10.6.22 | Donuts & Devices | Digital Literacy Workshops

Dear Friends,

The chill in the air brings a strong desire for all things fall and cozy—warm cider, pumpkins, the next book on my reading list, and a warm cat to snuggle with while I read. I felt a surge of excitement as I flipped the calendar to October, mainly because of the programming we have lined up next at the library.

Most of us work hard to keep up with fast-changing technology, and Skidompha has tried to offer support over the years to make sense of the updates. I am incredibly excited to highlight a new workshop series on teaching technology basics. We will host Donuts & Devices: Digital Literacy Workshops on Fridays from October to January. These workshops are free and run from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

These workshops are structured for the absolute beginner and will follow an introductory curriculum to introduce participants to the skills and know-how necessary to thrive in today’s technology-driven world. With handouts and gentle guidance, these workshops are perfect for those who are new to technology or want to review the fundamentals. Oh, and did we mention that there will be donuts?

Our first workshop in the series, Computer Basics for Windows, kicks off this Friday at 10:00 a.m. This in-person workshop is for those new to using a PC or who want to build more confidence using the Windows 10 operating system. Participants will learn how to navigate the Windows 10 operating system, manage applications using the task manager, find and manage files and folders, save and delete, and more.

You’ll find more info about this and upcoming workshops below. Participants may bring their own PC or use one of the library’s six PC workstations (please inform librarians if you need a computer when registering).

The Donuts & Devices: Digital Literacy Workshops are funded by the Public Library Association Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive, supported by AT&T, which strives to support libraries of all sizes to conduct digital literacy training in their communities and help close the digital divide.

We hope you will join us!

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

9.29.22 | Skidompha Staff Love To Collaborate!

Dear Friends,

Jessie, Youth Services Librarian, here again. I’m just dropping by to let you all know that I’ll be out of town for a few weeks. Fear not! Kristi, our wonderful, kind, and enthusiastic Teen Librarian, will hold down the fort. I know the library will run as smoothly as ever, and all our regularly scheduled programming will run like it always does.

Tag, Kristi! You’re it!

Hi, friends,

Kristi here. While I’ve never been particularly good at tag (or sports in general), I do love nerding out over books. I’m looking forward to filling in for Tuesday storytime (at 10:00), restocking the new craft kits Jessie so lovingly prepared, and answering all your questions! Here’s wishing Jessie some restful time off!

I hope to see you soon in the library,

Kristi Favaloro 

Teen Librarian

Skidompha Public Library

9.22.22 | Meet Migaloo – The Whale Who Just Swam Into The Atrium

Dear Friends,

You may have noticed something a little different when you walked into the library this week. The 20+ foot long Humpback Whale sculpture hanging from the ceiling? I can’t stop staring! It is majestic and gorgeous, and I am totally smitten.

For now, we’re informally calling it Migaloo after the famous hypo-pigmented (or leucistic) Humpback Whale from the Pacific Ocean.

Our Migaloo started as a conversation among library staff about what to do with the expansive space in the library’s atrium. Various ideas were suggested, but the one that stuck was to create a hanging whale sculpture to acknowledge the beautiful whales swimming off Maine’s coast, which would capture the imagination of our patrons. Internally, the project came to be known as Project Cetacean!

The incredibly talented artists Melissa Glendinning and Erica Qualey were commissioned to bring the creation to “life,” and they did a superlative job!

Some notable facts about our Migaloo:

  • It was delivered to the library in three pieces, where it was assembled and raised to its current position. That process took over nine hours!
  • The sculpture is supported inside by a wooden “spine” and a combination of PVC piping and Pex tubing. A strip of LED lights runs along its belly, and the eyes are small fish bowls painted with sea glass paint.
  • Our Migaloo is approximately 20 feet long, or the size of a 1-2-month-old baby humpback whale. A newborn humpback weighs about 3000 lbs. Adults can be more than 50 ft long and weigh around 60,000 lbs.

I want to personally thank the Anonimo Foundation, Erica, Melissa, and the wonderful people who helped raise this beautiful sculpture to its present place of rest. Every day I am astounded by the creativity and generosity of our community. Thank you all.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

9.15.22 | Help Us Celebrate Banned Books Week!

Dear Friends,

A quick note before I start, the most recent Skidompha Scoop in this week’s Lincoln County News was submitted for publication in error. The Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop’s number is NOT changing. It will stay the SAME as it has always been at (207) 563-7807. When you call, please continue using the current 7807 number you have always used. My apologies to you, our reader, and to the Lincoln County News for the confusion.


With Banned Books week coming next week, I am reminded again of the importance and joy of the freedom to read and freely pursue information. Libraries serve many functions in society. We are a place for community, a place to find and create connections. We are a place for intellectual curiosity, entertainment, and wonder. We are a safe place to spend quiet time for introspection and communication. And we are a place for reading and study, undeterred and free from fear and intimidation.

It is the job of the director and librarians to develop the library’s collection. We strive to include books of interest and value to the community. There are definitely books in the library that are disagreeable to some. I’ve seen a quote attributed to librarian Jo Godwin that says, “A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.” and I chuckle when I see it because it rings true to me. We build our collection with this in mind. We defend the right of our patrons to make their own decision on what they choose to read. We view this as a very personal decision and critically, not one to be imposed on a reader.

We are unable to include every book in our collection—neither our space nor our budget is infinite, though boy, do I wish it were! In response, we offer a free and robust interlibrary loan program that can search libraries across the country for any book which is not in our library. I urge you to use this service. It is free, and our librarians are very very good at finding that particular book you want.

During Banned Books week, I want to highlight that freedom to read requires a multifaceted approach. Libraries must be open, free, accessible, and inclusive of everyone. Years ago, when I worked at the Cohoes Library in New York, The American Library Association promoted the theme that “Libraries are for everyone.” It profoundly affected me and made me proud to devote my time and my heart to this work. A patron must also feel safe to read whatever books they choose, which is why privacy is such an important element for libraries. Patrons must feel comfortable to pursue information without fear of embarrassment or reprisal. Your privacy matters to us. So, we keep your records private; we do not share your checkout history or contact information without a court order. We keep your interlibrary loan requests confidential and hidden from public view; we do not discuss your reading choices, and our professional obligation is to help you find and check out your books without judgment.

As our staff highlights Banned Book Week with displays and activities next week, I want you to know we do so with a lot of care and support for the spirit of libraries. We join libraries around the world to draw attention to the harm of censorship and the benefits of unrestricted reading. Libraries will always rise to the fight against book banning and the chilling of information.

Thank you for supporting libraries.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

9.8.22 | Submission Deadline Is October 15 for EPOCH Teen Magazine

Dear Friends,

Another way I’ve begun to mark seasons is by library programming. The start of fall reminds me that another issue of EPOCH magazine, our teen magazine highlighting the writing and artwork of teens in grades 7 – 12, is about to begin!

Our editorial board will begin meeting in October, and our EPOCH mentor and Skidompha staffer, Jeannette, has been working to prepare for Volume 9 since August. We are all so excited to support this awesome project!

I’m thrilled to announce that the EPOCH team is now accepting submissions. They love celebrating the creativity of teens. I love being inspired by their creations! They are looking for well-crafted pieces of art and writing and especially love finding pieces that surprise them!

EPOCH accepts submissions in the following categories:

poetry / prose / fiction / nonfiction 

photography / artwork / comics / drawings / miscellany


Submissions are due October 15, 2022. This year we are asking visual artists to include a statement about their work—what inspired the piece and what they hope to convey. Please include a few lines about your work along with your submission.

Please reach out to the teens in your life and let them know. Check out our website for submission guidelines and permission forms. Please reach out to with any questions.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

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,

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