Bowdoinham Public Library revived its 1984 book brigade with the help of 184 Bowdoinham Community School students Wednesday afternoon.

Lining up along Main Street, students passed donated library books from the Bowdoinham Food Pantry about a tenth of a mile down the road to Merrymeeting Hall, where the public library will open a used bookstore in November.

Bowdoinham Community School students passing books in the Bowdoinham Food Pantry parking lot. Maria Skillings / Times Record

The bookstore will be open three days a week, and all proceeds will go toward the Bowdoinham Public Library’s annual budget.

“We have always raised a significant portion of our budget through our own fundraising efforts, and the new Merryreading Books (bookstore) will give us an ongoing source of funds,” said library Director Kate Cutko in a press release. “Having a retail space to display and sell our donated books will provide a big boost to our fundraising efforts.”

Bowdoinham resident Allen Acker acted as Marshal for the book brigade per Cutko’s request. Acker was in second grade when he participated in the library’s first book brigade 38 years ago.

Acker said the event is a great way for students to get involved in their community and help keep library books in continuous circulation. He said he remembers the book brigade as a fun and positive experience and hopes the students of 2022 feel the same way.

“We are very grateful to all our friends who have donated books for our book sales and to the Bowdoinham Historical Society for providing our new space,” said Cutko.

All participating students were awarded a coupon for a free book and an ice pop to cool down.

Bowdoinham Food Pantry mascot cheers on students at the book brigade. Maria Skillings / Times Record

Bowdoinham Community School students stretched to fill the gaps in their book line, 180 students long. Maria Skillings / Times Record

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