News

4.21.22 | Spring Bees are Buzzing!

Dear Friends,

 

You may have guessed how deeply I love spring by how much I have been talking about it recently. On a recent weekend walk, I noticed daffodils blooming bright yellow and pussy willows and trees starting to bud. I immediately thought of the bees here at Skidompha and made a mental note to check in on them when back at the library.

 

I’m happy to report that our bees are doing very well! The warm weather and stronger sun have sparked them to life, and, pardon the pun, the hive is buzzing! (Groan!) Spring is a time for the hive to wake from its winter somnolence and begin building again. The hive needs workers to bring in pollen and nectar, and the Queen starts laying to meet this need. She fills the combs with eggs that will grow into larvae, pupae, and finally, honey bees. A new bee population to build the hive over the warmer months. I find it so fascinating to watch new honey bees chew and push through their cell’s cap to emerge into the world for the first time. They are adorably fuzzy, unsteady at first, and easy to tell from mature workers. They soon get a handle on things and begin their first job in the hive, to clean out their cell in preparation for the next egg. The young bee will then act as a nurse, caring for and feeding the larvae and pupae.

 

Workers who have overwintered are busy as well. They are taking advantage of the weather when they can (they prefer it to be over 50 degrees and rain-free) and are searching for pollen and nectar to bring back to the hive. There will be many new mouths to feed on the way! The bees were taking full advantage of just such a day earlier last week. Traffic was so heavy that they had formed a line from the hive’s entrance to the top comb to drop off their groceries. The hive was vibrating with waggle dances from excited bees, informing their co-workers of just how good a supply they found and where it was in relation to the hive. I followed one bee with particularly pollen-laden knees as she made her way up the hive to comb. She reviewed a few cells carefully until she found just the right one and then lowered her abdomen down to where she could kick the pollen off her legs. Job done, she danced wildly.

 

I find it thrilling to observe the bees in real-time. The things I read in books become clearer and more real as I see behaviors occur live and in front of me, and my joy and fascination with the natural world are renewed. I hope you will take some time to stop by and celebrate this next stage of our hive.

 

  
Be well,

 

Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

4.14.22 | Skidompha Updates on Meeting Rooms and Masks

Dear Friends,

 

We’ve been thinking a lot about emerging lately. Emerging feels slow to me, similar to the slow process of spring emerging from winter. Cold gray days of rain and gritty sidewalks interspersed with warm, gentle, glowing sunshine, and birds returning excitedly for seed. Emerging shifts from something settled and familiar, one place or one season, into the next. There can be instability in that change, but that next chapter also becomes familiar over time.

 

This will be the third spring of the pandemic, and with the emergence of spring, there are continued shifts from one stage of the pandemic to the next. I want to update you on how Skidompha will handle this latest shift. We’ll start by reopening some of our conference rooms for public use. Beginning April 19, we will open our Barbicon and Carpenter rooms. We will start taking reservations for these rooms immediately, so please feel welcome to reach out by calling 207-887-0919 or emailing us at info@skidompha.org. If the rooms are not already reserved, you may also drop in and enjoy our rooms without a reservation. Please notify the circulation desk first before you head up the stairs. We plan to open Porter Meeting Hall on May 3, and we will start taking reservations for Porter the week of April 25.

 

We will also change our masking policy on April 19. Masking will still be mandatory in the children’s room but optional for all vaccinated individuals in the rest of the library. If you are unvaccinated, we kindly ask you to continue masking. We also support anyone who wants to continue masking. We will continue to leave masks and hand sanitizer out for patron use.

 

We hope you will share in our excitement about these significant changes. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we have navigated this time together.
  

 

Be well,
Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

4.4.22 | Happy National Poetry Month!

Dear Friends,

 

It’s National Poetry Month! While I am not a poet, I appreciate how poetry seems to have a magic and a power about it. I’m in awe of the way poets can take the inner workings of the heart and mind, the contemplation of a single leaf or an entire country, and turn them into carefully chosen words that make me think, feel, and wonder. 

 

Many of our staff and patrons feel the energy of spring and the joy of having a whole month to celebrate poetry. When you step inside the library, you’ll find piles of poems by the circulation desk to take with you or to take a moment to enjoy. You’ll find poems tucked into corners of the library, inviting you to pause for a moment to engage with them. These poems have been selected by members of the Skidompha Poetry Group, who have met every Friday for the last two years to kick off the weekend by reading poetry together. They meet on Fridays at 10:00 and are always happy to see new faces!

 

You’ll have a chance to read poems in the kids and teen rooms and maybe even create your own poetry with sidewalk chalk! Youth Services has an incredible selection of poetry books to take home with you, too.

 

You can also join Haiku Hikers this month! Join Adult Services Librarian Molly for this wandering Haiku club. During this quiet, reflective series, participants will visit different locations around Damariscotta to appreciate nature and compose haiku. No experience is required! Please bring a notebook, a writing utensil, weather-appropriate clothing, and your curiosity! Rain or shine, Haiku Hikers will depart from Skidompha Public Library’s front entrance at 9 a.m. on April 7, 14, 21, & 28. We hope those who want to will join forces with our poetry group to share their creations.

 

I’m also challenging myself to notice poetry all around me this month—the kind that is not found on the page but rather in those quiet moments I witness on my daily walk, the sounds I hear in my back garden, or in the beauty of seeing two old friends greet each other after an absence. 

 

I’d love to hear the moments in your month that inspire you to pause and notice. Please let us know if there are favorite poets in your life or poems you return to again and again. 

 

Be well,

 

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

3.31.22 | Join us Next Week to Celebrate National Library Week!

Dear Friends,

 

Skidompha is excited to join libraries around the country to celebrate National Library Week next week, from April 3 – 9. We hope you will join us in person and online to celebrate and explore our resources, services, and programs!

 

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries of all types across the country each April.

 

The American Library Association highlights this event, sharing, “April 3-9, 2022 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the essential role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening communities. The theme for this year’s National Library Week is “Connect with Your Library,” which promotes the idea that libraries are places to get connected to technology by using broadband, computers and other resources. Libraries also offer opportunities to connect with media, programs, ideas and classes, in addition to books. Most importantly, libraries also connect communities and people to each other.”

 

I can say, without reservation, that our staff and volunteers love having the chance to connect with this wonderful community and others throughout the state. Our online programs have allowed people to join us from all around the country. Participants with ties to Damariscotta and Skidompha join us from Florida, California, New York, and beyond.

 

Each day we welcome people to use our computers, find their next read, check out museum passes, music and literacy kits, DVDs, audiobooks, and more. We offer many online groups for the community—from weekly technology help, storytime, career coaching, meditation and poetry groups, to monthly book groups for teens and adults and art and music workshops for kids and teens.

 

Throughout the week, we will offer chances for you to show your support on social media, through the newsletter, and in person. Come in and share your library stories with us.
We appreciate you and your continued support of the library. We love having the chance to celebrate the vital role libraries play in our communities.
  

 

Be well,
Matthew Graff
Executive Director
Skidompha Library

3.24.22 | Exciting Programming for Kids and Teens During April Break

Dear Friends,

This week, just a short note to let you know we have some great programming coming up between April 18 – 22 that is guaranteed to excite, entertain, and educate. Please keep the library in mind as you make your plans for the April break.

In the children’s room, Jessie is planning a week that includes explorations in art, music, stories, and electricity.

Kristi has virtual 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality, comics, and writing workshops planned for teens.

We’re finalizing the details with the workshop leaders and will share all of the specifics dates and details next week. Look for updates in Haps, on our website, and in the Lincoln County News.

If any of these things pique your interest, please stop into the kids and teen rooms to chat with Jessie and Kristi.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Library

3.8.22 | Volume 7 of EPOCH Magazine is Here!

Dear Friends,

 

I am thrilled to announce the publication of our seventh 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 7 was a collaboration between the EPOCH teen editorial board, local educators, area teens, and Skidompha staffers Jeannette Eaton and Kelsey Gibbs. EPOCH received 110 submissions for this edition, and we were moved and overwhelmed by all of the artwork and writing. We are very proud of the effort that went into completing this project during another pandemic year. We are so grateful to the teens who submitted their work, the educators who supported them, and the teen editorial board who worked incredibly hard over Zoom each week to create this volume for our community. 

 

I would be remiss in not thanking the Anonimo Foundation for their help as well. Skidompha received generous grant funding from The Anonimo Foundation for this project. 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 7 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 currently hard at work on Volume 8, which will be published this June. If you’d like to plan for the fall, submit your creative work via email to epoch@skidompha.org by October 15, 2022. Please include your full name, school, and grade. Submitting your work to EPOCH indicates your permission to reprint your work in our next issue.
 

2.24.22 | Changing our Phone Number

Dear Friends,

These last two years have been full of change, and to keep the trend going, the library will be changing its phone number. If we’ve learned anything from all this transition, it’s how to be flexible. We know this process will take time, so we’ll extend it into the summer to allow everyone (especially us!) to get used to our new numbers.

So how will it work? Slowly and gently. We will retain our current numbers, including our main number, 207-563-5513, and our direct children’s number, 207-563-1058, into the summer. When you call these numbers, the phone will ring here at the library the same as it has always done. At the same time, our two new telephone numbers will be active. Calling them will also get you to the library. Our new main number is 207-887-0919, and our new children’s number is 207-945-1056.

There is no significant change happening now, but we want to give all of us as much time to get used to this as possible. Our old numbers will continue to work, and the new numbers will work quietly in the background for any early adopters who want to use them.

Since the transition will not occur immediately, it will be kind of like when a new traffic light goes up, and the DOT doesn’t turn it on for a few months to help people get used to it. We will keep you informed on the progress of this transition and issue periodic reminders through our weekly email and notes in the Lincoln County News.

The other big news this week has to do with changing up your record collection if you have any vinyl you’re looking to donate. The Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop wants you to know they are running low on record donations—they are especially interested in classic rock at the moment. So we kindly request that you flip through those records and see if you might be willing to part with anything. I’m going to see whether my vintage copy of The Captain and Tenille’s Love Will Keep Us Together is in good shape. Muskrat Love no longer has the same hold on me as back in ‘75.

As always, thank you for your support of Skidompha.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library

 

2.17.22 | Art at Skidompha

 

Dear Friends,

Before I began working at Skidompha, when I first interviewed and visited the library, I was struck by how sincerely the staff loved working there and how welcoming the physical space was. The gorgeous artwork on display brought a smile to my face, and I knew I was entering a special place.

I have since learned that a lot of the work and organization that goes into coordinating these art displays is thanks to one of our librarians, Rachel Zoller. I am grateful for Rachel’s energy and interest in working with artists to keep these vibrant displays running.

Right now, we have some beautiful paintings from Haitian artists hanging in the library as part of an annual fundraiser. Net proceeds of any sales of these paintings will benefit two entities—the first is a small school in the village of Figaro that lies on the outskirts of Gros Morne in northwest Haiti. The second entity is a Go Fund Me event planned to raise money for projects to help the citizens of Gros Morne itself.  These paintings are available to view and purchase through the end of this month.

I hope you’ll come in to see them and take the time to look at the many other artists whose work we feature in the library.

 

Be well,

Matthew Graff

 

2.3.22 | Celebrate Black History Month With Books!

Dear Friends,

I love knowing how much fun Skidompha staff members have creating themed book displays. The pandemic has given us more incentive to create digital book displays to share some of the titles we love in our newsletter and on social media, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do. We also love to pull books from our shelves, fill a library cart with them to spread them out on a table, or fill a display shelf with the titles we’ve found.

Celebrating Black History Month with books is one of the things we love doing each year! This year all of our departments worked together to create a display celebrating Black authors and voices, and you’ll find selections of these titles around the library. As you read through the newsletter each week this month, you’ll also find some of these digital book displays based on books we have for you to check out.

We are also very excited to let you know to let you know we have partnered with Healthy Lincoln County to create a Little Free Pantry stocked with food and personal care items. The pantry, located near Skidompha’s back entrance, is available during regular library hours. Although available products may vary, typical items will include pasta, rice, canned goods, cereal, and granola bars. The Lincoln County Gleaners will also provide fruits and vegetables during the summer gleaning season.

Started in Arkansas in 2016, the Little Free Pantry movement works to help combat food insecurity at the neighborhood level. Healthy Lincoln County is helping the movement by supporting small neighborhood food exchanges in different parts of Lincoln County and the surrounding area. Individuals are encouraged to “take what they need and leave what they can.”

For more information about the pantry, email our teen librarian, Kristi Favaloro, at kfavaloro@skidompha.org or Lee Emmons, from Healthy Lincoln County, at lemmons@healthylincolncounty.org. You can also call Skidompha at 563-5513 with any questions.

Local organizations that wish to start their own mini-pantry are encouraged to contact Lee Emmons directly at the email listed above or at 207-622-7566, ext. 236.

I am grateful to Kristi and Lee for getting this program started at Skidompha. Our community is stronger when we work together, and I am thankful for all of our community collaborations.

Be well,

Matthew Graff

Executive Director

Skidompha Public Library