April 9-15 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians and library workers.  No longer just a place for quiet study and borrowing books, libraries have evolved into creative and engaging community centers, offering access to technology as well as educational and cultural programs.

The Bethel Library is no exception. From Story Hour for preschoolers to Tech for Seniors classes, the library has something for everyone, of any age.

“Community libraries are a beautiful thing,” said Martha Siegel, president of the Bethel Library Association board of trustees.

“The concept of a place that provides access to the world of ideas to everyone, young or old, rich or poor, is a huge piece of the fabric of American life.”

“I know I sometimes take that for granted,” Siegel said. “Our beautiful little library relies heavily on public support, and National Library Week is a great time to show that you value this resource.”


Board member Marjorie Osgood chairs the Bethel Library Association’s annual fund drive. She said the drive is currently about three-quarters of the way to this year’s fundraising goal of $12,500.

Trustees and library staff hope supporters will be inspired to donate to the annual fund in honor of National Library Week, and will continue to support the library’s other fundraising efforts throughout the year as well.

Plant sale and quilt raffle

The popular annual plant sale will take place on the library lawn on Saturday, June 3.

Organizers look forward to receiving donations of plants from local gardeners as they divide their perennials and thin out “volunteers” from their flowerbeds.

The library will have plant pots and markers available in advance of the sale for those who wish to donate plants.


This year, according to Susan Parker, chair of the plant sale committee, they are especially hoping for donations of small trees and bushes, like lilacs, which are very popular with customers of the sale.

Tickets for a quilt raffle will go on sale this summer, and will be available from trustees, as well as at events like the Bethel Art Fair and Mollyockett Day.


Another way to show support for the library is through the Adopt-a-Book program.

Anyone who wishes to participate may purchase a book from the library’s wish list in honor of a friend or family member. A special bookplate will be placed inside the book’s cover to reflect the donation.

With Mother’s Day (May 14) approaching, members of the Adopt-a-Book committee suggest purchasing a book for the library as a unique way to pay tribute to a special mother or grandmother.


For more information about the library and its programs, call 824-2520, visit the library’s Facebook page or website,

Donations to the annual fund may be mailed to the Bethel Library Association, P.O. Box 130, Bethel, ME 04217.



NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK—Ben and Sarah Ellis of Greenwood and their children, Duncan and Penelope, enjoy a Saturday morning visit to the Bethel Library.                
A. Wight Chapman

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