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Camden Conference @ the Library

We partner each year with the Camden Conference to bring a series of original programs to our community in anticipation of the annual conference held in February. Three esteemed speakers will deliver virtual talks related to the 2021 Camden Conference theme, The Geopolitics of the Arctic: A Region in Peril.

2021 Camden Conference poster

Thanks to the Camden Conference, all three Scarborough Public Library virtual talks are free and open to the public. 

In the interest of health and safety, the 2021 Conference will be professionally produced and livestreamed from the familiar Camden Opera House stage in a high-quality format to those who have subscribed. Please visit the Camden Conference website for details and Conference pricing.

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When: January 12, January 27, and February 3 at 6:30pm
Where: Online via Zoom (register for specific event to receive link)

January 12, 2021, 6:30pm via Zoom - Peter Ralston: Arctic Observations of Climate Change: Photographs of the Northwest Passage and Greenland

An illustrated talk by Peter Ralston, renowned photographer, co-founder of the Island Institute, and owner of Ralston Gallery, Rockport, ME. Featuring photographs and stories from the west coast of Greenland and the Northwest Passage, Ralston will share observations of climate change. Ralston grew up in Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania. He worked for a decade as a freelance photojournalist and in 1978 began photographing the coast of Maine after being drawn especially to the working communities that define the coast’s enduring character. Ralston’s work has been exhibited in galleries, collections, and museums throughout the United States and abroad. It is frequently featured on network television and graces the pages of books and magazines.

January 27, 2021, 6:30pm via Zoom - Susan Kaplan: Enduring Connections: Maine, the Arctic, and the Edge of the North Atlantic

An illustrated lecture by Susan Kaplan, Professor of Anthropology & Director of Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center at Bowdoin College. The northern North Atlantic is one of the most challenging environments in which to make a living; yet people have thrived here for thousands of years. An Arctic anthropologist and archaeologist, Kaplan studies prehistoric and historic Inuit cultures, the history of Arctic exploration, and material culture. She is particularly interested in Inuit responses to environmental change and contact with Western cultures. She has conducted fieldwork in northern Labrador (Nunatsiavut), Canada, for over 35 years, and archaeological, archival, and museological projects have taken her to Alaska, northeastern Ellesmere Island, and Newfoundland as well.

February 3, 2021, 6:30pm via Zoom - Matt Ward: China & the Arctic

Matt Ward, retired Foreign Service Officer and Scarborough resident, discusses China’s specific interests in the Arctic beginning with China’s ratification of the Svalbard Treaty in 1925 up to its current  scientific research, trade, and shipping routes. His thirty-year diplomatic career focused on East Asia and trade and development issues.  Matt served in China (including Taiwan), Cambodia, Haiti, Iran, Luxembourg, Myanmar, Sudan Thailand and Vietnam.  He pioneered the refugee processing system for “boat people” arriving on the shores of Indonesia and Singapore. Ward’s expertise earned him a position in both the Bush and Clinton administrations, where he served as Director for European Economies in Transition. This office oversaw trade relations with the new nation-states that manifested after the dissolution of the former Soviet Union.

For additional information about the three virtual programs co-hosted by the Scarborough Public Library, email Lucy Norvell, Coordinator of Programming and Communications at ljnorvell [at]