2016-05-19 / Editorial

Scottish heritage a plenty at Libby Library

By Bob Cochran

We may not have “neeps and tatties,” but there’s a generous helping of knowledge about Scottish culture and heritage to offer as Libby Library takes part in Old Orchard Beach’s Scottish Festival. The festival, which was put together by OOB365, will be held Saturday, June 4 at Veteran’s Memorial Park, and will feature a variety of Scottish music, dance and activities.

The library is joining in the celebration by offering a series of enjoyable and educational programs that touch on various aspects of Scottish culture and Maine’ own very rich Scottish roots, starting at 11 a.m. with a program called, “What’s really under the kilt?” The program, presented by kilt makers Teri Wadding and Patricia Smith, will cover (no pun intended) the history of the tartan and kilt, and the different tartans, kilts and other regalia worn by pipe bands, etc. They’ll also discuss where kilts may be purchased, as well as how to properly care for them. There’ll also be hundreds of tartan samples on display labeled with surnames and other popular names.

Next up at 1 p.m., chairman of the Maine Ulster Scots Project, and Historian for St. Andrew’s Society, John Mann will present “Maine’s Scottish Roots.” He’ll discuss the circumstances surrounding the four waves of Scottish immigration to Maine between 1650 and 1840. He’ll use a variety of ancient maps, engravings and photos along with many recent archaeological discoveries to highlight the discussion. Following up at 3 p.m. is Brad McFadden, also from the Maine Ulster Scots Project, who will offer a highly informative presentation on the archaeological dig taking place on the site of a 1718 Scottish homestead on the Kennebec River, which is being sponsored by the organization.

Also, coming in June will be the launching of our new “Library of Things” program. The Library of Things is a fairly new idea catching on with libraries around the country. It takes the concept of lending, currently limited to mainly books and DVD, and expands it to many other everyday items. Libby’s Library of Things will commence Wednesday, June 15 and will have plenty of items such as a pétanque set, badminton set and a basketball. We even have chess and checker pieces that can be used on Memorial Park’s tables, which are already beautifully inlayed with checkerboards. All items will be available on a one-day loan, and returns must be made during the library’s operating hours.

We would like to offer more items such as tennis racquets, croquet sets, Wiffle ball sets, softballs and catcher’s mitts, and similar items, that would add to our patron’s summer enjoyment, but are unable to due to our limited budget. Donations of any of these items would be greatly appreciated. We cannot accept hardballs, wooden or metal bats, etc. due to potential damage that may result to Park and residential properties.

Sports activities are one way to enjoy spring and summer. Another is gardening. We have a perfect program local gardeners coming up on Tuesday, May 24. That’s when we’ll present a program called “Planning a Preserving Garden.” University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Food Preservers and Master Gardeners will offer tips on the best produce to plant for later canning and preserving as well as how much to plant based on your family size. There’s also many more fun, educational and community enhancing things coming soon, but that’s for the next column.

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

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