The Orono Public Library serves the information and reading needs of the people of Orono by providing a place where qualified, trained staff offer guidance to a variety of library materials and services. The library selects, purchases, preserves and circulates the town's materials collection free of charge to Orono residents of all ages.
- To provide a center for reading, writing and study.
- To provide opportunity for recreation through the use of literature and popular reading materials, music, film, audio tapes and other art forms.
- To provide library reference services.
- To provide a door to literacy through which children and families are encouraged to develop an interest in reading and use of the library.
- To provide an educational support center to assist students of all ages engaged in both formal and independent courses of study.
- To provide a community meeting and information exchange center
The Orono Public Library was established during the 1880s by the Orono Christian Temperance Union. As early as 1887, the library occupied rooms on the ground floor of the Katahdin Building. Between 1928 and 1930 a private corporation calling itself the "Orono Public Library and Community Center Corporation" purchased the building presently known as the Keith H. Anderson Community Center and transferred ownership to the Town for "literary and educational" purposes. The public library relocated to the ground floor of the Community Center and in 1930 the Town took over full maintenance of the library.
By 1956, the library having outgrown its space in the Community Center, the town set about to find a new location. In 1959 a plan was proposed for constructing a library wing at the Orono High School and moving the public library into joint quarters there with the high school library. While the public library was to gain much needed space, the school library was to benefit from closer access to the public library book collection. The 1961-1981 Comprehensive Plan called for the move to be temporary and recommended that Orono eventually have a "new town library building"; the move was accomplished in 1962.
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