Summertime Tradition Marks 45 Years

This week you may have noticed something odd at 34 Mount Desert Street. Since mid-afternoon Wednesday, the Jesup Memorial Library has been closed up tight. Don’t be deceived. Although you can’t tell from the outside, there’s a beehive of activity going on inside. And like an actual hive, what’s taking shape is pretty sweet.

It’s the Jesup’s 45th Annual Book Sale, and it’s happening Saturday, Aug. 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer visitors and local families alike look forward to this summertime tradition, and the party gets bigger and better every year.

While the library has always served as the Town of Bar Harbor’s public library, it is, in fact, a private nonprofit that gets less than 5 percent of its annual budget from the town. The annual book sale is its biggest fundraiser of the year. Thousands of previously loved books, videos, audiobooks, CDs, and magazines will be available for sale to support the beloved 103-year-old library, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In addition, homemade goodies of all kinds will tempt you from the Bake Sale Table. And this year’s raffle is overflowing with great things, thanks to generous local shops, restaurants, and individuals who have contributed beautifully handcrafted pottery, luxurious wearable art, unique items for the home, and gift certificates galore! Raffle tickets are available from any Board member, or purchase them during the sale. Winners will be drawn Saturday shortly after 4 p.m.

The sale itself actually continues through Saturday, Aug. 23, during regular library hours. But for best selection, plan on being there on the 16th.

As always, the Jesup welcomes volunteers. Help is needed to sort books on Aug. 15 beginning at 9:00 a.m.; on Aug. 16 additional volunteers are needed to set up before and break down after the sale, help with the bake sale, and sell books; and at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, to move the remaining books back to the basement.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Linda Rooney at 288-4245 or 659-1211, or email

Worms Invade the Library

Today we had a most interesting presentation, co-sponsored by the Bar Harbor Garden Club, called, “Adventures in Vermiculture.” Or, you could say, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Worms!”

Both children and adult gardeners alike enjoyed learning about using worm bins to create dark, rich compost.

Thanks to vermiculturist Mark Follansbee (or, as the kids called him, “The Worm Guy”) for a memorable event!

Our Biggest and Best Raffle Yet

The raffle table at our 45th Annual Book Sale (Saturday, August 16, 9 AM – 4 PM) will be overflowing with great things, thanks to generous local shops, restaurants, and individuals who have contributed beautifully handcrafted pottery, luxurious wearable art, unique items for the home, and gift certificates galore! Come sneak a peek at the raffle items, currently on display in the library’s rotunda. (For those who can’t wait, there are photos below.)

Here’s an amazing stat: The total value of all raffle items exceeds $4,400!!!

Raffle tickets are available from any Board member, or at the Book Sale. Winners will be announced shortly after 4 PM on August 16.

10 Ways to Help the Jesup Even When You Can’t Get to the Library

If you’re like a lot of folks, you know that in the middle of a busy summer it can be almost impossible to even create a “to do” list, let alone get anything on the list done! So it is with lots of people who would love to volunteer at the Jesup but simply can’t find the time, what with kids, vacations, house guests, church, and all kinds of activities!

So we came up with a list of “10 Ways to Help the Jesup Even When You Can’t Get to the Library.”

We think it’s just perfect for those whose busy lives don’t leave a lot of time for actively volunteering “in” the community, but who do want to help. Why not take a look and see if one of these suggestions will fit your busy lifestyle? (Bonus: They can all be done from the comfort of your own home!)

One-of-a-Kind Kristen Britain Auction to Benefit Library

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Britain has donated two unique items to be auctioned together to benefit the Jesup Memorial Library.

She has created and signed a piece of original artwork for this event, and she will personally inscribe to the auction winner a hardcover copy of “Mirror Sight” – the fifth book in her Green Rider series – making this a one-of-a-kind Kristen Britain auction! Winner of the auction will receive both items.

This is an online auction ONLY which can be found at

The auction runs through Thursday morning, July 17th – to coincide with Kristen’s return visit to the Jesup on Thursday evening at 7 p.m.

Kristen is a former park ranger at Acadia, and her return to Mount Desert Island is highly anticipated by her many local friends and fans.

Kristen Britain is one of the most exciting fantasy novelists today and a protégé of best-selling author Terry Goodkind. Although now a full-time writer, for decades Kristen worked as a National Park Ranger, giving her a unique understanding of wildlife environments and thus imbuing her work with a realistic feel of nature, replete with all its beauty and dangers. In fact, her time in the National Park Service inspired much of the Green Rider series.

The series has been widely noted for its immersive world-building as well as its excellent band of characters and is sure to appeal to fans of epic fantasy adventures like those of Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, or Tamora Pierce.

For those not yet familiar with the Green Rider series, RT Book Reviews says not to worry:  “Readers worried about trying the fifth book in an ongoing series should know that the author has crafted an entertaining stand-alone, ensuring those new to the Green Rider books can begin here without confusion. Readers interested in a well-done formulation of a secondary world fantasy will enjoy this one.”

Thursday’s special author talk and book signing is co-sponsored by Sherman’s Books & Stationery of Bar Harbor, and copies of the book will be available for purchase at the Jesup on Thursday evening with a percentage of the sale price donated to the library.

Sculpture Installation at the Jesup

We are honored to have an absolutely beautiful sculpture – “Pull of the Moon” by Andreas von Huene – gracing our front lawn throughout the summer, thanks to the efforts of Charlotte Singleton of Art in Public Spaces Maine (AiPS). AiPS was created to coordinate exhibits and installations which engage the public in the enjoyment of art in many forms and to make the enjoyment of art an everyday experience. Art lovers may wish to follow them on Facebook by going here.

The installation was amazing to watch, and we were able to capture it in a series of photographs. We believe the result speaks for itself.

We were all touched by the fact that David Sywalski, the sculptor whose work was on display on our lawn last summer, was here to assist Andreas in this installation. You’ll see him in the blue cap.

We hope you’ll come by to see this stunning work in person!

A Good Time Was Had by All

The wine has been drunk. The food is but a delectable memory. The piano has returned to its silent repose, the echoes of conversation and laughter faded. And Mark Twain has left the building.

Indeed, for those in attendance, Friday the thirteenth will never be the same.

June 13th at the Jesup Memorial Library was an evening to remember. At the stroke of seven, transformed, as it were, from library to drawing room, the Jesup hosted an enthusiastic group of revelers who were treated to Shakespearean improv, live music, food and wine, games and prizes – and the incomparable Mark Twain who both entertained and mingled with guests throughout the evening.

By all accounts, Dress Up at the Jesup was an unqualified success.

 Mr. Twain held forth on a variety of topics and mingled with guests, to the delight of everyone in attendance.
Mr. Twain held forth on a variety of topics and mingled with guests, to the delight of everyone in attendance.

Many appeared in the guise of their favorite author or literary character – from Strawberry Shortcake to Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan – while others simply donned their evening best. Regardless of their chosen garb, all enjoyed greeting old friends and making new ones and being part of a unique and entertaining fundraiser to benefit Bar Harbor’s landmark library.

The Jesup staff thanks one and all for helping us to create such a memorable and fun event.

Special thanks go to our generous donors, including:

  • Acadia Corporation
  • Bar Harbor Catering Company
  • Bar Harbor Congregational Church-UCC
  • Bar Harbor Merchants Association
  • Harborside Shakespeare Company
  • Llangolan Inn (Peter & Kathy St. Germain)
  • Maine Distributors
  • Maine Sea Coast Mission
  • Mount Desert Island YMCA
  • Reel Pizza
  • Serendipity
  • YWCA of MDI
  • Pianist Michelle McCann

…and especially to our many indispensable volunteers. Simply stated: You made this possible.

First Online Fundraising Effort a Huge Success

Step Up for the Jesup: $6K in 6 Days, Jesup Memorial Library’s first online fundraising effort, resulted in the library exceeding its challenge grant by 31 percent! When the campaign ended at midnight on Saturday, June 14, the total amount raised was $7,861, which was matched dollar-for-dollar up to the first $6,000. That means the library now has $13,861 to add to its annual fund coffers. The largest single donation was $1,500 and the smallest was $3. The first donation came within 12 hours of the first online announcement about it, the last right at midnight on the last day.

We had never undertaken a totally green fundraising effort – that is, one without any mailings, conducted strictly online and via email – let alone one in which we had a one-week limit in which to meet a specific (and ambitious goal). We just weren’t sure what was possible. But we were hopeful. And we knew our community of supporters, both near and far, were a force to be reckoned with. The Jesup Memorial Library is, after all, a treasured landmark and revered institution on Mount Desert Island. So we plunged ahead. We asked for your help. And, boy, did you ever deliver! We are humbled and grateful beyond measure for your support.

Putting the FUN in fundraiser

Friday the thirteenth may never be the same!

Forsaking horror for humor, the Jesup Memorial Library brings the first truly American writer (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) to town for an evening of small plates and wine, live music, entertainment, prizes, and fun on FRIDAY, JUNE 13 from 7 to 10 p.m. For this very special evening, Mr. Mark Twain, in the person of renowned actor John Pogson, will mingle with and entertain guests in his signature style. Come dressed as your favorite character from a book, as your favorite author, or simply don your best for this exceptional event. Prizes will be awarded for best costume.

Bar Harbor Catering Company will tickle the taste buds of all in attendance with a specially created menu with a literary theme. Music, door prizes, and games will round out the evening, with proceeds to benefit the library.

Sponsors of this FUNdraiser include Bar Harbor Merchants Association, Bar Harbor Catering, Maine Distributors, Acadia Corporation, and the Maine Sea Coast Mission.

Tickets for Dress Up at the Jesup are $35 per person through June 6, $50 afterward, and can be purchased in person at the library or HERE.

pogson-john-twain-photo-web-cropMr. Pogson’s remarkable physical resemblance to the American humorist is just the beginning. He learned early on that he not only looked like Twain, but also shared many of the author’s interests, hobbies, and opinions. These shared characteristics have fueled his commitment to portray Twain as authentically and accurately as possible, which he has been doing since Hartford, Connecticut’s first Mark Twain Days in 1996. Since that time, he has performed as Twain on national television, on film, on stage, and at corporate and private functions, entertaining audiences from all over the world. His performance promises to be a highlight of the evening.

Step Up for the Jesup

We have a generous donation of $6,000 – IF we are able to match it with an additional $6,000 on our own. In 6 days.

Can we do it? YES – with your help!

The Challenge begins on Monday, June 9 and runs through midnight on Saturday, June 14.

Please support the Jesup with a donation.

  • It’s a green project – No letter will be sent. Requests are being made solely online and via email. Donate now, and you will not receive a letter as part of our fall fundraising campaign.
  • Enjoy the convenience of online donation – Challenge Grant donations may be made online. Look for the big maroon DONATE button over there on the right of your screen. It’s that easy!
  • The environmentally friendly theme continues – If you’d rather not donate online, we ask that you not mail your donation. Save the envelope and stamp and drop off your Challenge Grant donation with one of the friendly folks at the library’s front desk.
  • Double your donation – For every dollar given, our donor will match it dollar-for-dollar, up to a maximum of $6,000!

At the Jesup, we do what we do for you, and we couldn’t do it without you! Please Step up for the Jesup – help us get the full $6,000 Challenge Grant by Saturday, June 14.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Melinda Rice, Director of Development and Communications, at or by phone at 207-288-4245 or 207-801-8331 (cell).