How an Island Loves its Library

Peaks Island enjoys its own small library, a branch of the Portland Public Library. I mean it really enjoys its library. Loves it. A lot. A Friends group devotedly nurtures library programs and book purchases by organizing fundraisers. These programs vary from the “birthday book program” for island elementary school children to a middle school book club (yes, middle schoolers) to the achingly sweet tradition of bringing books to the homes of island newborns. I could go on, but for today, I want to give you a sneak peek at the long-awaited annual tradition of having a book sale to raise funds for the library. Islanders donate books by the cartload and then tables groan with impressively organized books. While I juggled my tottering pile of eleven books, I noted that the “Foreign Language” section of the sale boasted some 18 linear feet of books. Really? What island can say that? Well, if you haven’t made it to our sale, then take this one-minute tour.

Written by Patricia Erikson, Peaks Island Press offers behind-the-scenes glimpses of a vibrant, literary community perched on Peaks Island, two miles off the coast of the beautiful and award-winning city of Portland, Maine. If you haven’t already, you may subscribe in the upper right corner at

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  1. I was born on Peaks Island, Maine on March 26 1958, my 2 oldest sister’s also was born there, many good memories I had at my Grandmother, Virgina Henry, on Elizabeth St, my Great Grandmother and Aunt, lived on the Island also. My Great Grandmother was Jessie Woodman. I can’t remember her address, but most of the men, were fishing men, ad my uncle James Henry. The story was told by my mother, I almost died from having not able to keep anything done, Mercy Hospital, could not help. One nurse who lived on the Island in 1958, knew what was wrong, gave me something my mother never knew, I finally was able to eat and gain weight. She saved my life, and never knew who she was or her name, neither my mother. My mother, Barbara Ann Tracey, said the nurse left the Island, just called her my angel. Peaks Island is magical.


      • Just a thought, was talking to my husband about how my mother would so loved to have the Lady Slippers on the other side of the Island, she so long missed. Maybe if you have a story of the people who live on Peaks Island, in the 1920’s up to the 1970’s, of the families, back then, like the Costello’s, The Gordon’s, McGowan’s. Tracey’s and Henry’s. The corner store am sure would have stories, as any Costello’s, if any more live there. Just a thought would so loved to hear, as myself, taking the ferry back and forth, for school, as my cousins, who also have memories,, Allena Pond (Case)


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