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

Gardiner’s Farmers Market Family Fun Day

I was invited to come to the Farmer’s Market Family Fun Day this Wednesday and represent the Gardiner Public Library. It was a beautiful sunny day with plenty to do. Face painting, painting rocks, necklace making, wreath making from herbs, jenga, hula hoops and other things happened. Here are some photos from the wonderful afternoon spent within our area.

For the Love of a Library

Some of my best memories from childhood were spent with a book. I can remember many a time being dropped off at the public library where I would spend hours surrounded by books and I would read to my heart’s content. I could go an adventure, visit a foreign land, or solve a mystery with my favorite detective, Nancy Drew. Many times I would become cross with my mother because she’d pick me up too early, wherein she would inform me that I’d been on my own in a sea of books for hours.

I was lucky enough to spend time in the public libraries of whatever town in which we were stationed. I spent my summers in Maine, visiting my grandmother, Marguerite Kierstead. As a retired schoolteacher, she made sure to feed my voracious appetite for books. As an adult, I am unable to be without a book, and as such, I am a frequent patron of my local library. Gardiner Public Library holds a special place in my heart. It is the same library where my grandmother brought me in the summer, and the same library where I now work once a week.
Anne Davis does an amazing job of overseeing Gardiner Public Library. GPL has quite an extensive collection, is frequented by hundreds of patrons, and is run with a fantastic, albeit skeleton, crew. We should be celebrating the jewel that GPL is in our community, rather than continually questioning its purpose and need.
I am a teacher now myself, and I know of many kids who don’t have books at home. Yes, they can access their school library, however the collections at public libraries tend to be much larger than those at schools. GPL has a wonderful children’s room where kids can enrich their vocabulary and deepen their comprehension by having access to a vast variety of materials.
GPL is just as much a haven for adults as it is kids. We have a beautiful art history collection, a rather large Large Print section, and a wonderful archives room, just to mention a few of the “amenities”. Many people use the internet, attend book clubs, and rent movies for free.
The incredibly knowledgeable staff at GPL is there to serve and support your needs. If you live in one of our participating towns, please support us by becoming a member!
Sarah Duffy, Library Assistant

Things I love about library patrons

Twelve things I love about our library patrons (children, students and adults)

1.      Seeing our regular summer patrons come back after winter
2.      Having them ask for a certain book or helping them find a new series or item
3.      The little gifts they surprise us with
4.      Making their day when a certain book or movie comes in
5.      Making our day brighter by coming in to the library
6.      One human being helping another human being
7.      Having a personal connection with a patron
8.      Seeing them enjoy a program that we put on
9.      Hearing them tell us about a book or item they enjoy immensely
10. Being able to share our family stories and pictures with them and them sharing theirs
11. Helping them with their family histories or with the history of their home
12. They make me smile every day that I work at the library
Thanks to the wonderful people who make my work days so enjoyable.
Ginni Nichols, YA Librarian

35 Years, 3 Generations of Families, Some Amazingly Wonderful Patrons.

Where did the years go?

As I begin my retirement, there are certain things of which I am sure.
I will deeply miss:
  • The wonderful Gardiner Library staff.  Our collaboration, laughter, problem solving, and friendship goes far beyond most working environments. Together we have made GPL one of the premier libraries in the state. You are the Best!
  • Selecting books for the children’s collection.
  • School visits with dedicated teachers.
  • Meetings & conferences with colleagues.
  • And finally, all the energetic, super terrific children whom I’ve had the privilege to watch grow up and become readers.
 Thank you all!
And a special appreciation to the many thoughtful people who’ve taken the time to phone, stop by, write wonderful messages on Facebook, and indulge me with flowers & gifts.  I am so honored!
Charlene Wagner, Children’s Librarian

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!

A salute to our wonderful library volunteers!

Although we try to recognize & reward our faithful unpaid helpers throughout the year, the general population is probably unaware of the many hours donated by these outstanding men & women.  Many have a specific task that they complete or progress with each visit.  Their chores include inventory checking, story time programming, shelving, magazine maintenance, book sale support plus a myriad of other tasks.  Their loyalty and assistance to the library is prodigious.  Several have contributed decades of time and energy to the Gardiner Public Library.
Many thanks and heartfelt appreciation to these outstanding patrons.

How Working at the Library Makes Me a Better Teacher

At the tender age of sixteen, I was hired as a “Student Aid” at my local library. I knew very little about libraries; the books I read, for the most part, were given to me by my teachers and friends. I enjoyed casually reading, but I was far too preoccupied with the business of my own existence to bother with due dates and late fees. I felt intimidation when I entered the building, never knowing what was a “good book” and what wasn’t. The transition from Children’s Room to adult stacks isn’t always easy. The sheer volume of choices made me insecure; I had no idea where to start.
When the director hired me, I felt as if I was entering an elite group. They didn’t hire many students and the work was far better than waiting tables or watching the playground. I worked after school four days a week and was home by dinner every night. I shelved books, assisted patrons, and didn’t have to change a single diaper – it was fantastic.
Working at the library helped shape the person I am today, the teacher I am today. I fell back in love with reading. I. Fell. Hard. In no time my intimidation was gone and I could navigate the fiction and non-fiction like a mouse in a literary maze. I was always reading something, adamantly refusing to carry a purse that wouldn’t fit a glossy hard cover. When senior year approached and I began to look at my options for life, I knew I had to keep living in this world of books. Even further, I wanted to help other people my own age develop the same love I had – from cynic to celebrator.
With this idea in mind, I earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Secondary Education: English. My goal was to help students embrace reading; they didn’t have to love it, but they had to be willing to try. The library taught me to accept all readers and find what worked for them; an invaluable lesson when working with generally disgruntled teenagers. To them, the idea of reading was fundamental and no pleasure could be derived from the process. They stared blankly at me as I whipped books off the shelves like a disillusioned maniac, preaching the wonders of literature. “Seriously,” I’d profess, with an ear-to-ear smile, “You’re going to like it. Trust me!”
Over time, I created a culture in my classroom. I found immense joy when a student told me they “didn’t mind reading that.” The expectation for reading was formed from my work at the library. The change I found in myself as a life-long reader I can now pass on to my students. The library welcomes me back each summer with open arms, a job at which I regularly use my unique combination of library/education experience to help students find books for summer work and fun. Without my first job at sixteen, I would not be the teacher I am today. I’m a firm believer in the potential the library shelves hold, and I intend on sharing that belief for the next thirty years.
 Alyssa Littlefield, High School English Teacher/Library Assistant