This month brought us a lovely visit from our neighboring library, across the water – The Chebeague Island Library. Library director Chloe Dyer, and Assistant Librarian, Corie Meehan, hopped on a ferry on a late Sunday morning to pay our library and staff a visit. I (Nancy Noble) picked them up, and Paula Johnson and Nancy Jordan greeted them at the entrance to our library. We had a lovely time, showing Chloe and Corie our beautiful library, and talking with them about the history of our library, our programs, and the challenges of running a library during COVID. Our visiting librarians also had a chance to check out the crafters in the Dodwell Gallery.
Many years ago, when we were starting to get ideas for our new (to be built) library, we visited the Chebeague Island Library on a winter’s day, much like this one in December, and loved seeing their wonderful facility (see blog entry for February 2013). Martha Hamilton was the librarian at the time. Since then, Deb Bowman has been the director. Last year she retired, and Chloe was hired. I came across her name on the Maine Libraries Listserv, reached out to her, and invited her to visit our library. Most people say, “yes, sure, I would love to…” (in the summer, maybe…), but Chloe quickly set a date to come visit us. Fortunately, the weather was perfect, and after their visit to the library they had some time to explore the island, before hopping back on the ferry down the bay, back to Chebeague.
I love connecting the various islands, especially through one of our greatest island resources – the library.
Many years ago, on a cold winter’s day, a group of us from Long Island visited the Chebeague Island Library. Why? We were visiting various libraries to get ideas for our new library, which we were in the process of planning to build. Then librarian Martha Hamilton was our gracious host, showing us their beautiful library. It was warm and bright and colorful with various areas perfect for curling up with books, and a cozy and cheerful children’s area. It was definitely a delightful visit, which gave us much inspiration for planning our own library.
Today the library continues to be a bright spot for Chebeague residents – the current librarian, Deb Bowman, says…” We try to provide what the community needs or wants. … We have done so much here, dancing, drumming, movies, poetry (lots of poetry), art displays, music, and so much more. Book group, iPad classes, prayer book making,
and it goes on and on.” One clever idea was to dress up the front display table with bedclothes and invite patrons to fill out a card which asked “What do you read in bed?”
Deb says their mission statement drives her vision for the library: “The Chebeague Island Library provides a welcoming center to foster the learning of the entire Island Community. The Library cultivates knowledge and enjoyment and brings enrichment and stimulus to Chebeague through diverse collections, innovative technology, research and educational resources, programs and services in response to Island interests.”
For more information on the Chebeague Island Library see: http://chebeague.chebeague.lib.me.us/