2016-04-28 / Neighbors

Let us turn your laptop into a time machine

C Library Links
By Bob Cochran

Libby Library’s recent expansion didn’t just add space, it also expanded the opportunity to find out more about our town and our town’s past. Staff and volunteers uncovered myriad historical materials including photographs, bound newspapers, town reports and other documents that are invaluable to anyone who wants to research local history or their own ancestry. Also, thanks to the efforts of Lisa Jessick and Friends of Libby Library, you’ll be able peruse them from the comfort of your own cozy abode.

Lisa and other members of Friends of Libby Library have used both their own time and resources to make regular trips to Augusta to use scanners at the Maine State Library that are specifically designed to handle delicate old books, photos and documents. This is being done both to preserve them and make them easily accessible to the public through the Maine State Library and Digital Public Library of America’s websites.

One of the most interesting finds that has recently been digitized are the bound copies of the Old Orchard Mirror. The Mirror, a summer newspaper published during the early 1900s, is an especially valuable resource for anyone doing ancestral research as it reported on many social activities, including the arrival of families planning to vacation in Old Orchard Beach, where and how long they were staying in town. Local historians, or anyone who wants to find out more about many of the town’s beautiful old houses and buildings may find out not only when they were built, but who built them, in the pages of the Mirror. Even the old ads are both fun to look at and provide a great deal of insight into the town’s past.

Among other historical documents that have already been digitized are the Old Orchard Beach town reports from 1884 through 1920, early copies of the Old Orchard Beach High School yearbook, Oceana, and a highly amusing 1970s’ weekly publication called The Old Orchard Apple. Originally expected to take at least five years, the digitization project is on track to be completed within two years thanks to the efforts of Friends of Libby Library.

Along with their active involvement in the digitization project, The Friends are operating our newly reopened Book Shed. You can stop by to browse, buy or donate gently used books between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, or Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

May is nearly upon us and it looks to a very active one here at the library. Wednesday, May 4, sees the first in a series of weekly classes called A Matter of Balance, sponsored by The Southern Maine Agency on Aging. The classes are designed to assist seniors whose activities have been restricted due to problems with balance or falling. The classes will be held 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. every Wednesday through June 22. Pre-registration is required. Call Southern Maine Agency on Aging at (800) 427-7411, ext. 583 or 396-6583 to register.

The May author’s lecture will feature Pine Point-based writer Glenda MacLachan who will discuss her book “Life after Martinis.” Please visit the library’s website, ooblibrary.org, Facebook page or give us a call to find out details about this and many other events scheduled for May.

I also briefly want to mention that the library will play an active role in the upcoming Scottish Festival here in Old Orchard Beach, Saturday, June 4, which will include several presentations in the library’s Community Room. I can tell by the ol’ word count on the bottom of the page that it’s time to wrap things up. I’ll have more on the Scottish Festival events in our next article.

Bob Cochran is a volunteer with Libby Library in Old Orchard Beach.

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