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The library remains open regular hours with limited access and curbside service. Masks are required and patrons are asked to practice social distancing when in the building. If you have entered from out of state and have not quarantined or received a negative test result, PLEASE DO NOT ENTER THE LIBRARY even if you feel well.

Patrons may enter the library using the main doors and request books at the library desk.  Those patrons who wish to browse the permanent adult collection of fiction, nonfiction, books on CD and DVDs may do so by appointment, one patron or family at a time. Very often immediate walk-in access is available. The Children’s Room remains closed to the Public; however you may browse by appointment.

The book sale room is available by appointment only.  It will be staffed on Saturdays from 10-3.  We are still accepting book donations (thank you in advance).  If you are donating books please leave them inside the ground floor entrance by the cubbies.  If you need help unloading your car please call us.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Writing as Resiliency and Hope

A Poetry Workshop with Darla Himeles

Three Thursdays: January 7, 14 and 21 from 7 to 8:40 pm.

As we enter 2021, let us remember that through profound grief, fear, and frustration, we who remain in the world of the living, live. We persist. We learn to breathe and, hopefully, write in spite of losses, traumas, and life’s various spats and spites, its splits and sprints and splinters. Poetry enlivens our capacity for hope, wonder, emotion, and reflection in ways that can teach us about, or remind us of, our resiliency. Join Darla Himeles for a three-part poetry workshop in which we will study poems through the lens of resiliency, draft our own poems in response, and engage in a workshop-based revision process that will use a mix of intuitive and methodical approaches to help us transform our poems and, perhaps, ourselves.

Each Zoom meeting will be preceded by a 15-minute pre-recorded video lesson and writing prompt, which participants will receive via email one week in advance. Our meeting times will be divided between discussing published texts and workshopping/revising our poems.

Limited to 12 participants

Sponsored by Friends of Witherle

To register please contact Anne Romans at 326-4375 or

Witherle Words

Witherle Words is a regular column in the Castine Patriot with contributions from the library staff, volunteers and community.

December 30, 2020

Notable Books 2020
by Anne Romans

2020 was a banner year for notable books. Opinions and cross opinions from many lists offer a wealth of possibilities. Whether fiction or non-fiction the list is rich and varied.  In non-fiction there are some wonderful new books on nature.  The Bird Way: a new look at how birds, talk, work, play, parent, and think, by Jennifer Ackerman, is a seriously fun account of the life of birds. Owls of the Eastern Ice: a quest to find and save the world’s largest owl, by Jonathan C. Slaght, is a study of Blakiston’s fish owls, large raptors that range across southeastern Russia. Or try Fathoms: World of the Whale by Rebecca Giggs–a perfect book for older Calvineers looking at the whale’s place in the long chain of life.

Mysteries and suspense abound. 9-year-old Jai lives in an Indian city slum where more and more children are being abducted. In Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, by Deepa Annapara, Jai and his friends use techniques learned from TV shows to investigate a classmate’s disappearance. The Thursday Murder Club (Richard Osman) is on the case as bodies pile up at Coopers Chase Retirement Village. David Heska Wanbli brings us Winter counts: Virgil Wounded Horse is the enforcer for the Lakota Rosebud Reservation when the ‘law’ can’t or won’t get justice. Blacktop Wasteland, by S. A. Cosby, is ‘an action-packed high-octane ride’. (Library Journal). Former wheelman Bug Montage is going straight after one final heist, until the heist goes wrong. In Searcher, by Tana French, Chicago police detective Cal Hooper retires to a cottage in Western Ireland looking for a simpler life, then a local boy goes missing.

For diversity here and abroad try Homeland Elegies, literary fiction by Ayad Akhtar, the story of a Pakistani immigrant family in the U.S. post 9/11. Former Poet Laureate Juan Herrera gives us Every Day We Get More Illegal—written in Spanish and English ‘invoking a litany of wrongs and rights and prayers for unity.’ (Library Journal). Nam-nyong Paek brings us Friend: a novel from North Korea. There is some subtle propaganda even as the story ‘affords a rare glimpse of everyday life under the totalitarian regime.’ (Library Journal) Canadian Margaret Atwood gives us Dearly: New Poems. ‘Atwood considers loss, mortality, and an endangered world, all captured in elegant simplicity.’ (Library Journal). In The Dragons, the Giant, the Women, Wayetu Moore recounts her childhood during the Liberian Civil War.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. For a full list of titles please go to our New to the Collection page.