April 21, 2016
In this Issue
President's Letter

Get Ready for Success!

Is it really May already? Sometimes I wonder if someone isn’t secretly sneaking in and stealing some of my days when I’m not watching. But until science proves otherwise, I suppose I’ll have to accept the explanation that I’m just insanely busy.
Preparations are well under way for our next conference, to be held November 14th-15th at Sunday River. Based on the feedback we got from last year’s conference, we’re making a few tweaks this time around, and the venue is part of that. Many expressed a desire to return to a more intimate setting, with more opportunities for networking on a personal level, and from what we’ve heard from past attendees, Sunday River really helped on both those counts.
In addition, there was the request to release programming information earlier. Deciding to attend is easier when you know exactly what it is you’re paying for. While I don’t have specific panels to announce yet, I can list some programming tracks already: we’re planning to focus on topics including diversity, the nuts and bolts of running a library, technology, youth, and marketing. We’re planning on even more programs than last year, as well, with an additional section of presentations each day (going from three panels a day to four).
Finally (and most importantly), this year’s conference theme is focused on success stories, and with that in mind, I’d like to put out a request to tell us your successes (or your neighbor’s). We’d love to compile a list of the great things going on at libraries in our state, from public to academic to special to school. Have a renovation that went well? Let us know! Have a new programming push that you’re proud of? Send it on in! And if you just saw another library doing something awesome, let us know about that too. The plan is to have some of the libraries at the center of these success stories present at the conference so that we can share the love and help each other get even better at what we do best.
Have a great spring, and let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you!

Bryce Cundick
Maine Library Association

Makers at Portland Public Library

Join us for Portland Public Library's SECOND maker fair!  Makers@PPL is a special event to celebrate maker culture, and bring together the talents and creativity in the community to share ideas and projects with others. Mark the day on your calendar – Saturday, April 23, 10 to 5 – and come ready to learn new skills, experiment with tools and materials, and observe stuff used in ways you never thought possible! Regardless of your background or expertise, this event will show you that everyone is a maker; after all, humans have been inventing and experimenting for hundreds of years. This is a family friendly event, with special activities just for kids and teens,too!
Samantha Duckworth, Portland Public Library
Libraries Transform
The American Library Association has created a new advocacy campaign, Libraries Transform, designed to present a positive, 21st century image of libraries to the public.  The Libraries Transform campaign intends to increase public awareness of the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professional, providing one clear, energetic voice for our profession, showcasing the transformative nature of today’s libraries and elevating the critical role libraries of all types play in the digital age.  The campaign has one main idea:  Libraries today are less about what they have for people and more about what they do for and with people.

ALA has created many ideas and resources for bringing this campaign to life in your library and community.  Find them at   By registering for their Toolkit you will have access to graphics and other resources you can use in print and digital media.

This is just the beginning of what will be a long-term commitment to library advocacy in the state.  Stay tuned!


Pamela Bonney, Winslow Public Library
Reflections on the 2016 Literacy Conference

As a newly retired teacher/administrator, I attended the 2016 Literacy Connections Conference last week in Waterville, viewing the presenters and displays through the lens of a recently hired children’s room library staff member. What follows are my reflections, in acrostic form.

L   Leading off was keynote speaker author Andrea Beaty, who impressed me with her sense of humor.
I    In  her presentation I learned how her ideas come to fruition, particularly her bestseller, Rosie Revere, Engineer. We were treated to a sneak peak of Ada Twist, Scientist, read and shown on the big screen
T   to be released in September 2016.
E   Early literacy begins with play, according to Jessica McCurdy and Tara Williams,Teachers at Bowdoin College’s Children’s Center.
R   Representing the familiar through photos, children at the center are encouraged to bring and “carry” family members and familiar objects with them at school. 
A   All attendees were reminded of the importance of routines,
C   connecting beauty and joy with language, hearing sounds and rhythms, focusing on a task, and repetition of rhymes, finger plays, songs and books.
Y   You don’t need an advanced degree to understand and be concerned about the many Adverse Childhood Experiences which face children in Maine and across the country.

C   Council For A Strong America, an organization of which Sandra Bishop Josef, Ph.D. is the Research Deputy Director, was the afternoon keynote speaker.
O   Overcoming obstacles such as abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, economic hardship, parental separation or divorce can be done but it takes 
N   (an) environment where there are healthy relationships-be it at home, school, library,health care provider, etc. 
N   Numbers cited and shared were the fact that there are 700 neural connections per second formed in a child’s early years.    
E   Engaging families in literacy was the final session I attended. Led by Katie Ford and Becky Wellman, literacy specialists. I learned about their 
C   citywide initiative to promote literacy for all. 
T   The ambitious plan and projects included but were not limited to a summer bookmobile, a city-wide reading challenge, parent education classes designed to help parents help their child(ren) learn to read, and improve reading skills. 
I   Internet searches can lead you to Howcast videos-three to five minute videos which are designed to help parents/caregivers help young readers develop reading skills.
O  Overall, the conference was a positive experience, giving attendees new resources to use with children and families in a variety of settings.
N   Not new to libraries, I’ve held library cards in Maine towns from Presque Isle to Biddeford, from Blue Hill to Rangeley. I am now working in the children’s room at McArthur Library in Biddeford.
S   Samantha Cote, thank you for prompting me to reflect and write about this event.

Debbie Ladd, McArthur Public Library
NELA Update

Conference program proposals are being accepted through May 31, 2016 for Imagining Tomorrow in Danvers, MA, October 16-18.

Want to get involved?  2016-2017 Officer Nominations are due by April 30.  NELA will be electing a Junior Director, Secretary and Vice President. 
Local Authors Launch Books
Two mystery writers’ new books will be launched in the Waterville-Augusta area in June.  On Thursday, June 2, at 7 p.m. at the Albert Church Brown Memorial Library, 37 Main Street, China Village, Gerry Boyle will read from Straw Man, the eleventh in his Jack McMorrow series set in Central Maine.  On Monday, June 11, at 5 p.m. at Barnes and Noble, 9 Market Place Drive, Augusta, D. A. Keeley will read from Destiny’s Pawn, the third in his Peyton Cote series set in Aroostook County.

For those of you who don’t know them, I hope I’ll insult neither author by saying they’re similar in important respects. Each has created a likable central character with a network of well-defined family members, colleagues and friends; each describes his respective Maine locale superbly; each offers plenty of action and a plot appropriate to the setting. And both avoid the annoying trend in current mystery/suspense where the hero’s bullet always hits its target and the villains always miss. Peyton is part of the Border Patrol, so she and her fellow officers have to shoot well, and two of Jack’s friends are ex-military; but some of the bad guys can shoot, too, as evidenced by the scars on at least two Border Patrol bullet-proof vests.

FMI on Boyle and Keeley, both are on the web with pages and other information.
Mary Grow, Albert Church Brown Memorial Library
Choose Privacy Week: It Matters
Choose Privacy Week is coming May 1-7, and it’s not too late to plan an event or two for your library and your patrons. Recently, there has been an enormous amount of press attention about FBI efforts to have Apple rewrite its operating system to bypass the security of its iPhones, and now about Microsoft’s suit against the government to declare gag orders unconstitutional when government agencies subpoena its customers’ information from Microsoft. 

This heightened awareness provides a wonderful opportunity for libraries, bastions of Intellectual Freedom, to offer events that deal with privacy in the digital age. And the American Library Association has our backs - or, more precisely, our need for activities we can put on at our libraries in Maine without reinventing the wheel. 

For example, at, there are dozens of resources ranging from videos to handouts that can provide resource material for events at our libraries. In the process of discussing the tensions inherent in personal privacy in the digital age, we can also take the opportunity to discuss with patrons our commitment to privacy in our libraries and the Library Bill of Rights, especially Section IV and the various interpretations of the Library Bill of Rights that have been developed over the years with regard to the necessity of privacy for the practice if Intellectual Freedom.

In today’s world, there is no doubt that the erosion of personal privacy is on many people’s minds. There are tensions between, for example:
Privacy vs Freedom of Speech
Privacy vs Security
Privacy vs Convenience 
Privacy vs Access to Services
and others as well.

Threats to personal privacy come not only from government surveillance but also from corporate marketing and profiling, from the digital tools we use every day like our phones and our personal tracking devices like GPS and health monitors, and even from ourselves with the revelations we offer about ourselves on social media - sometimes consciously, sometimes not.

A great way to bring people into our libraries and to engender wider community discussion about what privacy does, and does not, mean in today’s digital age is to offer programs on the various aspects of personal privacy in the digital age during Choose Privacy Week. 

Jim Campbell, Modular Media
Book Award Updates

Chickadee Award

At Reading Round-Up, the winner of the 2015/2016 Chickadee Award was announced. 21,109 students from 143 schools and libraries voted this year. The winner was Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox, illustrated by Brian Floca. Honor books include Ivan: the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate, Dragon's Extraordinary Egg by Deb Gliori and Blizzard by John Rocco.

Lupine Award and Katahdin Award

Reading Round-Up was also the location of the Lupine and Katahdin Award announcements.

Lupine Picture Book Award Winner: Island Birthday, by Eva Murray, illustrated by Jamie Hogan.
Lupine Picture Book Award Honor: Growing Up Pedro, by Matt Tavares

Lupine Juvenile/Young Adult Award Winner: Paper Things, by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
Lupine Juvenile/Young Adult Award Honor: The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Philip Hoose

Katahdin Award: Cathryn Falwell

Maine Student Book Award

The last award announced at Reading Round-Up was the Maine Student Book Award. 5,361 children voted this year. The winner was El Deafo by Cece Bell. Second place went to The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, and third place went to Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson.
MLA Website Changes
Have you noticed a change at It's true! We've undergone a redesign to make our website more mobile friendly and easier to read. Your favorite information is still there, just within the top five different categories. If you have questions or comments about the redesign, please contact Marcela Peres at

Librarian Spotlight

This month's Librarian Spotlight is on two fantastic librarians. We are featuring Christina Dorman, STEM Liaison at the Maine State Library, and Matthew Revitt, Special Collections and Maine Shared Collection Librarian at Fogler Library.

Christina Dorman, STEM Liasion, Maine State Library

When did you get started in libraries, and why did you want to?
I moved around a lot in my twenties and my sister laughed and said the one constant in my life was my collection of library cards. I needed a few more hours so I was lucky enough to land a part time teen library assistant position with Nashua Public Library. I loved it and haven't looked back since.

What exactly does a STEM liaison do? 
I have no idea! My job requires many different hats and it's never the same thing twice!

How long have you been involved with STEM related projects?
I've been a science nerd since grade school be it frogs, construction, stars, anything I just really enjoy learning about how the world around me works.

What is your proudest professional achievement so far?
Ummmm....being able to travel the entire state helping people get excited about learning in ANY form.

What advice do you wish you had heard before starting in libraries?
Be ready to learn about every job within the library, especially if you work in smaller libraries. You never know when you will need to help or step up and run story time.

What are your favorite recent reads?
Morning Star, the final chapter in the Red Rising trilogy. But the rest of my reading (unfortunately) is pretty standard grad school fare.

Matthew Revitt, Special Collections and Maine Shared Collection Librarian, Fogler Library

When did you get started in libraries, and why did you want to?
I'm actually a relative newcomer to libraries: my first specifically library job was in 2012 at the University of Maine as the program manager of the IMLS supported Maine Shared Collections Strategy. Before this position, I'd been a records manager both here in Maine and in the UK after getting a MSc. Econ in Records Management at the University of Aberystwyth (which is where I met my wife Alisia!). My high school careers adviser would be pleased with my move to libraries because after taking a questionnaire on my interests in history and organization, librarian came up as what I would be best suited to and resulted in work experience at my local public library and book mobile.  

What exactly is Maine Shared Collections?
Maine Shared Collections is a shared print initiative, which means the member libraries have agreed to retain specific print monograph titles in their collections for a period of at least 15 years. These retention commitments allow other libraries to free up valuable local shelf space by weeding their own copies safe in the knowledge their patrons can still access the titles via existing ILL and lending rules. The titles chosen for retention are identified as part of a collection analysis process looking at holdings overlap with other libraries and local usage stats.  I've worked with 33 Maine libraries so far and I'm keen to get as many libraries as possible involved, so please contact me for more information about Maine Shared Collections! 

How long have you been involved with special collections work?
As part of my training in records management in the UK, I worked in a local government archives and history center and records management department from 2003-2004. After receiving my masters in records management I worked from 2005-2008 for two large county councils--Worcestershire and my home county Staffordshire. After moving to Maine in 2008 I gained experience of working in U.S. records and archives management as a volunteer at the Maine State Archives from 2008-2009. From 2010-2012 I worked as a records management consultant for timberland management company Prentiss & Carlisle in Bangor establishing a program for managing both their physical and electronic records. After that I was appointed program manager for Maine Shared Collections initiative. Once the grant funding ended in 2014 I was kept on at Fogler Library in the newly created position of Special Collections and Maine Shared Collection Librarian to oversee the expansion of Maine Shared Collections in the state and to establish a program for managing the University of Maine's own institutional records. 

What is your proudest professional achievement so far?
Presenting a paper on Maine Shared Collections (with Clem Guthro, Director of Colby College Libraries) at the 2013 International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Congress in Singapore. It was an honor to have the paper accepted and present alongside librarians from around the world. I particularly enjoyed seeing the translators working hard to translate my broad British accent into five different languages: it was like a library UN.

What is your favorite thing about being a "special librarian" (or academic librarian)?
My job at UMaine is split 50-50 between my work on Maine Shared Collections and in Fogler's Special Collections, which means I have a varied mix of responsibilities. I particularly enjoy meeting with staff at the University of Maine to discuss the management of their records and also traveling across Maine to meet with librarians to discuss their collections. I continue to remain impressed with the varied libraries I've visited and the dedicated staff that work in them.

What advice do you wish you had heard before starting in libraries?
Just because your specialty is in one area (in my case records management) doesn't mean the skills aren't transferable to other areas of the information profession. 

What are your favorite recent reads?
I'm a big British mystery fan and two of my favorite authors are Val McDermid and Ian Rankin. I enjoyed McDermid's latest Tony Hill and Carol Jordan book Splinter the Silence and Rankin's Even Dogs in the Wild which is part of the Rebus series. I'm also a big fan of American noir and recently enjoyed Dark Passage by David Goodis and In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes.

I will also add in a least favorite recent read which would be Don DeLillo's Underworld: talk about hard going. Be wary of "best 100 novels" lists! 

Is there anything else you wish people knew about you and/or the special collections?

Maine is a pioneer in shared print and many of us involved in Maine Shared Collections have advised other libraries on how to replicate Maine's success. It's great to spread the word of good work we are doing in the state across different library types. 
Also, a pro tip: special collections' storage facilities are the best place to be in summer with climate control good for both items and staff!
We hope you have enjoyed this issue of MLA to Z. Our next issue comes out in July, so get your article ideas ready!

Samantha Cote
MLA to Z Newsletter Editor
Youth Services/Technology Librarian, Winslow Public Library

Marcela Peres
MLA Communications Committee Chair
Adult Services Librarian, Lewiston Public Library

Bryce Cundick
MLA President
Manager of Instructional and Research Services, Mantor Library, University of Maine at Farmington
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