Abbott Memorial Library

Library History of the Library The Abbott Memorial Library was given to the Town of Dexter by George A. Abbott on Christmas Day 1894. In 1894 it housed a collection of 4,017 books. Today our collection numbers are over 26,217 and counting. This includes DVD’s, and unabridged audio tapes. The library subscribes to 66 magazines and five newspapers. An online index of periodicals which includes full text articles is available for patron use.The library provides services to the residents of Dexter, Cambridge, Exeter, Garland, Ripley, and St. Albans. Public Internet access is available from 8 work stations, and we offer wireless Internet access as well as an on-line catalog of library holdings available through the Maine Balsam Libraries Consortium.  We accept telephone requests for renewals and provide in state as well as out-of-state inter-library loans, monthly lists of new books, public color copying and delivery of books to shut-ins.

Library Cats

The library has a resident library cat.   Poppy Seed (black) is a female.    Poppy Seed  loves attention and will sit on or in your book bag or on your lap while you use a computer.

Poppy Seed       poppy seed



Dexter loses a friend

by Tina Jowdry DEXTER – The community of Dexter lost a dear, sweet and gentle soul recently. One who not only delighted the children who came to visit, but comforted many an adult with her quiet and undemanding presence. Even in her twilight years, when she slept most of the day in the office of her beloved mistress, Liz Breault, she would occasionally take a degnifi ed walk into the outer rooms and happily accept any caresses that came her way. Last Saturday the Abbott Memorial Library lost Scooter, one of the library cats. She came to the library 17 years ago as a kitten and faithfully carried out her duties as greeter, companion, comforter and friend. What a pleasant surprise for many a patron to find a soft, purring cat in their lap. It always made them smile, and it made them feel a little special. It’s also worthy to note that Abbott Memorial Library never had a problem with mice. Scooter left us on All Hallow’s Eve, also known as Halloween. I have always felt Halloween to be a magical night, especially for cats. With leaves swirling, the moon shining, and clouds scudding across the sky, you can almost see the spirits dancing and frolicking in the shadows or swooping through the trees. I like to think that Scooter feft the call to join those spirits and is now a young kitten again dancing with her friends.

Archived Obituaries

The library’s Dexter obituary project is nearly finished; years 1865 through summer of 2014. We are now checking our database against obituary scrapbooks owned by the Dexter Historical Society and adding those that were not included originally in our database. Obituaries were obtained from Dexter’s Eastern Gazette,, and the Bangor Daily News Click here for the current database of Archived Obituaries. Beginning in November of 2014, we will begin adding obituaries from the town of Ripley, Maine.  As of late spring 2016 archived Ripley obituaries from 1870 through 1960 have been added.  If people have information to share, please Email your information to Head Librarian Liz Breault

Liz Breault Head Librarian One Church Street Dexter, Maine 04930 (207) 924-7292

Additional Links

Library Photos




Snake Art

The Trustees of the library recently made an eye catching donation to the children’s room.  On October 15th they voted to purchase Laurie Calhoun’s beautiful hand carved snake.  The 11 foot snake now crawls sinuously across the shelves in our children’s room.




Book Donations Donations of clean undamaged books are welcomed. No text books or Reader’s Digest books. Please contact the library at (207) 924-7292 for more information or to arrange for pick up of donations.



A New Year, a new marriage.

Two members of our library’s book club were married on New Year’s Eve at the library here in Dexter with the other members attending as well as a few guests.  In 120 years of its existence, it was the first marriage ceremony to be performed  at the library and certainly it was a first for our book club as well..  Notary, Dave Pearson conducted the ceremony in front of the library’s Christmas tree.


Book Club members attending were: front row left to right :  Liz Breault, Beth Ranagan, bride Pat Fisher, groom Gerry Amelotte, groom’s daughter Kiowa Roberts, Parnel Hesketh.  Back row: Ed Hummel, Judy Hummel, Joe Ranagan, Wanita Grant, Dave Pearson, Meredith Perkins, Stephen Perkins, Carol Feurtado, Chris Roberts, and Keith Gile.


Skeleton Crew to Host  program on Senior Fitness 



By Beth Ranagan

The benefits of exercise to promote good physical and mental health of seniors is well known.  No one wants to grow old unable to stand and walk.  Your best hope to avoid that scenario is exercise.  Exercise doesn’t have to be boring, exhausting, or risky.  It just has to help you maintain flexibility and strength so that you can participate easily in the basic activities of daily living with good balance so as to not fall and break bones.   We all want to remain independent in our own homes.    Gone are the days of thinking, “I’m old now, so I can’t walk well or do much of anything anymore.  Falling is just a part of being old.”

Let’s look beyond those thoughts to the Healthways Silver Sneakers Fitness Program offered at Community Fitness in Guilford.   It is available to those 65+ years of age.  Exercises improve strength and flexibility of muscles and joints throughout the body. According to instructor, Terri Palin, “Participants in Silver Sneakers use chairs, small balls, bands, and light-weight props in class.  The program can be done from a seated position, if needed, and is designed to accommodate all fitness levels, including those with physical limitations or who may require assistive medical equipment.”  Assistive medical equipment may include a walker, cane, or supplemental oxygen.

Besides fitness, the other positive aspects to Healthways Silver Sneakers are the fun and friends you may have when you are a member of the group.  Once a month, members participate in a potluck lunch that is open to the entire Guilford community, thereby further expanding the opportunity for fun, friendships, and social interaction.  Palin has also included the element of “family” in the program because “so many of the participants live alone with no family in the area.”  When someone is sick, a “get well” basket may be put together.  We all like to feel remembered when we are ill and can’t be at class with the friends who treat us like family.

Palin holds special credentials to teach the Silver Sneakers class from Healthways, a well-being improvement company offering programs for changing lifestyles to treat and reverse chronic diseases.  In her fifties, she is not quite a senior yet, but she has a passion to help older people maintain and improve physical abilities.  Terri is also A Matter of Balance Master Trainer.  Having been in those classes with her, I can say that she has a warm personality and a wonderful sense of humor, both of which help her students make gains without even knowing it.  The atmosphere she creates makes improvements effortless for participants of her classes.  The pace is relaxed and never hurried.

One class member said about the program, “I can take a shower now without having to have one hand on the grab bar.”  Another commented, “If I lose my balance, I can catch myself much better than before.”  A five-year veteran of the class, Hilda Mulherin, remarked, “After four surgeries in one year and almost no muscle control left, I decided to join Silver Sneakers.  It was the best decision I ever made.”

In keeping with the Skeleton Crew’s goals to help people reverse the condition of osteoporosis and maintain balance to prevent falls and broken bones, the organization will welcome Terri Palin and Hilda Mulherin and her husband to speak about the Silver Sneakers program.  Information about how you can become part of this program will be available.  The event is at 12 noon on Friday, June 3, at the Abbott Memorial Library in Dexter.  It is free as is the bone-healthy lunch that will be offered.  For further information, call Liz Breault at the library at 924-7292.


Abbott Memorial Library to Offer Card Making Class

If you are tired of the humdrum selection of greeting cards at the local drug store, maybe you should consider making your own one-of-a-kind greeting card for that special friend or family member.  Beginning on June 1, Betsy Dorman has offered time to teach a beginner card making class at the library.   Classes will be held twice monthly on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 10:30 A.M.. Space is limited, so participants must pre-register for each class as soon as possible.  There will be a charge of $5 per person for materials for each class.  Participants will have a  choice of cards and select two cards to make at each lesson.  To register for the class or for more information, please call 924-7292.



 Matter of Balance


Matter of Balance Class Members:  (L-R) Row 1 – Dodie Curtis, Liz Breault, Beth Ranagan, Terri Palin; Row 2 – Meredith Perkins, Aloyse Larrabee, Karen Pineo, Eleanor Beatham, Betty Richards, Joanne Buzzell; Row 3 – Sherman Cookson, Brenda Cookson, Frank Spizuco, Dot Marsh, Ken Buzzell; Row 4 – Barrett Morrisson, Shirley Groody, Walter Kimball.  Members absent:   Helen Putman, Phyllis Folsom, and Evelyn Farrar

On May 4, nineteen residents of the greater Dexter area completed the Matter of Balance program presented at the Abbott Memorial Library.  This program was sponsored by the library Board of Directors in conjunction with Friends of Community Fitness in Guilford and Dexter’s Skeleton Crew.  The classes were led by Dodie Curtis and Terri Palin, volunteer Matter of Balance Master Trainers.

The 16-hour course included information and discussion about fears and prevention of falling.  Physical Therapist, Susan Garrettson, demonstrated how to best get up from a fall as well as how to properly use canes and walkers, if needed.  Gentle, but effective, exercises were practiced by all participants to build strength and flexibility needed to stand, walk, and maintain balance.  Discussions were serious and lively.  Improvements were noted in students’ abilities to perform the various exercises.

The class dynamics led to fun during this important learning opportunity.  Friends were made.  On graduation day, some folks were making plans to see each other again for lunch and at the Community Fitness Center’s Silver Sneakers® exercise program for seniors in Guilford.

If you would like to become part of A Matter of Balance in the future, call Community Fitness (876-4813) to find out when and where the next classes will be held.  As one class participant remarked, “I didn’t know that there is so much that I can do to prevent falls.  It has been a wonderfully pleasant experience with some very nice people.”



Adult Coloring Program 

Coloring is no longer just for kids. This favorite pastime of childhood has come into its own as an adult recreation in recent years. Where yesterday’s coloring supplies used to be limited to crayons and  cartoon figures printed on cheap paper;  today’s adult colorists have access to sophisticated markers, pens, and a host of beautiful designs and drawings on quality paper.  Not only do adults find coloring fun, it is has also been shown by a study conducted in 2005 that anxiety levels dropped when subjects colored mandalas, which are round frames with geometric patterns inside. Yoga experts recommend it as a calming therapy and alternative to meditation.  Every Wednesday evening this  groups meets at 6 P.M..  It is headed up by library volunteer Bertha Lyons.  Supplies are provided to get participants started on their way to a new and relaxing hobby.


Monthly Book Club


In SNOWBALL EARTH, Gabrielle Walker takes us on a thrilling natural history expedition in search of supporting evidence for the audacious theory which argues that the Earth experienced a climatic cataclysm 600 million years ago that froze the entire planet from the poles to the equator. Because the global snowball happened so long ago the ice has now long gone – but it left its traces in rocks around the world and in order to see the evidence, Walker visited such places as Australia, Namibia, South Africa and Death Valley, USA. Part adventure story and part travel book, it’s a tale of the ultimate human endeavor to understand our origins.
We’ll be meeting on Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 @ 6 P.M. for a discussion of this book.



Library Story Time

storytime   Abbott Memorial Library holds Story Hour on Friday at 3:30 P.M. This program is for youngsters up to age 6, accompanied by a parent or other adult. This program is free to the public and includes stories, songs and crafts. Upcoming subjects include fall stories and crafts.  Come join us for an enjoyable time. For further information, contact the library at 924-7292 or email Liz.

Library Trustees and Terms

Corey Pearson01/14 - 12/16
Richard Frank01/14 - 12/16
Connie Hall01/15 - 12/17
Wanda Curtis01/15 - 12/17
Ruth Fogg01/16 - 12/18
Judith Bennett01/16 - 12/18
Linda Tisdale01/16 - 12/16



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