By Sherry Shi, Staff Writer
The local Farmington organization, Shiretown Bookers, is currently showcasing a collection of books entitled the ‘Deadly Books’ exhibit. From October 1st to November 15th, both UMF students and community members alike can visit the exhibit in Mantor Library.
Reid Byers, President of Shiretown Bookers, discussed how the group was inspired by Halloween when creating the exhibit.
“We were sort of thinking about the Halloween season,” said Byers. “There are so many mystery stories that take place in libraries, so this is an exhibition that looks at the reason why the library is a setting for so many mysteries. It is always a wonderful and mysterious place.”
William Souly, group member and local community member agreed with Byer’s thoughts on the exhibit.
“It’s the right place to exhibit these books in the library, the theme goes with the library’s atmosphere,” said Souly. “They found the ones that connect with the library setting among all the mystery books.”
The Shiretown Bookers does more than just showcase deadly books, but shares a love for all literature alike. The organization is relatively new, existing for only under a year, bringing together community members, staff members, and UMF students.
Upon starting the club, Byers insisted that he did not intend to do something extraordinary, but simply wanted to gain access to more books and assist students in their research. Because he was accustomed to an extensive academic library with millions of research books, he wanted to continue this at Mantor Library.
“When I got here, I was somewhat uncertain about what I would be able to find,” said Byers. “Of course not a whole lot of books at this particular library, but the front desk will get you any book you need. I had so much success using the desk here to get books for research that I said I wanted to join the friends of the library.”
Vaughan Gagne, Manager of Administrative Service at Mantor Library, shared his thoughts on the Shiretown Bookers organization as he works closely with them on a regular basis.
“It’s very odd that an academic library would have a friends group such as this, so it’s a breaking-the-rule thing to start this organization,” said Gagne. “But it’s nice, it’s people in the town that care about not only the community itself but also the university as well.”
The ‘Deadly Books’ exhibit is the Bookers’ third showcase in Mantor Library. Previous displays included ‘Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance, Science, Magic, and Medicine’ and ‘The Joy of Booking.’ President Foster even contributed to the second exhibit, adding a book from her collection of early motor travel.
“I’ve been to large exhibitions in big cities where they had all sorts of books and every publisher came to show off their publication,” said Souly. “But this is, to me, more interesting. It is smaller, but more focused, it attracts a certain group of people, but it is also generally appealing to the whole community.”
The books are sorted by categories and put in different sections of the exhibition tables for readers’ convenience. They are designed and decorated entirely by the Bookers’ members.
Byers said they are preparing for the next exhibition on the topic ‘Books of the Ancestors: Immigration and the Family Tree.’ “We hope that the historical society, the public library, the genealogical society and the university will all have people speaking at that event,” Byers said.
To see the ‘Deadly Books’ exhibit or learn more information about the Shiretown Bookers organization, visit Mantor Library on campus.