Sunday, July 24, 2016

419. Buck Memorial Library, Bucksport Maine

"This building was erected to the memory of Richard P. Buck by an affectionate wife and daughter, A.D. 1887."This unusual library building is truly a light set on a hill. A very steep hill. I chose to park on Main Street and hike up, where of course I found a parking lot--but I needed the exercise. The trouble with this hobby of mine is: a lot more driving than walking!

To the right of the entrance is the children's area. A 12-drawer card catalog with a wooden frame and plastic drawers serves the children's collection. Some historical photographs are on the wall, including one of the first train in Bucksport and several of an elephant, perhaps from a circus.

There are picture books, easy readers, series books, and junior fiction. A letter on the wall, on large chart paper, reads "Dear Mrs. Spooner, Thank you for letting us visit your library..." It's signed by a whole class; based on the handwriting, I'd say perhaps grade 1.

In the adult fiction section many books are shelved flat. In some cases, this appears to be because the shelves are shorter than the books. Other times, it's hard to tell why this method is used.

There is a room with a fireplace, a long glass-topped table with old maps under the glass, An eclectic reference collection ranges from a Stitch Dictionary to The Index to Poetry. There is a fireplace, plus easy chairs and periodicals. A small collection of books for sale is nearby.

Another room has large print books, westerns, and the non-fiction collection. Here the books on the lowest two shelves are displayed spine-up. It seems clear that they are shelved this way for easy visibility of titles.

There is a modest collection of recorded books and DVDs, and Stuart Woods must be a favorite author, as he has two shelves of his own.

This is one of several libraries I've visited lately that checks books out with cards and date stamps. If it works, use it. And it often costs less for a small library than converting to a computer-based system.

Here's a heads-up for anyone reading this before August 17, 2016: That's the date of the Teddy Bears' Picnic, all ages welcome. The notice is enhanced with a picture of three women "of a certain age," holding their teddy bears. My mother would have enjoyed this, I think.


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