The mission of the Swan’s Island Educational Society is to provide a free lending library and to serve as an historical, cultural, and educational resource for the Swan’s Island community.


Island librarian passes away

An island and Maine librarian passed away on February 26, 2017 at the age of 96.

Charlotte Hall, librarian, lived on Swan’s Island for several years in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.  She came to the island as the wife of Winslow Hall who served as pastor of the Advent Christian Church. Charlotte put her library skills to work at the fairly “new” library that was formed in 1970 and located in the Lee House next to the ferry terminal. Charlotte organized the books and the building.  She developed a card catalog for the Swan’s Island Library and trained several islanders to catalog with 3 x 5 cards and a typewriter. She made sure those who would be taking care of the library when she left the island knew how to continue with her work. SIES was organized in 1970 and became a 501(c)3 in 1972.

Mrs. Hall supported Nancy Carter, an islander, to receive training under CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) in library science around 1980.  Nancy now serves on the Board of Trustees for the Swan’s Island Educational Society.

Charlotte was a wonderful, kind woman who was always smiling. Her work and training provided the support needed as we moved into new building, the Old Atlantic Schoolhouse.  The card catalog she created provided a wonderful finding aid until we automated of our library catalog.  She set us on a path and we haven’t looked back since.  Thank you, Charlotte, and God speed.

Maps, do you use maps?

Do you use maps?  GPS and directional finders in smart phones,tablets, and newer vehicle GPS accessories are probably what most people think about when they need map.  Usually a map provides direction concerning where we need or want to go.  There are still a few people who come into the library looking for a paper version of The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer.

Do you ever use a map when you read?  I often find myself wishing I had a The readily available map when reading a great story.  Sometimes books include maps but not often.

The Maine Humanities Council just forwarded a message that contained link to a unique map.  It’s not an old map but one that might be handy if The Illiad happens to be on your bedside table.  This unique map shows the hometowns of all the characters in The Illiad.

After you look over that map, how about checking out The Literary Map of Maine?  Take some time to look through the following maps and trail guides as well.  Let me know if there are others that you have used or find interesting.  I’ll put them in the Island Websites and Other Resources section of this website.

The Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail

Maine’s Civil War Trail

Maine’s Wine Trail

New audio and ebook platform coming

Please see the message below about a change in our audio and e-book service.  Also, one change not mentioned is that checkout time will increase to three weeks. Current holds on items in Overdrive will not be transferred to Bibliotecha.  So, contact the library if you have placed a hold in Overdrive and do not receive an email by March 1.

The link to the download library will remain and same.  Click on the “Library” tab on our website to visit the library page.  On the right side menu, click on Download ebooks and audiobooks.  Please contact the library if you need assistance.

More information will be coming along.

From Maine InfoNet

Maine InfoNet is pleased and excited to announce that Bibliotheca (formerly 3M) will host the Download Library’s eBook and Audiobook platform beginning March 1, 2017.

What does this mean for library users? Switching from Overdrive to Bibliotheca’s cloudLibrary Platform will provide the following enhancements:

· Ease of Use: the Bibliotheca cloudLibrary product is much easier to use than Overdrive. This translates to a more satisfying user experience.
· School Library Participation: School libraries will be able to participate. There will be no restrictions as to their membership.
· More Collection Items: Maine InfoNet will be able to invest in more collection materials due to Bibliotheca platform savings.

Audio book magazine

Maine TV Magazine, 207, that always has great stories and music, has recorded a segment about Maine’s own Audiofile Magazine.  Audiofile Magazine is still going strong after 25 years and over 40,000 audio book reader reviews.  They even have their own award program for all the readers who lend their voices to make stories come alive.     Audiofile has a free newsletter that you can sign up for too.

Speaking of audio books, did you know you have access to thousands of audio (and ebooks) with your library card? Just download them to your favorite device. Check out our Overdrive download library to see what is available.

Starting in March our digital download library will be provided through Bibliotecha’s cloudLibrary.  There will be a bit of a learning curve only because it is different.  I’ve been told it is much easier to use. So stay tuned!

Here’s a link to a brochure about where to download free ebooks.

Stop by the library if you need a bit of assistance or if you need to know your library card number.

SIES Annual Meeting

The Swan’s Island Educational Society

Annual Meeting Notice

Monday    August 8, 2016      7 pm

Swan’s Island Library

All are welcome.

Members are encouraged to attend.

Two Board seats have been vacated and will be filled at the annual meeting according to a vote by the membership.

Organizational updates and financial information will be presented.

Members will be notified by email or delivered by USPS for whom we do not have an email address.


Maine supports its libraries

The  Maine news report linked below reminded me of the overwhelming generosity of people all over the US, including author Katherine Patterson, who shipped boxes and boxes of books to us following our fire. Katherine went so far as to hook up with a traveling book vendor to get books from her private collection in Vermont to Maine and ultimately the island.

Maine author, librarian and educator Toni Buzzeo put a call out to her colleagues on an author listserv similar to what Cynthia Lord did for Cherryfield. Boxes and boxes arrived at Port In A Storm bookstore where the books lived until I could get them to the island. Never looking for publicity, I do believe Stephen King anonymously sent us some of his books. I only figured this out because of a personal piece of mail that was found inside one of the books.

Cherryfield Public Library news report

Kathy and Cara who serve as co-directors at the Cherryfield Library are amazing. Their dedication is catching and every time I have a chance to talk to them I always walk away uplifted and thankful for what Swan’s Island has to offer our community for library and historical services.  

I might consider the book and video (collections) line of our budget a bit small and I do complain from time to time but at least we have money for such things as part of our annual budget. The generosity of our donors, including the town, allows us to have money to buy books and movies as well as paying a small staff at least a stipend besides the ability to keep the lights on and the doors open year-round.  Thank you!


What a state and library family we have in Maine. I am very proud to serve with this group of people.  Way to go ladies, my hat is always off to you!  Oh, and I have a box of new books that will be headed in your direction.

As I mentioned in a previous post, islanders are busy, busy, busy year-round.  Definitely no less so in December.  There are craft fairs, the annual 8th grade auction, school concerts, church and community functions, and more when one adds in gatherings of family and friends.

2015-11-11 18.46.58-1However, I keep thinking about an event held on November 11 in honor of Swan’s Island’s veterans.  The historical society worked on an exhibit displayed at the lighthouse last summer titled Keep Calm and Carry On: Island life during WWII.  This fall the exhibit was expanded to include historical items, photographs, and papers from other wars and peace time service all displayed at the library.


A community celebration of our veteran’s took place on the 2015-11-11 18.55.49evening of November 11, 2015-11-11 18.47.13Veteran’s Day.  The program included readings from veterans and 2015-11-11 19.10.54music written by Paul Roberts who lived on the island and married an island girl. The song There’s a Star-spangled Banner Waving Somewhere was performed by performed by the WalkerBrothers.2015-11-11 19.24.06-1  Albums of veteran photographs highlighting their time of service were on display and people attending took a lot of time chatting, remembering and looking. It was a great night.

A big thank you to all who helped put it together.

Halloween treat hosting and book give-away

2015-10-31 17.17.17Fall is catch up time around here as well as starting to plan for next year.  But on Halloween night we just take a break to enjoy our community.

Halloween on Swan’s Island is all about the kids. Islanders love to see the costumes and how much children have grown over the past year.  Even though we are a very small, year-round community some of our older people only get to “visit” with our island children on Halloween. OOHHHHs and AAHHss abound, laughs and a few “h’aint you grown deah’s” fill the air as children know they will fill pillow cases and garbage bags full of goodies of all sorts.

2015-10-31 17.31.25Just about 100 people visited the library – young people and adults – with close to 50 books given away throughout the evening.  Island port Press and North Country Press donated books for our Halloween book give-away.  Visit their websites and buy a book or two while you’re there.

A couple of photographs are posted here and in the slide show above.  To see the full album visit our Facebook page.


It’s fall already….

It really is hard to believe that fall has fully arrived bringing with it a chill in the air and color to the trees. As is usual on Swan’s Island summer – a year-rounders busy season – just flies by while lobstering, landscaping, mowing and cleaning taking up our time. Throw in a little bit of time spent with family and friends who come to visit and there’s not much time left to spend at the quarry, beach or even visiting with our seasonal community members.

So, that’s my excuse for not getting some our pictures of summer events posted until almost Halloween. Let’s reminisce a bit and then look forward to what is coming up. If you look above up at the slide show of photographs you will see reminders of summer’s events and programs: author Marilyn Pukkila; poets Gary Rainford, Steve Joy, <<<<<, and Miranda Batiste; a visit by the state library’s technology petting zoo (watching the 3D printer was amazing); Alagash Guide Tim Caverly and Chewonki’s Traveling Natural History program highlighted Maine’s natural history and resources; and children’s rounded out the programs to fill up our days and evenings.

We were fortunate to host several exhibits during the summer too.  Here Is Home, that was part of the Maine Photo Project, showed at the library From mid-June through the end of September and Keep Calm and Carry On was exhibited at the lighthouse throughout the summer.  Kathy Krafjack’s paintings and Miranda Batiste’s photographs were very well received for the weeks they were on exhibit.

Now for a look ahead.  The SIES historical society will be bringing the Keep Calm and Carry On exhibit to the library to be on display for the rest of the year.  Papers, documents, photographs, and other historical items from WWII (maybe even other wars) donated by the community and from our archives will expand the exhibit.  On Veteran’s Day, November 11, in the evening we will be honoring our veteran’s with an open house to showcase the exhibit and say thank you to the islanders who have served in the military.

SIES receives historical collections grant

For Immediate Release

Swan’s Island Educational Society Receives Grant to Preserve Historical Collections

Augusta – Maine State Archivist David Cheever today announced Swan’s Island Educational Society will receive $875.00 to preserve and provide better access to its historical collections as part of the Historical Records Collections Grant Program. The program is administered by the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board, with fund from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant program is coordinated in Maine by the State Archives.

Recent studies underscore that cultural resources are important in decisions to locate businesses or to choose a community in which to retire. These greats help sustain the basic infrastructure of the key element of our society.

“Grants such as this support community efforts to protect the stories of our birth, property rights, government, and how we lived our lives,” said Cheever. “People need to document their birth or naturalization to obtain a passport ot to get medical acre; others research their property boundaries; some seek long-lost relatives or to understand the history of the old mill down the road. Without these precious records, most questions like this would remain unanswered.”

A recent report to the Maine Legislature indicates that many of Maine’s historical collections (photographs, paintings, natural history collections, and letters) are in danger of being lost to fire, theft, mold, or misuse.

“Maine has an estimated 200 million such records, many in facilities with little or no security, fire protection, or environmental controls. Local governments, historical societies, and libraries are seeking help through gran programs such as this one to preserve our heritage,” Cheever said.

Small grants have stimulated local citizens and organization to commit more of their resources to these projects.

“Although financial support is important, recognition of local concerns and efforts through an award also generates a substantial amount of enthusiasm,” Cheever said.

The Maine State Archives is a Bureau within the Department of the Secretary of the State. For information about the Historical Records Collections Grant Program, visit