Witherle Memorial Library

41 School Street
Castine, ME 04421


About The Library

The Witherle Memorial Library land and building were the gifts of George and Mary Witherle, ships' chandlers in Castine, in 1906 and 1909. Castine's library history begins with the social library formed in 1801. In 1855, Castine was the first community in Maine to establish a public library supported by public funds. In 1901 the books were moved to Emerson Hall (the town hall) and kept there until Witherle Memorial Library was completed in 1913. The building (and town of Castine) is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

Today the library has nearly 13,000 volumes, which circulate 22,000 times a year to almost 1,200 registered borrowers. The library is now fully automated for circulation and our collections are part of the statewide system, Minerva. Minerva is a statewide, integrated library system started by the Maine Info Net Project and maintained cooperatively by 40 + participating libraries in association with the Maine State Library. The Minerva catalog includes over six million items - not only books but also DVDs, audiobooks, magazines, and music CDs. You can search the catalog by author, title, subject, keyword, and material type. It is available on the library's home page or on the designated catalog computer in the library.

The library offers a full range of services to the residents of Castine and the surrounding area. We provide free public internet access on four computers, wireless internet access for patrons with their own lap-tops, inter-library loan, delivery of books to shut-ins, collections of audio books, music on compact disc, video tapes and DVDs, an extensive local history collection and public photocopying. Programs include the Let's Talk About It reading group for adults and a weekly story time and chess club for children as well as the Summer Reading Program. Witherle Memorial Library also serves as the school library for the Adams School, the Castine public school for grades K-8, during the school year.

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