State Library Reopens July 12 at Temporary Location

AUGUSTA - After a long period of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a significant facility relocation, the Maine State Library is reopening its doors to the public on July 12 at 242 State Street, Augusta.

"We missed being open to the public, so we're looking forward to being able to serve people in person again," announced State Librarian, Jamie Ritter. Our staff are ready, and we can't wait to help Maine residents by bringing our public services back to them.

The library's permanent location at the Cultural Building on the State Capitol Complex was closed to the public in May 2020 after it was determined that significant repairs and upgrades were needed to the facility's mechanical systems. Since that time, the library has worked to identify temporary library space. The public location will be at 242 State Street, while the majority of the library's collections will be stored offsite at the Carleton Mill in Winthrop. Library staff will shuttle materials between the two locations as patrons request items.

We have made our public space appealing and welcoming," stated Alison Maxell, Director of Public and Outreach Services for the Maine State Library. While we're offering a little bit of everything, the public will definitely notice some changes to how we offer some services.

Most notably, the library will be using a reservation system to use the public computers and microfilm machines.

"Because of our scaled down space at the new facility, we simply don't have as many computers or microfilm machines to offer," indicated Maxell. "For that reason, we are encouraging reservations to make sure we can offer these resources in the most equitable way. While we will continue to welcome all our walk-in patrons, the best advice we can provide is to call ahead to ensure the materials or machines you want are available."

All policies relating to staff and the public as it relates to wearing masks will be determined by official policies for state employees and facilities.

Curbside lending will continue along with regular circulation services. Walk-in patrons will continue to have access to all of Maine's daily and weekly newspapers at the new location.

The library plans to host a public re-opening celebration in August. "We want to get re-established and used to how our modified services are offered," stated Ritter. "Once we feel like we have a handle on things we will be sure to celebrate being back in business."

Starting July 12, the Maine State Library (242 State Street, Augusta) will be open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. For more information and questions, please contact the library at 207-287-5600.