September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

Kim Brawn, Thompson Free Library

September often feels bittersweet. The end of summer, back to school, seasons shifting. And this year, the intensity may leap from italics to bold. Nobody knows for sure. What I do know is that the Thompson Free Library (TFL) in Dover-Foxcroft hopes to make your September memories a little sweeter with an interesting mix of programs to entertain, engage and educate.

If you don’t have a library card, September is the perfect time to get one since it’s ALA Library Card Sign-up Month. AT TFL, SeDoMoCha and Foxcroft Academy students and educators can get free cards, as can Dover-Foxcroft residents. It’s $20/year for non-residents. What do Wonder Woman and a library card have in common? They both have superpowers! The DC Comic legend is the ALA’s sign-up ambassador and a great reminder how empowering and transformative libraries can be, especially during this global crisis. The card allows you to access ebooks and audiobooks online, place items on hold, use our interlibrary loan service, and check out materials from our expansive collection, including exciting new releases. Added bonus: we are fine-free!

Eating Better on a Budget (https://www.thompson.lib.me.us/eating-better-on-a-budget-sept-3-24/) returns each Thursday in September. This free 4-class online series offers skills to shop, cook and eat healthy foods while staying within your food budget. This virtual workshop, taught by nutrition professional Amanda Junkins, features recipe demonstration, budgeting activities, and time for questions throughout these fun, interactive sessions. You’ll even get a free cookbook! Two time slots will be offered for each class, choose what works best for you: 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. (Contact Greta at TFL to register and get the Zoom link).

Moving to cyberspace has not dampened the spirited discussions and contemplative conversations of TFL’s Philosophy Circle. They meet next on Friday, Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m. via Zoom. It’s like driving without a map or GPS, you never know where you’ll end up. 

It’s not too late to participate in the Women’s Suffrage Discussion Project. “The Movement in Maine” focuses on the book “Voting Down the Rose” (about Maine suffragist Florence Brooks Whitehouse) at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8. Then on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 5:30 p.m. “Bringing it Home” takes a look at the local suffrage movement. 

“Mary Annis of the D-F Historical Society has done amazing research and compiled it for us,” said TFL Director Greta Schroeder. To get readings & Zoom link, please contact Greta at TFL.

TFL’s own Tom Lyford is the perfect sentimental journey tour guide. Join us online for “Bittersweet Glimpses 101: A Tom’s of Maine Scrapbook” at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10 via Zoom. Travel back through time with Tom as he shares some of his still-vivid Maine memories. “Don’t be surprised if yours come tip-toeing back too,” Tom said.

Movie Club (via Zoom) premieres Thursday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. Since we are currently unable to show films at the library, you can watch the selected movie at home (stream it or rent the DVD from the library or elsewhere), then grab some popcorn or other tasty snack for a fun online get together to talk about the movie. First up, “What We Did On Our Holiday” a 2014 British comedy-drama that’s funny, touching and bittersweet with a terrific cast including David Tennant, Rosamund Pike, Billy Connolly and some wonderful young actors. Contact TFL to reserve the DVD or find out how to stream online.

Ever-inventive, youth services Librarian Michelle Fagan, is bringing back Legos and Art Time — now via Zoom — at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. “On art weeks, we will have supplies for people to pick up the Friday or Tuesday before,” Michelle explained. “And on Lego weeks, people will have to supply their own Legos.” If there is enough interest, it will become a recurring program. Stay tuned to Facebook for more announcements from Ms. Michelle. The schedule so far: Legos, Sept. 16 and 30; Art, Sept. 23 — remember to pick up your art supplies beforehand.

What you did over the summer? How was it different this year? How do you feel going into the new school year? Send in a photo or a few thoughts to the online Heart of Maine Community Stories archive project (https://heartofmaine.omeka.net). Imagine a future “Tom Lyford” sharing your stories and pictures from 2020 at some library program in 2050. 

Visiting the library, like most places, is a different experience than it used to be but you can still check out books and movies, use free Wi-Fi and computers and ask reference questions. We are finding new ways, like online programs, to help patrons learn and escape, be creative, have fun and connect. Libraries are rising to the challenge and meeting the moment, however bittersweet those moments may be. Stay safe and hopeful. 

TFL is open — with special COVID-19 precautions — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Curbside service is also available during those hours. For more information (including how to participate in our free virtual public programs), visit our website, Facebook page or contact us at thompsonfreelibrary@gmail.com or 207-564-3350. Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the parking lot. Find us on Instagram @tf_library.

Thompson Free Library is working to start our very own Community “Zine.”

What is a zine, you ask? A zine (pronounced “zeen” just like the end of the word magazine) is a homemade publication. Making a zine is all about self-expression and creativity, sharing thoughts, feelings, and creative passions through non-fiction writings, fan fiction, short stories, poetry, song writing, photography, comic or graphic novel strips, doodles, paintings, drawings, and more.

Zines can have an array of messages or topics, and ours will be shared in both neatly-bound and web- based presentations. Every zine we publish will begin with a creative prompt. Our first go-round idea is this:

Are you an avid film-buff with a head full of endless lists of the film titles you can’t stop talking about? Are you the 5K racer or marathoner forever in training or competitions? Is it cats and kittens for you, or dogs and puppies that have forever captured your heart? Do you find yourself foraging through antique stores looking for unexpected treasures? Got grandchildren? What’s your favorite genre: sci-fi, horror, mysteries, or perhaps it is romantic comedies? You a Trekkie? Is it your dream to be a groupie or even a roadie for Lady Gaga or Fallout Boy? A chess player looking for your next checkmate/game-over thrill? A solitary hiker of the wooded wilderness? A Nascar nut, budding chef, gadget-guru, or the next Eric Clapton on guitar?

We’re taking passions here, and ‘Passions’ is the prompt for our first issue. We invite your creative submissions for publication.

Submissions for this first Zine will be due by 5 pm on August 28th, 2020.

And by the way, if you can think up a catchy name for our community zine (or a future topic that might be fun) please let us know!

Request and Rules:

The Thompson Free Library is looking for community members from the Maine Highlands Region to submit a piece/pieces of work (maximum of 3 pages) to be published in an inclusive, all-ages publication. Submitting hand-written writing is fine as long as it is legible, plus we’re requiring 1-inch margins so the physical zine can be bound.

If you are submitting art or photographs, we are asking for pictures or scans of the art, we do not want originals; we want you to keep those.

Again, please remember that this is an all-ages, inclusive publication, so we ask that language and content be kept appropriate for everyone. Hateful content of any kind will not be published, and we furthermore reserve the editorial right to select or dismiss submissions at our discretion.

Please send submissions by email to thompsonfreelibrary@gmail.com or by snail mail to 186 E. Main Street, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426.  If you have any questions, please email us or call us at 207-564-3350.

We can’t wait to do this project with our community members!

Since washing our hands is more important than ever, now is the perfect time to learn how to make soap. Join us Tuesday, June 16 at 1:30 pm for Soap Making 101.

Brooke Isham of Lomah Farmstead in Sangerville will teach us how to make beautiful, cold processed natural soap from ingredients that can be found locally, using simple equipment. She currently sells her soap online and at various Farmer’s Markets. She specializes in soaps that are free of synthetic fragrances & colorants.

Feel free to ask questions & share your own soap making tips!

This program is free & open to the public. To participate, join the Zoom meeting at: https://networkmaine.zoom.us/j/88370670600 (Meeting ID: 883 7067 0600). You can also dial in by phone at: 1-646-876-9923.

Enjoy the holidays at TFL!

At 6 pm on Friday, Dec. 6, Hometown Holidays kicks off with a special free showing of a brand-new Disney Christmas movie in the library’s downstairs meeting room. This charming take on a timeless tale features the wonderful Anna Kendrick (from Portland) as Santa’s daughter as well as Emmy winner Bill Hader and Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine. A fun time for the whole family with hot cocoa and cookies too.

The festive vibe continues on Saturday, Dec. 7 as TFL’s lead elf, Ms. Michelle, hosts ornament making from 9 am to noon. This Hometown Holidays program spotlights simple crafts aimed towards kids.

That same day from 9 am to 1 pm be sure to visit the Dover Cove Farmers Market downstairs. Support local farmers, get gift ideas, and stock up for all your holiday get-togethers. And don’t miss this year’s cookie walk. Super yum.

Ms. Michelle spreads even more holiday cheer with Christmas cookie decorating from 4-5 pm on Thursday, Dec. 19. You get to take home your own merry and bright (and tasty) treats.

The library elves want you to know that the Hallmark Channel isn’t your only refuge this holiday season. Our awesome holiday stash is on full display: an impressive lineup of new and classic DVDs and winter-themed books for all ages to keep you holly jolly and content. If you’ve lost your yuletide mojo, need some no-cost fun, or want to explore something a bit deeper, December at TFL will meet your expectations.

Holiday hours:

  • 9 am – 1 pm on Wednesday, Dec 24 & Tuesday, Dec 31
  • CLOSED on Wednesday, Dec 25 & Wednesday, Jan 1.

Sunflowers brighten the day and lighten the mood. The world needs more of that, so come to our Planting Sunflowers program on Thursday, May 30 at 3:30 pm. The seeds will grow in the library windows until they’re ready to plant and then you can take some home; the rest will be donated to the Sunflower Circle in the Children’s Garden at Law Farm. All ages are welcome.

Looking for another way to get involved? Submit your sunflower-themed artwork to Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District’s poster-making contest.