BAR HARBOR —In a video tribute released by the Jesup Memorial Library, youth services librarian Mae Corrion announced a gift to the Jesup 2020 campaign in honor of the MDI High School graduates and graduating eighth graders.
Corrion decided to make the gift after thinking about the children she’s seen grow up at the Jesup, many of whom have experienced major life milestones this year without the usual festivities. She’s also been thinking about their futures, and what she hopes will be a lifelong love of libraries instilled by their years reading and playing at the Jesup. The video message was released after Corrion sent hand-written notes to all 25 Bar Harbor seniors.
“As a special thank you for all the years you spent at the library, and a way to encourage you to continue using libraries wherever you go, I’ve made a donation to the Jesup 2020 capital campaign to go towards a new addition to the library with its expanded spaces for children and teens,” Corrion said in the teary-eyed video. “Someday maybe you’ll even take your own children there.” The Jesup campaign plans to nearly double its square footage, including a new room for children, a new storytime area and a separate room for teens.
Corrion has also been busy setting up a ready-made “book bag.” Families don’t have to browse and handle books, and children can get a curated bundle of books about whatever topic is on their mind. Corrion has read every children’s title in the library, and wants to get the right book in the hands of any kid that needs one.
“When my son couldn’t stop talking about camping, I emailed Mae and a camping book bundle was ready the next day,” said one library patron. “When I needed a way to help him learn about emotions, Mae knew the books about feelings that kids really respond to. She’s like our book pharmacist.”
To help with curbside pickup, Corrion has transformed the children’s room entrance into a book pick-up service window, much like a pharmacy. And knowing that children might be confused or frightened seeing so many masks on adults’ faces, Mae has made sure that the children’s room mascot, “Mother Goose,” is also sporting one.
This year will be Corrion’s 22nd year as the Jesup’s youth services librarian, and she has been a driving force behind the increase in books, toys, puzzles and more that now fill the library’s small and very full children’s room. “I think every day about what opportunities we’ll have with more space,” said Corrion. “I hope that my gift gets us that much closer to building the space these kids deserve.”