Explore Our College Library

The Thorndike Library got its start in 1972 when College of the Atlantic appointed its first library director and the first class of students was admitted. Over the next 11 years the library developed its collection in support of the school’s emerging human ecology program.  In a dedication ceremony on July 9, 1983, the Thorndike Library was named in honor of husband and wife Robert Amory (1900-1972) and Elizabeth (1908-1992) Thorndike in recognition of their support and contributions to the college.  Shortly thereafter, a fire destroyed the old Kaelber Hall in which the library was housed.
The college quickly decided to rebuild. Residents and businesses of Mount Desert Island generously gave their time and resources to help reconstruct. The town of Bar Harbor provided space for the library to temporarily relocate at a cost of $1 per year.  Book donations from libraries both local and nationwide provided the foundation for rebuilding the library collection. In 1988, the new ecologically designed Kaelber Hall opened, with Thorndike Library spanning the entire second level.  The Charles and Barbara Tyson Reading Room and the Robert and Ethel Blum Balcony were named to recognize the generosity of these individuals to the college and the reconstruction efforts. Today, Thorndike Library serves College of the Atlantic and the broader community by providing access to information resources, the COA archives, and audio-visual services.
  • College of the Atlantic community members, MDI residents, employees of affiliated organizations, and researchers are eligible to check out circulating materials.
  • Public computers are available for use in the library lobby.
  • Library users, including visitors, can obtain access to the internet from their personal laptops provided they have the most recent anti-virus software and operating system updates installed.
  • The library has several different machines that allow for printing, scanning and photocopying.
For more information, visit the Thorndike Library website.
2nd Floor of Kaelber Hall
105 Eden Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609
Term Hours:
Monday: 7:30 am – 11:00 pm
Tuesday: 7:30 am – 11:00 pm
Wednesday: 7:30 am – 11:00 pm
Thursday: 7:30 am – 11:00 pm
Friday: 7:30 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am – 12:00 am