The warm breezes of late May and early June are always welcome in Midcoast Maine.

The schooner fleet is preparing for a season dedicated to sharing the wonders of Penobscot Bay with travelers from around the globe, and inns and other lodgings are mowing lawns, mulching gardens and washing windows. Gardens are being planted for fresh, local produce. Shops are boosting inventory and there is a general tone of optimism throughout our communities.

The economic excesses of recent years should not be forgotten. We must remember what happens when we speculatively spend money we don’t have. But it is good to share the wealth we do have, whether it’s discretionary cash or a priceless view. We shop locally and we invite others to appreciate our landscape and what our communities have to offer, which is a great deal.

Here on the coast of Maine we are wealthy indeed when it comes to freshening breezes, abundant wildlife, quiet walks and glittering ocean vistas. We are fortunate to have many wonderful places to dine, to find unusual and interesting goods, and to be entertained. The season has come when we share the gifts that come through our hard work and those that are bestowed by agencies far beyond our meager human powers.

Summer gives us reason to smile. As we and our neighbors take joy in sprucing up homes, gardens and businesses, we rejoice in the beauty that surrounds us and look forward to a prosperous and happy season.

Center for learning

Libraries are the repository of human knowledge. But they are not simply edifices built to protect that knowledge — those thousands of books, periodicals, photographs, maps historical records, not to mention computers connecting us to today’s big world, are meant to be used by the public. Andrew Carnegie understood that so well when he dedicated grants to build 2,500 libraries across the world.

Just last month, John Bird wrote in these pages an account of, and tribute to, the Rockland Public Library, and all those who have worked hard to ensure its success as a community resource. The city’s library has been a center for reading and learning for more than a century.

There is a discussion under way with the Rockland City Council to save approximately $8,600 by cutting library hours, perhaps on Sunday afternoons. These Sunday hours have been in effect since 2007. The proposed library budget is $555,554, up $1,420 from the current budget.

It is important now more than ever, as more citizens work two, sometimes three jobs, that libraries do not follow just bankers hours, but are open as much as possible to serve a wide populace. That includes children, teenagers, adults and the elderly. We hope they all continue to move through the doors on Saturdays, Sundays, in the evenings — whenever the library doors are open.

Understandably, the Rockland City Council wants to trim costs and taxpayer bills. We are optimistic that as the council continues its meetings with department heads to consider various budgets that other cost cutting opportunities will arise, and the current library hours will remain intact.