Be a Champion of Your Community

Watch your mail for a letter from the Jesup – see if you recognize anyone in the photos, and read about all the Jesup offers the community. Then donate. Be a champion of the Jesup and a hero to your community. Ensure that Bar Harbor has a place where everyone has equal access to the many resources it has to offer.

Although it has always served as the public library for the Town of Bar Harbor, the Jesup is a private nonprofit that gets less than 5% of its annual budget from the town.

At the Jesup, you can read in a cozy armchair or alcove, use one of their computers or bring your own and connect to free WiFi, relax in the periodicals room while catching up on the news with your favorite newspaper or magazine, check out a classic novel or the latest bestseller, and bring your little ones for a year ‘round selection of children’s programming.

But you can also attend a contra dance, hear a concert, meet both New York Times bestsellers and emerging authors at book-signings, enjoy live poetry readings, attend a movie screening and discussion, see slideshows on various topics, engage in community forums on the issues of the day, participate in a vibrant and supportive writers’ group, join the weekly knitters’ group, and so much more. And while these events are free to the public, they do cost money to provide.

If you don’t receive a letter, please stop by or call the library at (207) 288-4245 or email Melinda Rice. A donation to the Jesup is a donation to the entire community.

Garland Farm in Words and Pictures

Join us at the Jesup Memorial Library for a rare insider’s look at the Mount Desert Island legacy of renowned landscape architect Beatrix Farrand. On Friday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m, Jim and Emily Fuchs and Beatrix Farrand Society archivist Marti Harmon will share a talk and slideshow on Garland Farm, the last home and garden of Ms. Farrand, who lived there from 1955 until her death in 1959.

Beatrix Farrand was one of America’s most significant practitioners of landscape architecture from the 1890s through the early 1940s. She studied horticulture with Charles Sprague Sargent, founder of the Arnold Arboretum, and learned about landscape design from extensive travels in America and Europe. The gardens at Garland Farm are Ms. Farrand’s last design and a significant example of her work.

The Society was founded to foster the art and science of horticulture and landscape design, with emphasis on the life and work of Beatrix Farrand. One of the key attractions of the Beatrix Farrand Society’s headquarters at Garland Farm is the evolving reference library and archives for use by scholars and other interested visitors.

Ms. Harmon’s presentation centers on the library, the high-resolution digitized copies of herbarium specimens from the University of California at Berkeley currently on display in the Educational Barn, and the 40 prints in the Farrand Wing. The plant specimens were collected in 1949-1954 from Reef Point, Beatrix Farrand’s summer home in Bar Harbor.

The presentation by Jim and Emily Fuchs, two of the founding members of the Society, will focus on history, architecture, and landscape design.

For more information, call the Jesup Memorial Library at (207) 288-4245 or email

Take the Maine Arts Commission Survey

The Maine Arts Commission’s statewide planning process looks to boost the cultural vitality of our state. Community conversations have provided valuable insights, so the Arts Commission has created a brief survey to find out what you think about the arts in your community and in the State of Maine as a whole.

Please lend your voice to a project important to the future of our state. Click on this link and take a 5 minute survey. If you respond by December 15, you may enter to win a $50 gift card.

Vote on Best New Fiction

Come to the Jesup Memorial Library to cast your ballot for the 2014 Maine Readers’ Choice Award literary fiction of the year!

In the Gladys Franklin O’Neil periodicals room, we have set up a display of the four finalist books along with official booklets and ballots. Please return your completed booklet or ballot to the Circulation Desk or Ballot Container in the periodicals room no later than September 15, 2014. One booklet or ballot will be drawn and the lucky winner will receive a $20 gift certificate to our bookstore, Secondhand Prose!

You can also vote online (although ballots cast online can not be entered into the Jesup’s drawing).

The four recent titles up for consideration in the vote which occurs from September 1 through 15, are:

  1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown and Company);
  2. Benediction by Kent Haruf (Vintage)
  3. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (Harper Perennial); and
  4. TransAtlantic by Colum McCann (Random House.)

The works were selected by the Maine Readers’ Choice Award Committee as the top candidates from an initial field of over 140 works of fiction. The winner of the 2014 Readers’ Choice Award will be determined by readers throughout Maine.

Books reviewed by the Maine Readers’ Choice Award Committee came from recommendations from librarians, patrons, and booksellers throughout the state of Maine. Many of the titles selected have appeared on a wide variety of “best” books lists this year as well. That list was pared down through a blind voting process by members of the Committee.

In order to be considered, the books must have been published in the United States in the previous year, appeal to a wide audience, and be judged by the Committee to be notable works of exceptional quality. Revised editions, updates of previously published works, series, or trilogies are not eligible for consideration.

The Maine Readers’ Choice Award was officially established in 2013 by the Maine State Library and the Maine Library Association with the aim of increasing awareness and reading of adult literary fiction.

For more information, contact the Jesup at 207-288-4245 or visit the Maine Readers’ Choice Award website.

Generous Donor to Match $10K in Donations

A donor will match up to $10,000 given to the Jesup Memorial Library between Friday, August 22 and midnight on Sunday, Aug. 31.

“We know libraries change lives. This challenge is offered by a generous woman who believes the Jesup helped her through a challenging time in her life,” said library director Ruth A. Eveland. “She believes strongly in the Jesup, and wants to encourage members of our community to contribute to the library so it can continue to be the strong community resource that she found and continues to enjoy.”

The challenge grant was made by longtime library supporter Emily Sabah-Maren through the Thomas H. Maren / Emily Sabah-Maren Fund of the Maine Community Foundation.

All money raised will go directly to support annual library operations. As a private nonprofit that serves as the town’s public library, the Jesup receives only 4.8 percent of its annual funding from the town. Endowments provide 49.3 percent. “The rest comes from the individuals and businesses who prize the shared resources, programs, access to information, and opportunities provided by the Jesup,” said Melinda Rice, Director of Development and Communications for the Jesup.

Donations can be made via the Jesup’s secure server by clicking on the big maroon DONATE button right here on this website, in person at the library, or mailed to 34 Mount Desert St., Bar Harbor ME 04609. Anyone who donates now will not receive a solicitation letter as part of the library’s fall fundraising mailing.

“Please step up for the Jesup,” said Ms. Eveland. “The library and all its offerings are free, but it costs money to provide them.”

The Jesup is a shared resource, a thriving community gathering place that provides resources for everyone to use on an equal basis. That includes books in their traditional, audio, and “e” forms; opportunities to use and learn new technologies; access to hundreds of online databases; and a visiting author program that brings everyone from local writers to New York Times bestsellers right here to Bar Harbor. It includes lectures and workshops on a truly eclectic range of topics, help from friendly expert staff, and story times and learning programs for children.

For more information, contact Melinda Rice, Director of Development and Communications, at or 207-801-8331.

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.