Camden Public Library in Camden, Maine

I’ve been thinking about this project (Libraries of New England) for a long time. When I finally decided to do it, I had just taken photos of a second library (which you’ll see in a subsequent post, if you ever come back to this site). I thought back, and realized that I had already taken pictures of the Camden Public Library in Camden, Maine, and that is a good place to start.

I was initially drawn in by the new (1996 – Part of the Centennial Wing) Children’s Library entrance there. I saw it one evening while exploring Camden, and came back the next morning to take pictures. As I looked around, I found more and more interesting things. For example, off to the right of the entrance was this little children’s garden. When you walk into the garden, you’ll notice that the bench is styled after a bookshelf, held up with books by Maine authors. How cool is that?

If you keep wandering to the right of the entrance, you’ll find this really cool amphitheatre (more history of it here)  where they hold concerts movies and plays.

I wandered through the amphitheatre and around the other side of the library and finally up to the front, where I found the impetus for this library being the first on the list.

Erected by the united effort and generosity of the community.

Erected by the united effort and generosity of the community.

This quote, to me, epitomizes what the United States is, and can be. It’s not capitalism that make this country great, it is united effort and generosity that does. The people of Camden got together in (and before) 1928 and built this monument for future generations. “The proud townspeople of Camden raised the money to build this library through various fundraising efforts.” (from the library history page).

It’s really only libraries where this idea is captured. Town halls, police stations and post offices are often rebuilt and modernized (although the post office in Frankfort Maine is a nice exception). Libraries, though, stay true.