Autumn is, by far, my favorite season in Maine. The weather is perfect, the leaves are beautiful, and most of the bugs go away. It makes me want to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea, or go for a hike to appreciate the colorful foliage. I hope you all have had some time to get outside and appreciate the experience of fall in Maine!
Here at the library we’re preparing for spooky season by decorating the lobby and putting up some displays of scary books. October is one of my favorite months of the year, and Halloween is such a fun holiday. I hope you’re all looking forward to Farmington Fright Nights as much as I am! This is also the best time to pick up that horror book you’ve been thinking about reading--I feel like every Mainer has to read at least one Stephen King book at some point in their lives!
We’ve also added another weekly program to our roster, Writing Wednesdays. This is meant to be a fun writing group where people can get together to share their work and get feedback on it. So now we have something for everyone three days in a row: Tech Tuesdays, Writing Wednesdays, and Knitting & Crocheting on Thursdays. Come check out these events, we’d love to see you!
You may have noticed some work getting done on our old front entryway steps a few weeks ago. A few years back water leaked into the Children’s Room from these steps, causing some damage to the ceiling. We recently received a grant from the Belvedere Historic Preservation Fund that allowed us to get the steps resealed so we no longer have to worry about water coming into the building. We are very grateful to Belvedere that we were able to complete this part of the project with their help. The next part of the process will be to have the sheetrock in the Children’s Room replaced, which we are working towards.
And now, it’s time for me to talk about what good books I’ve been reading lately. Now that I’m back in grad school (last semester!) I have much less time to read for fun, but I still make a point to read something enjoyable. Graphic novels are an excellent medium when you don’t have a ton of time but still want to enjoy a good story. I highly recommend the Monstress series by Marjorie Liu. It’s a fascinating story and the artwork is just breathtaking. If you think graphic novels are just for kids, you’re wrong! For audio, I’m still on a Brandon Sanderson kick. I’ve finished all of the Mistborn series and have moved onto another of his series, the Stormlight Archive, which starts with The Way of Kings. The audiobook is read by the same narrator as the Mistborn series, and I just can’t get enough of him. I’d highly recommend it if you’re into fantasy, we have the print books and the audiobooks are available through the Cloud Library.
If you’re interested in what other staff are reading or want to see other fun things happening in the library, follow us on Instagram @farmingtonlibrarymaine. Enjoy the rest of your October!
Is everyone else as ready for fall as I am? I can’t wait for the temperatures to drop and for the leaves to change! But mostly the temperatures. It’s been much too hot lately.
It’s been an enjoyable summer here at the library. We’ve been happy to see so many people start coming back in since we lifted our capacity limits! We’ve also just recently started up a few programs, although we’re still not encouraging large groups get together inside. Vanessa’s book group has been meeting outside regularly when the weather is nice, and it sounds like it’s a lot of fun! She always picks great books that stir up a lot of interesting conversation. So if you’re interested in joining, come pick up a book and join the group! Vanessa is also spearheading our community garden, coming soon and starting in earnest next summer, so keep your eyes out for that.
We’re also now offering two other new weekly programs. Tech Tuesday is every Tuesday at noon, and you can bring your electronic devices (or borrow one of ours) and get some one-on-one lessons for a variety of computer skills. Knitting & Crocheting Lessons are every Thursday at 5, and you can either bring your own materials or borrow some of ours to practice with. The hope is that this could become a regular craft club where members learn from one another and work on projects together, but for now we’re just hoping to drum up some interest in our knitting kits (crocheting kit coming soon!) Autumn is a great time to curl up and knit, plus you can make fun Christmas gifts for people. And if you already know how to knit or crochet and just want to hang out with some other like-minded people while you do so, feel free to come on in and join us and talk about what you’re working on!
Another new feature we have on our website is an online Readers Advisory form! If you’re ever looking for some suggestions for some books you might like, you can fill out the form and we’ll send you a personally curated list of books that may be of interest to you. We love giving suggestions, so let us help you find some books! You can find the form on the “Readers Advisory” page under the “Services” tab at the top of the website page. Speaking of books, I’m hoping to start a small adult graphic novel section upstairs in the fiction room! Right now I’m thinking we’ll temporarily house it next to the biographies in the upstairs hallway. There are so many excellent graphic novels for adults, so I’m excited to start expanding our collection in this way!
Summer is a great time for reading books, and I’ve been taking full advantage of whatever free time I have to read. I recently read Fox & I by Catherine Raven, and I greatly enjoyed it. The cover is just beautiful, and it tells such an excellent (true) story about a woman and her relationship with a fox, and more broadly, nature. For audiobooks I’ve continued to listen to the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. They’re all read by Michael Kramer, who is now my favorite audiobook reader. He does such a good job bringing the books to life with his voice!
Finally, I just wanted to mention that we now have an Instagram account: @farmingtonlibrarymaine. Come follow us! We’ll be sharing all sorts of fun library-related stuff on there!
Happy summer! I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather (and not getting eaten alive by bugs). I certainly am having a good time, I’ve been spending the majority of my weekends out hiking mountains. It’s been very rewarding!
We’ve been busy here at the library lately. As many of you already know, we’ve returned to our regular hours and are no longer requiring appointments in the library. It has been nice to start slowly getting back to normal. We just held a summer book sale last weekend. If you weren’t able to make it we’ll be having a couple more, one in July and one in August, so come on by and check those out! Our summer reading program has also started up. Summer reading is a great way to encourage children to read while they’re not in school, and there are lots of opportunities to win prizes. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and start reading!
We have a few other exciting library events coming up later this summer. On the evening of July 17th we’re planning a fun night we’re calling the Maine Event--expect Maine style drinks and snacks, music, and a silent auction and raffle for some Stanley Keirstead paintings that have been donated to the library. The library will also be starting up some programs that are a sort of hybrid between virtual and in-person events. These programs will be conducted at the library but will use laptops and virtual platforms, with the goal of getting people more familiar and comfortable with technology. We’re able to do this thanks to a grant from the Maine Community Foundation. Be sure to keep your eye out for more information about these upcoming events!
On a more personal note, I’ve finally finished the spring semester of grad school and am enjoying being able to relax a little bit! I’ve been trying to catch up on some reading now that I have a bit more free time. I’m currently working on Hiking Maine’s 4,000 Footers by Doug Dunlap. One of my goals is to hike all of Maine’s 4,000 foot mountains, so this has been a great resource! For fiction, I just finished The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall, which was an incredibly interesting read. For my audiobook I just got done with the second book in the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson (the reader does a wonderful job).
What have you all been reading? Feel free to stop by and talk to me about whatever you’ve read lately! I hope to see you all back in the library this summer now that we’re more open again!
Happy spring to you all! I’m so happy to see green grass and flowers again, and I’m looking forward to getting back outside in the warmer weather. Winter activities aren’t really for me, so I’m glad the snow has melted and it’s time to get back outside.
Speaking of spring, don’t forget about our May Day plant sale coming up on May 1st! Stop by the library to pick out a few plants from 10am-12pm that Saturday, and make sure to drop off any extra plants you have to be sold the week before. The proceeds from the sale go to the building fund to help us maintain our beautiful library. The money we earned from last year’s plant sale is going to fix our front walkway, which is happening right now. We have plenty more building projects that need funding, so please come support the library that day!
Plants are definitely on my mind right now, especially since it’s time to start thinking about what to do with some of the library’s gardens. I’m not a huge gardener myself so it’s a little out of my wheelhouse, but I’ve been thinking about different ways to spruce up some of the library’s garden beds. Thankfully we also have some amazing volunteers that are better gardeners than I am, so at least we have some help! We could always use more people who are willing to help keep the library gardens tidy, so if that’s something you’re interested in please let me know. Taking care of plants is definitely not my strong suit, I’m not very good at keeping them happy. Although right now I have a cute little jade bonsai on my desk that seems to be doing okay so far, so I’ll call that a success!
While unfortunately we can’t have gatherings in the building right now, we are looking forward to holding some events outside, weather permitting! Vanessa is starting up our adult book group again, and we’re hoping to hold it outside the library if the weather is nice. If you’re at all interested, give us a call or check in at the front desk. The first meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 8th at 11am. She’s picked an awesome book to start with! We might also be holding some outdoor book sales this summer, so keep a lookout for that as well.
And lastly, again, I’m going to tell you about what I’m reading now. I’m still on my Stephen King kick, of course, and am listening to Black House (sequel to The Talisman) on audio right now. I haven’t had a ton of time to read for fun lately since I’m finishing up the spring semester of grad school (one more semester to go!), but here’s a book I read and wrote a paper on for a class: The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman. It was an absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking book, I loved it so much. Yes, it’s a children’s book, but I think adults or teens could also appreciate everything in it. It was a great read. It absolutely devastated me, but I enjoyed every second of it!
That’s it for today! I hope to see some of you in the library, or maybe at one of our outdoor book sales later this summer. Enjoy the warmer weather!
I’ve decided to start a little “library update” type of thing that I’ll post periodically throughout the year. I hope that it can keep everyone updated on what’s happening in the library, and help you all get to know me a little better!
So, for those of you who don’t know: Hi! I’m Jess, and I’m the director of the library. I started working here in February 2018, mostly at the front desk. It was so much fun meeting and talking with everyone about books and the library. The Farmington community definitely has many interesting and amazing people in it! One of the things I love about working in a relatively small town is how well you get to know everyone who comes into the library.
So, what have we been doing here in the library? As I’m sure many of you are aware, we had to return to curbside-only service over the winter holidays due to the significant increase of COVID-19 cases in Maine. It was a difficult decision to make, but we had to put safety first. Thankfully, the cases have gone back down and we can let patrons in again! I know I’m not the only staff member looking forward to seeing and talking to you all!
We’ve kept busy in here while the building has been closed. We’ve continued to provide curbside service, and have done our best to help everyone out however we can within the safety parameters. We’ve also put together some knitting kits so people can try out a new craft if they want to. I’m hoping to make some kits for different crafts as well, such as crocheting or maybe embroidery. I’ve also been thinking about starting up a craft club over Zoom--anyone interested? Let me know! I absolutely love knitting and crocheting, so if you’re crafty and want to participate in something like this keep your eye out!
Another project the library has been working on is cleaning up our collection a bit. Our shelves are getting a bit crowded, so in order to have space for new books we need to remove some of our old ones that haven’t been checked out in a while to make room. Don’t worry, all books will go to a good home! I’m thinking we might have another library book sale in the future once it’s warm enough outside. In the meantime, check out our ongoing book sale in the computer room while you’re in for your appointment and see if anything catches your eye.
Speaking of library fundraisers, it’s about time to start thinking about plants you might want to propagate for the library plant sale. Our plant sale is going to take place on May 1st, and drop-off of plants at the library will be from April 24th-30th. We had a great plant sale last year, so mark the date on your calendar!
The library has also recently received a grant from the United Way to update our WiFi system. We hope that this will allow us to provide faster, more reliable internet to everyone who comes to the library. The work is scheduled to take place later this month.
Alright, last thing: I have to talk a little bit about what I’ve been reading!
I just finished Insomnia by Stephen King and it was an amazing book. I’m a huge Stephen King fan, and I’ve been going through quite a few of his books recently (mostly in audio format--I do quite a lot of driving). I read a variety of genres and always like talking with people about books, so if you see me at the library feel free to stop by and chat about what you’ve been reading that you enjoy! It’s great to hear about what books people are interested in, it helps us pick out new books to add to our collection.
That’s all for now! We’ve definitely missed having patrons in the building, so please don’t hesitate to call and make an appointment to come in, look around, and catch up with us all! We’d love to see you!