Jesup 2020 is a campaign to preserve, protect and expand our library.

The Jesup has been doing big things in a small space for more than a century, but improvements are overdue. Now it is time to step up as a community to preserve and protect our library, and to add a modern expansion that better meets the changing needs of our island now and in the future.

There have been no major changes to the Jesup Memorial Library building for more than 100 years. A mounting number of problems require attention to ensure this historic structure is around for future generations.

Compounding this urgent need to make repairs is the fact that Bar Harbor has grown and its residents use the library in different ways than in the past. A larger facility with more modern infrastructure will ensure the Jesup remains a vital keystone of this community. Like that library book at the bottom of the pile on your bedside table, this project is overdue.

Tomorrow is no longer an option.


Did you know the Jesup is architecturally linked to the Eiffel Tower and the White House?

The Jesup is one of the most historically significant buildings in Bar Harbor, and one of our community’s most beloved gathering spaces. Watch the video below to find out more - and why we’re raising money for Phase Two to protect our library.

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Flooding and leaking have caused closure of whole sections of the library, twice within a 12-month period

Roof and skylights need repair 

No room to add shelving, so we cannot expand the collection

Crowded children’s room and no room for teens

One public restroom for the entire library

Lack of accessibility

No dedicated event space – re-configuring the Reading Room for every event overextends staff and limits audience capacity. Last year the Jesup staged 373 programs drawing more than 8,900 participants. 

No space for cataloging, processing and book repair

No temperature and humidity controlled archival space for our collection of priceless historical documents and maps

Outdated technology in most of the library needs updating



Jesup 2020 provides a clear vision for the future. Our plans to expand and modernize the Jesup include nearly doubling its size, and improving connectivity and digital access. The additional wall space will serve as a public art gallery.

Anticipating future needs, the expansion will feature lots of comfortable seating and reconfigurable areas designated for independent study or collaboration.

With increased capacity for talks, community events, and meetings, the Jesup will reinvigorate civic life and build social infrastructure.

This project will bring the Jesup into the 21st century, allowing it to fulfill its potential as the community and cultural center for Bar Harbor and beyond. Together we can create a world-class institution that offers something to inspire and energize everyone.

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We as a community are so lucky our forebears set us up so well with the Jesup. We need to do the same for future generations.
— Ruth Eveland, Director, Jesup Memorial Library


As we come together as a community in support of this valuable resource, please consider making a contribution now. 

You can donate online or send a check to the Jesup (please specify on the comment line that your donation is for the capital campaign). If you would like to spread your donation over a few years, please print this pledge form and mail it to the Jesup. 

You may choose to take advantage of the benefits of contributing appreciated securities – more information can be found on the back of the pledge form

Exciting named giving opportunities are available to leave a legacy for your family or a loved one, or to honor an outstanding member of the community. 

Please contact us to learn about planned giving strategies. 

We’d love to talk with you about all the ways you can support the campaign. Write to Jesup2020@jesuplibrary.org, or call us at 207.610.2355


Jesup Memorial Library is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.


Thank you in advance for supporting Jesup 2020. Together we will create an inspiring center for educational exchange, creative community collaboration, and knowledge-sharing.