Library History

The MCMA library is one of the few membership libraries left in the country.  Visit the Mechanics’ Institute of San Francisco’s website for more information about this small group of organizations.  Historically, MCMA’s library was an integral part of its mission. In an age when public education and university-level training in the United States were inadequate to the needs of a burgeoning industrialized society, the library was a setting where apprentices learned to read and write—knowledge that greatly enhanced the skills they were acquiring under the guidance of master craftsmen. Today the library is revamping its space, collection and policies to better meet the modern mission of MCMA. Our maker collection is growing thanks to recent donations from Ocean Navigator Publications and Barba+Wheelock architects.  We have new subscriptions to three Maine maker periodicals: Taproot, Making, and Mortise & Tenon.

To get involved please contact

Our Collection

Our library has over 30,000 volumes addressing general interests as well as specialized collections on Maine and maker arts. Our collection is organized under the Dewey Decimal system for easy browsing.  Find a portion of our catalog on Library Thing.

First Fridays

We currently have an ongoing Open Call to local Maine authors that would like to share their work in the library during First Friday Art Walk. It’s typically done in a walk-in chat format where people can come by anytime between 5-8pm. We limit it to one author per month.  Drop us a note at for more information and application process.


July 6: Michelle Cacho-Negrette –  Stealing: Life in America

August 3: Paul St.Cyr –  Innocent Pride and Aftermath

September 7: Available for booking.
October 5:  Jane SlovenTermination of Benefits

Library Hours

10:00-3:00 Tuesday – Thursday, 4:00-7:00 Friday, and 10:00-1:00 Saturday

Book Club

The Mechanics Book Club meets 12pm-1pm on the first Tuesday of every month.

Current Book Club Schedule:

July 3: Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder

Recent Aquisitions

We have recently acquired a large collection of architecture books. Come in and see what have during library hours or call us at (207) 773-8396 for more information.

We also have new subscriptions to three Maine maker periodicals that are available for check-out to members: Mortise & Tenon, TapRoot, and Making Magazine.


Pat Larrabee

Feel free to reach out to Pat with any questions about the library.

Want free access to the library?

Become a Member