WEST PARIS – The 80th birthday celebration of the Arthur L. Mann Library was held Oct. 14.

Festivities began at the “little castle,” with visitors touring the structure and paying homage to its librarians, who were later honored during a formal program hosted at the West Paris Historical Society across the street.

Original architectural drawings of the building were on display and a plan for writing a matching funds grant to archivally preserve the documents, as well as the original blueprints, is under way.

Children of all ages met with former librarian Avis Ellingwood, whose home away from home was the “little castle” for almost 25 years. Images were displayed of many of the past librarians: Clara Berry, Abbie Abbott, Ellingwood, Ruth Pray, Connie Bacon, Beverly Stevens and Linda Skinner. Patricia Makley has been the librarian since June 2005.

At the West Paris Historical Society, Joe Perham not only shared his stories but also sang along with his guitar. He called the children up to the front and invited them to sit on the floor.

Ben Conant shared local library history and Ted Jones offered printouts of the proposed library expansion project. The library is seeking funds to build an addition to expand the collections and offer full accessibility to disabled and handicapped persons.

Rodney Abbott, library board of trustees chairman, hosted the affair. Refreshments included a library cake and homemade castle-shaped cookies.

Other special guests in attendance were Lois Witham, author of “The Pork Thieves,” and A. Sayward Lamb, signing his hunting and fishing adventures, “Deer Tails and Other Tales.” Door prizes were donated by the local business community.


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