Franklin Countys First News

Library plans 100th anniversary celebration for this Saturday

Lynn Ouellette, the president of the board, at left, and Director Tamara Hoke at right. The chairs were provided by a grant through the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation.

JAY - The Jay-Niles Memorial Library Friends are planning a birthday bash for the town's beloved library this Saturday, with a book sale, cake cutting and children's activities to accompany a big dose of local history on Oct. 13.

The Friends, an organization that supports the library and children's programming with fundraising activities, is sponsoring the event at the historic building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. While the library was constructed in 1916, Director Tamara Hoke said, a refurnishing project was completed in 1918.

Lynn Ouellette, the president of the board, said that Saturday's event was designed to correspond with the annual October book sale which raises funds through the sale of unused library books and donated items.

Part of the children's stacks on the first floor, a room that contains several paintings of the Niles family, will host a section on Saturday detailing the history of the library. Varanas and Mehitable Niles, who owned a business in Faneuil Hall in Boston, raised a family in the Jay area. Their daughter, Eliza Niles, worked as a 9-year-old in the town's social lending library out of Silas Niles' general store. It was Eliza that pushed the idea of donating money to create the Jay-Niles library in memory of the Niles family's parents, Hoke said.

The Jay-Niles Memorial Library

In addition to the historic exhibits and the book sale, there will be child-centric activities throughout the building. A cardboard furniture contest will be held upstairs, where children and their creations will be able to earn prizes. A cake cutting will be held at 11:30 a.m.

Also on display will be the library's new Makerspace area, funded through a Maine Public Library Fund Grant. The room, located upstairs beside the stage, has equipment such as robotics kits, coding bots, Canon Pixma Photo Inkjet Printer, Fuel Cell Science Lab Kit, Hydraulic Arm activity set, Electric Race Car Activity Kit, Mini Wind Turbine Activity, littleBits circuitry sets, Teacher Geek tool sets, engineering and science kits, and arts and crafts supplies. It also has a 3D printer, which will be demonstrated on Saturday.

For Hoke, the space is a natural extension for the library; available for students working on school projects or seeking their own adventures. Going forward, the space will likely be available on certain days for classes and others for open create events.

"Books are always going to be wonderful and a huge part of what we're going to do," Hoke said. "But we are learning that there are other types of literacy as well."

Invitations to the event have been specifically sent to past board members, town officials and so forth, organizers say, but all local-area residents are welcome to attend.

The Makerspace in the library includes a 3D printer.

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2 Responses »

  1. Great library!! Great people!!

  2. I'm sorry I won't be able to attend! This is such a wonderful library, full of literacy and love, the two main building blocks for everyone to learn! I wish you all the very best!