Casco Village Library gets older, wiser

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — It is said that with age comes wisdom.

Last year, the Casco Village Library observed its 65th year anniversary and several special events that were part of the celebration prompted patrons to ask for more of the same.

Playing classic movies on the big screen at the library, an indoor tea party and an author’s reception at the pavilion in the Village Green are among the events likely to be offered again in 2018.

“We got a lot of positive feedback from the summer birthday party, when we had an author speaking,” said Library Director Michelle Brenner.

The author was Kevin Hancock who talked about his book Not for Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse.

“That was in July. That was very well-received. People liked the opportunity to connect with other people in the community,” Brenner said.

People said the presentation was nice and they liked being able to ask questions of the author, she said.

“People did like the reception. We may do something like that during the summer again,” she said.

“We did participate in Christmas in Casco Village and had a tea on Sunday afternoon in the old part of the library. People liked that and said it was relaxing,” she said.

“So, in the future, we may invite people to stop into the library for tea and cookies and conversation,” she said.

“The Throwback Thursday night movies — we may do it from time to time,” she said, adding the patrons suggested it was something that should be continued.

“We thought we might do that just to show classic movies, not only movies specifically from 1952,” she said.

One of the highlights of the library’s 65th year celebration was getting some notoriety and a much-coveted award.

“Our birthday cake float won second prize in the Casco Days Grand Parade,” Brenner bragged.

“We had about a dozen people. We had kids that were in it that dressed up or became walking books. We used a display piece that we turned into a cake. It was something we put together that week. It was a lot of creative energy,” she said.

Another planning idea that emerged from experience is when to schedule events, Brenner said. Weekend offerings that happen during the winter months are now being scheduled for the afternoons. That’s because attendance seems to be higher during the daytime as opposed to the evenings.

“The evening can be tough in the winter. With it being dark, people don’t want to venture back out after coming home,” she said.

For the first month of the New Year, three happenings are lined up.

On Jan. 14 at 1 p.m., folks can get a taste of Greek cooking by baking baklava.

On Jan. 21 at 1 p.m., an intriguing combination of suspense and soup will be served up with a mystery novel writer. The author is Bruce Coffin who has years of experience of law enforcement that flavors the pages of his Detective Bryon mysteries. The novel to be discussed is Beneath the Depths.

On Jan 28 from 1 to 3 p.m., a suicide prevention workshop will be held. The workshop was postponed this autumn because not enough people had registered for it.

“It is something that she travels for. So, there is a minimum number of people that need to be signed up for her to hold it,” Brenner said, adding that people will not be turned away from workshop if they did not preregister.

“The baklava cooking class — it’s a local patron who is starting her own business. She is doing this special for us. She was talking about doing it at the Raymond Village Library. We are able to partner with the Casco Community Center, which has a kitchen, to offer this,” Brenner said.

“The library can help her get some exposure; and, everybody can have some fun making a Greek dessert,” she said.

The lineup of events is a way to offer Casco residents a variety of activities that are close by, Brenner said.

“We are always looking for things that people might want to do,” Brenner said.

“We are starting a new knitting group. We tried a knitting group a few years ago. It petered out. There have been people who were asking for it. Some of the people who asked are experienced knitters,” she said.

“It is not really a structured group. It is a time to get out of the house and do something fun with other people,” she said.

By far, the most popular service the library offers is books, DVD’s and movies that people check out, Brenner said.

“There are people who just come out and hang out at the library and use the space,” she said.



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