Category Archives: Uncategorized

Postcrossing & Currency: Connecting to the World Through Postcards and Coins & Bills

Postcrossing is an online project for people to exchange postcards with other project members globally. There are currently just over 800,000 members, more than 200 countries represented, and almost 74 million postcards received.

In the 7 years that Nancy Noble has been a member, she’s sent and received only 35 postcards, which is very few compared to many postcrossers. But in this limited correspondence, she’s received postcards from Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Russia,
Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine, and the United States (including Seattle, Finger Lakes, and Chicago). And she’s sent postcards to Germany, Russia, and the United States, but also Slovenia and Sweden.

Direct swaps are an option, and Nancy swapped postcards with Martin in the Czech Republic at his request. She also recently became a pen pal with Inga in Germany also at her request—she just sent a long letter about her life north of Hamburg.

But mostly these random postcards from all over the world bring a smile to Nancy’s face when they land in her mailbox here on Long Island.

Interspersed with the postcards in the exhibit case are coins and bills from the various countries Karen has visited over the past twenty years. She’s spent a lot of time in both Asia and South America. Countries represented include Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Nepal, China, and Thailand, as well as Bolivia, Guatemala, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay.

Karen always travels as cheaply as possible, booking flights for “shoulder season” when they are less expensive, staying in hostels, and often traveling by bus. She’s met amazing people and learned so much along the way.

Long Island Community Library small meeting room exhibit case

Open during library hours

Eggceptional! Eggs from the “nests” (homes) of Long Islanders

Our newest exhibit showcases favorite eggs of islanders, including Nancy Berges, Ann Caliandro, Judy Churchard, Annie Donovan, Bette Jane Fitzgerald, Nancy Jordan, Nancy Noble, Katharine Stewart, and Patty Temple. We are also delighted to showcase the Pysanky eggs made during the recent workshop.

The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with many cultures celebrating spring. Pagans saw eggs as a symbol of regeneration in springtime. Early Christians borrowed this idea and applied it to the rebirth of Christ. The egg itself became a symbol of the Resurrection.

Open during library hours

Long Island Community Library

Cat tales: Feline fancies from the homes of the Nancys

Curated by Nancy Berges and Nancy Noble 

with assistance from their feline friends, Henry and Josie

Our new exhibit at the Long Island Community Center is all about cats!

We have cats made of glass, wood, ceramic; stuffed cats, rocks; cat cards and books; paintings of cats. We have cats made by local artists (Butch Kilgore, Ginny Stowell), and cats made by Maine artists (Nancy Maiello, Andersen Design). And cats from as far away as Mexico and Canada!

We have useful cats (in the form of a mug, paperclips, piggy (Kitty) bank, teapot, doorstop, snack tray, salt and pepper shakers, socks, bag, wine glass, towel, fly swatter, and jewelry (pins, earrings, bracelet, pendants, and a ring holder). But some of our cats are purely decorative! We have a cat footprint (in memory of Sheba Berges), and cats that belonged to “Catman Mike” (Michael Kilgore). We even have St. Gertrude of Nivelles, the Patron Saint of Cats.

Rock on: Rocks from the Collections of Long Islanders

A favorite island activity is collecting rocks from various island beaches, and beyond. What we do with these rocks can vary – many just sit on a shelf or in a windowsill. But others get painted or decorated, in a variety of ways. Some islanders are given rocks by the rock fairy, who delivers painted and decorated rocks to the lucky few.

Come visit this exhibit and enjoy seeing the creative spirit of islanders. May this exhibit inspire you to look at rocks in a new way.

Long Island Community Library small glass case

Open during library hours

The Vanishing American Barn – a fall exhibit at the Long Island Community Library

Just in time for fall, we present to you our newest exhibit at the Long Island Community Library small meeting room glass case.

“The Vanishing American Barn” : plates collected by Flo Brown

Flo has collected many plates, including this lovely series of plates that speak of autumn, as we celebrate the beginning of this season on Long Island. This series is called “The Vanishing American Barn” created by Harris Hien for Historic Providence Mint around 1983. Types of barns include Lancaster, Southern Tobacco, Hudson River, Victorian, New England, Thatched, Log, Appalachian, Buck County, and Round barns.

Come enjoy an exhibit that showcases a Long Islander’s collection.

Open during Library hours

Beanie Babies!

We are pleased to bring you a fun summer exhibit at the Long Island Community Library, in the small meeting room glass case. Annie Donovan is sharing the Beanie Babies collected by her family, since the fall of 1996.

Come see these wonderful stuffed animals, and learn more about the history of Beanie Babies. (open during library hours)

“A cup of coffee would save my life!”*: an ode to coffee in literature

In honor of Jane Cullen, my Great Diamond Island coffee buddy

October 1st is International Coffee Day, and what better month, with our crisp weather which makes us crave hot drinks, to pay tribute to … coffee! Although an inveterate tea drinker, these past few years I’ve fallen in love with café society, especially in Portland, with its plethora of coffee venues. What better place, especially on a cool autumn day, to hang out with a good book in places like Arabica, Bard, or Higher Grounds, while waiting for the ferry. By tradition, coffee houses are a place to gather, whether in the 1960s beatnik era or the 16th century Middle East, and thankfully that tradition has not waned. Coffee is alive and well today, whether you like your coffee as a cappuccino, espresso or latte! (or just regular old fashioned coffee)

As far as coffee in literature, who can resist non-fiction titles such as

The coffee lover’s diet : change your coffee, change your life

Coffee for one : how the new way to make your morning brew became a tempest in a coffee pod

Coffee: a dark history

Fun fiction titles include cozy mystery titles, such as these by Cleo Coyle: Holiday Buzz, Murder by Mocha, and Murder Most Frothy. And then there are these great titles by Alex Erickson: Death by Coffee, Death by Vanilla Latte, Death by Espresso, etc. Sandra Balzo also jumped on the coffee house bandwagon with her mystery series, which includes Murder on the Orient Espresso, Uncommon Grounds, and To the Last Drop.

And just as I was about to write this blog, “Signature,” a literary website, tempted me with this list of “best coffee books for coffee lovers”
(Which just goes to show I’m on the right track with these coffee books)

So, while my first love is tea (see this blog for October 2016), I hope you enjoyed my ode to coffee!

*Excerpt from Blood and thunder: an epic of the American West, by Hampton Sides. Description of a French trapper, hovering near death: “The men has more or less written off the poor fellow, who in his death agonies kept hallucinating that he smelled coffee – a luxury no one traveling with Kearny had seen or tasted in months. ‘Don’t you smell it?’ Robideaux beseeched them. ‘A cup of coffee would save my life!’” eventually someone did make him a cup of coffee, and poured “’this precious draught into the waning body of our friend Robideaux. His warmth returned, and with it hopes of life.’

Illustration Institute


I am a big fan of illustration, whether N.C. Wyeth or Barbara Cooney, Arthur Rackham or Beatrice Potter. So how lucky are we in Casco Bay to have an Illustration Institute on our neighboring island of Peaks Island! Co-founded by illustrators Scott Nash and Nancy Gibson-Nash, the Illustration Institute offers lectures and workshops, and artist residencies. From time to time they also sponsor exhibitions. The 2018 exhibition is held at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick and features Garth Williams’s original art: “Garth Williams, Illustrator of The Century”  – many will recognize his works if they have read Stuart Little, Bedtime for Francis, A Cricket In Times Square and Charlotte’s Web. The exhibition, held from May 1 to July 31, 2018,  includes over 100 works and will be complimented by lectures and workshops provided by the Illustration Institute.

For more information see: