The annual Book Sale and Library Fair will return to Orr’s Island Library from Aug. 2-5. (Daniel Hoebeke photo)

As the old saying goes, a community cannot exist without a school, a fire department and a library. Libraries are a hub of the community, providing an avenue for lifelong learning, personal growth and community engagement.

Just as “every book has a person, and every person a book,” every library has a unique presence, and the Orr’s Island Library is no exception. From having interesting programming for all ages, to offering guidance and assistance with more specific social and technological matters, to promoting childhood literacy in the youngest of our community, the role of a library in the Harpswell community is to consistently provide resources to all segments of society.

If a patron isn’t necessarily an avid reader, that does not mean that our library is of no use to them. Programs, specifically, supplement traditional library services and serve as a catalyst for intellectual exploration, creativity and social interaction.

One impactful component of our programming is the commitment to nurturing young minds. Although Harpswell has a significant aging population, it is vital that the library sparks the joy of reading, enhances literacy skills and promotes a love for learning.

This summer’s engaging children’s programs cover the spectrum, including nature and science, readings and overall entertainment. Our yearly Chewonki programs will start back up in July, every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Bats will be the topic on July 5, bugs July 12, tidal pools July 19 and owls of Maine July 26. It will surely be interesting and engaging as always!

On Friday, Aug. 4, at 10 a.m., A.J. Hardcastle, “Yarmouth’s Got Talent” winner of 2022, will entertain us with for a fun morning of ventriloquism.

Charlotte Agell, a Bowdoin College graduate and local children’s author and illustrator, will be joining us on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 10 a.m. She authored “Wind, Sand and Snow.”

Our weekly Young Readers Story Time continues through Labor Day, Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Anyone who would like to read is warmly welcomed!

Local arborist Tim Vail demonstrates pruning during a First Thursday event at the Orr’s Island Library on June 1. (Daniel Hoebeke photo)

The adult members of our community continue to be valued patrons. Through a combination of traditional and innovative services, the library’s adult programs provide invaluable opportunities to expand knowledge, develop new skills, or simply connect with others in the community in a comfortable, inviting setting.

The restarted First Thursday programs have been a great success, with many enthusiastically following local arborist Tim Vail in June to learn the basics of pruning. On Thursday, July 6, at 7 p.m., outdoorsman Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine,” will speak about “Ecuador’s Stunning Wildlife: The Andes, the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands.”

The changing nature of technology is confusing to the best of us. Help with basic computer issues, setting up emails or accessing Facebook is available during open hours. More complex issues can be addressed every Saturday morning by appointment.

Keep an eye out for our pop-up Books on the Lawn, where we accept monetary donations for a wide range of books, puzzles, DVDs and audiobooks. Don’t forget to support the library by giving a donation in return for your fresh eggs from Ken while perusing our literary offerings!

An annual favorite, our Book Sale and Library Fair, will continue this year from Wednesday, Aug. 2, through Saturday, Aug. 5, on the library lawn. In addition to a huge variety of books, DVDs and puzzles, you can purchase delectable baked goods and attend special book signings and A.J. Hardcastle’s ventriloquist program!

The beautiful 2024 Harpswell calendar is now for sale at the library and your favorite local businesses. It makes a great gift and all proceeds directly benefit the library.

Naturally, a library is only vibrant and helpful when the entire community is involved. To all of our invaluable volunteers at the library, not only is every moment you spend here absolutely delightful, but your assistance has provided more value than I can possibly express. Thank you all for your time, your expertise and your friendship. If you are interested in joining us, we would love to put your talents to good use.

On a personal note, I have been Orr’s Island librarian for a little more than six months now. Thank you all for your kind wishes, support, encouragement and suggestions about how the library can become an ever greater asset to the Harpswell community.

Anne Wilkes is the librarian of the Orr’s Island Library. “Library Connections” is a monthly column that rotates among the three libraries that serve Harpswell: Cundy’s Harbor, Orr’s Island and Curtis Memorial.