Why is the Ellsworth Public Library important to you?
This library was a significant part of my childhood. It has been my main source of reading material since I could read, and I always enjoy my time there. Even though I don’t have time to read all the books I check out anymore, sometimes I just like browsing for a while and removing myself from the outside world. It is a welcome escape from the business of my senior year.

In your opinion, what is the library’s role in the community?
I believe the library plays many roles in a community, including providing free access to education and supporting community clubs and activities. To me personally, the library is a sanctuary. It provides a quiet, respectful place for people to access the internet, read, study, or sit quietly without interruption. I always feel like I’m in motion these days, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to go to a place that’s still.

Where is your favorite place in the library?
My favorite place is either upstairs in the YA section, sitting in one of the stairs and reading, or the couch in front of the huge library windows. When the sun isn’t too bright and there aren’t any people around, it’s the most serene place to work or read.
This isn’t IN the library exactly, but I also love to walk the trail that leads from the library alongside the river. It’s quite pretty in the summer!

What do you think libraries will be like in the future?
I hope that libraries don’t go completely digital. There’s something grounding and realistic in flipping through a solid book, not a pdf document. However, seeing how technology is improving these days, I’m sure we will see libraries integrating technological additions – I would like to see a larger audiobook library system, as I’ve been listening to more books than reading them as my year gets busier. If tech can work alongside libraries without absorbing them, I think it’ll be progressive.

Do you have any good book recommendations to share?
This is a DIFFICULT question because I could rant for ages about the books I love. Recently I finished reading Alan Moore’s Watchmen, which was phenomenal. It follows middle-aged superheroes navigating a world in which heroic vigilantes are banned and the threat of a nuclear WWIII is upon them. It is heralded as one of the greatest comic books of all time, winning awards meant for written novels, and I can’t disagree. It is extremely thought-provoking and utilizes the medium of comics in a way only comics can achieve.

One more. The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers is hands-down one of my favorite novels. The population of this world is made up entirely of monsters, and one studious, book-loving lindwyrm gets himself lost in the haunting, dangerous, trippy catacombs that underlie a city famous for its literature. The illustrations and some formatting details in this book are otherworldly (like two pages made up entirely of the words “you have just been poisoned” repeated endlessly). It’s one of those books in which you notice something new each time you read it.

Okay, a few more rapid-fire recommendations -If you’re into spooky, horror-themed graphic novels I highly recommend Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods and Harrow County by Cullen Bunn Tyler Crook. My favorite fantasy graphic novel of ALL TIME is Nimona, written by Noelle Stevenson (who is also the producer of the She Ra reboot!). If you like coming-of-age themes I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson made me cry! Also I recommend anything by Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor and Park, Carry On, Fangirl), because she makes me feel big feelings and I adore how she writes. She just recently collabed with Faith Erin Hicks (also one of my favorite graphic novelists, anything by her as well is amazing – I discovered her through her book, Friends With Boys) to write Pumpkinheads, and I gotta get my hands on that book!
Okay I think I’m done! If you read through all of that you’re a trooper and my personal hero. I hope one of these books spark your interest!

Emma Henry is an Ellsworth High School art student and library user.