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

New Year’s Resolutions – Archivally Inspired!

New Year’s Resolution to lose weight.

Whether or not you’re committing to New Year’s Resolutions (or Intentions) this year, here are some great photos from our Community Archives Room that might help inspire us all to stick to our ideals in 2017….

Lose Weight
Gardiner’s 1911 Police Force collectively weighed 2,800 pounds, winning a nationwide contest!
Save Money
Now Camden Savings Bank, Gardiner Savings Institution built their ultra-modern facility in the 1950s.

 

Eat Healthier
MacDonald’s Bakery opened in 1921 and operated for over 70 years where the Craft Beer Cellar is now.

 

Spend More Time Outdoors
Shown here in the 1920s, Spring Cove on the Brunswick Road was a summer hot spot for decades.
Read More
1947 Summer Reading participants at the Gardiner Public Library in what was then the Children’s Room and is now the Hazzard Reading Room.

 

Cut Down on Sweets
In 1923, Condos Candy Shop sold sweets where the Village Jeweler is now.

 

Carpool If You Can
This photo was taken in September 1940, just before the Sawyer Grain building (now Gardiner Feed) was built.

 

Get More Sleep
A young Gardiner man resting in his Bates College dormitory, c.1914.

 

Take a Class
The Kennebec School of Commerce operated in the upper floors of the bank building on the corner of Water and Church Streets from the mid-1930s through the 1940s and drew students from across the state.

 

Adopt a Pet
This 1920s cutie has ties to a Gardiner family and features prominently (along with many other dear pets) in their treasured scrapbook, which now lives in the Community Archives Room.
Make the Most of Less Than Perfect Situations
During the Flood of 1936 (just like those of 1896 and 1987), Gardiner folks temporarily adopted a Venetian lifestyle.
Shop Locally
Some of us still remember milk delivery from local farmers.  Today, this early 1900s Gardiner farmer could bring his wares to the Farmer’s Market or the Co-Op!

Start a Big Project You’ve Been Meaning to Do

Gardiner dug up and re-paved Water Street in the early 1980s.
 Keep a Journal / Learn a New Language
This 1896 journal was kept by a Gardiner man on River Avenue and donated by a later homeowner who discovered it — for the life of us, we have been unable to translate his unique shorthand.  Any ideas?
Stop and Smell the Roses (or Any Flowers)
This 1920s snapshot comes from a Gardiner family’s large collection of negatives, many of which we are seeing for the first time in all their glory  — thanks to our negative & slide scanner!
Exercise More
We have many old sports photos of Gardiner teams.  This one is simple titled “An Early Gardiner Baseball Nine” and is probably from the late 1800s.
Remember Important Dates
If you can’t get enough of historic Gardiner, you can enjoy even more beautiful photos AND stay on top of 2017 with a copy of our new calendar — still on sale at the library, Boys & Girls Club, and all around town for only $10.  All proceeds benefit the library and the Boys & Girls Club.
 
 
Happy New Year to All!!
 
– Dawn Thistle, Special Collections Librarian

 

Fall Events at the Library!

We still have a few more events associated with the Voices Of The Kennebec grant. 

Deb Gould will be here on Tuesday, October 11th from 7:00pm – 8:30pm to discuss her historical novel The Eastern, set in Pittston, Maine. 
Gay Grant will be here on Tuesday, October 25th from 7:00pm – 8:30pm to discuss her book Destination Unknown, a biography of a World War II evacuee.
There is still room available in the Writing Workshop with Brian Evans-Jones, to be held on Saturday, October 22nd from 10:00am – 4:00pm.  Call the library – 207.582.3312 – if you have any interest in a day of writing!
The final program associated with Voices Of The Kennebec will be held Tuesday, November 1st from 7:00pm – 8:30pm.  This will be an evening of readings and sharing of literary works inspired by Gardiner, the Kennebec, and our place in Maine history!
On Tuesday, October 25th, from 10:00am – 11:00am, Ms. Jenn and the Nutrition Detectives will be back!  Ms. Jenn does an amazing story time, and this will be a fun filled spooky hour of music and movement!
I’m not sure about you, but I am certainly looking forward to the second annual Real Ghost Stories evening here in the library!  We’ll be listening to the haunting tales on Thursday, October 27th 2016 from 6:30pm – 8:00pm.  Last year we had a Hazzard Reading Room full of people listening to and telling their own haunting memories of the Gardiner, Maine area.  Stories ranged from “The Castle,” to the library, to private homes in Gardiner, to a store in the greater Portland area.  If you are a bit shy about sharing your story publicly, I know Kelly – hauntedgardiner@yahoo.com – would be thrilled for you to share your stories with her.  Kelly will compile what she receives and share throughout the evening, anonymously if you prefer.
If you are searching for something fun and different, join us for the First Annual Discover Gardiner Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, November 5th from 11:00am – 1:00pm.  An event hoping to encourage “Scavengers” to explore and engage with Gardiner’s past and present!  This event is a fundraiser for the library, so gather your team, and meet here at the library for check-in beginning at 10:00am on November 5th! Cost is $10 per individual adult, $5 for each additional team member and children under 12 participate free!  Registration information is available at the Main Desk on the Adult Level of the library!
Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

Books Take Me Away

I recently overheard someone say, “It’s that time of year when you want to curl up with a good book, a cup of tea, and an afghan”. I couldn’t agree more.

 
This perfectly describes how I’ve been feeling lately in this cool, rainy Autumn weather. All I want to do is curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea and I’ll be all set for the day. Personally, I love when it rains all day on a weekend. That’s my excuse to forget the cleaning, laundry, and paperwork. Unfortunately, I can’t do this too often, but when I can, I take full advantage.
So on the next rainy day, I hope you can make it a day for yourself. Put on some jammie pants, brew some tea, grab a book, and cuddle up with your favorite blanket. If that’s not a well-spent day, I don’t know what is. Even better, binge read all weekend!
So, cozy up and let a book take you away!

 

Big Changes!

Although they’ve been a long time in the making, some big changes at the Gardiner Public Library are finally NEWS!

At last, we are moving forward with renovations of the Community Archives Room.  The first and biggest sign you may have already noticed is the Archives is now commandeering, if you will, the Hazzard Reading Room on the main floor.  In late April, we rolled every last item up from the basement and set up shop in the reading room.  The quarters are a little compact, but things seem to be running smoothly.
Moved in! — Our Community Archives Room is temporarily in the Hazzard Reading Room.

 

Another sign you might have noticed is construction noise for a few days.  We’re pretty sure that the worst of it is already behind us.  You may rightly wonder just what was causing such a racket – so I’ll take this opportunity to fill a few details of just what’s happening down there.
Before the move & Before renovations
As, many of you know, GPL’s basement is home to a wonderful collection of local history materials and genealogical records. With microfilm of Gardiner newspapers going back to the early 1800s; photographs, postcards, maps and directories of Gardiner through the ages; and many compilations of family histories, it is Gardiner’s historical treasure trove. The Community Archives Room first opened in 1985 and, since then, has received wonderful patronage and support – both locally and from persons all over the US and abroad who have ties to Gardiner.  It has also seen its share of worries – most notably, the 1987 flood, which brought over 2 feet of water into the basement.  To manage that risk in the future, we now have everything stored on mobile carts and rolling shelves – the entire collection can be moved upstairs in well under an hour!
Moved Out!
 We keep all of our materials in acid-free archival boxes and folders, but the library and the room, itself, are really the biggest storage “box” for safe-keeping the collection.  With that in mind, we are installing an HVAC system to control the climate (both temperature and humidity) of the room, as well as new LED lighting that, unlike the old fluorescent fixtures, will not damage photos, books, or other light-sensitive materials.  The ceiling joists and support beams that carry the weight of the book stacks on the main floor have been reinforced (that was most of the noise you might have heard) and, finally, the walls and floors are being updated to materials that are more moisture resistant and less dust-producing.
The project represents the third and final stage in the 3-stage renovation of the interior of the GPL.  We are working with Syl Doughty, the talented architect who restored the main floor and children’s room to their original glory.  So, as delightful as it is to be up the Hazzard Room for a few months (with windows and a garden view!), it will be exciting to return to a wonderfully renovated and well-designed archive!
Ready for some changes: lighting, flooring, walls & climate control!

In the meantime, we apologize for any disruptions – but we hope that this brief hiccup will help to introduce more folks to our wonderful historic collections; and we know it will help to preserve our rich local history for generations to come!  Thank you for your patience and support!

Treats In The Library!

We have had a very busy month here in the library!

When I sat down to write this blog post, my plan was to only mention the various programs and events that happened in the Hazzard Reading Room.  Believe me there were several well attended events, but I would have missed several more, and the more included over 600 people!!!
During the month of October there were at least 20 programs that the library sponsored or participated in, 18 of them were here at the library.  What types of programs you ask . . .
We participated in the Harlow Gallery’s Art In Home event.  This event happened the first weekend in October.  We had a chance to show off some of our collection.  The stage curtain in the Children’s Room was down for viewing, several Carol Bates paintings were displayed, the Ice Man sculpture by local artist Nicolas Genovese, as well as several items from our Archives collection.

 

We held two separate author events.  Local author Paul Betit was here discussing his three books – Phu Bai, The Man in the Canal and Kagnew Station.  We also hosted a publication party in honor of Gay Grant’s new book – Destination Unknown.
We benefitted from the help of a dozen Gardiner Area High School students as they participated in the Day of Sharing.  This wonderful project helps area locations in many ways, and we are lucky to have these students join us, doing things like raking leaves, washing windows, moving books, and many more!
The library hosted two Local Candidate Forums.  These two events took place at Gardiner City Hall, and were well attended!
The Children’s Room hosted a Pre-K visit from one of the local schools.  This is a great way to introduce the littler ones to what we do!
We hosted a lovely wedding ceremony in the Hazzard Reading Room.  What a pretty space for a small intimate wedding.
 Close to 400 Trick or Treaters visited us as part of Gardiner Main Street’s Halloween Event.  WOW – 400 costumed folks entered the library!
We also had our usual monthly programs which included four Story Hours in the Children’s Room, four Thursday afternoon Teen Times and three different book discussions.
Whew!  That’s 20 programs in a 31 day month.  We are closed on Sundays, so 20 programs in 27 days!  Almost one per day, sounds like we are a busy, hub of activity here in Gardiner, Maine!

Ladies Literary Overnight

Recently we had our second annual Ladies Literary Sleepover in the library – yes, we did it a second time!
Eighteen women had fun in the library, after hours.  We talked, we ate, we laughed, we ate, we played games, we talked, we visited, we ate, we slept (a little) and we got up and did it all again!
The ladies began arriving around 7:00, munchies and sleeping bags in hand.  We set up our buffet of yummies in the Young Adult Room, and YUMMIES they were!  We had blueberries, chips, fruit, salad, pizza, eggs, soda and chocolate (it’s not a party without chocolate!!!).
Dawn Thistle, our Archives Librarian, had an historic Gardiner scavenger hunt.  Everyone gathered in the Reading Room, for this interactive trip through the area – from the 1800s forward.  What a fascinating way to learn about where we live.

 

After munching, and chatting some more, folks migrated to various areas of the library – some for games, Scrabble and Hugger Mugger in particular, some for reading of books, some for reading of tarot cards, and some for more visiting.
Eventually, we chose our various sleeping spots – several in the Children’s Room – on the stage, in the puppet area, as well as surrounding the train.  The rest of us slept on the main level of the library – one person opted to sleep in the stacks among the biographies, but the majority spread out in the Reading Room.
Sunday morning we were up early – coffee, fruit and Frosty’s donuts were on the menu – can I just say YUM!!!  We all gathered our various and sundry belongings, checked the stacks one last time, and headed home to our regularly scheduled Sunday events.
Will we do this next year???  Watch the calendar and check with staff for a sleepover next Summer!