Vinalhaven Public Library







FOL Newsletter Archive Spring 2011Library_News.htmlshapeimage_3_link_0

Greetings from the Vinalhaven Friends of the Library Chairperson, Cynthia Dyer

Another season is about to begin with great programs during the summer.  Second Hand Prose bookstore is going strong thanks to our wonderful volunteers.  Special thanks to Linda Philbrook for doing a wonderful job on the window decoration and to Rhoda Boughton for all her efforts at staffing throughout the winter.  We couldn't do it without everyone's hard work.  Thank you.

In Memoriam: Ways to Remember by June MacDonald

Many of the donations to the Friends of the Library are in memory of someone who passed away recently or even decades ago.  It might be a memorial for a library patron, family member, friend or a much-loved pet.  Sometimes it is a one-time memorial donation.  Other times it is a yearly donation.  These memorials most often are for a nameplate to be inserted in the In Memoriam plaque on the library wall but can be monies for a book(s), for a bequest or for a named space in the Library. 
        Some memorial donations are for books. For example, each year since 2003, the Amelia Evans Mufson   Fund has made a gift to the Friends of the Library for the purchase of children’s books. A bookplate of Amelia goes into each book representing her love of reading that had been fostered by Betsy Bates, Librarian at the time. These books will help foster other children’s love of reading. A bookplate that is shown above is in each of these books and was created by Amelia’s aunt and illustrator Leslie Mufson.

There are also bequests.  Two such bequests for Rebecca Duncan Bruce and Elizabeth Parsons Warner were among the first gifts to the Library Addition Fund.  More recently. the Harriet Smith Chatfield Trust was established with her bequest to the Library.  Harriet was an active member of the Friends of the Library and on the Library Board of Trustees.  Also, once a week Harriet and her dog volunteered at Second-Hand Prose.
Naming of areas in the Library is another way we remember. The Sara Stein Children’s Room showcases her wood sculptures and books.  The special stained glass panels represent a few of her beautiful quilt squares and her turtle sculptures.  Sara and her many talents inspire us.  The Pat Crossman Terrace is a way we remember a founding member of FOL, a calming member of the Board of Trustees, and a force in helping make the bookstore a reality.
In preparation for the annual installation of new nameplates to the In Memoriam plaque (eight this year) I perused the names already there—201 names on 175 nameplates.  Many evoked memories for me: Amy Durant—the Island Gift Shop and her special little calendars; Vivian Knowlton—the sawmill and his lilies; John and Barbara Morton—meals at The Mill Race; Mary Olson—the postmistress; Dr. Earle and my mother’s bicycle accident.  Bessie and Herb Ames, Blanche and Claude Swears—their names brought thoughts of fun summers pushing my doll carriage with Aunt Bess’s yellow cat in it down a rough path to visit Blanchie Bee. We hope when you look at the plaque some of the names will provide wonderful memories for you, too.

A donation of $25 or more will ENABLE YOU to add someone’s name to the In Memoriam plaque. We update it annually. Checks should be made out to the Friends of the Vinalhaven Public Library and sent to FOL, Heather Bruns, Treasurer, P O Box 223, Vinalhaven, ME 04863.

Connections: FOL and the Vinalhaven School Library by Sue Dempster

Thanks to the Friends of the Library, Vinalhaven School students are once again able to participate in the Maine Student Book Award and the Chickadee Award programs.  These two reading incentive programs are sponsored by the Maine Library Association and were developed to get students excited about reading a wide variety of books.  The Friends have been generously buying us the two sets of books for our students for quite a few years now.  Students read from the selection of books (or are read

to) and then vote for their favorite in the spring.  It’s always fun to see which books are the favorites of our students!

The school and town library collaborated on an author visit last fall through Island Readers & Writers (IR &W).  Cynthia Lord crossed the bay in early November to talk about her writing process and her newest book Touch Blue.  She presented to the community at the town library one night and then came to the school to work with students in grades 5-8.  IR&W provided each student with a copy of the book, signed by Ms. Lord, and also gave each library a few copies of the book for their collection.  We look forward to collaborating with the town library again!

Have you heard about Books Ahoy?  Our newest program is all about getting books into the hands of children and their parents as they travel on the ferry.  Children aged 1-7 are provided with one new book a month to take with them on a ferry ride.  The books are in a basket in the terminal and are free (one a month per child please!) for those taking the ferry.  The hope is that parents and children will get into the habit of reading while on the ferry or waiting in the terminal.  This program will be available from January-May and then start again in September.  Thanks to PIE & Camden National Bank for the funding and to the Maine State Ferry Service for supporting this program!

Librarian’s Report  by Valerie Morton

Interlibrary Loan is a system through which we are able to request books from other libraries.  URSUS is the online catalog of the University of Maine System Libraries as well as the Maine State Library and the Bangor Public Library.  URSUS is also the means to connect to other libraries in Maine as well as nationally. 

If you would like to read a book which is not owned by our library or you may need a book which is very specific or in-depth about a subject you are studying.  You may come into our Vinalhaven library and we will fill out an Interlibrary Loan request form.  Requested books usually arrive in four to five days and depending on the library of origin you can generally keep your Interlibrary Loan book from two to three weeks. Some libraries even allow for one renewal.

How does happen?  The Interlibrary Loan System pays the postage to send the book to our library and our Friends of the Library generously pay the return postage.  The Vinalhaven Public Library handled over 400 loan requests last year.  We hope Interlibrary Loan works seamlessly for our patrons and now you know the story behind that book that has traveled a distance for your reading pleasure.

Second Hand Prose by June MacDonald and Rhoda Boughton

On January 29,2001, the Friends of the Library undertook a fundraising venture to support the Vinalhaven Public Library’s activities by opening a used bookstore.  The plan was to accept donated books—once read, never read or de-accessioned by the library—and sell them at an affordable price.  Monies raised are used to pay for books and equipment, Interlibrary Loan postage (see Librarian Report by Valerie Morton) children’s activities, and other programs.

With balloons flying outside, cookies and coffee for the customers inside, it was a festive winter opening.  Two bookcases, made by Bud Crossman, filled with books—fiction, non-fiction, children’s, drama, cookbooks self-help, humor—greeted the first customers.  There was an enthusiastic response to this new addition on Vinalhaven’s Main Street.  Sales exceeded our expectations—as did the entries in a contest to name the bookstore.

By vote of the Friends of the Library at the February, 2001 meeting Second-Hand Prose was selected as the bookstore’s name from 59 suggestions.  Pat and Bud Crossman immediately made the sign that still hangs in the bookstore window, albeit in a different building. 

In addition to Pat Crossman, 11 other Friends of the Library (FOL) helped make the bookstore a reality when it opened in Bunker’s store. Eight of the 11 still volunteer at the store: Rhoda Boughton, Wayne Cooper, Marie Dempster, Margaret and Carl Engelhart, Mimi Haylor, Jackson Gregory, and June MacDonald.  Etta Ames, Ruth Fox, and Marilyn Wimmergren completed the original group staffing the book nook. 

Jumping ahead to January 29, 2011—balloons were flying outside; cake, muffins, cookies and coffee are available inside.  On this sunny, cold winter day Second-Hand Prose, now located in Cheryl and Chet Warren’s building, celebrated its 10th anniversary.  There were 10 gift certificate giveaways from 10 stores on Main Street.  The bookstore was festive with well-wishers including Ginny and Dick Fitts who returned for the occasion.  A fun time was had by all.  Sales that day exceeded our expectations in this economically stressed time.

Ginny and Dick Fitts managed Second-Hand Prose for about 5 years.  Some years more than 11,000 books were donated, priced, sorted, and shelved.  Ginny kept us all organized and happy. When they left the Island in the late fall of 2009 our volunteers took over their tasks.

Customers remark on how well organized the books are, how welcoming the store is, and how helpful the staff is as well.  Day-trippers are surprised to find a “real” bookstore on the island.

Second-Hand Prose certainly looks different now. Many more books organized by genre are on shelves, including Bud Crossman’s original bookcases.  The store is light and airy with revolving window displays by a very creative Linda Philbrook.  Members of the original staff continue to volunteer for additional duties: Rhoda schedules the work time of the volunteers, Wayne brings de-accessioned and donated books from the Vinalhaven Library and keeps the non-fiction section in order, Mimi marks books, Jackson maintains our “physical plant” and takes the trash to the dump, and June handles the finances in coordination with Heather Bruns, FOL treasurer.  Other volunteers, Cynthia Dyer, Debbie Pixley, Roxanne Tolman, Pam Wetherbee, and Philip Greven, oversee the collection and organization of the books.  Sylvia Reiss, a summer volunteer, researches and sells the books that may be worth more than our pricing structure would indicate.  Other volunteers help with pricing and shelving of books as well as keeping the bookstore neat and clean.

And, we have never had a staff meeting.  Everyone just pitches in where needed.

It is the volunteers that have made this venture work.  Some people volunteer year round; some only in the winter when their other activities are slow, and others only in the summer.  In addition to regularly scheduled volunteers there are an equal number of people who work as substitutes on an as-needed basis.  During the past ten years, more than 75 people have volunteered over 23,000 hours at Second-Hand Prose.  We considered listing all the volunteers, but were afraid we would miss someone.  Hence the list below is only the regular and substitute volunteers for the past year, excluding the 14 already mentioned in the articles.  They are:

Sue Armstrong

Nans Case

Deb Coffin

Peg Culley

Elaine Drury

Marianne Gassner

Eleanor Gaulin

Kay Giffin

Anne Godfrey

Sue Haas

Laura Hamilton

Carla Harris

Roy Heisler

Jeannette Lasansky

Pat L’Herrou

Greta McCarthy

Lee Morehouse

Eleanor Paquette

Ellen Penalosa

Javier Penalosa

Annette Philbrook

LaDonna Redmond

Larry Rogers

Rhoda Silverberg

Andrea Smith

Gary Torborg

Marion Woodcock

Roger Young

If you would like to volunteer, especially in the non-summer months, call Rhoda Boughton at 863-2556 or email Second-Hand Prose is a success  due to our volunteers, the people who donate books, and those who buy them. Donated books may be brought to the Vinalhaven Public Library or to Second Hand Prose.

Thank You All!

Time to Renew?  Memberships help our library provide those extra things. We count on you.  Please check the right upper corner of the mailing label to see if you are up-to-date with your membership. 

* * * * means that your membership has lapsed. You may renew now and be current through the end of 2011.

         LIFE  means that you are a Life member; there is no need to renew though donations are always welcomed!

* * * * * * * *

Individual $10             Family $25                Patron $50              Sponsor $100       

Checks should be made payable to:

Friends of the Vinalhaven Public Library  

and sent to                                                


P.O. Box 223,

Vinalhaven, ME   04863


FOL is a 501(c)3 organization and gifts to it are tax deductible to the extant allowed by law

Friends of the Library Officers/Committee Chairs

Friends of the Library

Officers/Committee Chairs


Cynthia Dyer


Heather Bruns

Assistant Treasurer

June MacDonald


Pam Wetherbee

Second-Hand Prose

Rhoda Boughton

June MacDonald

Books for Babies

Margaret Olson

Newsletter Editor

Jeannette Lasansky


Pam Alley             Barbara Kinder


Pam Wetherbee

Ex Officio

Valerie Morton, Librarian

Linda Whittington, Assistant


SAD 8 - Sue Dempster

Chamber of Commerce

Betsy Bates