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Bristol Area Lions Visit Local Treasure 10/21/2010

Posted by DS in meetings, speakers.
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Last Monday the Bristol Area Lions paid a visit to a local facility that they helped to launch nearly 50 years ago—the Bristol Area Library. Librarian Jackie Bennett gave the Lions a tour of the collection of approximately 20,000 volumes and explained some of the many programs that the Bristol Area Library offers to the community.

Among those, the summer reading program is a hit along with a year-round book discussion group supported by the Maine Humanities Council. A growing collection of audio books and large-print books is becoming popular, and an LCD Reader that enlarges an image or text is available for anyone needing magnification. Monthly art displays, a small in-house bookstore and a planned Bristol area author series keep the Bristol Area Library a busy place.

The Bristol Area Library grew out of the ideas and imagination of three local teachers in the late 1950s. After a year of collecting books and funds, of acquiring a former Methodist Church, and of forming a board of trustees, the Bristol Area Library opened its doors in April 1962. Librarian Bennett acknowledged the Bristol Area Lions Club for their assistance in preparing the former church building for library use—building shelves, assisting with wiring and cleaning away debris from the property. Today, with a strong membership and board of trustees, and an enviable volunteer corps, the Bristol Area Library recently has been awarded a generous grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to upgrade climate control and to purchase computers for patron use. A matching grant from the Libra Foundation also has been awarded to the Bristol Area Library for the purchase children’s books. This privately supported institution welcomes anyone to join for a nominal annual membership fee.

At their next meeting on November 1, members of the Bristol Area Lions Club will hear a presentation by local area ecological consultant Mark Ward, who will discuss the natural history of coastal Maine with an emphasis on how its features have influenced human history in this region. To make dinner reservations for that meeting, or to learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, please call Herb Watson at 677-6191.


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