What is your history with the Ellsworth Public Library?
I got my library card just days after moving to Ellsworth in 2011. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and went the local public library there weekly as a child, borrowing at least the two books I think were required each week by RIF – Reading Is Fundamental. Public libraries have always been a “fundamental” part my life as I’m an avid reader and, although I do buy books as much as I can to support the authors financially, I can’t afford my reading habit so getting a library card was one of the first things I did upon moving here! After several years of thinking I’d like to volunteer somewhere, always thinking to myself that the EPL is what would fit me best because of my attachment and need for the library, but my work schedule is difficult to plan, I finally found a possible day/time and started volunteering at the library this year and am thoroughly enjoying it; it’s a time-out from the chaos and demands of life and I get to spend time around books. I did have to tell myself from the first day of volunteering that I couldn’t borrow/read every book I came across. Resisting leaving the library with 30 or more books is the hard part about volunteering!
What do you value most about the library?
The Ellsworth Public Library has a fantastic collection, usually having the books – and DVDs of movies and TV shows – I hear/read about, and, if not, the library is happy to order them. The librarians are incredibly nice, made me feel welcome right away and started recognizing me very soon, asking what I thought about books I was returning, and basically making me feel at home and among other book lovers.
What library programming do you enjoy?
I’m grateful for the author talks even if I can’t go to them all due to my own work/life schedule -I wish I could go to them all! It’s so great that the library supports authors and hosts these events.
Also, as a long-time participant in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month: https://www.nanowrimo.org/), I’m so happy that EPL hosts write-ins for that during the event and has also been welcoming to the local writers who wanted to continue meeting up once a week.
Also, I attended the meetings for “The Great American Read.” It was so amazing that the EPL got a grant for that and we got to watch the episodes, not only ahead of the PBS airing time, but with other book lovers – and had great discussions after the viewings.
I have to add that I loved the sleepover-at-the-library event for stuffed animals; I don’t have children but I have nephews who FaceTime with me and my stuffed animals, and the EPL librarians were not only super nice about adding “Maus,” the stuffed polar bear/mouse hybrid I hoped to include (I was rather embarrassed about bringing one as an adult), they did an incredible job with the photos/presentation of the stuffed-animal event – my nephews got to see the photos of Maus exploring the library after-hours with his new friends. (And I personally wished something like this had existed when I was a kid at my local library – if I couldn’t do something like out of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler at the Met, it would have been so cool if one of my stuffed animals could have spent the night at the public library!)
BTW, those last two programs are what pushed me to finally figure out something in my schedule so I could volunteer at the EPL…
Do you have a favorite place in the library?
In the stacks. So many books I want to read! As I said, the EPL has a great collection of books… Sure, it’s a bit stressful as I know I can’t read them all at once but it’s lovely to see them and know that they’re there for me to read.
Do you have a favorite genre to read during the summer months?
No, I’m just constantly trying to keep up with the list of books I want to read so I read whatever comes through on my holds with the library or find one from my pile(s) of to-be-read books.
Have you read anything good lately?
Yes! So many good books… I mostly read fiction and my latest best (can’t-put-it-down) read was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I’ve uncharacteristically read quite a bit of non-fiction recently and what I enjoyed most was IM: A Memoir by Isaac Mizrahi (maybe because I grew up in NY and, although I’m younger than he is, I heard about things he writes about – and it turns out he went to my high school, which I didn’t know until I read his book!). I also read a lot of YA and I’ve been reading and loving Maria Padian (a Maine author!), Brigid Kemmerer and Heidi Heilig’s books. And Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen has stuck with me for a while as one I may choose for my book club to read when it’s my turn to pick a book.
I do also have a penchant for mysteries and I’m looking forward to Louise Penny’s next one!
Note: If you’re interested in borrowing a book Corentine has recommended that doesn’t include a link, please feel to fill out this form to request them via Interlibrary Loan.