What is you favorite book, author and genre?
The book I have not stopped talking about since I read it, is Learning to Swim by Sarah Henry. While some may consider this a thriller, I enjoyed the elements of intrigue, and relationships. I was hooked from the first page, and cannot wait for the sequel. It was nominated for Barry Award for best first novel, Agatha Award for best first novel, and Mary Higgins Clark Award. I would have to say this is my favorite to date!
I do enjoy a variety. Sometimes my choice is a book about Maine people and places. I have enjoyed traveling to many of the places I have read about. If I am in a crafty mood, it might be the books about jewelry making, cooking or knitting which draw out my creative side. I am always looking for fun things to do with my grandchildren.
While my time for pleasure reading is never enough, I enjoy cozy reads, mystery, chick lit and books which take place in Maine.
You are the Book Group coordinator at the Ellsworth Public Library. What is one of the most interesting aspects of the book club for you?
The book group was relatively newly established when I started at the library. It has been very enjoyable to see the group develop into a core group of ‘regulars’ with others dropping in from time to time. It is the wonderful individuals who provide the personality for our group. There is always a friendly exchange of opinions about the book of the month. Each person lends so much to the discussion, so we end up with a nice balanced overview of the book. We have a lot of fun!
It is also fun to see what books everyone will recommend for the next year. I take 3 suggestions from each person, and compile a list. Everyone gets a copy and chooses their top 11 choices for the year. In December, we have a special pot luck dinner, and each read a book of our choice, depending on the theme we might choose. The book group really helps everyone to read books and topics which individuals might not choose on their own.
What is your favorite part about working at the library?
Interaction with our patrons, both our regulars and seasonal visitors, is what makes life interesting. So many of them truly appreciate the library, it’s services, and the efforts of the staff to assist them. We often hear how helpful and friendly we are compared to libraries in other states. It is a joy to see their smiling faces come through the door. I hope that I will always be as gracious and appreciative as so many of our patrons are!
I also enjoy working with the staff. It is so nice to work with a small group where you get to know each other and work together to accomplish what needs to be done. There is a much warmer atmosphere here than in a large corporation where you are just don’t get to know everyone.
Of course, it is always fun to pore over the new books as they reach the shelves!
What is one of the most memorable programs that you have been a part of?
There have been so many wonderful programs; some very informative, some wonderful authors, and some just for fun, like crafts and music!
I must say that one of the dearest to my heart was to have Buzz Caverly, former director of Baxter State Park, come with Phyllis Austin, who wrote Wilderness Partners. The book detailed Buzz and his lifetime love and leadership of Baxter State Park. I have done a lot of camping and backpacking in Baxter and have chatted with Buzz many times, as well as attended some of his presentations at the park. He is a remarkable man, who truly loves the park and has done all in his power to preserve the wishes of the park’s donor, Governor Percival Baxter. Jan, Buzz’s wife of over 50 years, shares his passion for the park. To have Buzz, Jan and Phyllis visit our library was a thrill. Our patrons agreed, as we had a full house and sold all of the books we had!
What do you think libraries will be like in the future?
That is a difficult question to answer. Life as we know it is in a constant state of change. Technology continues to change how people access information. On a personal level, I hope we will have physical books for a long time to come. Yet, I also love what technology brings to our fingertips so easily. I do have an e-reader, and I love to search the internet for all kinds of information.
I think we will always have libraries, because humans are a social group, needing interaction and a sense of community. Libraries also give us a connection to the past and a vision for the future. We will always need people, as in librarians, to help make those connections.