6.1.2023 Summer Reading Kick-Off

Dear Friends,

Today is the first day of June, and that means that it’s finally time to launch our Summer Reading Program! Everyone here has been busy planning, and we’re so excited to finally be able to share all of the books and activities that are coming up. This year’s theme is All Together Now, and we truly do want to encourage everyone to feel welcome and get involved.

We’ll be kicking the whole thing off at Skidompha this Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Come join us! While you’re here, you can register for summer reading and get your bingo sheet to complete challenges and be eligible for fun prizes. We’ll be giving away free books for our summer book clubs. Additionally, there will be art supplies for a sketchbook challenge, a concert from the Skidompha Strummers, smoothies, the chance to touch a fire truck, and a generally good time here with your friends at the Library!

The parking lot behind the Library will be closed to make room for all the fun activities, but the municipal lots will be open. We look forward to seeing you!

Be well,
The Skidompha Staff

5.25.2023 Memorial Day

Dear Friends

Memorial Day is already almost here! I have no celebratory plans, and instead look forward to a relaxing day of brunch, a long walk, and an enjoyable yet futile attempt to catch up on some reading. Amidst my rest and the celebrations I will remind myself of the solemnity of this holiday. First held just after the Civil War and known as Decoration Day, this is a day for remembrance and honoring those who have died in past wars. 

For those of you so inclined, please see this link for VA volunteer opportunities in Maine. 

Be well,

PS Our bees have built 6 new queen cells! A new queen is on the way!

5.18.2023 All Together Now

Hello friends,

As the days get warmer and the birds really ramp up their singing, you’ll find the library staff likewise stirring and planning and preparing for the annual summer reading program. This year’s theme is All Together Now, and we’re excited to celebrate this theme of kindness, compassion, and community with our community.

We have many new and exciting things planned for this summer: multi-generational book clubs, nature walks, art programming, gaming, music programs, a theater workshop, raffle prizes, and more! Oh, and did we mention free books? 

As with last year, we’ll have a large-scale community-made art installation on the front of the library. This year, we had over 500 people participate in the generation of these beautiful canvases. They’re all finished and hanging in the library atrium right now. Come get a close up look at the creativity found in our community before they’re hung outside later this month. 

We’re kicking off the Summer Reading Program on Saturday, June 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with a library-wide party. In addition to Summer Reading Program registration, we’ll have smoothies, touch-a-truck, a ukulele concert from the Skidompha Strummers, free books, and a sketchbook challenge. 

We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday, June 3 and again throughout the summer. 

Be well,
Your Library Staff

5.11.2023 Changes in Youth Services

Hello friends,

It’s Jessie from Youth Services here. When I started volunteering at Skidompha in 2014, I did it as a way to give back to and to get involved in our community. When I began working here shortly thereafter, I never anticipated what a joy it would be and what an outstanding group of people I’d get to call my work family. Working at Skidompha has been incredibly rewarding and has helped me grow as a person in ways I never expected. The more involved I’ve become in the world of librarianship, the more I’ve become keenly aware of what a unique and special place we have in this library. It is for this reason that it saddens me to announce that my time at Skidompha is coming to a close at the end of May.

Beginning in the fall, I’ll be enrolling at the University of British Columbia in a dual-degree program in Library and Archive Sciences. I’m very excited to learn more about this field and to take what I’ve learned at Skidompha on the road, and my family is excited for a west coast Canadian adventure. Matthew isn’t alone in his nerdy love of whales, and so the prospect of regular orca sightings doesn’t hurt the transition either. 

If you told me at any point during my adolescence or young adult life that I’d be working with children and loving it, I’d have given you a serious side-eye and would probably have burst out laughing. Since beginning my work as Youth Services Librarian in 2019, I’ve discovered a world of incredible literature I never knew existed before. If you haven’t read any children’s books lately, I cannot recommend them enough (can I even call myself a librarian if I’m not pushing books in my farewell address?). We’ll have a big display in the atrium of youth books that are great for adults to read, but please remember you’re always welcome to check out any of our books any time. 

I’m thrilled to announce that Kristi, our current Teen Librarian, will be taking over as Youth Services Librarian beginning in June. Kristi is going to do a fantastic job. She has a natural ability to connect with kids, to help them grow, and most importantly to ensure they feel welcome and like they belong at Skidompha. To help our young library users with this transition, on Tuesday, May 30 at 10:00 a.m., we’ll be hosting a joint Story Time where both Kristi and I will read stories and sing songs. Additionally, throughout that day, we’ll have special treats and craft activities, and we encourage everyone to stop in for a visit. My final day at Skidompha will be Saturday, June 3, and I look forward to connecting with as many of you as possible before then. Regardless of where I land at the end of schooling, Skidompha will always have a special place in my heart and will always be home. 

Happy reading,

5.04.2023 In Between

Hello friends,

Well, that weekend storm was quite a thing. My apologies to those who went without power, but I love storms, particularly thunderstorms. While not technically an April shower setting up May flowers, perhaps we can quantify it as such anyway. What’s a day between us and Mother Nature?

April-May is unique for me. That unsettled time when winter and spring are arguing about when to sit down and when to stand up. We’re in that “in between time”, waiting for the next big change or stage to settle in, and so it is with Skidompha. We’ve just finished our April break programming, and sit in that “in-between time” as our winter rhythm transitions to summer, counting the days down until Summer Read starts.

Summer is by far our busiest time. Foot traffic can increase by more than 30% as the weather warms and the town swells. The Skidompha Bookshop starts “rockin’ and rollin’” too, as people discover its magic for the first time. Jessie, Kristi, and Molly have been collaborating for months to put together a selection of really neat programming as well–a few spoilers below! We take a lot of pride in our programming and the connection created when people come together for an event, whether a concert, story time, or game night. I feel strongly that Skidompha’s ability to bring people together is among its greatest assets, and our aim to foster connection is among our most critical missions. 

I’ll have a more detailed preview of Summer Read as it draws nearer, and I look forward to seeing you here to enjoy the events. 

Be well,

Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Public Library

4.27.23 Spring Bee Update

Hello friends,

I thought I’d slow things down a little after our busy April Break schedule, and talk about bees. I was doing some spring chores outside and noticed a bumble bee hanging onto the porch screening. She stayed there until after I finished my chores, looking a little tired and vulnerable. I thought of our own hive in the library and how much I enjoy their company, and gently persuaded Ms. Bumble into a small box along with a bottle cap full of fresh sugar water. An hour or so had passed when I checked on her next, and she had left her temporary shelter. I hope she is well and busy doing bumble bee things.

Our own Skidompha honey bees are on my mind these days. Spring is a critical and busy time for them. Our colony has officially “woken up” from its winter somnolence and has begun its own spring chores. Our queen is laying again, depositing a mix of worker and drone eggs that will mature into larva after a few days. She needs to mate with multiple drones only once in her life to gain the necessary genetic diversity to create a lifetime’s worth of eggs. Nurse bees–younger worker bees–feed and tend to the larva for roughly a week and then cap off the larva’s cell with wax. The larva then spend the next ten days or so maturing into an adult bee. At twenty one days an adorable, fluffy, adult bee will shakily emerge from its cell and begin its chores in the hive. Successful population renewal is crucial to the survival of the colony. 

Concurrently, worker bees will be flying out and foraging for nectar and pollen to feed the new young bees. As the sun gets stronger and the weather gets warmer, flights become more active and numerous and you will see more bees exiting and entering the hive at their perch on Main Street. I love taking a few minutes to watch those frenetic flights. Bees flying out so confidently with such an important mission. The colony is exceptionally vulnerable at this time, and risks abound. Without a healthy, laying queen, a healthy population of workers, and solid source of nectar and pollen, the colony will not survive. 

This virtuous circle, new bees born requiring more food, which require more bees to gather, which provides more sustenance for more bees… continues perhaps and until the colony grows too large for the hive. Should that happen the bees will swarm. Workers rear a new queen to take the place of the original, and the original queen and approximately half the colony leave to pursue a new location to start a new hive. Swarming is a natural and amazing thing for bees, and helps promote population growth and diversity. How the bees choose their new hive sight is an amazingly cool process, and a good topic for our next bee checkin.

Be well,

Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Public Library

4.20.23 Our Spring Appeal

Dear Friends,

Filling in for Matthew this week, I’m happy to have the chance to chat with Skidompha’s subscribers!

Any new job comes with its share of surprise discoveries, and with luck those surprises are of the happy variety. This has definitely been the case as I’ve settled in to working at Skidompha and have learned more and more about how the library operates. I was impressed to find out how much of our funding comes directly from donations. Most libraries receive the bulk of their funding from municipalities. Skidompha is different- about eighty percent of our revenue comes from gifts and donations. This is incredible! It’s a realization which makes every day at the library feel remarkable. Every activity and program, every book and movie borrowed, truly seem like a part of a collective enterprise. It speaks so well of our community that such value is placed on a public library.

I’m excited to help foster the relationships between Skidompha and our patrons. Our Spring Appeal, which just launched, is a great opportunity to support the library. Summer is a busy time for us, with many new books to recommend, fun events happening all the time, and a Summer Reading program we can’t wait to share with you. The generosity of our community is invaluable and so appreciated; Skidompha is a truly public venture, and everyone who volunteers time, money, materials, or their efforts to the library should be exceptionally proud of what they have helped to create. I invite you to give to our Spring Appeal – we’re happy to accept donations via mail, website, or in person at the circulation desk. Thank you for helping to keep our cooperative, energetic library strong!

I’d like to take the opportunity, as well, to thank the voters and town of Nobleboro for increasing their support of Skidompha in their budget this year. We’re grateful for the funding the town always provides, and happy to have so many of our neighbors and friends from Nobleboro as patrons.

I hope everyone has been enjoying the beautiful advent of spring, and to see you at the library soon!

Chloe Deblois
Development Director
Skidompha Public Library

4.13.23 Library Boot Camp

Dear Friends,

Back home and feeling relaxed and ready for spring! I had a wonderful time down south. I saw many whales and was treated to epic sunsets every night. I am grateful for my time away, the rest, and the opportunity to claim perspective again.

Daffodils kindly greeted me on my way to work, but I confess I was a bit overwhelmed on my first day back. I grew used to being on “vacation time,” but Skidompha is always bustling with energy, new programs, books, and experiences.

Speaking of programs, I want to let you know about our Library Bootcamp coming up over National Library week! 

On Monday, April 24, celebrate National Library Week with Skidompha Library by joining us for a one-of-a-kind library experience. From in-depth tours of the collection to trying your hand at being a librarian to learning how to request books and use databases, this day is sure to have something for everyone. Sessions run from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and you may register (required) for one or all of the following sessions:

9:00 am – 12:00 pm A peek behind the Scenes at Skidompha Library!
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm All About Your Online Library Account
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm How to Get What You Want (and not what you don’t want)
2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Accessing eBooks, Audiobooks, & More
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Beyond the Catalog – Additional Online Resources

We’ll supply coffee and donuts in the morning. Bring a brown bag for lunch! To register, please email or call 207-887-0919.

I urge you all to consider joining us on the 24th to learn more about the library, what we do here, and how to become a Super-Powered Skidompha patron.

Be well,

Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Public Library

04.06.2023 Afternoon in the Library

Dear friends,

While Matthew is on vacation – hopefully seeing a great many whales and enjoying the ocean – I am filling in for this week’s “hello” to all of you. In thinking about what, precisely, I wanted to say, it occurred to me that I mostly just wanted to take a moment to appreciate the physical space of the Library, and invite you to do the same.

A friend observed to me this week that she has become “the sort of person who comments on the light changing,” which I thought was simply delightful. Beyond that, I understand exactly what she means. Every afternoon, the light on the second floor of the Library hits a point where it is perfectly golden, and casts the sort of shadows that suddenly make Edward Hopper paintings make sense. The view out the windows over Main Street and to the water is worth seeing at any time of day, but the late afternoon really shows it at its best. It is a wonderful time and place to sit, and enjoy the moment.

Even on a cloudy or rainy afternoon, it can be exceedingly cozy to sit in one of the chairs upstairs with a book, and watch the rain roll in. So, regardless of the weather, I hope you are having a lovely day, and that you get the chance to enjoy an afternoon in the Library soon.


Meghan Hawkes
Adult Services Librarian | Communications Coordinator
Skidompha Public Library

2023.03.31 Spring Break at Skidompha

Dear Friends,

The library is starting to buzz with many of the signs of spring. The sun, which floats into the atrium most days, is still up as we lock up each night. We see fewer hats and jackets. Some of us have been enjoying lunch and coffee outside the courtyard. And the robins! Programming for April break is one of the signs we look forward to each year. 

As usual, Jessie and Kristi have organized various activities and programming for kids and teens to give them a chance to create, connect, and have some fun. So if you want to make some plans, we hope you’ll keep Skidompha in mind. I’ll offer some highlights here. Keep reading below for more detail and registration info for these fantastic activities!

We have programming for Kid Coders, ages 5 – 8, running Tuesday, April 18 – Thursday, April 20, from 10:30 – 11:30. It is a beginners coding camp, and no coding experience is required. Registration is required.

For 9 – 12-year olds, we have Coding with Dash, Tuesday – Thursday, from 12:30 – 2:00. This coding camp will culminate with artwork created by Dash using code we wrote, and we’ll display the art in the library. No coding experience is required, but please register ahead of time.

We’re offering Crafting Stories, a writing camp for 9-12-year-olds, Tuesday – Thursday from 10:30 – 12:00. We are very excited that this camp is being co-led and created with a couple of teens on our EPOCH editorial board. Over three days, kids will play and experiment with collaging, painting, and sketching and build worlds and characters from what they create. This camp is for anyone who likes writing and art and anyone who wants to try something new, and registration is required. 

And, partnering with The Lincoln Theater, we’re offering Coloring and a Movie from 1:00 – 4:00 on Wednesday, April 19. You provided us with so many amazing portraits for our community art project. Now, it’s time to begin coloring the canvases! We’ll have the canvases set up for coloring at 1:00 PM, and a free screening of The Lego Movie will start at 2:00 PM. If you need a break from the movie or you want to keep coloring, that’s great! The canvases will be available throughout. Watching the movie is not required. Feel free just to come and color!

If you prefer to be like the wind and follow your whims during April break, remember that we have books, movies, and more to keep you entertained and curious!

Be well,

Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Public Library