NORWAY- “Get Connected” at the Norway Memorial Library, and learn that “There is something for everyone.”

That’s the theme of an ambitious public awareness campaign the library is launching this summer, as part of a statewide effort to let residents know about the many services local libraries have to offer.

In Norway, the downtown Main Street library has expanded its summer reading program for both children and adults, and greatly expanded its computer reference services and the variety of books, DVDs, videos, CDs and audio books available for borrowing.

The library employs a new full-time reference librarian and has more staffing than ever before in the children’s large library in the basement.

It has a strong partnership with the Paris Public Library, in shared borrowing options and complementary programs.

For more than a year since opening the doors on an addition that doubled the library’s public space, staff, trustees and friends of the library have been working to realize their dream of offering expanded services.

“We are now ready to present these to the community,” Librarian Ann Seikman said.

The library is planning a brochure highlighting these expanded services, and will make it available throughout the greater Norway area, Seikman said.

“We’re really a community of 12,000 people,” even though Norway’s population is around 5,000, she said. “We have incredible library services in this community, between the (SAD 17) schools and the two libraries. It’s a niche that the community needs.”

The Norway library is used by both Norway residents and nonresidents, especially during the busy summer tourist season.

Besides getting connected to help the library with its work, Seikman said the library is a great place to connect with neighbors, friends and relatives, whether it be by reading newspapers, attending programs or using the several high-speed computers with the latest in Internet software and research capacities. The library is also doing outreach to area businesses, giving employees coupons to encourage them to visit the library.

Another outreach effort is a program on Norway’s Yesterdays from noon to 1 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 18. The program will feature a slide show on Norway’s Main Street by Kirk Mohney from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

Lynn Bivens, the library’s full-time reference librarian, has designed a Web page from which patrons may search their library record, renew items, and search to see which books are in the library’s collection. If a book is not available, it may be requested online from one of about 50 public, school and college libraries statewide that are part of the MINERVA catalog.

Patrons may also peruse online a huge database of articles published in magazines, newspapers and other periodicals, including obscure technical and scientific journals, using the EBSCO database made possible through state grant funds. Regular tutorials are held at the library to help patrons learn the ins and outs of using the computers, which were purchased through a grant from the Gates Foundation.

“We really see it for the community as a whole,” Seikman said of the extensive reference resources at the library.

The kickoff for the summer reading program and book discussion group for grades one to six is from 2 to 4 p.m. June 17 at the Guy E. Rowe cafetorium. The theme for the discussion group, “Talking Walls,” is from the series of books by the same name and written by Margy Burns Knight and illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien. The author and illustrator will give a talk about their work at the library from 1 to 2:30 p.m. June 26.


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