With the holiday season comes many community traditions, and at the Mark and Emily Turner Memorial Library in Presque Isle that means another year of displaying its most well-known decoration: the book tree.
Library director Sonja Plummer Eyler came up with the idea five years ago to stack books together in the shape of a Christmas tree after seeing pictures of similar trees from libraries across the country.
The tree was smaller that first year, but has since grown to include 1,200 books and now stands at 9 feet tall, including the star on top. It took four people about 11 hours, over three days, to build the tree.
“We consider the library to be a cultural center, so we wanted to create something that would appeal to many community members,” Eyler said.
The annual tradition has been successful in getting community members involved with building the book tree. In addition to books from the library, this year’s tree includes books donated by Bemis and Rossignol LLC in Presque Isle. For the past two years, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have built the tree as part of their Light the World service project.
Eyler said that the library plans to build the book tree every Christmas, as it has become popular with many community members.
“Our love for books is very much a part of our holiday traditions and culture whether we purchase them as gift or enjoy them on our own time, so I think it makes sense to blend those two traditions,” Eyler said.
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