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 degnified 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 felt 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




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.  Our next book sale is scheduled for Summer of 2017.



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.



Marcy King (center front) with recent SAIL participants Darcy Dumont, Sharon Cole, Patty Roberts, Harold Wheeler, Mary Lou Wheeler, and Donna LaGasse



By Beth Ranagan

The third week in September marks the National Council on Aging’s Falls Prevention Week.  During that week, a number of awareness activities, to be announced at a later date, will take place in Dexter and throughout Piscataquis County.  An event kickoff will be Marcy King’s presentation about Stay Active and Independent for Life (SAIL) exercise program.  This event will take place at Dexter’s Abbott Memorial Library on September 9 at 1 p.m. as part of the Skeleton Crew’s new-season series of free educational programs.

Thirty-three percent of Americans 65+ years of age fall each year.  That is an astounding number if you consider that falls result in 21,700 deaths, 734,000 hospitalizations, and 2.5 million injuries treated in emergency rooms.  Falls are the leading cause of injury death for seniors, and if death doesn’t occur, the quality of life for an older adult can be significantly limited following a fall.  Even if unhurt after a fall, fear of falling will impact a person’s approach to daily activities leaving them overly cautious.  Physical and mental decline, social isolation, and depression often follow.

Raising awareness of the issue and providing information about how to prevent falls has become a nation-wide initiative to keep people safe, healthy, and thriving at home.  Beyond environmental modifications, such as railings, increased lighting, vision and hearing corrections, and medication adjustments, the single-most successful way to decrease falls is to engage in moderate, age-appropriate exercise to increase strength, range of motion, and balance.

The SAIL exercise program for people 60+ meets the highest standard as an approved physical activity program and is endorsed by the National Council on Aging.  It was developed by researchers from the Washington State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Training to teach the course is made available to instructors throughout the United States.  It is designed to be a community-based program made available at senior centers, fitness centers, medical facilities, recreation and community centers, churches, schools, senior housing, assisted living centers, schools, and other approved sites.

Ms. King began teaching the SAIL program in the winter of 2016 funded by Piscataquis County’s Thriving in Place (TiP) Collaboration.  Dexter residents are a receivers of Thriving in Place services.  As a TiP Collaborative partner and a person interested in the Dexter community, I suggested that King become trained and offer the SAIL program to Dexter area seniors.  Following training, TiP offered Collaboration funding.  King has successfully offered SAIL with TiP’s Community Engagement’s funding twice to get the program off the ground.  The Millside Fitness Center will fund the upcoming 8-week class, beginning Tuesday September 8 to seniors 60+ years of age free of charge.  Classes are once a week on Tuesdays for an hour at 10 a.m at the Dexter Town Hall.  As a bonus, class participants can experience “open gym” on Thursdays during September, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Millside Fitness free of charge.

Come hear Marcy tell you how the SAIL program can help your balance so that you can prevent a fall.  Free celebration cake, herbal bone tea, and gluten-sugar-dairy- free refreshments will be served.  The Skeleton Crew is dedicated to helping older adults build and preserve their bones, but people of all ages are invited to attend.  Call Liz at the library (924-7292) for more information



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.    Classes will be held twice monthly on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 10:30 A.M.  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


The Man Who Saved the Union : Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H. W. Brands

 Paradoxes abound in Grant’s career, posing formidable challenges to the biographer. His prewar life offered no inkling of his later accomplishments. Unlike Lincoln, Grant seemed to lack ambition. He did not want to go to West Point, and while there, he scrutinized congressional debates over the future of the military academy, hoping it would be abolished and he could return home. Forced to resign from the Army in the 1850s to avoid having charges brought against him for drunkenness, he ended up working in his brother’s Illinois leather store. His family deemed him a failure. He disdained politics and politicians but was reelected in 1872 with the largest popular majority of the 19th century. Finally, although uncommunicative in person, Grant somehow managed to write one of the finest autobiographies in American letters.  Join us on Wednesday, August 31 2 6 P.Mm. when we’ll meet to discuss the first two sections of this important book.



Library Story Time


Story Time is on hiatus for the summer.  We’ll be starting again in September.

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




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