Our history begins with the forming of a social library (a private collection of books accessible only by paid subscription) in 1801. The town of Castine took over this organization in 1827, and in 1855, became the first community in Maine to establish a municipal library.
In 1901, the library moved its books to the town hall until the completion of a new building in 1913. The land and the foundation for this new building were donated by George and Mary Witherle, local ships' chandlers – and it is from them that the Witherle Memorial Library received its name. The library and town of Castine are both listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
Today, the library contains over 13,000 volumes that circulate 22,000 times a year to over 1,200 registered borrowers. With fully automated circulation, our collections include a wide variety of printed and digital sources. Our patrons can utilize our state-wide databases, including URSUS, Minerva, Ancestry.com, and many others.
We offer a complete range of services to the residents of Castine and the surrounding areas, including:
- Inter-library loans
- Audio books, music CDs, and DVDs
- An extensive local history collection
- Public photocopying and scanning
- Free public internet on 8 in-house computers
- Wireless internet (Wi-Fi ) access from laptops and other devices
- Four E-readers and six MP3 players pre-loaded with content.
Check out our Library Services page for more information!
We also take pride in supporting our community! The library offers numerous programs for literary enrichment, including the Let's Talk About It reading group for adults, our summertime Witherle Writers Series, and weekly brown bag lunch discussions. Kids can also enjoy weekly story-times, after-school activities, and our very popular Summer Reading Program.
Visit the Town of Castine (www.castine.me.us) website to learn more about the community of Castine.