The first author event I ever attended was in 1996 and Peter Mayle discussed his book, “Anything Considered.” It was nerve racking. Did I have to buy a book? What did I say to the author if I did get them to sign a book? Was everyone going to be in tuxedos asking really poignant questions? Now, of course, after planning hundreds of events, I know what to expect.

McArthur Library in Biddeford Courtesy photo

Many authors early in their careers have read to a crowd of two people. Most of the time, they are just delighted that you came to hear them talk about a book that took them a long time to write. And librarians are excited to share the love of reading with a full house.

This summer, McArthur Library is going to make it really easy for all of you readers (or potential readers) out there. There is no fee to attend library programs, including author talks. You are never pressured to buy a book, we offer them free and often add multiple copies of titles to make it easier to borrow a title.

We want you to come as you are, you are welcome here. It is literally part of our organization’s mission to bring high quality programs to the community. So, we really appreciate you taking time to meet these wonderful authors and these wonderful authors want to meet you, too. McArthur Library has four author events scheduled.

Here is how and why these are happening:

Thursday, June 8 at 6:30 p.m. Barbara Ross, author of the “Maine Clambake Mysteries.” Melanie loves cozy mysteries. We hatched a devious plot to bring this author to McArthur by securing a Sisters in Crime grant. This inclusive organization is comprised of over 4,500 writers and offers a stipend to libraries to host crime authors. Staff dressed up as lobsters to secure the necessary funds and since we are not shellfish (pun intended) we’re sharing the grant with you. Please partake in a wonderful evening celebrating the fictional town of Busman’s Harbor. We think it is Boothbay Harbor, come to find out.


Thursday, June 22 at noon. Steve Brusatte, bestselling author of “The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs.” Dinosaurs are so cool and the theme for our summer learning program. We looked up the most famous paleontologist in the world and reached out to him via email. (Insert, we stalked him on social media, looked up his email address and begged him to visit us virtually from Edinburgh, Scotland … and guess what? He agreed. Please visit the library’s website to register.

Monday, July 17 at 6:30 p.m. Karen Odden, Agatha nominated, bestselling, mystery writer. Last year we hosted Karen Odden at the library and her talk on Victorian history was amazing. When we learned she would be touring again this summer we pleaded to have her back again. She is the author of several books and has even been featured as an Oprah reading pick, um, wow.

Thursday, Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m. Nick Fuller Googins, author of “The Great Transition @ Banded Brewing.” This is huge. Nick has written for many, many magazines and newspapers. When we learned he is a Biddeford resident being published by Simon and Schuster, we knew this was an opportunity to meet a local author who is going to be super famous. We are partnering with Elements and Banded Brewing to have a spectacular end of the season signing.

I cannot tell you how excited we are to be sharing these amazing writers with everyone. Please feel free to check out the details on our website Please come, even if you have never been to an author event before. You are welcome.

Melanie Coombs is adult services supervisor/librarian at McArthur Public Library in Biddeford. She can be reached at or 207-284-4181.

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