Here’s a poem in celebration of both National Poetry Month and National Library Week. This poem was delivered at a Poetry Slam in Bloomington, Indiana, by grad student Mike Schutte, on February 26, 2016.
by T. Mike Schutte (2016)
With the exception
of Harry Potter, Animorphs, and A Series of Unfortunate Events,
I did not care about books as a kid.
A book was just a stack of paper
bound together with a cool picture on the front.
If I was lucky, that is, and I usually wasn’t.
But through an educational journey
worth it’s own poem entirely,
(but for another time, and a different piece of paper)
people taught me
and I learned
how a book can be much, much more
than a stack of inky pages.
Now I know that
a book can be anything.
Though they have bindings,
books are boundless.
Perhaps our greatest achievement as a species.
A book can be a bus pass, or a plane ticket.
A book can be a rainy autumn day, or a slow summer night.
A book can be a solo ascent of Mt. Everest,
and a book can be a party full of interesting people
who become friends even though
you can’t take pictures with them.
And when I was mad at the world,
a book was a pair of boxing gloves
that saved me from punching brick walls
and from bloody broken knuckles.
And when my heart was cut open,
a book was a Band-Aid
that couldn’t quite heal the wound
but could at least stop the bleeding.
And when I felt helplessly alone,
a book was a brother
who understood me and said:
It’s all okay.
And when I was comfortable with and sure of myself,
a book was a battlefield
with security on the line.
And on the other side of the trenches
was challenge to think and feel differently
about the world around me.
And I found that in the fight for Truth,
real victory often comes
So when I see a book resting peacefully
on a dusty shelf,
with its spine speaking out to those who might listen,
and think of all the beautiful possibilities
that lie between the front and back covers
and await the rambling reader.
The Maine State Library has partnered with the State’s Poet Laureate, Wesley McNair, and the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance in the initiative, Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry.
Each week McNair offers one previously published poem by a Maine poet. McNair selects each poem and writes a brief introduction about the poet’s background and connection to Maine, and the history, context, or themes of the poem.
The library holds several book sales throughout the year, run entirely by volunteers. Here is the schedule throughout 2016: (more…)
The Library is again hosting Tax Volunteers from the AARP Tax-Aide service. The volunteers are certified by AARP and offer free assistance filing personal tax forms. Call the Library at 236-3440 for an appointment. The appointments are all on Mondays, both mornings and afternoons, from February 1 through April 11. (more…)
The Camden Public Library has exciting news! We are taking on the Summer Harbor Arts festival in addition to the Fall Harbor Arts & Books festival. The summer arts festival is already scheduled for July 16 and 17, 2016. We will continue to offer our annual outdoor giant booksale under the tents as well. (more…)
The cover of the January/February issue of Yankee Magazine features a glorious photograph of Camden Harbor, with the schooners, the Library, and Mount Battie prominently and beautifully portrayed. The photograph illustrates the magazine’s cover story on “New England’s 10 Best Winter Towns.” The Camden Public Library, Camden Harbor Park, and the Camden Snow Bowl are featured in the article.
We remember Charles Cawley for his generosity to the Library, to the Town of Camden, and to the people of our community. He was a supporter in many ways, large and small, of efforts to make Camden a better place to live, and we honor and thank him for his leadership and spirit of generosity. Charles Cawley passed away on November 18; he was a member of the Library’s Board of Trustees for several years and still an Honorary Trustee.
The Camden Public Library has again received a Five-Star Rating from the Library Journal based on their 2015 Index of Public Library Service. Only eight libraries in Maine were awarded star ratings and only one other library (Southwest Harbor Public Library) received a Five-Star Rating. The staff at the Camden Public Library is very pleased to again be recognized in this way for their service. The high rating for the Camden library is a reflection of the high use that residents and visitors make of the library, and the support for the library’s services and programs. THANK YOU CAMDEN! (more…)
The National Library Service (NLS) is a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS offers books the way you want them: in braille or audio formats, mailed to your door for free, or instantly downloadable. (more…)
The Camden Public Library will be the first system in the state of Maine to provide Beanstack to families in the local community. Beanstack is an online portal that offers free personalized recommendations of children’s books and apps handpicked by the library staff. It is an innovative new way to connect children and their families with books and educational apps that match each child’s specific age, interests, reading level, and background. The service is powered by children’s curation company Zoobean, and gives the library access to a database of books using over 1,600 unique tags to help library users find the right books and apps. (more…)
Camden Public Library’s 3M Cloud Library of ebooks has a new look! Same great service providing many bestsellers (fiction and non-fiction) without a long wait. Download an ebook simply and easily directly to your device using your library card barcode.
The Camden Public Library participates in the Community Events series of the Camden Conference. We are pleased to announce that the 2015 Camden Conference, Russia Resurgent, is now available for viewing on the Camden Conference. Click HERE to view the proceedings. (more…)
The book shed is overflowing with books that everyone has so generously donated. Now we have some work to do! We need people to; process and pack donated books donated to the library; transport books (we need someone with a van!) from our shed in the Amphitheatre parking lot off Atlantic Ave. to and from the library before and after our books sales; help set up for the book sales; serve as cashiers at the book sales; pick up books at the residences of individuals who want to donate books to the book sale; and transport books which we cannot use to Goodwill in Rockland.
It is helpful if you are able to carry a box of books but not a requirement to help process or setup for the book sale! For more information and to volunteer please contact Jean Freedman-White at 236-4885 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the team (and get a first look at all those books!!).
The weather was challenging, but thanks to all the volunteers who helped prep the Amphitheatre, serve the food, and provide the music and kids crafts, the Winterfest Community Ice Carving was a big success and indeed we had a ball! Ken Gardiner was the MC and started us off with a stirring sing-along of “The Hokey-Pokey,” Chris Barrows was our DJ and everything was up-tempo and seasonally flavored (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”), All That Jazz performed indoors, with Hazel Delehey’s performance during intermission; Miss Amy and Miss Stefanie regaled the kids with crafts and facepainting, and Caroline Morong’s truly intrepid crew served up hot food throughout the event in the snowiest part of Camden, right in front of the library doors! The Winterfest events are supported by sponsorship from The First and hosted by the Camden Public Library. Click for more photos.
Check-out is for one week, no renewals, no holds, for a quick turn-around. Prepare to be surprised and delighted at what you can find on this table!
Want quicker access to what everyone is reading? Check out the Bestseller Express table at the Camden Public Library! The table is stocked with the newest and most popular books for immediate checkout and quick turnaround. With the “Bestseller Express” system, check-out is for one week only, and no renewals are allowed, to ensure a quick return and plenty of books available. (more…)
All Discovery Kits circulate for a two-week period with a valid library card and must be returned to the Camden Public Library circulation desk for check in. They are filled with books and craft ideas and puzzles, dvd’s, games, etc. for young and old. Great for families, daycares, grandparents with visiting grandchildren, and more! What will you discover at the library?
ABC/Word Play Discovery Kit
Elephant Discovery Kit
Construction Discovery Kit
Curious George Discovery Kit
Bug Discovery Kit
Outer Space Discovery Kit
Wizard of Oz Discovery Kit
Special Occasion Card Making Kit
Down to the Sea Discovery Kit
Binocular Discovery Kit
Raising Reader Discovery Kit
Dinosaur Discovery Kit
Fairy Discovery Kit
Farm Discovery Kit
Airplane Busy Bag
Car Busy Bag
Coming soon- Peter Rabbit & Friends Discovery Kit, Ocean Explorer Discovery Kit and Dino Wonder Discovery Kit.