Gardiner Public Library will be closed Thursday, November 23rd thru Sunday, November 26th. Enjoy Thanksgiving with your families and friends!

Interesting Library Information

Each year public libraries throughout the state are required to submit a yearly report to the Maine State Library.  Most folks do not relish the idea of reports, but the information contained is something we should all brag about!

The library continues to be the anchor business for Gardiner’s downtown.  Last year more than 62,000 people visited the library.  Some came for the traditional reasons of finding a good book or movie to bring home.  Others came to use one of the 19 public computers available at the library.  We are finding that more and more businesses and governmental agencies insist on applications and forms be submitted electronically and the library offers free Internet access to anyone who needs it.  Almost 2,000 people attended a program at the library; programs that are always opened to the public and that are always free.  We have our regular customers who just come in for a bit of respite from their busy days.  We have quite a few people who come to read (and hold!) an actual newspaper.  Did you know that the library subscribes to 5 local and regional newspapers?  Many people tuck into the library during their lunchtime just to read a few articles in a magazine; a magazine that they no longer subscribe to because of the cost.  Libraries make literature and pop culture available to everyone who walks through the doors.  Oh, and staff still circulates stuff…
In 2014, the library circulated 113,409 physical items.  When is the last time that you visited the Gardiner Public Library?
The library is located at 152 Water Street, Gardiner and staff may be reached at 207-582-3312 if you have any questions about library services.
 Anne Davis, Library Director

Meet The Authors!

Have you had an opportunity to come to any of our local author series?  It is a great way to learn about the process of writing and to discuss the new books being written by very talented authors.  You have only 2 more events to attend before the series ends.

On Tuesday, September 16th at 6PM the staff of the Gardiner Public Library is pleased to host New England author, Chip Bishop, author of Quentin and Flora-A Roosevelt and a Vanderbilt in Love during the Great War.  Copies of the book will be for sale and the author will be available to sign them.
Quentin and Flora is a moving tale of courage, heroism and young love.  Set against the backdrop of Theodore Roosevelt’s lofty expectations for his sons and his own tragic demise, it is a richly-drawn and gripping tale, superbly written and forcefully told.  Just in time for the centennial of the Great War, Quentin and Flora is a classic page-turner with relevance for today. 
On Wednesday, October 15that 7PM novelist Paul Betit will be our final speaker for this series.  Paul Betit is the author of three mystery-suspense novels featuring U.S. Army CID investigator John Murphy.  His books include Phu Bai, Kagnew Station and recently –published The Man In The Canal.
For nearly 40 years, Paul has worked a sportswriter or a general assignment reporter. His newspaper career has included lengthy stints with the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Portland Press Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram. He continues to cover high school, college and pro sports on a free-lance basis for the two Portland newspapers.
Following his graduation in 1965 from Cony High School in Augusta, Paul served as an intelligence analyst with the United States Army Security Agency. He received letters of commendation for his work in South Vietnam and Ethiopia, the settings for his first two books.  The author will have copies of his book for sale as well.
These programs are free and opened to the public…come spend an evening discovering new authors!

Who is who at the Gardiner Public Library?

As the director of this wonderful institution called the Gardiner Public Library, I get to supervise some wonderful staff members.  Do you know everyone who works at the library?

A library is only as good as the staff that works within the institution and Gardiner’s employees are such a dedicated bunch.  Scott Handville, our assistant director, makes me look good every day by his professionalism, his kindness and yes, his sense of humor and wonderful laugh!  Charlene Wagner passionately advocates for the kids in our community by creatively hooking them with books and making them lifelong readers, and, lifelong supporters of libraries.  Ginni Nichols has a very enviable position; she gets to impact our teen population by offering them space, books, games and a friendly person to discuss almost everything.  The free popcorn every now and again makes her a teen hero!  Ann Russell makes the main desk hum and thrive as our technology librarian.  She hasn’t met software that she doesn’t like and she CAN get you to the point where you can download titles, I promise!  We were so lucky to add Dawn Thistle to the staff as our Special Collections Librarian.  She is an expert researcher and she acquaints many genealogists with their lost relatives.  She makes history come alive for adults and students and her preservation skills have allowed the Gardiner Library Association to identify how best to handle their very fragile and rare artifacts.  Audrey Littlefield’s skills at book repair have saved us from losing rare titles and keeping them available to all.  Bob Fagan will kindly help you with your library needs and he is our Interlibrary Loan guru who packs up and empties totes delivering over 38,920 titles throughout Maine.  Sarah Duffy is new this summer; she started as a volunteer and her wonderful presence made it an easy transition to library aide.  When she isn’t here working for us, she is the director of the gifted and talented program at RSU#5.  Rounding out the staff is Ross Littlefield who happily works for us every Saturday by shelving books that never seem to stop coming.  I am pleased to welcome Chris Miller as our new custodian, boy have we kept him busy as well!
So, the next time you find yourself in the library, say “hi” to the staff, they really are here to help!

What am I reading?

Many of our favorite movies are based on even better books.  Though I am happy that one of my favorite authors manages to have many of his titles made into pretty good movies, I really hope that folks continue to read Dennis Lehane.  Once you read one of his books, you will wonder what took you so long to find him.

I first discovered Lehane when our library book discussion group read Mystic River.  The opening pages grab you instantly as you become acquainted with the characters that meet as children and reconnect after a terrible tragedy sets them along a path that will change their lives forever.  Lehane’s narrative never flinches although, as the reader, you really hope that the outcome could be different.  This is a perfect novel and Clint Eastwood adapted it to the movie that garnered Academy awards for both Sean Penn and Tim Robbins.  Please, watch the movie, but be sure to read the book first!
Shutter Island begins with a boat ride in the Boston Harbor and by the time the author returns you to the mainland, you will feel as if you have been put through the wringer.  Everything that you thought you knew or figured out gets twisted and the ending is so unexpected that you will go back and re-read a few pages to be sure that you understand the outcome.  Martin Scorsese must have known that he was working with gold when he adapted the novel into a movie.
Dennis Lehane loves to revisit his characters along the way.  Gone Baby Gone ends so unexpectedly, you wish you could call the author and just ask “why?”  He addresses the ending in the sequel, Moonlight Mile, without any trite answers and tired wrap ups, just realism.
I couldn’t wait to read his newest novel, Live by Night, and I had checked it out of the library as soon as I could.  I must have missed a title though, as this has the same families he introduced in The Given Day, one novel that slipped by me.  I simply cannot read books out of order, so now, I am absorbed by this book that has one of THE BEST baseball scenes ever written, and I really am not a baseball fanatic!
So there you have it, I cannot get enough of Dennis Lehane’s writing and I know that the next author that I read will fall short for me…why can’t everyone write as well as Lehane?  As you may imagine, all of Lehane’s titles are available at the Gardiner Public Library, so check one out soon!
Anne Davis, Library Director

Battle of the Book

Do you think that you are smarter than a 5th grader?  I am not so sure this is a true statement for me anymore.  I am a judge for the Battle of the Book over at Pittston Consolidated School and part of my duty as judge is to read 5 YA titles.  Okay, what is YA?  YA is a fairly new genre to the publishing world that concentrates on the teen and pre-teen audience.  Please think of the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series…. very large audiences and huge profits for the publishers.  Though these blockbusters are not titles for the battle, I did read books I never would have read if not for my responsibilities.

I took my duties very seriously, judges are well respected entities and I did not want to besmirch anyone.  I thought I had the titles down pat, but the teens could answer any trivia, tidbit, and theme question we threw at them, all in 30 seconds!  These students read, studied, dissected, and reviewed each title until the event.  I am so proud of the young adults that joined in on the fun.  Their teachers should be our heroes because they accomplished a very difficult feat…. they made reading fun and they made readers champions.  So, I challenge our library readers to pick up a YA title soon, these books are worlds away from my days of reading the Nancy Drew series and dreaming of the time that I would be able to drive around town in a roadster!