Saturday, December 12, 2009

Maine Library Association

Report to MLA Council & Membership

November/December 2009

Respectfully submitted by Sonja Plummer-Morgan, President

Once again it is my pleasure to report activity on behalf of the Maine Library Association during the month of November and part of December as your president. It is my hope that this finds you and your families well during this holiday season and your libraries bustling with season’s greetings! Visiting libraries and developing our coffee sleeve project are two primary activities that I’ll mention and then other points are bulleted. The burgeoning website is another that is still underdevelopment, but we expect to unveil it soon.

It was good to visit libraries over the past several weeks. At every traveling opportunity, a few libraries are visited. Some include Rockport Public Library, Camden Public Library, Searsport, Winterport, Pittsfield, and a few others that were closed, but I could at least peer at and appreciate their existence even in the smallest of Maine towns.

It feels important to see, visit, and speak with library staff to understand our profession more deeply and to build upon the good work before us within the Association so that the future of MLA is prefaced upon the people that we serve…our members and our constituents. When I or our officers visit your library, we take photos and promote your library on myriad online social networks. We are proud of Maine libraries and the people who comprise them.

Our new MLA coffee sleeves are promoting Maine Libraries in a new way. Associations from around the Country, within our State, and on various social networks are finding the project intriguing and worthy of consideration for their own Associations. Starbucks of Maine is distributing the sleeves, libraries can request sleeves, and I’ve personally delivered boxes to Bangor Public Library, Camden Public Library, Rockport Public Library, and Waldoboro Public Library. The sleeves promote our new logo, website, and Maine libraries in general.

Our new website will remain However, it has an entirely new look. Ben Greeley, web developer from Colby, was chosen to design and build. We’ve worked many hours discussing the Association and I really appreciated Ben’s insights that our Association is about people; the people we serve, the people we work with, and the people who comprise our membership. People are the philosophic foundation for our website. As such, the design incorporates our information on the present site, with our 2.0 social networks, photos offered by our membership, and is both easily navigated and logically arranged to save members’ time. We have guest bloggers lined up, a photo gallery, are updating information, creating new membership invitations, and I believe that this new site will be pleasing to look at and inviting. Now onto the bullet points and additional activities:

  • We continue work on a Strategic Plan. Our Strategic Planning Committee reports that the diversity of the types of libraries that we serve creates an enormous barrier to a Plan that represents the entire Association, but offered some solutions to that.
  • President and Immediate Past President, Molly attended the Juice 2.0 Conference in Camden and was honored to be part of a panel that talked about economic development and the future of libraries.
  • President will attend Midwinter to represent our Association and will provide membership with a full report of things learned.
  • The MLA to Z Newsletter is hot off the press and will be available soon.
  • The Nominations Committee is working filling the new Member-at-Large position added at the Annual Meeting. This position is appointed by the Council and they serve until June when we’ll elect a two year position.
  • Conference plans continue with a theme, date, place, and some very exciting ideas on keynotes! It’s going to be a terrific conference. Our new website will have information very soon.
  • Thank you to everyone who has sent pics for our Flickr account and potentially our new Website.
  • The next MLA Council meeting will be held at the Maine State Library on December 18th at 1:00pm. Anastasia Weigle will discuss the long term plans for the MLA archives (it needs a permanent home).
  • On Saturday, December 19th, the President of MLA, our VP/Pres Elect Andi Jackson-Darling, and the President of the Maine Association of School Librarians will meet with incoming LIS students in the New England Cohort for the University of South Carolina. Very pleased to welcome these scholars and meet them.
  • Membership and new members is the focus for December and January. Please help us by renewing your membership and encouraging your staff, friends, and colleagues to be part of our Association!
  • Our newest online social networks are Flickr and LibraryThing. To view our photostream, go to for our LibraryThing Group, please go to
  • We are also in LinkedIn, Goodreads, Cafepress, Twitter, Facebook, and in ALA Connect. Trouble finding us? Just email me and we’ll connect virtually.


Sonja Plummer-Morgan, President

Maine Library Association

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Curious George & Miss PI

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Baxter the Maine Library Mascot and Lukas

Lukas and the Maine Library Association Baxter the Cat Mascot

Rural Library Sign

Rural Library Sign, originally uploaded by sonjamorgwain.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lukas is 6 months old

Lukas is 6 months old. He's tall enough to get himself into all sorts of trouble--snatching bread off the countertops, stealing glasses off night stands, and lift his front paws onto the bed and wake a sleeping person but cares enough about my approval so that he is set to rights quickly and with a stern tone of voice.

He is not as gregarious as his Berner sister, Maya. She loves everyone and will quickly bound toward them whereas Luke prefers to observe from behind one of his trusted family members until he is sure.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hiking, Ducks & Deer Flies

Lukas and I went on a trek this morning to the park just a few yards from our home. Luke was a handful, but I missed his walk yesterday and he was so frantic to get there, all self control left him. He settled some when he saw the park and realized that he wasn't dreaming afterall.

Two new experiences for Lukas--a flock of ducks. He stared, looked back at me, jumped to my side, stared again, tried to talk to them, and the firmly planted himself next to the bank and lay riveted to their swimming. At one point, I could have sworn this little guy laughed. It was good to see him take such delight in a scene. The ducks made some noises back at him, but seemed quite unworried.

Unsettling was the next occurance--a swarm of black deer flies dove at Luke. There were several and as they became increasingly persistant, Luke started to panic. A 40 lb Berner puppy on a leash in panic mode was the outcome. There was little that I could do to help him. There were so many (and he yelped several times) so I think that he was bitten as many times as he yelped. Managed to get him headed in the direction of home and we started running together. Not sure it helped, but it's what he wanted to do. I decided to trust him. Home at last.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Friday, June 19, 2009

My Berner Boy

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Monday, June 8, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lukas and Summer Fun

Lukas exudes joy and is constantly seeking a new game, contact with his humans, or offers to wrestle with Maya or Liam.  He loves the outdoors, especially near water or tall grass.  I'm impressed with how rapidly he learns and how eager he is to explore new things.  His shyness has given way to a gentle caution and willingness to make friends with anyone who offers.  Trying a kid pool for him this weekend since the temps are rising. 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lukas is almost 14 Weeks Old

Oi and hello!  Lukas tried to help me garden today.  He snatched two tiny passiflora plants and tried hard to sneak off (mom was watching).  

Friday, May 15, 2009

Sudden Shyness

 My gregarious little bulldozer accompanied Alyssa and I to the park today and then with us to the local dairy bar (he got gourmet treats for doggies).  People encountering him naturally wanted to see him up close.  Just a few days ago, Luke would have met them halfway.  That is to say, as they would approach, he'd cheerfully go greet.  Not today.  He hid behind me and cautiously poked his muzzle around my leg juuuuuust enough to see.  I picked him up (this is getting to be quite the armful) and he buried his muzzle in my neck.  

When the crowd subsided, he resumed his playful stance with Alyssa.  

Monday, May 11, 2009

Alyssa Getting "Wuv" from Maya

When you are adopted, sometimes tough conversations arise about who you are, how you got to where you reside, and who in the world loves you.  During one of those conversations, Alyssa slid off the chair, wrapped her arms around Maya and said, "I'm gettin' some wuv now." The dogs in our lives are sometimes the greatest therapists, the best listeners, and the outstanding loves of our lives.  

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Apples, frenetic & teething

Lukas has spent the morning on a mission--sinking teeth into everything.  His gums are slightly swollen and red.  This very cold apple worked beautifully to calm him. Slightly frenetic, teething baby licked, and sunk teeth in and licked some more in a very calm peaceful way. Apples are okay for dogs, apple seeds are not, so I'm watching him carefully. 


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rainy Day

Pouring rain--the first Lukas has seen since he's been with us.  The thunder captured his attention and he looked skyward, looked at me, looked skyward again and his face seemed to say, "Did you hear that?  That.  Right there.  Aren't you going to do something about that? LOL. He actually enjoyed the rain.  Sauntered in only after becoming completely drenched.  

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Splashing in Stream

See this smile?  It's genuine.  It is.  Lukas, Maya, and Liam got to splash in the stream tonight.  They wrestled and growled, frolicked and snapped at the stream, and howled happily!  They were covered in water, mud, and smiles.  Took extra yummy treats to coax them toward the path.  


Lukas is growing fast, but still loves to be picked up and hugged.  His eyes get droopy and then he remembers play and snaps back to consciousness.  

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Maya and Luke Become Friends

Oh attitudes are improving between the canines that walk among our household.  Maya is allowing Lukas near for short durations and even licks him now and then.  It's good to see Luke start to respect her space a little better and she, in turn, extend a form of friendship that only they can fully understand.  Note the tiny human toes at the top!  LOL.  

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Lukas had a bath and, incidentally, Christina and mom got drenched as well.  

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lukas at the Park at Sunset

Mantle Lake Park was filled with little children tonight--all wanted to pet and walk Lukas.  Maya stood nearby but gravitates to the smaller children.  She stands near them and allows them to pet her and hug her without moving.  Purely conjecture, but she seemed protective of them. One little one who couldn't stand for long, buckled and Maya nuzzled her nose in her neck and licked. The tiny little girl squealed.  

Lukas, on the other hand leaped and bulldozed and tried to lead the little ones around with his teeth in their clothing.  Sigh.  Some lessons to learn.  We had a few minutes of just us and Lukas sat in the grass and panted.  He hasn't yet noticed the ducks swimming back and forth but he is very interested in the smells along the bank; duck a la poo.  

Good morning!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Luke at 9 Weeks Old

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Maya and Josh at Mantle Lake Park

Maya and my son Joshua (with his friend) went to the park without the boy dogs.  It was great to spend time with her without the competition for attention and dominance from big golden and little boy Berner.  Mantle Lake is no longer frozen, though, there is snow on the lake banks I noticed and tiny patches in some of the grassy areas.  Maya took great interest in the ducks, the frolicking squirrels, and another dog strolling by.  

Presque Isle doesn't have a dog park, per say but the City has smartly provided bags to clean up after dogs at Mantle so many owners hold doggy playdates and take walks in this marvelous little bit of earth.  Mantle Lake is surrounded by a short hiking trail.  Would like to take Maya and Joshua exploring this weekend and reacquaint them with the trail.  The wild lady slippers are likely to be up soon as well as the Jack-in-the-Pulpits, and Trilliums.  Wanna see those. 

Maya laid down by a little stream that flows into the lake and contentedly watched my little boy and his friend skip rocks.  The boys were squealing with pleasure and jumping up and down--Maya had a pleased look on her face.  She has no interest in chewing sticks or other debris, toys, or digging in the dirt like so many dogs we know but is most content to be with her people, listen to us, and watch us.  She is an awesome companion; quiet and elegant even.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hello Mommy! I'm Outside!

Oh dear me.  Lukas is not only outside, but is taking a nap in a puddle of thick mud.  Ack!  

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Inch By Inch, Row by Row Gonna Get Closer You Know...

Day 4 with new pup and Maya is getting more and more tolerant of Lukas.  He keeps inching closer--as close as he dares. He's not very timid and is winning her over.  He scoots his paws closer and closer each day.  

Good morning World!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Best Stick Evah!

Luke was a handful today!  Maya, Liam, and I all seemed tired after this little bulldozer crashed his way through the day.  LOL.  Thank goodness he found this stick to occupy him--he loves, loves, loves sticks and he is never happier than when he is outside.  


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Liam, Maya, & Lukas

Well, we went to the park together tonight.  Luke was ignored for the most part but he's a little hard to ignore entirely even for a sulking big Berner.  He frolicked like a spring lamb in the mud grass and discovered a patch of snow to stomp and dig in.  

Maya tried her hardest to turn her back everytime he approached.  I can't tell if she is afraid of him or in utter horror at this creature bounding about.  Liam is much more tolerant and is trying to teach him in a different way.  Luke strutted up to him intending to take the beloved frisbee--Liam gave him a powerful warning growl and Luke yelped in fear, stepped back, and looked wide-eyed.  I tried not to laugh but he had been tugging at Liam's ears, nipped at the cat, peed on the floor, swatted Maya's nose, and went after my shoe in the span of 2 minutes!  He was, shall we say, a bit demur after the correction.  

He is now permitted to be a few feet near during naptime.  He watches Maya closely and when she grooms, he makes an attempt as well.  It's adorable how much he wants to be a big dog and mimics the other two but being accepted rather than just tolerated is going to take some time I think.  

Maya & Lukas

As much as I'd like, I can't get a picture of Lukas and Maya together.  Maya is still ignoring him and keeping a significant distance.  I've not ventured out with the two of them together for a walk but maybe today.  Maya is not at all aggressive toward Luke (though extinction may be a form of aggression I suppose) but just gives him wide berth.  

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rebekah & Lukas & Maya

Maya is sulking cause Lukas is here...

Looks like the peeing wonder is staying for good.  Mom is calling him Lukas but I'm staying away.  It was okay at first because I thought it was just a visit.  I am sulking and to add insult to injury, mom gave me a bath this morning.  She'd better take me for a walk and fast.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

Berner baby was up much of the night.  Erm...that crate thing gonna be a challenge for both of us.  I like it less than he does.  Got his collar fitted better, some excellent kibble, and a few chew toys.  

Baby arrived home without incident after spending the day on the beach with his breeder.  The babe Berner slept most of the way home after spending the night with family.  He is a teeny bulldozer but pacific and eager to please. 

Walked into the house with a pleased look on his face and eagerly pounced toward the big dogs. After some serious sniffing, he seems accepted into the pack! Yay.  He is not eating as much as recommended and I'm handfeeding for now but he is drinking and I think just too excited to bother with eating.  Maya decided that looked like a good idea and wanted handfeeding as well (well, why not?) LOL.  

The children were besotted at first sight but showed remarkable self control by offering quiet voices and letting puppy come to them on his own terms.  He had such a pleased look to discover children in his new home!  

All three wolfies are sleeping with big sighs of contentment.  The baby is gated off from the other two (I'm just a little nervous still) but Liam and Maya's noses are close to the gate and they are keeping a close eye on the little guy.  

Welcome to our family little guy.  We all love you.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Shhhh, baby finally sleeping :-)

Baby Comes Home

Name suggestions?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mud puddles, dirty snow, and belly rubs...

Maya had to wait for the bustle of dinner, the cleanup of dishes, and calling hours for a colleague's 22 year old son killed on a snowmobile before her walk tonight.  It was an unspeakably sad hour standing in a line of at least a couple hundred persons waiting to pay their respect and express sorrow for Carol and Gerry, two of the nicest people in our community.  Their faces bore the horrendous effects of grief and loss.  

When I returned home, my sometimes banshee like brood of children had spilled sugar all over the floor.  Normally, this would be upsetting and I'd mumble like Rodney Dangerfield about respect, but after seeing Brian, the 22 year old beloved child lying in a casket, sugar on the floor seemed best put in the catagory of a shoulder shrug.  Maya bounded toward me and I admit, I really felt too sad to grab the leash, but she sat, cocked her head to one side and implored me with her mud-colored eyes.  Ca'mon!

Off we went toward the snowy park.  Much snow melted today leaving sloshy soft soil for Maya's paws.  Her nose hardly lifted until, that is, she spotted a group of girls huddled together giggling.  What's better than a group of girls in a huddle?  Why a group of girls in a huddle with mud at their feet.  She promptly started toward them, threw herself into their welcoming crowd and flipped on her back to gratefully accept their adoration and belly rubs.  

Life is good.  I didn't think that it was warm enough to melt anything today, but while I worked at computer and library stuff, the banks were minimized significantly and much bare ground was exposed so the trail around Mantle Lake was passable.  There is so very much snow every year and snowplows create massive banks of snow that take a very long time to melt. They are caked with rocks and dirt, gravel and sod and salt for the roads.  Maya loves snow and the dirtier the better.  Today's walk was a sort of goodbye to the snow and hello to mud season.  

Maya's eager nose poked every bank and mud pile that she could find and as I watched her obvious joy at the smelly earth, it seemed she was oblivious to everything around her.  That is, until a bird shrieked and she froze listening or a leaf from autumn skirted across her vision and she'd pounce on it.  It was an adorable sight that I'm normally unable too preoccupied focus on--so much to do, to plan, to apply for, to create strategies, to implement goals and all in the interest of improving library services.  I laughed.  I wondered what my day would be like if my greatest pleasure was a walk in the park.  Maybe today it was.  

We sauntered home to write our blog. Maya lifts her paw now and then to place on my foot--I really think she believes that she is helping.  


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bikers kids & Chocolate Labs

Maya and I went for a long walk today.  It's still cooler temps here and windy besides, but the sun hits her selkie-black coat and she heats up fast.  She discovered (as did I) who is talking to her at night and, incidentally, who she barks at in that baritone, slow and purposeful bark in response--it's a beautiful chocolate lab a few houses down.  I recognized his voice when he greeted her and so did she. She stood at at full attention and was so excited, she shook.  

We took the Presque Isle Bike Path, a winding trail that goes through our town.  Evidently, Maya forgot about bikes because a group of biker kids whizzed by and her countenance registered utter shock.  Not the afraid kind of alarm, but as if to say, "WOW, tres cool mom!"  LOL.  I was grateful that she's quickly learned not to pull me at that moment.  Winter (and people I suppose) was hard on the Path--shattered glass everywhere made apparent by the melting snow.  I'm pretty sure Maya would not tolerate boots, but it was worrisome.  Paws seem fine however and she scarcely seemed to notice.  

Our house is situated on a dead end road and a stone's throw away from Mantle Lake Park. There is a small pond stocked with fish (ah-hem, that's lake to visitors), a ball field, tennis courts, picnic tables, and a thicket with a trail.  It's still too snowy so it hasn't formally opened to the public.  Hoping to visit there in the next couple of weeks.  


Meet Lukas Sean, a Bernese Mountain Dog pup.  Luke is 8 weeks old.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Baby Berner

National Library Week

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Making Our Lives Whole

"Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole."  
~Roger Caras
From The Longlease Bernese Mountain Dogs Humour Page, 

Rebekah & Maya Playing