Park Street Playground Little Library, maintained by the Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Club

Little Free Libraries are typically small wooden structures that contain books that people are free to take and bring back or exchange for another book without a library card or other formal registration. Usually there is a person in charge of that specific Little Free Library who maintains it and restocks the books as they begin to thin out (there is generally an understanding and acceptance that not every book will be returned or exchanged and thus the library needs to be restocked). Still, different Little Free Libraries can have different policies and procedures.


There is a non-profit organization called Little Free Library that started over 10 years ago to help promote book access through book exchanges. They provide free instructions on how to build a Little Free Library and maintain a database that contains over 80,000 libraries in 91 countries.

As the Little Free Library phenomenon has exploded over the last decade, people have been using the term for similar such libraries that are not officially affiliated with–or have yet to be registered on–the official Little Free Library website. So Little Free Library has become the accepted term of all such libraries.

Over the last several years, Little Free Libraries have been popping up all over MDI and nearby towns. There is no official count as many of them are not registered with the Little Free Library website. Through our research, we have tried our best to form a list here. But if there are any that are missing, please feel free to let us know and we will add them!

Manset

The Manset Little Free Library was built by Jennie Cline, a vibrant community member who also helped establish the Common Good Soup Kitchen. Since her passing in 2016, her husband has continued to maintain it. It is near the Shore Road.

Southwest Harbor

There is one outside of the Congregational Church. Most of the books have religious or spiritual themes, but you do not have to be a member of the congregation to participate. This Little Free Library was inspired by the one in Manset.

The Harbor House also has a Little Free Library. It was built by a Southwest Harbor Public Library volunteer with the help of local elementary school students.

Seal Cove 

Born in the spring of 2019, this Little Free Library is in front of the Seal Cove Auto Museum. It is run by the Bass Harbor Memorial Library and stocked with their donations and de-accessioned library books. Even though small, this library has different themes and rotates in topical books as it is closely curated.


Bar Harbor

The Bar Harbor/MDI Rotary Club sponsors this library just outside of the Park Street Playground in Bar Harbor. This is just the first Little Free Library our local Rotary Club is sponsoring as they have two more planned around the island. This Little Free Library is brand-new as it was installed in the spring of 2019.

On Betsy’s Road just off of The Crooked Road, this library focuses on contemporary fiction, the sea, and Maine. They are mostly adult books, but there are also children titles mixed in. This library also opened in the spring of 2019.

The Bar Harbor Hannaford has had a Book Box for years where people can donate books and people can read them. Though not technically a Little Free Library, it is a local institution that has acted similarly to a Little Free Library for years.

Pretty Marsh

Pretty Marsh is one of MDI’s many  gorgeous places. On the western side of the island, it has many gorgeous ocean views, a picnic area, of course a marsh, and also a Little Free Library, which is located on Indian Point Road near the historic schoolhouse.

Trenton

On Oak Point Road in Trenton, the materials for this library were donated by Ellsworth Builders. There are books for both adults and children as well as bookmarks for all. Also, on Halloween, this Little Free Library is stocked with a collection of candy!


Ellsworth

There is one of School Street started by a gentleman who was going through his college of old books and decided he wanted to share them–and his love of reading–with the generally public, and so he did.

There is another one in Flexit Cafe, which is a central hub in Ellsworth. People come here to eat, drink coffee, meet people–and now, with the Little Free Library right there as you enter–increase their literary minds.

Flexit Cafe, Ellsworth

Gouldsboro

Gouldsboro may be an unsuspecting Mecca of Little Free Libraries. That is thanks to Dorcas Library that runs an unregistered Little Free Library in West Gouldsboro at the Eleanor Widener Dixon Memorial Clinic.

Dorcas Library has also a registered Little Free Library in Prospect Harbor between the Town Office and the Women’s Club.

And Dorcas Library does not stop there with their Little Free Library support as they have a more informal Little Free Library/book exchange at their own library entrance.

Blue Hill 

This Little Free Library is located on Kingdom Road just off of Beech Hill Road in Blue Hill. And this Little Free Library is on the to more Little Free Libraries in Sargentville and beyond.

Sargentville 

This Little Free Library is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. It is a great place to stop on your way to Deer Isle. If you are hungry, grab a tasty burrito at the popular El El Frijoles (wordplay on  L.L. Bean as Frijole is ‘bean’ in Spanish).

Chase Emerson Memorial Library sponsors a whole host of Little Free Libraries on Deer Isle.

  1. They have one up and running at the Deer Isle Playground.
  2. They have another one in the small park adjacent to the library. This one is seasonal in that it is stored for the winter and re-installed in the spring.
  3. One is planned for Nervous Nellie’s Jams and Jellies.
  4.  Another is planned for the Deer Isle Yacht Club.
  5.  And yet another one is in the works for Madlyn’s Drive-In.

So there you have it, the local Little Free Libraries. You are literally surrounded by them! Now all you need to do is get reading!



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