The Library will close at 3:00 pm on Friday, December 6 and reopen on Monday, December 9 for regular hours.  We hope you have a wonderful, safe, and joyful Prelude!

Please call the Library to renew your materials or send an email to    or



The Library will be closed during the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.  We will close at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, November 27 and reopen on Monday, December 2nd at 10:00 am.   We hope you have a wonderful, safe, and peaceful holiday.

Please call the Library to renew your materials or send an email to    or




The Trustees and Staff of the Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library held an open house at the Library on Friday the 16th of August from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. That date marked the third anniversary of the kick-off of the Capital Campaign to raise the funds to build our much-needed addition to the Library, the Mothers Wing. Having raised over $1.5 million dollars, we celebrated the end of the campaign by retiring our construction debt to Kennebunk Savings Bank with a ceremonial Burning of the Mortgage.

Almost exactly three years ago Mrs. Laura Bush kindly helped the Library’s Trustees kick off the Mothers Wing campaign by cutting the ribbon to reopen the long-sealed historic front door of the Library, a door first opened over 200 years ago as the front door to the Kennebunk Bank of Arundel.  After a three year campaign, with the support of over 500 generous patrons, private organizations, and friends of the Library, the campaign has reached its goal!

The Mothers Wing officially opened on October 20, 2017.  Since then, countless programs, classes, activities, meetings, and book sales have occurred in this new space.

Thank you again for your generous support of this treasure of Kennebunkport, the Louis T. Graves Memorial Pubic Library.

With great regard and appreciation,

George Emery, Chair Capital Campaign/Trustee                                                    Mary-Lou Boucouvalas, Library Director


Do you want to know a secret? Eight homeowners in Kennebunkport are opening their enchanting private gardens to the public for one day only to raise money to support ongoing community programming and services at the public library.

The First Annual “Secret Gardens of Kennebunkport” tour will be held Saturday, July 20, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (rain or shine). Tickets are $40 each and they can be purchased in advance at BROWNPAPERTICKETS.COM (At the website, enter : Kennebunkport – Graves Library Gardens) or at the Library at 18 Maine Street. On the day of the event, tickets will only be sold at Kennebunkport Consolidated School at 25 School Street.

A program map will be provided that day to all ticket holders to reveal the secret locations of the eight participating properties. Visitors will be treated to a wide variety of garden styles and plant types amid lovely natural settings hidden from view behind stone walls, seaside cottages, and privacy hedges. Colorful perennials and annuals, a scenic pond, woodland sculptures, ocean views, a Zen-inspired rock garden, trellised blooms, and many more delights are waiting to be discovered during this special garden tour opportunity.

Buy Tickets


Join us on Saturday, May 25 from 10:00 to 4:00 for Crafts, Books, and Food.  The Graves Library will be hosting a Craft Fair featuring the very talented Crafters of Designing Women.  You will get to shop for handbags, pottery, jewelry, scarves, etc.  A $2.00 donation at the door benefits children’s programming at the Library.  Please call the Library at 967-2778 for further details.



The Trustees of the Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library are pleased to announce their 7th annual Author Event to be held Thursday, June 20, 2019. The Kennebunk River Club has graciously made the Casino available for this special presentation to our patrons and friends in the community.  This year’s fundraising event will feature award-winning author, Marc Wortman.


Marc Wortman is the author of 1941: Fighting the Shadow War : A Divided America in a World at War, which was published by Atlantic Monthly Press in April 2016. It is now available in paperback. Atlantic Books published the U.K. edition in February 2017. His previous history books include The Millionaires’ Unit: The Aristocratic Flyboys Who Fought the Great War and Invented American Air Power (2006) and The Bonfire: The Siege and Burning of Atlanta (2009), both published by PublicAffairs. Pan Macmillan published The Millionaires’ Unit in the U.K.

Marc served as an advisor for Humanus Films’ multi-award-winning feature-length documentary, “The Millionaires’ Unit – U.S. Naval Aviators in the First World War, which was inspired by the book. To learn more about the film, go to:

Recipient of Sigma Delta Chi and CASE feature writing prizes and a Daily Beast Long Reads selection, Marc has written articles on a wide range of subjects for Vanity FairSmithsonianTime/HNN, and many other popular and specialized publications. He was the recipient of a coveted New York Public Library Research Fellowship and was named the University of Texas-Dallas Jalonick Distinguished Lecturer in Aviation History in 2014. His discovery of a 1918 letter documenting a long-rumored grave robbery of Geronimo’s skull by members of Yale’s Skull & Bones drew worldwide press coverage. His reviews and essays on history and other subjects appear frequently in The Daily Beast.

He has taught at Princeton University and at a college-level program for inmates at a maximum security prison in New Jersey. He has spoken to audiences around the country and appeared on CNN, NPR, C-SPAN BookTV, History Channel, and numerous other broadcast outlets.

Marc was born in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up in the Washington, DC, area. Following college at Brown University, he received a doctorate in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. He lives with his family in New Haven, Connecticut, where he coaches lots of youth baseball.

Tickets for this event will be available on May 20 at the Graves Library or go to the Donate Button on this website and specify in the event in the notes section.  ($40 pp–includes reception, talk, and book signing.)  All proceeds from this event benefit the annual operations of the Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library.





The Graves Library is thrilled to welcome back New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III on Sunday, December 9 at 2:00 pm to present Gone So Long, his first novel in more than a decade. 

Dubus III will appear in conversation with Joshua Bodwell, executive director of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance and editor of a new three volume series of the collected short stories and novellas of Dubus III’s revered father, Andre Dubus. The pair will discuss Dubus III’s new novel as well as the influence and vitality of his father’s fiction.

In Gone So Long, a father, estranged for the worst of reasons, is driven to seek out the daughter he has not seen in decades. Daniel Ahearn lives a quiet, solitary existence in a seaside New England town. Forty years ago, following a shocking act of impulsive violence on his part, his daughter, Susan, was ripped from his arms by police. Now in her forties, Susan still suffers from the trauma of a night she doesn’t remember, as she struggles to feel settled, to love a man and create something that lasts. Lois, her maternal grandmother who raised her, tries to find peace in her antique shop in a quaint Florida town but cannot escape her own anger, bitterness, and fear. (from publisher W.W. Norton)

Pulitzer Prize-winner Elizabeth Strout calls Gone So Long “an astonishment” and writes “I love this book so much, the humanity in it. I love every single person in it, they are so real, these people—I know them and love them all. I wept for them, I did.”

Dubus III’s father, Andre Dubus (1936–1999), is one of the most revered American short story writers of his generation. Dubus’s work earned him, among others, the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, the Rea Award for the Short Story, and nominations for a National Book Critics Circle Award and Pulitzer Prize.

This year, Dubus’s longtime publisher, Boston-based David R. Godine, re-launched Dubus’s work in a three-volume series edited by former Graves Library board president Joshua Bodwell. The new volumes—We Don’t Live Here Anymore, The Winter Father, The Cross Country Runner—include introductions by literary legends Ann Beattie, Richard Russo, and Tobias Wolff, respectively. The Paris Review says the three new volumes “reaffirm Dubus’s status as a master, as an unparalleled excavator of the heart and its pains, its longings, its errors, its thumping against the constant threat of grief, despair, and loneliness.”


Tickets ($20.00) will be sold at Graves Library starting November 1st.  Price includes the talk, a wine and cheese reception, and intimate discussion with the author.  All proceeds benefit the Capital Campaign for the new Mothers Wing.  Limited seating available. Graves Library is located at 18 Maine Street, Kennebunkport, Maine.  Please call  (207) 967-2778 for information on this event or other upcoming programs.  Copies of all books will be available for sale and signing.

GEORGE C. DAUGHAN at Graves Library (Two-Time Winner of the Samuel Eliot Morison Award)




A Fundraiser for the Graves Memorial Library – New Mothers Wing

Twice Winner of the Samuel Eliot Morrison Award  George C. Daughan will join us on Saturday, October 13th at 2:00 pm to discuss his new book, Lexington and Concord published by W.W. Norton on April 3, 2018.  Mr. Daughan has received the Samuel Eliot Morrison Award from two different organizations:  one from the USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown, Massachusetts and the other in New York from the Naval Order of the United States New York Commandary. He is the only person to receive both Morison awards.

This magnificently detailed account of the Battle of Lexington and Concord challenges the prevailing narrative of the American War of Independence. It was, Daughan argues, based as much in economic concerns as political ones. When Massachusetts militiamen turned out in overwhelming numbers to fight the British, they believed they were fighting for their farms and livelihoods, as well as for liberty.

Benjamin Franklin was not surprised by this widespread belief. In the years prior to the Revolution, Franklin had toured Great Britain and witnessed the wretched living conditions of the king’s subjects. They wore rags for clothes, went barefoot, and had little to eat. They were not citizens, but serfs. Franklin described the appalling situation in a number of letters home. In the eyes of many American colonists, Britain’s repressive measures were not seen simply as an effort to reestablish political control of the colonies, but also as a means to reduce the prosperous colonists themselves to the serfdom described in the Franklin letters.

Another key factor in the outcome of this historic battle, according to Daughan, was the scorn British officers had for colonial fighters. Although the British officers had fought alongside colonial Americans in the ferocious French and Indian War, they failed to anticipate the skill, organization, and sheer numbers of the colonial militias. Daughan explains how British arrogance led them to defeat at the hands of motivated, experienced patriot fighters determined to protect their way of life.

Authoritative and immersive, Lexington and Concord gives us a new understanding of a battle that became a template for colonial uprisings in later centuries.  []

Tickets ($20.00) will be sold at the Library starting September 13, 2018.  Price includes the talk, a wine and cheese reception, and intimate discussion with the author.  All proceeds benefit the Capital Campaign for the new Mothers Wing.  Limited seating available.  Please call for further information. (967-2778).


A Fundraiser for the Graves Memorial Library – New Mothers Wing

BOUND FOR GOLD – Written by National Book Award Winner – William Martin 

Sunday, August 19th at 2:00 pm.


New York Times best-selling author, William Martin will join us on Sunday, August 19th at 2:00 pm to launch his new book, Bound for Gold published by Forge Books, July 3, 2018.


Bound for Gold continues New York Times bestselling author William Martin’s epic of American history with the further adventures of Boston rare-book dealer Peter Fallon and his girlfriend, Evangeline Carrington. They are headed to California, where their search for a lost journal takes them into the history of Gold Rush. The journal follows young James Spencer, of the Sagamore Mining Company, on a spectacular journey from staid Boston, up the Sacramento River to the Mother Lode. During his search for a “lost river of gold,” Spencer confronts vengeance, greed, and racism in himself and others, and builds one of California’s first mercantile empires.  In the present, Peter Fallon’s son asks his father for help appraising the rare books in the Spencer estate and reconstructing Spencer’s seven-part journal, which has been stolen from the California Historical Society. Peter and Evangeline head for modern San Francisco and quickly discover that there’s something much bigger and more dangerous going on, and Peter’s son is in the middle of it. Turns out, that lost river of gold may be more than a myth (  Mr. Martin has numerous literary accomplishments in the realm of historical novels including, The Lost Constitution, Citizen Washington, Back Bay, and The Lincoln Letter.   In 2015, the USS CONSTITUTION Museum gave him the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for “patriotic pride, artful scholarship, and an eclectic interest in the sea and things maritime.”  Mr. Martin will present his research and writing of the “lost river of gold.”


Tickets ($20.00) will be sold at the Library starting August 1st.  Price includes the talk, a wine and cheese reception, and intimate discussion with the author.  All proceeds benefit the Capital Campaign for the new Mothers Wing.  Limited seating available.  Please call for further information. (967-2778).



Former First Lady Laura Bush helps re-open historic door

Kennebunkport, August 19, 2016 — Former First Lady Laura Bush joined with Mary-Lou Boucouvalas, executive director of the Louis T. Graves Memorial Public Library in Kennebunkport, and George Emery, chair of the Library’s Mothers Wing Capital Campaign, to formally re-open the historic front door of the Library on Friday, August 19.

IMG_7949_smallThe door was closed in 1988 when renovations to the existing Library were completed and a new side entrance was introduced.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the June launch of the $1 million capital campaign to raise funds to expand and update the Library. The front door will become the primary entrance to the Library when the building project begins.

The Mothers Wing Capital Campaign, named in honor of all mothers who have utilized the Library’s services over the past century to encourage children to read, is raising funds to add a new wing to the existing Library to provide much needed space for collections and programs, install an elevator for enhanced handicapped access, and update the Library’s aged infrastructure.

“I’m a former librarian so you might guess that libraries have a very special place in my heart,” said Mrs. Bush in her remarks at the opening. “Libraries are the souls of communities. We meet here to socialize, discover new adventures, learn and relax, and to teach our children and grandchildren the value and joy of learning.

“In this digital age, some may feel that libraries are losing their place in our community; but I believe that we need public libraries now more than ever. And I’m happy that the Graves Library is serving more patrons now than ever. Libraries are vital resources; one of the few public places available to interact with your neighbors and to enjoy the very best of your community and the world of reading.”

GravesLibraryRendering-web“The Graves Library has served as an educational, social, and cultural center of our town for over a century; yet it has been over 30 years since the Library has sought community support for a Capital Campaign,” added Emery. “Increased use has brought challenges in finding space to meet our growing needs. In addition, the Library is a 19th century building that requires major updating. The Mothers Wing Capital Campaign addresses these needs, including adding an elevator and replacing the Library’s aging heating and air conditioning systems.

“We have worked closely with an architect who specializes in historic structures to ensure that we preserve the character of this classic building while providing Library users with an expanded and fully updated facility.”

The Library, which is listed on the National Historic Register, recently celebrated its 100th anniversary in its current location. If you would like to donate to the Mothers Wing Capital Campaign, click here.

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