Maine Library Association


  • 01 Mar 2016 1:01 PM | Deleted user

    We're looking for program proposals, Ignite Session entries, and poster session submissions for NELA's 2016 Annual Conference!

    Submission deadline is May 31st!

    Click HERE to access the program proposal form.

    Libraries play an integral part in building our global community. They are places where kindness, connection and preservation prevail, no matter the condition of the world outside. We're looking forward to gathering together again this year to learn from and network with our library friends and colleagues, so that we can continue to learn from each other.

    "Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors. The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries." - Carl Sagan

    Mary Danko, 2016 Conference Chair

    Megan Bishop, NELA Events & Communications Coordinator

  • 26 Jan 2016 5:15 PM | Deleted user

    Celebrate all things LIBRARY with the Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday,

    April 19th at 6:00.

    -Pre-game parade for library workers

    -Each library picks a representative to throw out a first pitch

    -Discounted tickets

    We'll also use this as an opportunity for a Library Libations meet-up.

    When you submit your application to the Sea Dogs let me know as well

    so I can start planning!

    For more information, please check out this PDF: Sea Dog Invitation Letter.pdf

    Michelle Conners

    Assistant Director/Adult Services, KFL

    Maine Representative to NELA

  • 09 Sep 2015 10:00 AM | Deleted user

    Now is your chance to vote for the 2015 Maine Readers' Choice Award winner.  The poll is opened on the Maine Readers' Choice Award website and will run until September 15 at midnight.

    The finalists are:

    *  Euphoria by Lily King

    *  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

    *  Redeployment by Phil Klay

    These are three really classy books.

    If you are doing paper ballots please email me (Valerie) the results.

    Thank you!

    Valerie  Osborne, Consultant

    Northeastern Maine Library District

    Bangor Public Library

    145 Harlow Street

    Bangor, Maine 04401

    947-8336 ext. 114

    1-800- 427-8336 ext. 114

  • 08 Sep 2015 5:04 PM | Deleted user

    If you would like an easy way to send your thoughts to the Town Councilors

    of Millinocket, the Maine Library Association now has a tool through ALA

    that will help streamline that.


    , fill out your information and click submit.  The next screen is an

    editable email that will go to all current members of the Millinocket Town

    Council.  The default message is brief, so feel free to expand and

    personalize your message.  Please pass the link freely, especially if you

    have contacts in or around Millinocket!

    This is MLA's first time using this advocacy tool, which ALA has used for

    years - many of us have participated in ALA's messaging campaigns over the

    years.  If you would like MLA to set this up for a local issue affecting

    your library, please let me know so we can work together - custom

    recipients can be added so that advocacy emails can go to school boards,

    town councils, individual committees, etc.


    Nissa Flanagan

    MLA Legislative Chair

  • 03 Sep 2015 4:58 PM | Deleted user

    New England & Western New York ASI Chapters

    Fall Meeting

    Saturday, 26 September 2015

    10:00 AM – 2:00 PM


    The Black Center

    48 Lebanon Street

    Hanover, NH 03755


    Program highlights: Lisa DeBoer will be presenting One Is The Loneliest Number: Strategies for Collaboration Among Indexers, with interactive breakout sessions. Additionally, a panel of indexers, including Colleen Dunham, Steve Ingle and Joan Shapiro, will be addressing questions on the business aspects of indexing.


    Registration information: 

  • 02 Sep 2015 3:09 PM | Deleted user

    I Love My Librarian Award 2015

    Librarians touch the lives of the people they serve every day.  The I Love My Librarian Award encourages library users like you to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public, school, college, community college, or university librarians.  We want to hear how you think your librarian is improving the lives of the people in your school, campus or community.

    Each year 10 librarians are selected. Each librarian receives a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the awards ceremony and reception in New York City, hosted by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.

    Each nominee must be a librarian with a master’s degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association in library and information studies or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.  Nominees must be currently working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university or at an accredited K-12 school.

    Nominations for the 2015 I Love My Librarian Award are open through September 28.

    Nominate a School Librarian

    Nominate a Public Librarian

    Nominate a College, Community College, or University Librarian

    If you want to resubmit a nomination from a previous year, we've made it easy.

    Sign up here to be notified about future I Love My Librarian Award activity.

    Questions?  Email Megan McFarlane, Campaign Coordinator,

    American Library Association,

  • 27 Aug 2015 5:01 PM | Deleted user

    Maine is one of five states chosen to take part in one of the first academic studies on the efficacy of story time.  OCLC, along with partners at the Washington State Library and Thrive Washington have been working with the Information School of the University of Washington to compile data and implement best practices into a program called Supercharged Storytimes!

    The first research phase, unsurprisingly, took place in Washington State.  80 public libraries took part.  This phase was a roaring success, and now the project has expanded to five more states.  Maine was selected after a multi-tiered process, and being chosen is quite a feather in Maine’s cap.  In addition to Maine, the other states are: Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin and North Carolina.

    In this phase, each state gathers a cohort of public library staff who present story times on a regular basis.  Staff who are interested apply directly to OCLC.  Library staff can expect to gain wonderful information and practical skills from this experience, whether they are new to story times or long-term presenters. Participating in this project will:

    • Enhance existing early literacy programs (such as Every Child Ready to Read) with tips and tools that can help you purposefully and creatively incorporate essential early literacy concepts into your story times;
    • Encourage sharing of and learning from experiences and ideas through an online-based peer support network;
    • Provide you with research-based tools and tips that can aid story time interactivity and engagement with children and caregivers;
    • Give you the confidence that what you are doing really does make a difference in helping young children learn to read;
    • Empower you to articulate the value and impact of the early literacy services your library provides.

    Hopefully you can see that some of these benefits are of particular interest to Maine.  First, all of the project takes place online.  In a state where travel to meetings, workshops and get-togethers is difficult, taking part in a high-quality, online experience is a boon to many.  

    Second, you probably know that in Maine, a very small percentage of children are able to go to preschool.  Story time becomes crucial to a child’s school readiness.  Presenting the best story times you possibly can is helping young children get ready to read in kindergarten (or before!) and is making a measurable difference in Maine.

    Third, we see more and more in Maine that cities are struggling to make ends meet, and the public library often suffers for this.  As the last bullet above states, this project will allow participants to explain the value of early literacy skills, story time, and the public library, and describe the impact these have on children and Maine’s future.

    The Maine State Library hopes that every public library story time provider in Maine signs up for this project.  The links below lay out the information and expectations in detail.  Please read the information carefully.  If you have any questions or need help, please contact Early Literacy Consultant Shannon Schinagl at the Maine State Library: or 207-287-5660.

    Need a general overview?  OCLC has provided a Supercharged Storytimes! Announcement Letter.

    A more detailed description of Supercharged Storytimes! can be found here.

    Please read the Supercharged Storytimes! Participant Overview very carefully.  All of the nitty-gritty is spelled out here, including requirements, time commitment, and what you can expect.

    If you choose to participate, apply with a Statement of Interest.

    If you would like to read the research from the first phase, the academic study is called Project VIEWS2.

    Finally, the deadline for application is Friday, September 11, at 5:00 EST.

    Please join Maine in participating in this exciting project!

    Shannon Schinagl

    Early Literacy Consultant

    Maine State Library


  • 14 Apr 2015 1:07 PM | Deleted user

    As we were all taught back in kindergarten, sharing is good. Several Maine libraries are demonstrating this through participation in Maine Shared Collections. Back in in July’s edition of MLA to Z (summer seems such a long time ago!) I wrote about wrapping up the grant activities of the Maine Shared Collections Strategy (MSCS). Based on our experience from the grant, we’ve developed our own collection analysis service. We provide libraries with data and advice for making decisions about what titles can be safely weeded and those which are potential candidates for long-term retention as part of Maine Shared Collections. So far, 16 libraries have participated in analyzing their print monographs collections (Edythe L. Dyer, Witherle, Northeast Harbor, McArthur, Freeport, seven Community Colleges, University of Maine Farmington, University of Maine at Presque Isle, University of Maine at Augusta, and UMA Bangor) and I’m keen to get as many libraries involved as possible.

    Analysis to date

    By committing to retain items, member libraries provide other libraries with the option to weed their own local copy, safe in the knowledge that their patrons can still access the title via existing resource sharing agreements. Overlap has been high (on average 40%) between libraries’ print monograph collections and titles already committed to retain by Maine Shared Collections members. Therefore, there have been plenty opportunities for weeding. Some libraries have literally taken their spreadsheets to the stacks to pull items for weeding. Those libraries that have already identified weeding candidates used the spreadsheets as another check before deciding whether an item could be safely weeded.

    Generally, the titles identified as retention commitment candidates are those where there are fewer than ten holding libraries in OCLC, don’t have an existing Maine Shared Collections retention commitment, or are Maine related. The average number of titles identified as potential retention candidates account for less than 1% of the library’s print monograph collection. The numbers of titles involved – from only 17 to 97 – are sufficiently low that libraries have felt comfortable making the retention commitments, but there is no obligation for them to do so. Examples of titles that have been committed to retain include Rev. Seth Noble: a revolutionary war soldier's promise of America and the founding of Bangor, Maine and Columbus, Ohio by Carol B. Smith Fisher and Embedded memories: the story of Aroostook potato houses by Roger P. Akeley. 

    A nice byproduct of the collection analysis is documentation that identifies incorrect and missing metadata (e.g. incorrect and missing ISBN, OCLC numbers). This can be used to correct records, benefitting other libraries in our shared resource environment. 


    There are four main benefits for participating in the collection analysis and joining Maine Shared Collections:

    1. Data-informed collection management decisions. While data alone is never going to make decisions, it can be used to make more informed decisions based on overlap with peer libraries, rarity, and usage.

    2. Insurance of retention commitments. The large volume of retention commitments made by the grant partners (approximately 1.4 million titles) and those made subsequently by new members can act as an insurance policy. Libraries can choose to weed those titles committed to retain by members while still retaining access to them via inter library loan. 

    3. Freeing up local shelf and storage space. 

    4. Contributing towards the common good. Even a small number of retention commitments will mean a library is contributing towards the common good of managing and preserving the print collection in Maine.

    Collection analysis service

    The collection analysis service we offer consists of us providing libraries with spreadsheets which show for print monographs: 

    • Titles they hold which have received a Maine Shared Collections retention commitment.
    • A subset of committed to retain titles they hold that have Maine Shared Collection retention commitments and have had fewer than two circulations at the local library since being added to the collection.
    • Titles they own with zero Maine library holdings in OCLC WorldCat. We also show MaineCat holding levels for these titles.
    • Titles they own with 10 or fewer holdings in OCLC WorldCat. We also show MaineCat holding levels for these titles.
    • Metadata errors e.g. incorrect and missing ISBN, OCLC numbers that can be used to clean records.
    • All item level records with circulation and OCLC WorldCat holdings data.
    • Data permitting, we can adapt these spreadsheets to meet local needs.

    The spreadsheets which show local overlap with Maine Shared Collections are generally used by libraries to identify items that they can weed because they are already been committed to retain by a Maine Shared Collections library and have rarely circulated locally. The spreadsheets which include overlap with OCLC and MaineCat are used to identify those titles a library holds that are not widely held elsewhere and are therefore potential candidates for being committed to retain. 

    I will meet with library staff to review the spreadsheets and offer suggestions for areas of focus for retention and withdrawal. 

    The cost of collection analysis services is based on the time it takes to complete the data extracts and compile the above spreadsheets, so the larger the collection the more time it will take to run the comparisons. For libraries with a collection size of fewer than 50,000 print monograph volumes then it will cost $350. Between 50,000 and 100,000 volumes cost $420. There are NO ongoing membership fees.

    There may be other options for libraries who can’t pay fees for the collection analysis service, for further information contact me. Libraries can also self-nominate titles they feel warrant Maine Shared Collections retention commitments by sending me a list of titles they agree to retain. 

    Joining Maine Shared Collections 

    Ten new libraries have so far joined the Maine Shared Collections Cooperative (MSCC) which means MSCC membership has more than doubled since September 2014. These libraries have committed to retain approximately 300 titles.

    If you are interested in finding out more Maine Shared Collections and bringing out your inner kindergartener, please see our website contact me at

    Written by Matthew Revitt, Special Collections and Maine Shared Collections Librarian

  • 14 Apr 2015 1:03 PM | Deleted user

    Welcome aboard folks. I know many of you have professional experience in the field, but I must warn you to be prepared at all times during the tour and remember to follow some basic ground rules. They might seem obvious to some, or silly to others, but they have been put in place for very good reason. First, photos are fine, but be aware that the lighting inside is tricky, unpredictable and can change at any time, so don't be surprised if the image you get looks completely unlike what you thought you saw. Rule number two. Please remain with the tour at all times. Last December on the Holiday Tour, we had a young couple who lagged behind so they could have a little private time in one of the rooms. He's still being treated at an inpatient facility because he's convinced that he's the reincarnation of Melville Dewey and she can't speak anything but Mongolian without breaking out in a horrible body rash. Third, please refrain from touching any of the items on display. While most are believed to be benign, there are a few that are capable of changing your personality and outlook completely. That's why we had you sign your tour waiver in the presence of a notary.

    Ready to go? Please follow me. There will be time for bathroom breaks and questions at the end. One last comment before we enter, what you see inside may look like complete chaos, but remember that it has functioned in ways that have and continue to amaze many in the profession.

    I wait as everyone enters the soft flexible door, waiting to see if anyone comments on its structure, but they're either squinting as they hit the darkened interior or texting God knows who. I wish we could ban those damn things, but once we get inside, it won't matter. The electrical impulses will jam the heck out of any signal.

    We call this room the Den of Cluelessness AKA Where I learned to pay it forward. Note the series of early emails between the owner and his peers in the medical library world. As you can see, he came into the profession out of a combination of desperation and bravado. Desperate because his current role as an adult educator in an insane asylum was crumbling and brave because he had the ego and the delusion to claim that he could modernize the library at said asylum. Funny thing, though. He delivered big time, in part because he discovered the Zen of Librarianship. Know what you don't know and then learn it. Note how many responses he got from other librarians as far away as Great Britain, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Amazing how many wanted to play nice. Now, if you look at the wall on the opposite side of the room, you'll see a map of Maine that's covered with yellow pins, more than 150 in fact. Each one represents a library that he's personally visited and in many of them, he offered suggestions and examples of how he figured out various things or better ways to do something. That was the biggest lesson he took away from the era of cluelessness. If you want to keep it, you have to give it away.

    I notice several of the tour members making copious notes while a few others are trying to figure out how many libraries they've visited during their career.

    We move down the hall with its dark purple velvet wall hangings that depict scenes from books he's read and loved. I never get tired of the amazingly lifelike series from the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. It makes me realize why that series had stuck with him for over thirty years.

    I wait until everyone is in the next room which we call the 'You ain't making Progress Until You Piss Someone Off' room. There are about twenty dioramas scattered about on display stands. I like the one with the racy graphic novels tucked into the oversize shelf, but the one that makes the most sense is the one where Christian fiction is housed as far away from Paranormal Romance as possible. One you're not likely to see in many places is the one where the miniature figure's hair stands on end while a teenager cowers in front of the checkout desk. Behind them is a whiteboard that says “Just accept the fact that when you're the entire staff and have a bad day, people are gonna see it, That's what apologies are for.” The other one I like is the same figure bending over an overflowing toilet with the caption, “Taking the plunge took on a whole new meaning when I started working here.” Finally one I doubt many librarians would admit to having a shared experience with, is one where an obese couple are bent over to look at the DVD section and neither one has their derriere adequately covered. This one is captioned thusly “In my next life, I'm mandating taller pants, longer shirts and unisex suspenders.

    We exit and walk around the south end where a railing allows everyone to look down at what initially appears to be a termite colony. I admit that it took me three tours before I understood what the boss told me on day one. It's the hall of unfinished projects and ideas. Each of the insect like entities is actually a task, idea or project that he never got to or realized he's never have time to complete, so he tossed them all in a big arena. I'm told that when no one is around, they choose sides and play an old game created by Mad Magazine called 43 Man Squamish.

    There are three more rooms currently open to those tour members. The next one has a sign over the door that says “In honor of Dr. Chuckie who taught us that the roof is gonna leak when you least expect it.” Inside are little videos much like you'd see on Youtube or America's Funniest Home Videos. They all feature snippets from his memory of situations that library school could never prepare you for. My favorite is from his days at the Boothbay Harbor Library when he was called by a frantic patron and her husband who had just been fired as managers of a nearby lodging facility and wanted him to come take some books. As the video progresses, you see the couple imploring him to take more and more stuff because they're desperate and can't pack everything. By the time he drives off, his pickup looks like he's headed to join the Beverly Hillbillies and includes three sets of silverware, two dried flower wreaths, pancake mix and maple syrup. In another, he's told by a patron that wild turkey poop killed her husband. It fast forwards to him doing an interview with her for the local newspaper and darned if she wasn't telling the truth. Another favorite is the one featuring a phone call from a woman wanting to reserve the downstairs room for bible study. After he agrees, she asks for directions, and wants to know the nearest intersection coordinates. As the conversation progresses, he realizes that this lady ain't in Hartland Maine, but Hartland Michigan. The offer stands, but he cautions her that her gas bill might be a bit too much. Because there are so many things in this room, we always allow extra time for the tour members to get their fill. It's guaranteed to have half of them laughing and the other half shaking their heads as we move on.

    The next room is the one we call 'why a library is like a really fancy restaurant.' When you enter, it's full of holographic images. Most are tables with fine linen cloths and a scattering of books. As you enter, the librarian dressed as a Maitre D, welcomes each tour member and as if being able to read their mind, escorts them to a table, where, Viola! They find a bunch of books that are perfect for them. This is an active reminder room that reinforces two things. A good librarian doesn't have to read everything, but if he/she wants to be really good, they must pay attention to who read what and really liked it and what authors have excited other readers who like these books. This makes pleasing patrons a heck of a lot easier.

    The last room has a sign over the door that has a bus with a teen about to be run over inside a big red circle with a diagonal line through it. Inside are endless titles of juvenile and young adult novels scrolling across each wall, followed by reviews he's posted online. Every so often there are random quotes in bold between the reviews. Among them we see the following. “Why do librarians spend so much time trying to get little kids to use libraries, only to avoid them and their needs when they catch the dread disease called puberty?” Then there's “Every day at least one teen will come into your library desperate to be listened to with respect. Will you notice which one it is?” The one I like best is “Almost every teen does the impossible. They grow up, and even more amazing they just might cast the vote that saves the library budget five years from now.”

    I notice the tour members are much quieter as we exit the building. In fact almost all of them forget to grab their smartphones as we come out into sunlight again. Maybe they saw something on the tour that was more important than texting. I hope so.

    We hope you have enjoyed this tour of a librarian's brain. If someone were to tour yours, what would they find?

    Written by John Clark, Hartland Public Library
  • 15 Nov 2014 2:20 PM | Nissa Flanagan

    Just in time for the Joint Conference and Annual Business Meeting!

    Maine Library Association 2013-2014 Annual Report.pdf

Maine Library Association

55 N. Main Street, Unit 49

Belchertown, MA 01007


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