From the earliest small private and university libraries of the 1700s to today’s high-speed Internet-connected institutions, the history of Maine’s libraries mirrors the development of the state and provides a sense of the concerns people had for access to information and education. Melora Norman describes the development of various kinds of libraries in Maine and the opportunities and challenges they have faced over time. She notes that the 20th century was a time of increasing professionalization and standardization in Maine’s libraries. During the late 1990s through the present, libraries have been changing dramatically as they shift from a focus on print, reference, and preservation to digital knowledge, discovery, and instruction.

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