News

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

6.23.22 | Hot Spots & Laptops Available for Borrowing

Dear Friends,

On top of all of the excitement over Summer Reading Programs and the latest publication of EPOCH, there’s more we are thrilled to share with you!

Starting July 1, we will have WiFi Hotspots and Laptops available for patrons to borrow. We have also been getting our self-checkout kiosk ready & you can now use it when things are busy at the desk.

Here are the details, and remember you can always ask us if you need more info:

WiFi Hotspots

  • We have 8 devices for borrowing
  • They offer unlimited data
  • Signal strength will depend on location
  • They are free to borrow
  • They may be checked out for 1 week
  • You must be 18+ years old, have an active and up-to-date Skidompha account, and be in good standing (no fines) to check out a device
  • Only 1 device may be checked out per household

Laptops

  • We have 2 laptops for borrowing
  • They are pre-programmed with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Zoom
  • They are free to borrow
  • They may be checked out for 1 week
  • You must be 18+ years old, have an active and up-to-date Skidompha account, and be in good standing (no fines) to check out a device
  • Only 1 device may be checked out per household

Self-checkout Station

Connecting with you is one of our favorite parts of working at Skidompha, but we get that sometimes you are in a hurry, are feeling a little quiet, or are riding the momentum of the day and want to grab a book and run. If this describes you, we see you! If we’re taking our time talking with someone else at the desk, working on a particularly tricky reference question, or are away from the desk, we now have a solution.

  • Self-checkout is conveniently set up near the front circulation desk
  • You can check items in 
  • You can check items out 
  • You can check your account and see your holds, what you already have checked out, and due dates
  • You can renew items
  • It is easy to use, and a librarian is always available to help you

The Hotspots and Laptops are funded by an American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries grant. The American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. We would also like to thank the Burns Family Foundation for the funding that made the purchase of our self-checkout station possible.

We hope you are as excited to check these new additions out as we are.

 

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Library

6.16.22 | EPOCH Volume 8!

(photo credit: K. Fetteroli, grade 11)

Dear Friends,

 

I am thrilled to announce the publication of our eighth volume of EPOCH Magazine! EPOCH is a “creative magazine for teens by teens.” Teens from our local area submit their photography, mixed media artwork, short fiction, and poetry to our teen editorial board, who then select and create the issue. Free copies are now available at the library.

 

Volume 8 was a collaboration between the EPOCH teen editorial board, local educators, area teens, and Skidompha staffers Jeannette Eaton and Kelsey Gibbs. We are blown away by the number of submissions we receive with each new issue. This spring issue broke our record for most submissions—the six teens on the editorial board sorted through nearly 250 different submissions. They review each piece of art and writing anonymously. 

 

In the weekly editorial board meetings, teens talk with Jeannette and our longtime EPOCH mentor Gordon Clark about what makes a piece of writing and art stand out, what makes them think and feel, and what pieces they want to linger over or spend more time with. The pieces submitted for this issue were creative and thought-provoking, and our editorial board is so grateful to everyone who submitted. They hope we may all be inspired to create.

 

Many submissions come in through dedicated and inspiring teachers who help students with the submission process. We want to extend our thanks for their hard work this year. 

 

Skidompha received generous grant funding from The Anonimo Foundation for this project, and we extend our deepest thanks to them. This grant supports program staffing, printing and distributing free issues, and writing workshops for teens.

 

I feel so lucky to have the chance to engage with such a wide range of projects and creativity here at the library. On behalf of all our staff, we hope you will leaf through Volume 8 the next time you visit Skidompha.

    

Be well,

 

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Library

 

P.S. Are you a teen interested in submitting your artwork or writing to EPOCH? We are now accepting creative submissions for our next volume, which are due via email, epoch@skidompha.org, by October 15, 2022. You can submit something you create at school or something you make on your own. 

 

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 your full name, school, and grade with your submission. Submitting your work to EPOCH indicates your permission to reprint your work in our next issue. You can find all the submission

information on our website, www.skidompha.org.

6.9.22 | Chats With Champions Is Back & In-person At Skidompha!

Dear Friends,

When I began working at Skidompha a few years ago, actually, when I was first interviewing for the job and learning about this incredible library, I was excited to hear from the board about Skidompha’s Chats With Champion program. I was impressed to discover a group of dedicated volunteers started the program, and I am even more impressed that they are still running this program today!

The Chats program has been around for 20-plus years and is one of our most popular live programs at Skidompha. The Chats program brings together outstanding literary, arts, and scientific voices to present free programs to the public.

We switched Chats from a live event to a monthly virtual program on Zoom when the pandemic began, and we were blown away by the continued interest and support from our community. We hosted a fantastic selection of speakers, and we heard from many attendees how they appreciated the opportunity to stay connected in this way.

However, we all missed being together in Porter Hall, and we are thrilled to announce that we will be hosting our first in-person Chat since before the pandemic began. This Chat with Maine author William Anthony will take place on Thursday, June 30, at 10:00 a.m. in the Porter Meeting Hall at Skidompha.

Anthony is the author of Farnsy, A Novel published by Maine Authors Publishing.

Some Lincoln County News readers may recognize the name of the author of the “Midcoast Boater’s Journal.” Now William Anthony is rolling out Farnsy, a lighthearted novel about William Phineas Farnsworth, a promising young policeman in his hometown, who can’t stop thinking about Lucy, once his high school sweetheart, now the ex-wife of a lobsterman.

Farnsy is a quirky and heartwarming read for anyone who loves Maine, has been to Maine, plans to visit Maine, or just likes their Maine humor dry.

We want to offer a special thank you to Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop for their ongoing sponsorship of this program and to the Chats with Champions Committee, a committee of volunteers who line up fascinating speakers for our roster.

We hope to see many of you at the library for this event, and we look forward to sharing a new Chat with you each month!

Be well,

Matthew Graff

 

6.2.22 | Summer Reading Program Spotlight – Youth Services

Dear Friends,

Our 2022 Skidompha Summer Reading Programs have begun! How is it June already? I am thrilled to share the details of our Youth Summer Reading Program with you this week. Anyone 12 and under can participate, and we hope to see many kids sign up for this awesome program. Jessie has been working hard to bring some fantastic programming and prizes to kids this summer. She can’t wait to start handing out free books, and she’s got some gorgeous displays to share with us all summer long.

Registration officially begins on June 14, 2022. Make sure to stop by the children’s room in the library to pick up a Summer Reading Program packet, which will have the tracking and activity sheets you need to begin. If you keep track of your reading through the summer and turn your sheet back in, you’ll earn raffle tickets and prizes throughout the summer.

Everyone who signs up will receive a free book. August 26 is the last day to earn raffle tickets. We will announce the winners on September 1, and September 10 will be the last day to claim Kids Summer Reading Program prizes. There are five different raffle baskets, and each one has an ocean theme!

Check out our program offerings:

  • Ongoing events
    • Tuesdays @ 10:00 AM: Story Time, ages 5 and under
    • Saturdays @ 10:30 AM: Stories and Crafts, all ages
  • June
    • Craft Kit: Paper Fan Fish
    • June 14: Summer Reading Program Registration Begins
    • June 29 @ 10:00 AM: Story/Craft Time
  • July
    • Craft Kit: Clothespin Sharks
    • July 8 @ 10:30 AM: Picture Book Book Club
    • July 13 @ 1:00-2:30 PM: Nature Walk @ Salt Bay Farm
    • July 14 @ 10:30 AM: Watercolor Painting with Erica Qualey, ages 5 and up
    • July 22 @ 10:30 AM: Mr. Drew and His Animals Too
    • July 24 @ 2:00 PM: Blue Planet @ The Lincoln Theater – free movie showing!
    • July 27 @ 10:00 AM: Story/Craft Time: Ocean Invertebrates
  • August
    • Craft Kit: Egg Carton Whales
    • August 2 @ 1:00-3:00 PM: Nature Walk @ La Verna Preserve
    • August 5 @ 10:30 AM: Explore Tide Pools with Chewonki, all ages
    • August 10-11 @ 10:30 AM-12:00 PM: Small Scale Whale Machines, ages 8 and up
    • August 13 @ 10:30 AM: Marine Mammals of Maine: The World of Whales, all ages
    • August 17 @ 10:00 AM: Story/Craft Time: Whales!
    • August 19 @ 12:00 PM: End of Summer Reading Ice Cream Social
    • August 21 @ 2:00 PM: Blue Planet II @ The Lincoln Theater – free movie showing!

 

With so many offerings, we have multiple ways for you to keep track of it all! Please pick up a printed list of summer programs the next time you’re in the library, visit the Kids Summer Reading Page on our website, look for us on social media, or check out the library’s online calendar of events for more information about each event.

I can’t wait to hear about the Oceans of Possibilities kids create and share with the library this summer!

 

Best Wishes,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

5.26.22 | Summer Reading Program Spotlight – Teen Services

Dear Friends,

Excitement is building for our 2022 Summer Reading Programs! I love having the opportunity to take time each week to share more details and shine the spotlight on individual departments in the library.

I’m excited to spread the word about the Teen Services Summer Reading Program this week. Kristi, our teen librarian, has been piling materials high on her desk and the workspaces she’s created in the newly renovated teen room at the library. Check out this great space next time you’re at Skidompha. I am so grateful to Kristi for all her hard work.

The Teen Summer Reading Program will run from June 1 – August 26, sharing the Oceans of Possibilities theme with the rest of Skidompha and other libraries nationwide. All teens ages 13 – 18 are warmly invited to participate!

Upon registration at the library, participants will receive a free book, pencil, bookmark, bingo sheet, and summer schedule. Programs are optional and will happen throughout the summer.

The bingo sheet offers many ways to earn raffle tickets for three prize bags. Teens can fill in circles on the bingo sheet by trying things like reading a graphic novel, or nonfiction, reading to a young child, swimming, using a library craft kit, and much more! Teens will earn tickets by completing bingo up to three times and can earn an additional five tickets for blackout (filling the entire board).

The prizes that Kristi has put together are fantastic! Several staff members have wished they could participate, too. Teens can keep track of their activities on a bingo sheet and turn them in to earn raffle tickets for three prizes—a relaxation bag (a $25 gift card to Barn Door Bakery, an insulated travel mug, Buddha Board, and Burts Bees gift set are just some of the prizes), a technology bag (with wireless Bluetooth earbuds, Mobile game controller, LED strip lights, and a MERGE cube), and an adventure bag (with a Midcoast Kayak gift certificate for Muscongus Bay Wildlife Tour for 2, first aid kit, two headlamps, and a Nalgene water bottle and more).

Program offerings include:

  • Seed planting in June
  • Perpetual Mandala calendars in July
  • Seashell painting in August
  • A daily sketchbook challenge throughout July & August, with a kickoff event and free supplies available on July 1 anytime from 10:00 to 5:00.
  • A weekly Beach Chair Book group in the library’s courtyard
  • A weekly Teen Gaming group for board games and fun. Snacks provided!
  • Maine Master Naturalist Walks
  • Free Showings of The Blue Planet at Lincoln Theater
  • Marine Mammals of Maine programming
  • And more!

Participants may choose a second free book after participating throughout the summer. The Youth SRP ends on August 26, which is the last day to earn raffle tickets. We will announce the raffle winners on September 1! The last day to claim prizes is September 10.

With so many offerings, we have multiple ways for you to keep track of it all! Please pick up a printed list of summer programs the next time you’re in the library, visit the Teen Summer Reading Page on our website, look for us on social media, or check out the library’s online calendar of events for more information about each event.

I hope we see many teens in the library this summer!

Best Wishes,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

5.19.22 | Summer Reading Program Spotlight – Adult Services

Dear Friends,

 

As promised, I have details to share about our Summer Reading Programs! For the next three weeks, we will tell you all about the fantastic programs that will be happening in each department of the library this summer, and we’re kicking things off with the Adult Services Summer Reading Program!

 

We are particularly excited to share what’s in store for adults at Skidompha this summer. We’ve had Summer Reading programs for kids and teens for years, and we’ve long wanted to offer something for adults. I am so grateful and proud of the incredible work that Molly, Erika, Terry, and Rachel have poured into creating these fantastic opportunities to share with you!

 

The Adult Summer Reading Program will run from June 1 to August 19, and the theme for this summer is Oceans of Possibilities. The program is open to all adults, and you don’t need to be a member at Skidompha to participate.

 

Program offerings include:

 

    • Monthly virtual book club
    • Monthly mystery book club run by Coastal Senior College president, Maryanne Ward
    • Biweekly genealogy research help and story collection
    • Sea shanties book talk and concert with the folk duo, Castlebay
    • Conversations with Marine Mammals of Maine Wildlife Rescue Volunteers
    • Storytelling Events with Greg Latimer and Sally Lobkowicz
    • Nature Walks with Maine Master Naturalist, Heather Hardy
    • Shipyards & Lighthouses Cruise with Maine Maritime Museum
    • Sketchbook challenge
    • And more!

     

    You can also register for the BINGO reading challenge to gain entries into the prize drawing at the end of summer! The more BINGOs you complete, the more entries you gain! Registration is required to participate in the BINGO reading challenge.

     

    Registration will open on June 1.
    Register for the BINGO challenge by visiting or calling the library at 207-887-0919, or register online by filling out the following Google Form.

     

    With so many offerings, we have multiple ways for you to keep track of it all! Pick up a printed list of summer programs the next time you’re in the library, visit the Adult Summer Reading webpage, look for us on social media, or check out the library’s online calendar of events for more information about each event.

     

    The Skidompha Library 2022 Adult Summer Reading Program was funded by an American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries grant. The American Rescue Plan: Humanities Grants for Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. 

     

    We want to recognize and thank the following organizations for their generous contributions to the 2022 Adult Summer Reading Program: Coastal Senior College, Maine Master Naturalist Program, and Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops in Damariscotta. 

     

    We are so lucky to be part of this community and I am heartened by the many ways we collaborate and learn from one another. 

     

    Wishing you a summer filled with waves of reading and connection.

     

    Be well,
    Matthew Graff
    Executive Director
    Skidompha Public Library

    5.5.22 | Latest News From The Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop

    Dear Friends,

     

    Have you wandered over to the Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop lately? I have the great pleasure of having a job that allows me time to visit there, though more often than not, I dash in and out, dropping off some books with the amazing volunteers or grabbing something from Rem Briggs or Rosie Benson, our wonderful shop managers. Yesterday I had the chance to spend a little more time than usual at the shop, and today I’m still grateful for it.

     

    There is something about the Book Shop—as soon as I open the door and step inside, I feel at ease. There’s definitely some magic about the beautiful light from the bank of windows at the back of the shop and the views of the water, and honestly, being surrounded by books just puts me at ease. But more, it’s the peaceful vibe of the shop. Every time I’m there, I overhear people connecting over a favorite author, the neighborhood, or something that has happened recently in their lives. I feel like I’m part of the community when I step inside, and I know others feel the same way. The Book Shop feels cared for, and it is. It is held and loved by a dedicated, smart, and creative team of volunteers. And that is the magic these volunteers create—caring for a place so well it can feel like a bit of a home, a bit of respite for others. 

     

    Rosie tells us that lately, “the children’s section has been receiving a steady and generous flow of wonderful donations in all reading levels, from picture books to books by Newbery-winning authors, nonfiction to fantasy!” 

     

    While I was there, I paused to check out some of the new releases and social science books, and I saw so many titles from my read-soon list up there. Some of our poetry-loving patrons have stopped in recently to see what they could find to celebrate National Poetry Month. Movie lovers can find DVDs for $1 through May 14. There is truly something for everyone.

     

    Thank you to all of the donors who generously keep the shelves stocked with great books, music, games, and movies. Thank you to our phenomenal volunteers and managers. We are so grateful to all of you. And thanks to those of you who know and love the shop.  

     

    Be well,

     

    Matthew Graff
    Executive Director
    Skidompha Library

     

    4.28.22 | Skidompha is hosting two award-winning fiction authors on Wednesday, May 4.

    Dear Friends,

     

    I’m excited to share the news that we will host two award-winning fiction authors on Wednesday, May 4, at 2 p.m. in our Porter Hall meeting room. This will be our first in-person program since the library closed our meeting rooms two years ago. It will serve as a chance to dip our toes back into the water of live programming, before our incredible Chats With Champions program begins offering in-person programming again this summer. 

     

    Maine writer Bruce Robert Coffin, author of the Portland-based Detective Byron mysteries, and Marni Graff, author of The Nora Tierney English Mysteries and The Trudy Genova Manhattan Mysteries, will be interviewing each other. 

     

    Coffin will speak about how his 27 years in law enforcement add to the realistic feel of his series, and he’ll let the audience in on what’s next in store for Det. Byron. Graff is touring with The Evening’s Amethyst, her newest in the English mystery series, and will speak to the cold case aspect that is part of this book. Coffin and Graff also write short stories in crime fiction.

     

    Both members of Sisters in Crime, Coffin is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. He regularly contributes to the blog Murder Books. Graff is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press, a member of the North Carolina Writers Network, and the International Association of Crime Writers, where she was a longlist judge for last year’s Dashiell Hammett Award.

     

    We hope you can make this event, and if not, we look forward to seeing you at some of the upcoming Skidompha events we have planned for this summer. 
      

     

    Be well,

     

    Matthew Graff
    Executive Director
    Skidompha Library