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Lincolnville Community Library opens Feb. 1

Mon, 01/13/2014 - 11:15am

Story Location:
208 Main Street
Lincolnville, ME 04849
United States

    LINCOLNVILLE — The town of Lincolnville is about to get a new community gathering place, technology hub and library, all rolled into one.

    Saturday, Feb. 1, the library will officially re-open to the public at 9 a.m. in its new location. “That will be our soft opening,” said Sheila Polson, library director. “We’ll have more of a grand opening in the spring, when we’re really up and running.”

    It has been a year and a half since nearly 200 people gathered in Lincolnville Center to grab a long rope and help pull the town’s former one-room schoolhouse across Main Street. Since then, a large team of skilled volunteers and professional contractors have been working together to renovate the building and turn it into the new Lincolnville Community Library. The exterior has gotten clean white clapboards, a new roof and refurbished windows, and the interior now has an insulated main room and a brand new red-birch floor. The building addition, which will house a workroom for librarians and a bathroom, is nearly finished.

    Polson and volunteer librarians Kathleen Oliver and Lois Lyman were busy last week filling bookshelves with hundreds of donated books recently moved from the library’s temporary space down the road. “It’s been two and a half years since we had our first meeting,” said Polson. “We were on a five-year plan, and look how far ahead of schedule we are. It’s amazing and this is such a beautiful building — welcoming and warm.”

    “It’s a little overwhelming,” said Lyman. “A lot still has to be done. There’s a lot of cataloging to do. But I’m delighted. I’m so impressed with the quality of work our volunteers did.”

    “I’m beyond excited,” said Oliver. “It’s such a dream come true. To me, this place already feels like a place I want to be in; clearly other people want to be in it too and it is filled with the warmth of the hundreds of volunteers who have worked on it.”

    In addition to the volunteer hours, Oliver noted how many people have come out of the woodwork to donate something to the library, including books, new storm windows, stained glass windows made by a local artist, custom-made bookshelves, and tables and chairs.

    When asked where she thought all this outpouring of giving was coming from, Oliver said, “Part of it, interestingly enough, is rooted in nostalgia. People tell us about the importance of libraries in their own lives.”

    Oliver said people have also had a strong desire to come together as a community and do something good, something that will benefit folks from all walks of life and of all ages.

    The little library has big plans for the coming months — a little something for everyone. “On Tuesday nights we plan to have a book discussion group,” said Polson. “Wednesday nights we’ll offer bi-monthly programs for the community, including concerts, author talks and informational talks. We want to also have a meeting time for senior citizens. And on Friday mornings, we’ll have children’s programs.”

    “We’ll also be basing our programming expansion on requests we get from the community,” said Oliver. “If we have some seniors who really want to play cards, we’ll have nice tables for them to sit at.” A local knitting group may also make good use of the space for its bi-weekly gatherings.

    As for teens, the library would like to eventually offer space for a Mainely Girls book club. “This space is set up for a lot of different functions,” said Oliver.

    The new library will, of course, feature a lot of Lincolnville authors’ books. And Polson said they want to have an especially strong collection of books and programs on traditional arts and sustainable living.

    They will also have free wireless Internet access and computers for patrons to use. The library was recently commissioned as a Maine Public Library — which is a big deal. It means they can be part of the Maine Schools and Libraries Network for Internet access and the inter-library loan system.

    For anyone interested in volunteering with the library in any capacity, there will be a meeting Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m. “This will be a time for us to tell people what our needs are and find out what their interests are,” Polson said. Anyone interested in leading a program will be able to make a pitch at this meeting.

    In the library’s temporary space, organizers have offered public informational talks on topics such as beekeeping, palm analysis, acupuncture and feng shui. “We weren’t sure how many people would come for the feng shui talk, but we had a great turnout. Some people even came down from Bucksport just to hear it,” said Polson.

    The library’s new hours will be:

    • Tuesday 5-8 p.m.
    • Wednesday 2-7 p.m. (2-9 p.m. on programming nights)
    • Friday-Saturday 9 a.m. to noon

    For more information and to keep up with the library’s daily progress, visit their Facebook page.

    Kay Stephens can be reached at

    Sheila Polson can be reached at