Friday, June 13, 2008


The 2008 Summer Reading Program at the Belfast Free Library, “Catch the Reading Bug”, begins June 28th at 11:00 with a concert by Dennis McGuire’s One Man Band. McGuire, a summer visitor to the area, plays acoustic guitar, harmonica, bass drum, tambourine and kazoo. He also does the vocals for a variety of foot stompin’, hand clappin’ favorites. Youngster and oldsters will be dancing in the aisles!
This year’s reading program has something for everyone and incorporates several events going on in town this summer, including the Celtic Festival and the Co-Motion program.
Story Hours for young children will be held Thursday at 10:00 (infants) and Friday at 11:00(preschoolers). Craft and game afternoons for elementary school children will be held Wednesdays at 2:00, beginning July 2. Book Discussion Groups for grades 4 – 6 and 7-9 will be held Mondays from 6:30 – 7:30. Check at the library for a schedule and books. Family entertainment will be featured throughout the summer. Check the library website,, or pick up a schedule at the library.
All youngsters will be encouraged to meet a summer reading challenge by charting their reading. Free books will be awarded to youngsters completing their goals. Charts, book bags, instructions, and schedules will all be available at the Dennis McGuire Concert.
For more information, contact the library at 338-3884 x 24.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


What happens when a book outlives its purpose on the shelf?

If it falls into the right hands, it is transformed into an art object that may or may not resemble its original form as a book. An “altered book” is any book, old or new that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art.

Coming this fall...Renewables: Altered Books - a community wide art project co-sponsored by Waterfall Arts, The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) and the Belfast Free Library.

If you want to find out more and learn about this project please come to the Fear No Art: Altered Books presentation at the Belfast Free Library on Wednesday June 25th at 6:30 pm. Cathy Melio, Education Director at CMCA in Rockport will present this slide show, which is the kick off event for this exciting community-wide altered books project coming this September to the midcoast area. There are several free altered book workshops, a panel discussion and an artist lecture scheduled for the fall. We hope to engage people of all ages and levels of art experience (or inexperience) in transforming books into works of art- an altered book- and then exhibit them in November at the Belfast Free Library, Waterfall Arts and CMCA.
Just Imagine What You Could Do With A Discarded Book....

"Stop in for a Show" - A Family Program

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Using the Library from home - Part I

If you are looking at this blog in the comfort of your own home, then you might like to know about the other library services that you can access on your home computer. We love it when you visit us at the library but we know that sometimes it's more convenient to be able to do some things from home.

Searching the catalog:

Not only can you search the BFL catalog, but the catalogs of all the libraries in the Minerva system, the University of Maine System libraries, the Community College and Technical College library systems and Bowdoin, Bates and Colby College libraries are all available to you from home.

Start with the Minerva catalog by clicking on "Library Catalog" on the BFL homepage ( If you want to search only the BFL collection, you can limit your search by selecting it from the drop down menu under "select library" but you might want to search the whole Minerva Catalog because in a later section, I'll tell you how you can request items not available at BFL from other libraries. If you still don't find what you are looking for, there's one more place to look. If the book, video, audiobook, music cd, or magazine that you are looking for isn't available in Minerva try looking in statewide library catalog by clicking on the "Search MaineCat" button on the search screen.

View your own patron record:

While looking at the search screen in Minerva, click on the "Patron Record" button in the tool bar below the entry box. You will be prompted for your name (last name will do) and barcode number (no spaces) and then taken to a patron record screen. From here you can look at the items you have checked out, any fines you might owe, and any books that you have on hold. If you have items that are due to be returned and you need more time, you can request a renewal from here. Click on "Items Currently Checked Out" to get the list. You can click the button that says "Renew all" and the system will renew anything that is renewable, or you can select items to renew. Items borrowed from this library can be renewed 3 times, while those from other libraries can only be renewed once.

Request from other libraries:

This process has become so quick and easy that we are borrowing and lending hundreds of items each week for Maine library patrons. This option makes many more items available to you than we can afford to provide and we hope you will take advantage of it. We receive daily deliveries so most items can be here in a few days. Once you have found an item that you want either in Minerva or MaineCat, and you note that the item status is "available" click on the "request this item" button or link, fill out the requested information - last name and barcode only for Minerva items, home library, last name and barcode for MaineCat items - and submit your request. If you find that the item you want is in Minerva, but is checked out, you can still request it and you will be added to the list of holds for that item. When one becomes available, it will be sent here for you. MaineCat is a little less flexible. It won't let you request items that are also in Minerva libraries and it won't let you request items that are already checked out - you have to wait for them to be available.

That's it for now. Take a look at these online services when you get a chance, and check back here for more. In Part II, I'll tell you about Marvel and some other resources that you can access from home.