Thursday, January 17, 2008

Maine Libraries

This afternoon I was at the Norway Memorial Library using their downstairs meeting room for the Oxford Hills Adult Education MARTI Video Workshop. Norway, Maine has less than five thousand residents and is not a wealthy community, and yet, it has an incredible library.

Now I'm not going into the details of why it is such a wonderful place to be. Check it out yourself, should you be in town. Suffice it to say, I'm sure there are many other libraries in the State that are delightful places to be as well. Care to share your favorites?

I've loved libraries and librarians since a very young age. My first library was the Mexico Public Library, directly across the Androscoggin River from the local papermill in Rumford. The librarian at that time in 1960 was Mrs. Bradeen. I'm not sure how old she actually was, but she seemed ancient with her conservative clothes and her grey hair brought back tightly into a bun. She took her job seriously, was quite stern about any shenanigans, and insisted that we use extremely quiet voices . . . and then only when needed.

Then one late afternoon it happened. It was a moment in time that was to color the rest of my life: I was casually riding my bike on the street in back of the library and inadvertently caught Edna Bradeen locking up the library, ready to go home. Her hair was down, flowing over a black leather jacket when she jumped on her Harley, gave it a powerful start-up kick . . . and left a trail of dust as she roared down Main Street. (At least that is how I remember it. Please, I don't want to know the actual truth).

Ever since that point, I've seen every librarian in the same light. They might seem mild on the outside, but look out for the fire inside! :)

Maine State Library
Auburn Public Library
MARVEL - Maine's Virtual Library
Find a Library in Maine
Maine Library Association
Maine Association of School Libraries

1 comment:

Norway Memorial Library said...

Thanks Jim, for the kind words about Norway Memorial & for libraries in general. I agree with you- if folks haven't been to their local library they should stop by and take advantage of all that's offered.