You can help the Dyer Library and Saco Museum to be among the 200 charities that will share $5 million in funding from Chase Community Giving this summer!  Just log in to your Facebook account and go to  You can cast your vote for up to 20 different charities to be among the 200 that will share $5 million from Chase Community Giving this summer.  Just be sure to give the DYER LIBRARY ASSOCIATION one of your 20 votes—and spread the word to all your Facebook friends.

 OK, we promised reasons, and here they are:

 10. A combined 266 years of history in, and service to, the communities of the cities on the Saco and beyond.

 9. Two historic buildings in the heart of Saco’s Main Street Historic District, on the National Register of Historic Buildings:

 8. The largest and finest collection anywhere of paintings by itinerant, deaf portrait painter John Brewster, Jr.:

 7. Fantastic resources for research in local history and genealogy in the Maine History Room:

 6. The Moving Panorama of Pilgrim’s Progress:

 5. Our action-packed summer reading program, jam-packed with events:

 4. A brand-new overview of more than 400 years of history in the Saco River Valley:

 3. Our “One Card, Two Doors” program: your pass to all that the Dyer Library and Saco Museum have to offer.  A DLSM card is FREE to all residents of Saco.  For all others, just $25 gets you borrowing privileges at the Dyer Library PLUS unlimited free admission to the Saco Museum for you and your guests.

 2. Our ever-expanding internet services: surf the library catalog, renew your books, browse online databases, and download entire books either in the library or from the comfort of your home computer:

 And the number-one reason the Dyer Library Association needs your vote in the Chase Community Giving Program….

 1. Together, the Dyer Library and Saco Museum serve nearly 200,000 visitors each year with an array of library services, changing exhibitions, programs and events for all ages, an unparalleled collection of fine and decorative arts relating to the area, and much more.  The city of Saco generously supplies 60% of our operating budget, but in order to continue offer programs and services like these, we look to the generosity of individuals, businesses, and grantmaking organizations.  We need Chase’s help—and yours!


Sidewalk Help!

Just as I began work here, about three years ago, constuction also began on our handicapped accessible entryway at the library. It features a vestibule and a really attractive concrete ramp with a decorative metal fence running along it. The concrete ramp transistions to an asphalt sidewalk that then runs in two directions: one goes to a set of steps, the other curves around and ends level with the parking lot. Using state-of-the-art technology, the concrete portion of the ramp has a heating system underneath it. A sensor detects both moisture and temperature. When it precipitates and the temperature is below freezing, the heating system comes on and the icy stuff hitting the walk does not freeze. It stays liquid, runs down the ramp and…Well, the … was a problem. In fact, the moisture runs down the ramp, hits the freezing asphalt sidewalk and turns into a huge iceberg. The first winter, I didn’t realize where all the ice was coming from. Last winter, I watched more closely and it didn’t take too long before I spotted the problem. The heated ramp plan was grand–it just didn’t go far enough; no provision had been made for all that water. For months, I worked on trying to find a way to fix it that wouldn’t cost us a lot of money. I didn’t have any success until chatting with David Cook, the president of Allied/Cook Construction, at the Chamber of Commerce Business Expo in September. Allied/Cook was the general contractor on the original project. I had never talked to them about the icing problem because I knew they had built the ramp to the specifications they were given. The icing was not their fault. But David was appalled by our icing problem that made the ramp inaccessible for most of the winter and came out within a couple of days to review the problem. He came back with experts in a variety of fields; they all surveyed the issue, as well. Bob Mohlin of Mohlin Engineering drew up a plan to correct the problem–free of charge. And this week Allied/Cook brought out their subcontractors who removed the asphalt, increased the scope of the underground heating system to cover the area that ices, and poured a new concrete section–huge!– that slopes just-so to carry off the melted water. How much did they charge us for this enormous effort? Absolutely NOTHING. Can you believe how wonderful that is for us??? The generosity of Allied/Cook leaves me choked up–really and truly. These guys are GREAT.
The only (small) downside? Right after they left, with the cement nearly set up, some young individual decided it would be a good idea to leave his “mark” on the smooth concrete surface that the workers had spent hours perfecting. That left me out there last evening with a broom, a cup of water, a sponge and a paint scraper–the only flat tool I could find–trying to restore the walk. It looks–okay–but if you spot the flaw don’t blame Allied/Cook! Stop by and take a look at our new, improved entry and thank the community-oriented efforts of a company has gone WAY BEYOND excellent community service.

Haunting the Dyer Library

Last night was the 4th annual Haunted Library. This event is always…interesting. I never know quite what will happen.
This year I was ever so fortunate to have staff member Camille Smalley take the lead in making arrangements for the big event and one of the very best things she did was to enlist the aid of wonderful, talented students from UNE who willing rose to the challenge!
Okay, this isn’t a professional haunted house, and I don’t suppose we really scared anyone, but I think most people take it in the way in which we intend it–just a bit of good fun.
I’m guesstimating that about 400 people–mostly families–toured the house last night in the hour and a half that we ran it. I, decked out in my witchly best, roamed the darkened halls, moving between the front door line–for the not-so-bloody haunted library, and the back door line–for the sort-of-bloody one. Really getting into character, I must have screamed about a hundred times, and today my voice is a bit sketchy. But what’s a haunted library without a little screaming? This building has a natural tendency toward a bit of creepiness when dark that certainly makes it a perfect place to “haunt.” If you visited last evening, I hope you had fun. If you couldn’t make it, try again next year. I think we do it better every time!

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