Dr. Shaw Memorial Library-May 2017

“But when books are opened you discover that you have wings.”   Helen Hayes

We will have our annual Bird Walk around the village on Monday, June 12, at 3:30pm, led by the incomparable Dona Seegers.  Meanwhile, we have some great bird identification guides in the 598 section of our nonfiction collection.  You may remember that our favorite birding website is the Cornell University’s page: .  At that site, they also review various phone apps for identifying birdsong.  For that, go here: .

Last summer, with lots of help from Len Roe and Dan Hamilton, we placed a little neighborhood library at the corner of Wings Mills Road and Bartlett Road, in front of The People’s Bookshop.  Dan keeps it well-stocked.  Unbeknownst to us, the latch on the little door was stuck for a good part of the winter, but it is working again, so the folks at that end of town can now stop by and grab a few books whenever they have a chance.  The other two little libraries are located on Demariano Road (stocked by the Roe’s), and at the far end of the Belgrade Road (stocked by the Jacksons), right before you turn onto Castle Island Road.  Many thanks to all of the good-hearted booklovers for building and stocking these miniature treasure troves.

We have often worked with Barbara Skapa on providing cheesemaking workshops over the years.  If you would like to attend a session, please talk to us, and when we have enough people interested, we’ll schedule a day with Barbara.  You can visit the library to let us know, or leave us a message at 293-2565, or email us at .  We’ll get back to you.

Our Maine fiction collection continues to grab the attention of many of our patrons.  Perennial favorites are Gerry Boyle’s mysteries; Monica Wood’s and Elizabeth Strout’s beautiful novels that feature strong and sometimes tough characters; and some of the older books by Elizabeth Ogilvie (set along the Maine coast).  Some other good ones to keep in mind are Earl H. Smith’s books – Head of Falls, set in Waterville in the 1950s, is currently popular;  Bruce Robert Coffin’s mystery Among the Shadows; and Jon Keller’s Of Sea and Cloud.  We also just got Ron Currie’s One-Eyed Man, which has gotten lots of press.  We have the new Stephen King book, Hearts in Suspension – nonfiction, for the most part – a collection of essays by him and others, as well as a novella.  It is circulating right now, but you can ask us to put you on the reserves list.  We hope we’ll soon have the new Elizabeth Strout novel, Anything Is Possible.

One last Maine resource:  we now have the brief (1/2 hour) video entitled “From Stump to Ship, a 1930 Logging Film”, narrated by Tim Sample.  It is comprised of old black and white clips of the year-round work of a coastal logging company.  It was originally produced as a silent motion picture, and was then reworked as a project by UMaine & the Maine Humanities Council.

If you follow our Facebook page, you know that we have received some new packets of various veggie and flower seeds for our exchange.  Apparently some branches of the National Honor Society have been putting together combinations of seed packets, and we have been a recipient of a few of them!  What a wonderful idea!  And some of our area gardeners have donated their own seeds, or partial packets of varieties they have left over from planting seeds from Fedco, Johnny’s, and other providers.  We are so grateful to everyone.  Rhonda Marquis’ calendula and parsnip seeds from her garden are always popular.  Stop by to share some seeds, or take some home.

I am reading a few geeky books about libraries from my own shelves at home.  The one I’ve just now started is by Wiegand, and is entitled Part of Our Lives: a People’s History of the American Public Library.  I’ve also borrowed a new Eva Gates cozy mystery from the library, called By Book or by Crook, about a woman who becomes a special collections librarian on the Outer Banks, and the murder and mayhem that ensues.  What will you be reading as you plant your garden and listen to the peepers and loons?


“All Librarians are Secret Masters of Severe Magic. Goes with the territory. A Library at its ripping, roaring best is a raucous beast to ride.” – Catherynne Valente, The Girl Who Soared over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two

Itʼs that time of year. Remember to call us on snow/ice days to see if we are open, before you venture out. Generally we are closed when there are school closings, and there are other times when we canʼt get to the library to open. Call us!

Tax Help days will be coming up in February and March, organized by our AARP Volunteer Tax Guru, David Fuller. We will have four Saturdays available for appointments. Our dates this year are: February 13 and 27, and March 12 and 26. To make an appointment, call the library at 293-2565 – weʼll start accepting appointments at the start of January. This is a wonderful service offered to our community elders and others who need help. Thank you, David, and Senior Spectrum!

You may have seen the article in the KJ about our communityʼs latest project, Neighbors Driving Neighbors, which is now up and running. We want you to know that the wonderful volunteer drivers are very willing to bring you to the library! We are working to see how else we can provide library services to those in need within the community. Weʼll let you know about our efforts as we move forward.

Weʼll keep our Can Due program going for another week or two. Please bring in some items for the Food Bank and weʼll deliver them. Weʼve already gotten a lovely thank you letter from the Food Bank folks, for what has been donated so far!

After Alice Olson and Linda Smith held a homework help workshop for parents in early November, they and Sarah Caban (the school districtʼs instructional math person) left us some notes on a couple of math websites which might come in handy for parents of young students. Try looking at these for a bit of help and inspiration for you and your children.
Math Tappers is a free app for your mobile device, just type in that name on your app store. There are math games about finding sums, time, and estimating fractions.
Mathsframe  here It helps with number lines,
time, balance calculations, and more.
Talking math With Your Kids  here gives ideas on how to integrate
math talk into basic conversations.
One weʼve mentioned before: Bedtime Math here
Lots of games and ideas for how a family can incorporate math into their household routines.

One more idea about online resources: If you are trying to
learn a foreign language, or help someone else learn, you can get started via the BBC. and are good sites, but there is a fee involved. At you can get familiar with over 30 languages. You can look up

essential phrases travelers might need, like “I need help, please”, or find resources for teachers & tutors, and look into introductory instruction.

There is a Maine author of juvenile fiction we want to mention. Catherynne M. Valente has written a series about a young girl who travels back and forth between her home in the plains states, to Fairyland. There are lots of fantastical creatures, plenty of adventure, and the prose is beautiful. Some of the creatures start out scary, but you eventually learn why and how they can sometimes wreak havoc. Her books are reminiscent of classic childrenʼs literature like Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, or Wind in the Willows. We have the first two in the series, and hope to get the next two. The first title in the series is: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairland in a Ship of Her Own Making. These books might make a good family read aloud during the long winter nights.

New adult nonfiction titles on the shelf this month are getting good reviews in newspapers & book blogs. We have Rinker Buckʼs The Oregon Trail; Dark Places of the Earth, about a slave ship, by Jonathan M. Bryant; Voracious, by Cara Nicoletti (itʼs about cooking and literature – how can you go wrong with that?); a beautiful book by Robert Llewellyn entitled Seeing Seeds (gorgeous photography); and another to help you dream and plan your way to next yearʼs garden – Ken Druseʼs The New Shade Garden. Itʼs beautiful.

Iʼm about to delve into some of Maine author Henry Bestonʼs old books that have been sitting on my own shelf at home. What are you reading as winter approaches?

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