What’s New?

Orr’s Island Library Reopens with New Librarian, Bookstore

Orr’s Island, ME November 26, 2022 — December begins a new chapter for the Orr’s Island Library. The library board believes that as we emerge from the COVID era, we can help lead Harpswell forward with the latest in technology and innovative programming.

The first step has been the opening of an on-site used bookstore. It is open during regular hours. The second was the selection of a new librarian, a process just completed.

Joanne Rogers served as librarian for 35 years and provided an outstanding foundation and legacy on which to build for the future. The board recognized that her successor needed exceptional vision, coupled with technological and organizational expertise and sensitivity to the unique character of Harpswell.

The librarian search committee was impressed by the number of qualified candidates who applied. From the more than 20 applications received, four received personal interviews. Although each finalist had impressive qualities, the committee’s recommendation to the board was unanimous and Anne Wilkes was named librarian at the most recent board meeting.

As Anne puts it, libraries are part of her DNA. Both grandparents were librarians and curators at the New York City Public Library, and that love of books was passed on generationally. The Wilkes family has lived on Orr’s Island for decades and Anne now resides on the family homestead giving her an intimate appreciation of the character of Harpswell. Anne impressed the board with the breadth of her reading interest and knowledge across all major genres, including fiction, non-fiction, young adult and children.

Anne brings a much-needed technological expertise to the position. Library patrons still ask for assistance in selecting books. However, Anne is also equipped to assist people with finding online resources, resolving personal email or cell phone questions, or navigating Word, Excel or Adobe issues.

As a volunteer, Anne spearheaded the complete digitalization of the Orr’s Island library’s resources, a required standard of the Maine State Library Association. This system upgrade will also allow reserving books online and arranging for home deliveries for our senior residents.

Anne also embraces the board’s vision of increasing the library’s reach into underserved segments of the community through expanded programming and collaboration with other community organizations. She plans to encourage younger readers through monthly programs and summer activities (and an enhanced library selection of award-winning literature for children and young adults).

The library’s seasonal winter hours will be on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.