Design plans for Phases 3 and 4 of the Jesup Memorial Library's Jesup 2020 capital campaign, which include building an addition to the existing library building and renovating the original interior. PHOTO COURTESY OF JESUP 2020

Jesup gifts announced

BAR HARBOR — The Jesup Memorial Library has received a series of large gifts that bring it within striking distance of its $1 million Phase Two capital campaign goal, including a $50,000 matching challenge to the public. The library also released a video, “Three Things You Might Not Know about the Jesup” this week on

The Jesup is raising $7.3 million to preserve, protect and expand Bar Harbor’s public library, which is a private nonprofit organization.

During Phase One, the library acquired the adjacent property at 28 Mount Desert Street, demolishing the existing building in June to make way for Phase Two drainage improvements and an addition to the library in Phase Three.

Phase Two requires $1 million for exterior preservation work, including urgently needed drainage, façade and roof repairs to stop recurring winter water infiltration, and to prevent further water damage to the 1911 building.

The library announced last week that $50,000 from Emily Murphy and Byron Nimocks, an additional $50,000 bequeathed to the campaign by an anonymous donor, and $100,000 gifted from the estate of James and Jane MacLeod of Bar Harbor to name the future Children’s Room, have boosted the campaign to within $150,000 of the Phase Two target.

Now, a matching challenge has been announced by an anonymous donor to support the library’s exterior restoration work. Up to $50,000 in additional campaign gifts made by the end of the year will be matched.

“As the Jesup is reimagined, reshaped and expanded for the future, we gave to both preserve the Jesup’s historic roots and help ensure its vital place in the Bar Harbor community continues,” said Murphy of their gift to Phase Two of the campaign.

The naming of the future Children’s Room, a prominent feature of the planned expansion, is the latest in a string of large gifts naming spaces in the library for individuals and families considered influential to the Bar Harbor community.

In May, an anonymous donor pledged $100,000 to the campaign to name the library’s periodical room for Rachel Carson, the groundbreaking writer and biologist credited with growing environmental consciousness in American culture.

Earlier in the campaign, Bill and Cookie Horner made a pledge to name the Deasy Room in the future Jesup archive for Horner’s great-grandfather Luere Deasy, a prominent Bar Harbor lawyer and judge in the late 19th and early 20th century who was also a founding member of the Jesup’s board.

“Through imaginative and energetic leadership, the Jesup Memorial Library continues to provide our community a steady helm into the future as together we navigate waves of change,” the Horners told the library. “That’s why we support her.”

“We’re thrilled that generous gifts like these are making the future library a space to remember leaders whose achievements have contributed so much to our community,” said Jesup board chair Ron Beard. “These visionary donors are helping ensure the Jesup will be ready to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders on our Island.”

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