Library 50 Years Old
The Rev. George
Bovill and Kathleen Andrews were among the eight original
organizers of the library 50 years ago.
into the Brooksville Free Public Library Sunday, May 19, for a
It was the 50th
anniversary of the incorporation of the library and the 10th
anniversary of its location in the
recognizing those who organized the library 50 years ago was
displayed during the celebration.
Less attention was
given to the plaque, however, than to two honored guests whose names
appear on the plaque.
resident Kathleen Andrews and the Rev. George Bovill, who now lives
in Portland, provided first-hand accounts of the library’s birth in
They are the
surviving members of the library’s original organizers. Others who
made the library a reality include Elmir Littlefield, the Rev.
Maurice Venno, Aletha Swensen, Minerva Cutler, Grace Lymburner and
In 1952, a special
town meeting vote authorized use of the Town House for a library.
Some 3,000 books were donated by residents and volunteers built
The library first
opened its doors in February 1953, and Andrews was librarian for the
first year. She recalled a visit from the state librarian when the
Brooksville Library first opened.
“She came in and
said, `Get rid of all the Hardy Boys books,’ Andrews said. “Well,
that’s what everybody was reading.”
In 1952, PTA
members had decided the town needed a library. The closest at the
time was in Blue Hill. Parents thought the town should have a
library available for its children.
“The school library
consisted of 10 books, not one of which was worth the shelf space it
was taking,” Rev. Bovill said. “That prompted me to go to the PTA
and ask for $25. They got their money’s worth.”
Bovill was studying
at the Bangor Theologian Seminary at the time, and often brought
bundles of discarded books from the Bangor Library.
By the end of the
first year, the library had accumulated some 4,000 books.
Jim Littlefield was
8 when his father, Elmir Littlefield, served on the organizing
committee. He recalled his father’s approach to acquiring books.
As an innkeeper, he
was in contact with many people who had books they wanted to give
Littlefield eagerly agreed to help them out, and his son remembers
riding back to Brooksville with carloads of books from New Jersey.
He also recalled his own hesitant contribution.
“I got up one
morning to read one of my favorite children’s books, and it was
gone,” he said. “It was gone to the library. I considered it my
book, and the library considered it its book.”
The library first
opened in cramped space in the former Town House.
Today, it occupies
a spacious room, connected to a separate conference room and flanked
by a spacious open porch, which is adorned with local sculpture.
On Sunday, the
conference room was dedicated to the late M. Evans Munroe for his
effort in establishing the new Public Service Building.