Cary Library taking steps to ensure readers have access to books

HOULTON, Maine — With the coronavirus pandemic forcing event cancellations, people’s daily lives have become upended. Sporting events, both local and nationally televised, are gone. Restaurant locations have been temporarily shuttered. Live music concerts have been postponed. 


Fortunately, there remains one activity that people can do within their homes — curl up with a good book to read. 

At Houlton’s Cary Library, the staff is ensuring that, despite closure of the building, people still have a way to check out books from the library to enjoy within the confines of their home. 

“What we are encouraging, and what we’re suspecting is happening anyway, is that people don’t come into town just to pick up a book,” said Linda Faucher, the library director for Cary Library. “They’re picking up books along with going to the pharmacy, going to the grocery store, checking on parents.They’re picking up books so they have some, and any shut-ins that live near them have some, because while they’re trying to stay home they’re looking to read because that’s what they’ve always done.”

Those wishing to check out a book from the library may do so by either email or through telephone. The book is then disinfected by library staff and placed outside the entrance for the customer to pick up. Once the book has been returned, the book itself is placed in somewhat of a quarantine — it again goes through the disinfection process, using antibacterial wipes to clean them then leaving them out in the sun. 

“The sun is a great cure-all for a lot of things. It doesn’t hurt them, and we leave them down there for at least a week,” said Faucher. “A lot of our patrons, they make their trip and it’s all planned out, and they’re overjoyed that they’re still able to pick up reading material.”

People wishing to borrow a book online have the options of going to the Cary Library’s online catalog and log in with their library card number, email or by calling 207-532-1302. 

Founded in 1904, the Cary Library has served the town of Houlton for more than 100 years and has become one of its major landmarks. It houses more than 55,000 books and the building has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

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