A novelist who frequented Buck Memorial Library as a kid set up a registry where people can donate books to replenish the collection.
This stack of books at the Buck Memorial Library is destined for the bin after a mold infestation was found during a humid stretch this summer. Credit: Courtesy of the Buck Memorial Library

After a mold infestation caused by Maine’s humid summer claimed thousands of books at the Buck Memorial Library, the Bucksport library has had donations flowing in from all over the country.

Director Lisa Ladd found that about 15 percent of the library’s 14,000 books had been affected by the mold this summer and needed to be tossed, leaving a sizable hole in the collection.

But those wounds have started to heal as people send in both monetary and physical book donations. The collection has been beefed back up to about 12,600 books after the library put in book orders and an author set up an online wishlist for it.

Bree Bridges, one half of the author duo Kit Rocha, had frequented the library as a kid and set up the registry where people could donate books through Bookshop.org. Sales from the registry also went to support The Briar Patch bookstore in Bangor.

“I spent much of my childhood in this magical fairy castle of a library, where I read pretty much every children’s book they had before starting on the grown-up books,” the Alabama-based paranormal and romance novelist wrote to her 26,000 Twitter followers last month.

A collector of historic books from out of state also mailed books and the office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, alerted Ladd to a program where duplicates at the Library of Congress can get scooped up by other libraries.

“It’s going quite well,” Ladd said of the mission to restock her stacks. “The shelves are a lot fuller than they were three months ago.”

The crisis also has given the library a chance to reassess and update its collection, she said.  

To stave off another tragedy, Buck Memorial invested in a new dehumidifier.