Library Links: Being Flexible – Portland Press Herald


“Google can get you 100,000 responses. A librarian can get you the right one.
-Neil Gaiman

The McArthur Library in Biddeford has changed and that’s good news, in fact it’s our job. Libraries are unique because they exist strictly to provide services to a specific community, in our case, the town of Biddeford. The pandemic has pushed major trends in library services, while we maintain our steady level of popular print materials, we are also offering more digital materials than ever before. In fact, we are flexible, changing and evolving to what our citizens want and need from their library.

Maine library services across the state are also bending. Over the past several years, the Maine State Library has identified several ways to better serve our community statewide. Three priorities have been identified. Low cost and easily accessible professional training, available everywhere. Second, increase educational opportunities by creating a one-stop shop for adult education and senior college offerings. And, third, identify people in communities who have unique knowledge that can be shared with others.

And, thus, Bendable was created!

Bendable Maine is a learning marketplace for all ages, including resources for job readiness, crafting and making, personal finance, language learning, wellness and more. It allows people to discover content that matches their needs on a wide variety of topics and to learn new knowledge and skills through online courses and, often, local in-person learning opportunities.

Our library has been selected as a champion location, meaning we create content for Bendable’s curated collection of offerings for Mainers by Mainers. Biddeford’s first community collection is Exploring Maine Lighthouses written by Wood Island’s Dick Parsons.

It’s still very easy to search for information on Google, but are you getting the right information? The beauty of having an organized collection of resources is that the information will be accurate and up to date.

The Oct. 4 event at the McArthur Library will feature music and entertainment by local musicians Amanda and Rob Duquette as well as giveaways of musical instruments to children from their charity Music & Magic. Tasty snacks will be provided by local Biddeford cheese shop, Nibblesford. A Bendable Maine Fellow will also demonstrate Bendable and the many ways our community can use this new resource. Lawn games and many other fun activities and entertainment will take place throughout the day. The event is free for all and welcomes all ages.

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