About Us

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The Jesup is a community resource and gathering place.

The Jesup nourishes minds, enhances lives, and builds community.

We are a vibrant center for educational exchange, creative community collaboration, and knowledge-sharing where we connect people to ideas, people to information, and people to people. The library is a place where possibilities and realities share space. We are a center for creative community pursuits, opening doors with our activities and resources, for those who live here and those who visit.

The Jesup offers programming that is inclusive and expansive, for people of all ages, and provides space for other community groups to do the same. Within our treasured building, rich in history and tradition, we integrate new technology to serve as the hub for access to information from sources local and worldwide. We remain stewards of our heritage and are committed to the joy of reading.

The Jesup Memorial Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Though we serve, and have always served, as the public library for the town of Bar Harbor and the surrounding area, the Jesup is a private nonprofit organization supported largely through donations.

We offer:

  • Friendly, helpful staff who are happy to assist you with any request, or recommend the perfect book, DVD, CD or research material.
  • More than 39,000 Books in the Jesup’s permanent collection.
  • More than 10,000 Books and Audiobooks to download.
  • More than 1,200 Movies on DVD.
  • More than 1,000 Books on CDs.
  • Books on the history of Maine and MDI.
  • Book signings, concerts, slideshows and informative programs of all sorts – free to everyone and open to all – throughout the year.  Check the CALENDAR here on the website, and our Facebook page, or ask at the front desk for what’s coming up next.
  • Local history resources including free access to digitized local newspapers dating from 1881 to 1969.
  • Free use of the Jesup’s 4 public-use computers.
  • Free WiFi access.
  • Free use of Ancestry.com and The Foundation Center from any computer or Internet-enabled device within the Jesup.
  • Free online access to many research databases and resources.
  • Access to any book in the state of Maine and beyond via the InterLibrary Loan program.
  • Copies and Printing:  20 cents per page for black and white, 50 cents per page for color
  • Facilities rental for weddings, parties, memorial services and other events. Ask us and we’re happy to make our beautiful historic building available to you for your function.

A Note from the Director

Ruth Eveland
Ruth Eveland

The public’s perception of a library’s purpose is different from what it used to be. In the 20th century, libraries were considered passive centers of learning, where books were housed. A good library was viewed with pride by its community as a symbol of achievement and as a custodian of its heritage. A really good library offered a challenging collection of materials and events to stimulate those it served. Great libraries were champions of intellectual freedom and developed services to meet their community’s specific needs.The library of the future is user-centered, a place where people can discover information, encounter ideas, and connect with other people. Such a library works actively to engage members of its community.

The Jesup is in transition, moving from the passive offering of books and other materials, to a dynamic future as a center dedicated to actively helping people discover, learn and create opportunities for collaboration with others. Great libraries now are a catalyst in their communities, and a place where everyone may gather on an equal basis, with equal access to all that the library offers. And that is what we aim to be.

We are deeply grateful for the active support of our community as we work with them – with you – to create the 21st-century Jesup. Thank you for coming to programs, availing yourself of the books, periodicals and other items we make available for you, for engaging with each other in our welcoming facility, and for your financial support. We do what we do for you, and we couldn’t do it without you.

— Ruth Eveland