Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St., will host a Valentine’s Day gathering where five minute stories will be devoted to that multi-faceted, messy and imperfect thing called love. “Love Stories in 5 Minutes: True, Blue, Inconvenient, and Otherwise” will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14.

Love cannot be simply defined, and the spectrum of love experiences runs far beyond that of romantic love. Featured storytellers Chuck Gifford, Caitlin Schick and Patty King will share their anecdotes at different times during the night; in between, they encourage tales from those attending.

Everyone is invited to come and share a (mostly) unscripted 5-minute story about a person, place, possession, pet or anything deeply loved, past or present. Participants are welcome to use notes, if needed. And of course, just coming to listen is welcome.

C.O.H. Gifford, Jr. was born and raised in Rockland. He is a philomath and melophile and stands by Shakespeare’s quote, "If music be the food of love, play on."

Schick is a Midcoast native who heard many a well spun tale growing up and holds the traditions of Maine storytelling in high esteem. With an extensive background in drama, creative writing and performance, Schick currently works with the Telling Room. Her stories are known for delivering hard truths through a quirky sense of humor and a big heart.

As a librarian, King is in the business of stories. The library contains not only the stories found in the many books, audiobooks and movies on the shelves and on the internet, but also those of the people who walk through its doors. She believes that sharing stories is essential to the formation of communities, while connecting through our shared humanity.

To sign up to share a story, contact King at or 594-0310. Impromptu story sharing on the night of the event is also welcomed and encouraged. This event is free and open to the public.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or