About Maine State Library

A member of the Maine Cultural Affairs Council.


The Maine State Library facilitates access to and delivery of library services and collection resources for the State of Maine.

State Librarian

James Ritter, Maine State Librarian

Maine Library Commission

The Library Commission, a 17-member board appointed by the Governor, is broadly representative of the state's library community. The Commission establishes the policies and operations of the State Library, gives advice and makes recommendations on the expenditure of state and federal funds, and establishes guidelines and policies for statewide library programs.

Library Development

The Library Development Division provides for the development of all types of libraries throughout the state. Specific programs include: the Maine Regional Library System (consultant services, direct free walk-in service, interlibrary loan, and federal and state aid for public libraries), special services (books-by-mail, video services, talking books and large print books), school library/ media services, Maine InfoNet, and electronic database licensing.

Many of the programs are administered by the Maine State Library and funded by the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS): Outreach Services (Books By Mail, Summer Reading Programs, Talking Books, Large Print), Maine Regional Library System, Van Delivery and Maine InfoNet .
Institute of Museum and Library Services

Reader and Information Services

The Reader and Information Services Division provides for the delivery of quality information, reference and loan services to state agency personnel and the general public. This includes supporting and complementing the collections of all types of libraries throughout the state. Specific programs include: reference, circulation, government documents, collection services, and interlibrary loan.


In 1836 Maine Legislature authorized the purchase of books and the Maine State Library began to grow. Along with the State archives and the State museum, the State Library resides in the Cultural Building, located at the State House complex in Augusta.

Maine State Library is unique in having a physical presence and for its combination of services for the public and for librarians, all within the same organization. The State Library, serving all citizens and visitors, provides access to its information, services, and policies in order to meet educational, informational, recreational and cultural needs.

The State Library is addressing changes in its traditional role under an older economy by focusing on new roles demanded by the present changing economy. No longer is the role of librarians to just gather and select information but instead to facilitate, organize, and access information.