FAYETTE — The Underwood Memorial and Dr. Shaw Memorial libraries are collaborating with the Maine Humanities Council (MHC) to present a series of guest speakers this month and next as part of Maine’s Bicentennial celebrations.

The schedule with presenters is:

Wednesday, March 11, 6:30 p.m. Dr. Shaw Memorial Library, 344 Pond Road, Mt. Vernon

Dan Dinsmore – “Free Press and the Changing Landscape of Journalism” (This is part of MHC’s efforts to bring talks about journalism, the media, and the democratic process to communities.)

Sunday, March 15, 2 p.m. Underwood Memorial Library, 2006 Main St., Fayette

Fayette resident and author Pat McGowan will speak about his latest book, “One Good Thing”. Light refreshments will be served.


Sunday, March 22, 2 p.m. – Underwood Memorial Library

Libby Bischof – “Thinking About the Bicentennial in 2020”

Sunday, April 5, 2 p.m. Dr. Shaw Memorial Library

Darren Ranco – “Native American Environmental Issues”

Sunday, April 19, 2 p.m. Underwood Memorial Library

Liam Riordan – “Maine and the Revolution”


Nicole Rancourt, program officer with the Maine Humanities Council, said the series is part of World in Your Library, which began in 2013.

According to the Council’s website, World in Your Library is a speaker series focused on current events and relevant issues, both local and international. Free to Maine’s libraries, World in Your Library gives small rural communities access to experts and opportunities to explore complex topics, gain insight, and broaden perspectives.

“We have about 20 libraries scheduling and running events between now and June,” she said. “We’ll have more available to libraries throughout the year. The deadline for the next application is May 1. We are able to provide the program at no cost to participating libraries through our partnership with the Margaret Chase Smith Foundation and funding from the Betterment Fund, The Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

Fayette’s library director Michele Briggs said the library was contacted by the Maine Humanities Council the first part of 2019 about the program. The Fayette and Mt. Vernon libraries were offered five choices and got two of their speaker choices.

“It’s been a huge success with all the libraries,” she said. “Several libraries had to be grouped together. We were offered five choices, we could pick topics that appealed to us.”

Briggs said Sunday afternoons were chosen as more families are able to attend.

“We’ve had success with Sunday afternoon programs,” she said. “The two libraries are trying to support each other’s events, bringing the communities together.”

Briggs encourages Fayette residents to attend the presentations in Mt. Vernon and hopes to see folks from Mt. Vernon at the Fayette talks.

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