All systems go

Last Saturday, Gibbs Library was closed. This unusual closing was to accommodate an update on the Follett System – the software that tracks book check-outs and check-ins. This amazing system used by Gibbs and many other libraries and schools hasn’t had a system wide update for a while due to (guess what?) COVID-19. In order to get schools into the update process, it was done on a Saturday. Another fine job of coordination, Gibbs people!

Gibbs spiffy with Bench Dogs desk

There is a new and handsome circulation desk at Gibbs Library made especially for the purpose by Bench Dogs, Inc. Bench Dogs is a specialty cabinet builder located at the corner of Routes 220 and 126. Weber Roberts, one of Bench Dogs’ owners, worked with the Gibbs team to design and custom build this furnishing perfectly suited for the purpose it serves. This beautiful piece will be appreciated for many years to come. The folks at Gibbs are totally delighted with the desk and haven’t found the words to adequately express their gratitude. They say they love it. Next time you’re in the village, take a moment to peek in and add your “ooohs “and “ahhhs.”

Darton accepts new position

For several years the Gibbs Library Board of Trustees has weighed a change in the management structure of our library. At last month’s Board meeting, members voted to create the new position of library director. The director would take on all the responsibilities and duties of librarian and library manager. This would streamline library management and bring Gibbs into accord with the management models of other libraries in Maine. With affirmation of the change, the board offered Misty Darton the position. Misty has been our library manager for the past year or so. Happily, Misty has accepted this position. The library crew, as well as friends and patrons, are very grateful to Antyna Gould for her 16 months as librarian. Best wishes to both Misty and Antyna.

National Authors Day

While we’re on a “book-ly” streak, I’ll briefly mention National Authors Day. Authors are the people who use their words to entertain, inform, enrich and persuade (along with numerous other verbs) by sharing their experience, observation, emotions and descriptive power with readers. This wasn’t always done by the written word, either, but by storytellers. To those people who spend years of drafting, editing, revising, and writing their stories, and likewise those who whip out a book overnight, you are amazing and appreciated. Authors Day was conceived in 1918 by Nellie McPherson and formally established as a national recognition day in 1928. In 1949, Congress made it official. It’s observed annually on Nov. 1. Authors, all the thanks we all can possibly offer.

Native American Heritage Month

During the month of November, innumerable organizations, colleges, and institutions in the U.S. present programs focusing on Native American history and accomplishments. The National Institute of Health’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion recently held a “listening session” with around 300 Native Americans in their workplace. One of the things learned was that Native Americans are often regarded as one culture even though there are more than 574 federally recognized Tribes, with wide differences in cultures. (Members of other stereotyped groups may feel the same way, don’t you think?) There are hundreds of projects underway that are devoted to knowing and understanding the peoples who inhabited our lands. The Red Paint People of thousands of years ago disappeared for reasons still unknown. Modern tribes (in the last 1-2,000 years) here in Maine include Maliseet, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki, Aucocisco, and Wabanaki (Dawnland Confederacy). FMI: https://native-land.ca

Exhibit at Gibbs

A highlight of Cynthia McGuirl’s art show at Gibbs Library is the large canvasses depicting the experiences of three women who were Cynthia’s ancestors, refugees and survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian Genocide took place from the spring of 1915 through the autumn of 1916 in this landlocked region on the edge of Asia, now the country of Armenia, surrounded by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Iran. At the time the region was part of the Ottoman Empire, which had been in power since the 14th century, but the empire was declining. The Ottoman rulers, like most of their subjects, were Muslim. When the Ottomans became involved in World War 1 and suffered heavy losses, they blamed the Christian Armenians and massacred from 600,000 to 1.5 million of them.

The artist will give a short talk at 2:30 during the reception on Sunday, Dec. 4 from 2-4 p.m.

Thanks to The Town Line

My appreciation to South China’s paper, The Town Line, for the front-page plug for Kim Emerson’s benefit supper this Friday evening at the Grange. Thanks, too, for a supply of that issue to distribute locally. The benefit dinner will be held Friday, Nov. 11, 4:30-6 p.m. Please be there.

Public Supper at Mason’s

On Saturday, Nov. 19, Mt. Olivet Masonic Lodge is offering a chili, chowder or stew supper at the Masonic Hall on Liberty Road (Route 220 north) from 4:30-6 p.m.  The cost is $12.