To the Editor: Home away from home 



To the Editor: 

For the past 25 or more years, I have had a personal librarian at the Jesup. In fact, I have had several of them. They knew me by name and greeted me every time I entered. Some have departed, most recently Mae. Irrepressibly cheerful Laura still says, “Hi Charlie,” and before long, Lexie, Abby, Kayla and Isabella will too. Maybe it’s because I’m a “power” user, whatever that means. But I think not. I think they all come to know many, many members of the community by name. They’ve helped me navigate the occasionally quirky interlibrary loan process many times for obscure books. Sometimes they point me to a new book because they know my reading preferences so well. It feels like a home away from home for me. 

A great library serves as the cornerstone of a community. We have one, and in a beautiful old building too, 111 years old now. That fact alone tells you it might be time for an upgrade. Some years ago, a campaign began to elevate our library, double its size, and make it a 21st century center of learning and excellence. The design model for the new addition is on display in the periodical room along with descriptive flyers. You should check it out. 

The improvements include making the library more available to everyone with an elevator and accessible rest rooms. There will be a dedicated program area so the stacks don’t go out of service during presentations. The story space for children will be expanded. Small meeting rooms will be available for community organizations and there will be a new tech center as well. Archival space will be climate controlled and access to the collection will be easier for historians and researchers. The Jesup has some pretty cool stuff, like the Dorr Papers recently given by biographer Ron Epp. This gift was more than fitting since it was Dorr who persuaded Maria Dewitt Jesup to honor her late husband by underwriting the library so long ago. But perhaps the main oasis from the bustle of Bar Harbor will be the inviting outdoor courtyard in the back. 

And for this library recidivist for whom reading on a Kindle is a poor substitute, the expanded collection of books will be eagerly awaited. After all, it is a library. Let’s complete the campaign and break ground for the new addition as soon as possible. I hope you’ll join me in donating to the Jesup’s once-in-a-century campaign. Find out how at www.jesuplibrary.org/capital-campaign. It’s personal for me. I hope it is for you too. 

 

Charlie Jacobi 

Bar Harbor 

 

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