The contents of a nature backpack at the Harrison Village Library. (Photo credit: Harrison Village Library.)

AREA — Beyond Books: The Unique Resources at Libraries in Maine Libraries are amazing places. They’ve been around for centuries, serving as resources for the community. The first one in Maine was the Portland Public Library, founded in 1867, and there are over 250 libraries in the state today.

Libraries are not just books, though. They have many different resources, including cake pans, telescopes, nature backpacks, and video games.

The Harrison Village Library, located at 4 Front Street in Harrison, has nature backpacks children can check out just like a book. There are three backpacks, each with a different subject: birds, wildlife, and plants. The plant backpack, for example, has an activity book, field guides, a magnifying glass, and a specimen box, all you need for an outdoor adventure.

“They’re a great resource for families to get outside and explore nature,” Kathleen Kramer, library director, says.

The Paris Public Library, at 37 Market Square in Paris, has recently acquired a collection of video games for people to check out. The games are for Xboxes, Nintendo Switches, and other gaming consoles. The library also has a massive collection of DVDs for kids and adults.

The Casco Public Library, located at 5 Leach Hill Road in Casco, has a library of “things” with cake pans, a telescope, a ukulele, electricity meters, and more. They also have community passes for state parks, the Southworth Planetarium, and activity bags for adults and kids. “It’s a great way for the community to come together,” Library Assistant Arlene Jacques says.


Libraries are much more than just paperbacks. They’re a place for the community to gather, for children to learn, and for everybody to read. You can borrow a telescope to see the stars, try out a ukulele, learn to play a new video game, and more. For hours, resourses, and more information, you can visit their websites:

Harrison Village Library

Paris Public Library

Casco Public Library

Norway Memorial Library


West Paris Public Library

Waterford Library


Bolsters Mills Village Library




Freeland Holmes Library


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