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Fate of Owls Head library up in the air

By Stephen Betts | Jun 25, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts The Owls Head Village Library.

Owls Head — The Owls Head Village Library has served the community for 90 years, but its days may be numbered.

The small, shingled-building in the center of the village will be the location 4 p.m. Sunday, June 28, for the annual meeting of the library. At that meeting, new volunteers must step forward for the library to stay in operation, said longtime volunteer Librarian Deena Carafelli.

The non-profit private organization is need of people willing to serve as librarian, assistant librarian, members of the board of trustees, and to perform work such as painting, roofing and shoveling snow in the winter.

Everyone involved in the library's operations are volunteers, Carafelli said. She has been the volunteer librarian for 23 years.

"I love it but it may be time to say goodbye," Carafelli said.

She said patronage has dwindled to one or two people. Young people in town get free access to the neighboring Rockland library which is much larger with computers and programs. The Owls Head Village Library has no computers and no longer even has a telephone.

She said on rainy summer days, there are still a few children of seasonal residents who may stop by and read.

The library's collection is about 2,800 which includes a lot of books written by Maine authors or about Maine.

If the library closes, the volunteers will reach out to other local communities to donate books, equipment, and fixtures.

Owls Head Selectman Gordon Page said he hopes the library will remain open. The town contributes a modest amount of money each year to the library.

"It's a shame if a small town like Owls Head loses its neighborhood library," Page said.

A decision on the fate of the library comes as another longtime anchor of the village is readying to reopen. Maya Newsam announced on Facebook earlier this month that she has become the new owner of the Owls Head General Store.

"As the great-great-granddaughter of P.K. Reed, I have spent every summer of my life here and was a frequent customer at the store myself. Since buying the store I have permanently relocated to this beautiful town where I hope to settle and make my life," she said in the Facebook post.

There needs to be upgrades to the building before an announcement will be made on when it will re-open.

The general store closed in November 2017.

The 1,058-square-foot building was built in 1880 and has been a general store since at least the 1920s. The store is located next to the post office and is within walking distance of the library, Owls Head Harbor and the Lighthouse Road leading to the Owls Head Lighthouse.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Worthington Scholars | Jun 26, 2020 10:07

This library is a gem and a sign of a lifestyle I know I don't want to see lost!  I love our small village.  I love our funky little library.  Even though it's y wedding anniversary and my husband and I are still reeling from a soot push back in our home that has us working every second after finishing our FT jobs to make livable again, I will be there!

Please join me - tell others - it's our community and it's lovely and we all play a part in keeping it so.

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