment; they’ll both be generously donating a portion of their pours to this cause. Tickets are on sale now for $10. You can purchase them at Skidompha’s front desk or online at

We hope to see you on February 22nd!


Through the Pages Benefit Costume Ball


We hope you’ll join us for our “Through the Pages” costume ball on February 22, 2019! Tickets are now available for $10 at Skidompha’s front desk and online at

This ball is a benefit to support the Lincoln County News digital archive project. Skidompha is assisting in this effort, and has raised $40,000 to begin the project in partnership with the Lincoln County News. The result of this project will be an online, searchable archive of local news — dating all the way back to 1870! This is the first time this record is available in this format to the public. It will be an invaluable resource for research, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with our favorite local paper to bring this record to our community.

And now, the details! “Through the Pages” will take place at Skidompha Library on Friday, February 22nd. As we have a penchant for theatrics, this event will be a costume ball. We encourage you to wear your formal dress from any decade the newspaper has been in print — anytime between 1870 through today! This event is not to be missed. There will be live music, dancing, light bites, silent auction, and beverages for sale! Please join us on February 22nd to support this important piece of local history.

Director’s Note – January 16

Dear Readers,

School holiday break is in the rearview mirror, and we’re working on things to keep you and the young people in your life busy over February school vacation! We’re offering free programming including two unique opportunities for writers: Junior Journalists (grades 5 – 6) and Write On (grades 7 – 12). And, of course, we’re planning for our glamorous costume ball, Through the Pages, on the evening of February 22nd.

Junior Journalists (Grade 5 + 6)

February 19 – 22

11 am – 1 pm

The Lincoln County News has generously donated the time of their creative and energetic marketing director, Maia Zewert to run Junior Journalists! Students will learn reporting basics by brainstorming article ideas, practicing interview techniques, and writing their very own newspaper articles to be published in The Lincoln County News. This workshop is free and open to the public. You can sign up by emailing Kelsey Gibbs (; spots are limited to students in grades 5 and 6, and we recommend signing up early to reserve your spot.


Write On (Grades 7 – 12)

February 19 – 22

11 am – 4 pm

Join us for our second annual Write On workshop! Write On is a collaboration with The Telling Room, a non-profit based in Portland that works to “empower youth through writing and share their voices with the world,” (, 2019). We’ll explore a number of creative paths into the writing process, bring characters on quests, write mini fiction pieces, different styles of poems, and stretch our storytelling muscles while having a whole lot of fun. Sign up early to reserve your spot; email Kelsey Gibbs ( This workshop is free and open to the public.


Through the Pages Costume Ball

February 22 – 6:30 – 11 pm

$10 Tickets benefit the newspaper digital archive project

Come in your fancy dress for the soirée of the winter! Deck out in any decade that the newspaper has been in print: the civil war era through today. There will be live musical entertainment, dancing, light bites, a silent auction, and beverages for sale. Support the creation of a searchable digital archive for your local paper and have fun at the same time. Tickets available at Skidompha’s front desk.

Here’s to the fun times in our future!

Pam Gormley
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

150 Years of Little Women at Skidompha Library

Join us on Friday, November 9th and Saturday, November 10th to celebrate 150 years of the beloved novel Little Women! We’ll be hosting discussions, showing the PBS miniseries Little Women, and having our very own tea party (including Miss Louisa May Alcott* herself!) All events are free, open to the public, and are family friendly – no advance sign up needed.

Friday, November 9th

1:00 – 2:30: The Alcotts and the Marches: Fact and Fiction

Join Jayne Gordon, former Director of the Orchard House, where “Little Women” was written, and Joan Spinazola, an expert in 19th Century American Literature, as they discuss and explore Louisa May Alcott’s family and that of her most famous heroines’, the March family from “Little Women”. Learn about the characters, setting, and plot of the novel, discuss some little known Alcott trivia, and discover the facts behind the fiction. 

JAYNE GORDON was the the Director of Orchard House, where Little Women was written 150 years ago, for sixteen years. She has focused on the Concord Authors (Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Alcott) for decades, through her work as Director of the Thoreau Society, and as Director of Education at the Concord Museum, Walden Woods Project, and the Massachusetts Historical Society.  Jayne regularly gives presentations, teaches courses, conducts training, and coordinates workshops around different aspects of the authors’ lives and works. She just moved to Damariscotta from Concord this spring, and is delighted to share her investigations and discoveries with her new community.

JOAN SPINAZOLA is a graduate of Worcester State University with a BA in English Lit.  She is currently working toward her Masters Degree in English with a focus on 19th Century American Literature.  A former stand-up comic, Joan took the opportunity of her 23 free hours a day to do independent study on Louisa May Alcott and the other authors of Concord.  She is the owner of New England Heritage Tours and Talks where she lectures on Alcott, along with some of the lesser known women of the 19th century including Mary A. Livermore and Fanny Fern.

6:30 – 8:45 pm: Episodes 1 and 2 of PBS 2018 miniseries “Little Women”

Join us for this very special showing of the new PBS miniseries “Little Women,” with the exciting conclusion and Louisa May Alcott quiz on Saturday night. 

Saturday, November 10th

10:00 – 11:30 and 12:15 to 1:00 “Little Women” crafts and activities

Drop-in fun for the whole family! Join us for Journal-Making, acting out “Tableaux Vivants” or scenes from books just like the March girls do in “Little Women,” and the art of letter-writing with pen and ink!

11:30 – 12:15 Tea with Louisa May Alcott

You are cordially invited to a very special tea party with Miss Alcott herself. Do you love the book “Little Women”? Does this book mean something special to you or others in your family? Come and sip a proper cup of tea with Miss Alcott and share your story. Tea and biscuits provided!

6:30 – 8:45 pm: Episode 3 of PBS Little Women and Louisa May Alcott Quiz Night

So you think you know Little Women? Test your knowledge during our Louisa May Alcott Quiz following the final episode of the new PBS miniseries “Little Women.” Prizes and refreshments for all!

LCN + Skidompha Newspaper Archive Project

LCN, Skidompha Partner to Digitize Newspaper Archives
Article from the Lincoln County News – October 26, 2018
by Maia Zewert (Lincoln County News)

The front page of the Jan. 29, 1942 edition of The Lincoln County News. The newspaper and Skidompha Library are partnering in an effort to digitize the newspaper’s full archive and make it available to the public. (Maia Zewert photo)

Skidompha Library recently received a $30,000 grant for a digitization project that would make the complete archives of The Lincoln County News available to the public online for the first time.

The project received the grant from the Burns Family Foundation to fund 60 percent of the estimated $50,000 cost.

“They are wonderful people, huge supporters of the community, and they truly understand the area and the importance of this project,” Torie DeLisle, director of development and programs for Skidompha Library, said.

Currently, the LCN archives from 1942-2007 are available in hard copy only at the newspaper’s office in Newcastle. Archives prior to 1942 exist only in hard copy in a climate-controlled room at the Lincoln County Courthouse, but little to no public access is possible due to the documents’ fragile condition.

A digital archive exists from 2008 to the present day, however, only editions from mid-2016 to the present are readily available to the public at

Lincoln County Publishing Co., which publishes The Lincoln County News, had been searching for a way to preserve the archives and make them available to the public.

“We’ve spent a lot of time researching many different ways to preserve what we have, but we ran into stumbling blocks with scanning and storing” the archives, Chris Roberts, president of Lincoln County Publishing Co., said.

The partnership between LCN and Skidompha for the project began almost a year ago, when DeLisle met with LCN Editor J.W. Oliver to discuss introducing “Skidompha Skoop,” a new column from the library. During the meeting, Oliver offhandedly mentioned the newspaper’s need to relocate the archives from the courthouse due to space issues.

“It got me thinking that this might be something that the library could help with. It was such a great fit,” DeLisle said. “So when I got back from the meeting, the first thing I did was ask Kathy (Maclachlan, Skidompha’s staff genealogist) what her thoughts about a project like this would be and she was just beside herself at the thought.”

For Maclachlan, the digitization of the newspaper’s archives would “be the single greatest help to the area” with regard to genealogical research. While vital records and census data can provide some of the facts of an ancestor’s life, a searchable digital archive of the newspaper would help provide context and “give flesh to the bones of families’ stories,” Maclachlan said.

“On a weekly basis, I say how much easier certain research would be if we had access to this. It’s going to have such an impact,” Maclachlan said. “This is so important to our understanding of ourselves and where we belong and where we’ve come from.”

The older newspapers could also confirm informal family records and clear up gray areas, Oliver said.

“Having some interest in genealogy myself, I think that’s going to be the number one use. This is a Lincoln County-specific archive with a lot of information about local families,” Oliver said.

In addition, the archives contain curiosities and other valuable information that will become easily accessible, Oliver said.

A group of people were recently in the LCN office searching the heavy bound volumes of newspapers for a piece of information in a column about St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

“They were in here for days, and they eventually found it,” Oliver said. “Now you’re going to be able to do that with a couple of clicks.”

Skidompha Library agreed to raise funds for the project.

“We’re very grateful to Skidompha for taking an interest in the project and taking the lead on fundraising,” Oliver said. “We looked at ways to do it ourselves and there was no way to pay for it. The equipment is expensive, it would take an incredible amount of manpower to do it ourselves, and as a for-profit company, we aren’t in a position to fundraise.”

“Without the combined efforts with Skidompha Library, it would not have been feasible for us to take on the financial burden,” John Roberts, associate publisher of The Lincoln County News, said.

The digitization of the archives is included in the library’s fall fundraising campaign and will be the focus of a series of events in 2019, including a “through the ages” ball and a newspaper fashion show, DeLisle said.

Once all funding for the project has been secured, the archives will be sent to Advantage Preservation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a firm that specializes in the digitization of old newspapers.

In addition to the complete archives of The Lincoln County News, the project will digitize the existing archives of the Sheepscot Echo, one of two newspapers that merged to create The Lincoln County News; the Village Herald, published in Damariscotta in the 1870s and a predecessor of the Damariscotta Herald, which merged with the Sheepscot Echo to create The Lincoln County News; the Waldoboro Press, which Lincoln County Publishing Co. acquired in 1967 and merged with the LCN in 1968; and a Waldoboro-based newspaper called The Lincoln County News, published from the 1870s to the early 1900s and unaffiliated with the present-day newspaper. The oldest of these newspapers dates to around 1874.

DeLisle said she would like to complete fundraising by the end of 2018 in hopes that the archives will be digitized and available for use in 2019. She said her goal is to ship the archives by Christmas.

After the digitization is complete, the archives will be made available in three ways: to LCN subscribers on, to library members through the library website, and to anyone who visits the library on the library’s computers.

The physical archives will return to Lincoln County Publishing Co., at which point the company will decide where to store them, Chris Roberts said.

Both the newspaper and library are enthusiastic about providing the years of archives to the community.

“Like much of the community, our family has been here for multiple generations,” John Roberts said. “It’s important to preserve the legacy of the newspaper that has served the public for over 140 years.”

To support the digitization of the LCN archives and give to Skidompha Library’s fall fundraising campaign, go to or call the library’s development office at 563-1940.

Food Writing Contest Finalist: Bob Emmons

And beer doesn’t go well with it either


What’s the deal with women and salad? I can understand eating it for health benefits but women seem to actually enjoy it.  They can make a whole meal out of the stuff. The only guy I ever met who truly likes salad believes that three of the last four presidents of the United States were actually cleverly disguised lizard creatures from another galaxy. Well, maybe.

Salad does serve a function when eating out at a restaurant. It’s something to do after you’ve ordered and are waiting for your meat entrée. However, if you have a good waiter or waitress, he or she will refill the bread basket with more bread or rolls and then the salad course becomes unnecessary.

When considering the relative desirability of salad look to the animal kingdom. Do lions eat salads? No, unless indirectly if the antelope or gazelle has been grazing on the savannah immediately before the lion chowed down.

Who does eat lettuce? Rabbits and slugs. They’re not two animals that generate a lot of respect. I know a person who bit into a slug when eating salad at a fancy restaurant. Apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence. He was so traumatized that to this day he won’t sit within 50 feet of a salad bar.

I’ve eaten some nasty stuff in my life. Snakes during my Army days and when I was teaching Entomology I had students prepare insect recipes found in a book titled ‘Butterflies in My Stomach’. And of course I had to sample them. Delicacies such as grasshopper soup, caterpillar cookies, and my personal favorite- cockroach pudding.  But even with extra croutons and gobs of salad dressing I wouldn’t eat a slug.

And don’t forget all the bacterial pathogens found in salads. People who eat salads probably lose weight because those bacteria cause them to leave a lot of pounds behind in the bathroom.

Yeah, salads can be healthy. But remember the old joke- a doctor tells a middle-aged man that he must stop drinking, excessive partying, and eating red meat, and instead get lots of sleep and eat salads at least twice a day. The fellow asks the doctor, ‘If I follow your instructions will I live longer? The doctor replies ‘Not necessarily, but it will seem longer’.


— Bob Emmons