BAR HARBOR — Sen. George Mitchell will be at the Jesup Memorial Library on Monday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. for a wide-ranging talk and book signing, part of his support of the Next Chapter campaign at the Jesup.
Mitchell is serving as chairman of the honorary committee for the expansion and renovation project that will enable the Jesup to continue and expand its role as a community center and vital resource for information and resources on Mount Desert Island.
“I support libraries all over Maine,” Mitchell told the Islander this week, “because I believe strongly in their value. Learning has to be a lifelong endeavor, and good public libraries are a part of that.”
Mitchell is a graduate of Bowdoin College and has a home on MDI. He has earned many awards and honors for his work in the United States and across the globe, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. He served as a senator from Maine for 15 years, spending six as the Senate majority leader. He was voted “the most respected member” of the Senate for six consecutive years.
Being a lifelong learner need not be a selfish pursuit, according to Mitchell. Libraries can be tools for individuals and communities “broadly in terms of citizenship, in terms of creating a better life for all people,” he said.
“We’re living in a period of tremendous transition. We have movement of commerce, and people, across national boundaries, and that has created a lot of fear. It used to be that people tended to stay at one job most of their lives. Now, innovation and change require people to be adaptable. And the more well-read a person is, the more likely they are to be able to successfully adapt.”
The library is currently in the midst of a capital campaign to raise money to renovate the current building and build an addition that would add about 10,000 square feet to the library, said Scott Simons, project architect. The building next door, currently the Secondhand Prose used bookstore and two residential rentals, would be razed to make room for the expansion.
The new space may include an expanded children’s library space, a large community room to accommodate 150 people for meetings and events, a young adult area and other flexible meeting and teaching spaces.
The goal of the campaign is to raise $9.8 million for construction, renovations and endowment.
Mitchell’s two most recent books, “The Negotiator: A Memoir” and “A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East,” will be available for purchase courtesy of Sherman’s books, with part of the proceeds donated to the Jesup.
Doors to this event open at 6:15 p.m. In order to be as fair as possible to everyone who wants to hear Mitchell, seating is limited to the first 150 people. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. There are no reservations for this event and no saving seats.
Call 288-4245 or [email protected].