January Newsletter 2018
JANUARY NEWSLETTER 2018
2017 has come to a close, after an exciting year of whirlwind activity at the Library. Our director, Matt DeLaney, started in his new position just after the New Year, spent a few monthsorganizing MML affairs, and rolled out a host of positive changes and activities starting in March, with the help of a stellar group of volunteers. Weekly open hours increased from 18 to 38 and membership cards became free to anyone who lives or owns property in Maine.
We had an Author Series that brought Monica Wood and George Smith to the Library, and an Explore New Worlds Series that took us from the Allagash to Antarctica. A Spring Self
Sufficiency Series with classes on chicken and beekeeping and growing food was followed in the Fall by a DIY Series with classes on soap making, ceramics, and digital photography (among others), and in between we had knitting classes, computer classes, and healthy living info sessions on food insecurity, diabetes, and hospice & home health services.
Children’s services ramped up with Robotics and Legos clubs, and special Story Times brought in dogs, birds, bunny rabbits, and a turtle named Myrtle – as well as music makers, story tellers, and Santa Claus. A Teen Advisory Council formed and they’ve been excitedly and successfully raising money for the Library as well as helping to shape Teen Services.
An exciting new project this year was the launch of our Katahdin Story Booth Project, in partnership with the Maine Folklife Center and the National Park Service through grant funding from Growsmart Maine. The Katahdin Story Booth Project is a living history project committed to honoring our region’s past as we prepare for the future.
We are proud of the many partnerships we have built throughout the region, particularly with our friends and partners at Thrive Penobscot. Through our Thrive Penobscot network, we have been able to offer great new programs addressing various needs in the region with the goal to keep folks well and living at home as long as possible by connecting them with resources in the community.
We’ve been working diligently to raise the money needed to ensure that the Library remains a vital part of the region well into the future. In 2017, we were one of only five public libraries in the country to be awarded a “Beyond the Walls” grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to create public WiFi hotspots in multiple outdoor locations throughout town. The MacKenzie Foundation awarded the library a grant to build a Digital Learning Center in 2018 to help improve digital literacy throughout the region.
Earlier this year, the Maine Public Library Fund awarded us a grant to build a new DVD collection, and the Rudman Foundation awarded us $1,000 to build a Young Adult collection. Finally, we were awarded a $500,000 grant towards our Future Library Project, a community effort to transform our library into a state-of-the-art facility serving a wide variety of 21st century functions.
We would not have had this level of success in 2017 without the many partners that supported us throughout the year. The Friends of the Millinocket Memorial Library hosted another outstanding Dinner Auction this fall to help support our operating costs, along with many other fun and energizing fundraisers. The Town increased their budgeted allotment for the library to $30,000 for FY 17-18, and a Library Committee was formed to maximize communication and cooperation between the library’s Board of Directors and the Town Council. Recently, the Millinocket Marathon and Half generated over $10,000 in support for the Future Library Project and featured the library crew front and center handing out bibs to over 1,000 runners! Finally, our amazing volunteer corps continues to keep our library updated, welcoming, and vibrant with over 500 hours of volunteer support every month!
As always, we welcome your input and feedback to help us achieve our goal to become one of the best small libraries in the country! And of course, come and talk to us if you’d like to join our wonderful volunteer team. A huge thank you to the many people supporting all of our efforts! As the new year begins, we all wish you and yours a healthy and happy year ahead. Until next time, see you at the Library!