About Maine State Library

A member of the Maine Cultural Affairs Council.

Mission

The Maine State Library helps people, makes Maine libraries stronger and transforms information into knowledge.

State Librarian

James Ritter, Maine State Librarian

Maine Library Commission

The Maine Library Commission, a 17-member board appointed by the Governor, is broadly representative of the state's library community. The Commission establishes the policies and operations of the State Library, gives advice and makes recommendations on the expenditure of state and federal funds, and establishes guidelines and policies for statewide library programs.

Public and Outreach Services, Research & Innovation Division (Alison Maxell)

The Public and Outreach Services, Research & Innovation Division oversees the development of all direct one to one services. These services include but are not limited to: direct library lending and reference services, Books by Mail, and Talking Books.  This program uses the Maine State Library’s public operation to test innovative library services in an effort to continuously offer efficient and world class service to constituents, and also provide the Library Development program with tested solutions for all libraries in Maine.

Library Development Division (Janet McKenney)

The Library Development Division provides for the development of all types of libraries throughout the state. Specific programs include: the Maine Regional Library System (consultant services, direct free walk-in service, interlibrary loan, and federal and state aid for public libraries), school library/ media services, Maine InfoNet, and electronic database licensing.

Many of the programs are administered by the Maine State Library and funded by the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Outreach Services (Books By Mail, Summer Reading Programs, Talking Books, Large Print), Maine Regional Library System, Van Delivery and Maine InfoNet .
Institute of Museum and Library Services

Collection Development, Digital Initiatives and Promotion (Adam Fisher)

The Collection Development, Digital Initiatives and Promotion Division is responsible for traditional collection development activities at the Maine State Library including acquiring, cataloging, repairing and preserving library collections.  The unit also leads the library’s efforts to build a digital repository of collections that can be searched and accessed online. 

History

In 1836 Maine Legislature authorized the purchase of books and the Maine State Library began to grow. Along with the State archives and the State museum, the State Library resides in the Cultural Building, located at the State House complex in Augusta.

Maine State Library is unique in having a physical presence and for its combination of services for the public and for librarians, all within the same organization. The State Library, serving all citizens and visitors, provides access to its information, services, and policies in order to meet educational, informational, recreational and cultural needs.

The State Library is addressing changes in its traditional role under an older economy by focusing on new roles demanded by the present changing economy. No longer is the role of librarians to just gather and select information but instead to facilitate, organize, and access information.