This week I would like to tell you a story…
35 years ago the Skidompha Board of Directors was deeply saddened by the passing of one of the great champions of knowledge and culture, a bright and spunky woman named Mary Wallace Smith, who died in 1982 at the age of 86.
Mary was a trendsetter in her day, believing that Skidompha Library could stand at the epicenter of pleasure and learning for the communities it served, a model example to the world of the best a “modern” library could be. Mary was also a tireless advocate for resources for children, and did much to increase the library collection and services for young ones in the 50s and 60s – a legacy that continues with our robust programs and resources for kids and teens today.
But her greatest accomplishment for the community was the visionary idea of starting the Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop in 1968, originally located in the carriage house of the Old Skidompha Library at 170 Main Street (currently Sotheby’s). Mary filled shelves and shelves with donated books for the singular purpose of raising money for her beloved library. And it worked. The Skidompha Secondhand Book Shop became a significant source of funding for the library – one that has helped to keep Skidompha thriving even in uncertain times.
The shop now welcomes its second and third generation of customers into the light-filled rooms at Backstreet Landing, where it overlooks the Damariscotta River. Next time you’re in, say a quiet thank you to determined Mary Smith, and take a look at the plaque above the fireplace honoring her memory and extraordinary service to the cause.
Have an inspired week,