Join TFL and the Commons at Central Hall for a World in Your Library program sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council. On Thursday, November 17 at 6 pm Meadow Dibble, of the Atlantic Black Box Project, will present “The Diseased Ship: New England Sea Captains and the Slave Trade.”

This dramatic story features a prominent Yankee sea captain, a tragedy on the high seas, a viral outbreak, a major political cover up, and a conspiracy of silence that has lasted two centuries surrounding New England’s involvement in the slave trade.

Following these historical threads into the present day allows us to consider the ways in which our region’s repressed history of complicity with the business of slavery relates to our current national conversations about race, privilege, identity, and access to the “American dream.”

To participate, join the Zoom meeting at: http://networkmaine.zoom.us/j/88900654148 or watch live on Facebook: facebook.com/centralhallcommons

Sponsored by the Maine Humanities Council

By Kim Brawn, Thompson Free Library

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust, French Novelist

Thanksgiving is close. Quickly followed by that well-lit, well-worn path toward the winter holidays that now seems dimmer and less recognizable. As we downsize our gatherings, hunker down, ride it out, and nest, a little gratitude for simple things goes a long way. Thompson Free Library has a variety of offerings this November to make the days a little brighter, to shift your focus, and engage your mind.

Timing is everything. No matter the topic, there are sure to be interesting exchanges at TFL’s Philosophy Circle on Friday, Nov. 6 at 3:30 p.m. Undoubtedly, there will be some post-election philosophical ponderings during this online session via Zoom. Bring your curiosity, an open mind, and a desire to dig deeper into topics — in a civilized fashion, of course.

TFL’s Reading Group discusses “The Beekeeper of Aleppo” by Christy Lefteri online via Zoom on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. Publishers Weekly describes it as “the haunting and resonant story of Syrian war refugees undertaking a treacherous journey to possible safety” that readers will find “deeply affecting.” Prior attendance is not necessary.

Our friends at Pine Tree Hospice continue their supportive and thoughtful Caregiver and Bereavement Book Club on Thursday, Nov. 17 from 9:30-11 a.m. at the Congregational Church in Dover-Foxcroft. “The Optimist’s Daughter,” a Pulitzer prize-winning novel by Eudora Welty, is this month’s selection. In-person attendance is limited to eight but via Zoom it’s unlimited.  To register, call 207-802-8078 or email info@pintreehospice.org; books are available at TFL.

Travel back to another tumultuous time with speaker Meadow Dibble, director of Atlantic Black Box, as The Maine Humanities Council’s World in Your Library presents “The Diseased Ship: New England Sea Captains and the Slave Trade” on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. Meadow recounts the dramatic story of a prominent Yankee sea captain, a tragedy on the high seas, a viral outbreak, a major political cover-up and a conspiracy of silence that has lasted two centuries surrounding New England’s involvement in the slave trade. The program raises issues that connect to current national conversations. “This online program will be held via Zoom and we will also be working with the Commons [at Central Hall] who will host it live on their Facebook page for those who don’t use Zoom,” said TFL’s Michelle Fagan.

Here’s a great idea: slow down, take a deep breath and join TFL in taking part in the Beanstack #ReadGrateful challenge. It’s a wonderful way for all ages to share an attitude of gratitude with those around you by starting with some gratitude-themed books (e.g., “The Thank You Book” by Mo Willems, “We May Have Enough to Share” by Richard Van Camp, “Gratitude” by Oliver Sacks, & “Wisdom of Sundays” by Oprah Winfrey.) Those who finish the challenge — 11 reading hours total — will have the chance to win a cool new journal and journaling accessories. Visit https://thompson.beanstack.org/reader365 to join or stop by the library to pick up your tracking papers.

A reminder that all Mainers have access to an incredible online resource called the Digital Maine Library. Access multi-subject databases, magazines, and academic journals. Browse the expansive collection of topics including auto repair (ChiltonLibrary), health information (MedLine Plus), reading recommendations (NovelList), Culinary Arts, and Criminal Justice, to name a few. Students, teachers, job seekers, researchers, hobbyists — almost anyone — can benefit from this one-stop digital learning tool. The A-Z index is a good way to start exploring (fyi: for now, access Ancestry.com’s library edition from home due to the pandemic).

Don’t be caught without a good book, a hunker-down essential. TFL patrons can take advantage of the cloudLibrary, a fantastic app for reading or listening to books. See our website for more details or download the cloudLibrary App at the App Store or Google Play (if you have questions, contact TFL). It’s perfect for when the library’s closed. Which is my cue to let you know that TFL will be closed on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11 and for Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 26 and Friday, Nov. 27.

This year, may you notice and be thankful for the simple things. We are grateful for a bouquet of gorgeous (and hardy!) violet carnations — a recent unexpected kindness from a grateful patron. Last week a woman said to me, “Thank you for keeping us safe,” as she left the library and it felt surprisingly good to hear. Gratitude can cheer up any gloomy forecast. The sun may not come out tomorrow, but you can bet your bottom dollar, it will show up eventually. You’re welcome for that Annie earworm.

The Thompson Free Library is open with special COVID-19 precautions, Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Curbside service is also available during business hours. Wi-Fi is available 24/7 in the TFL parking lot. Find us on Instagram @tf_library.

The Thompson Free Library is seeking a part-time (25 hours per week) Cataloging Technician to join our friendly, collaborative team. This position will require some evening and weekend hours. Starting pay rate is $13.00 per hour. Benefits include vacation days, sick leave, and holiday pay. The successful candidate will be cooperative, self-motivated, detail-oriented, and comfortable with technology. Thompson Free Library is part of the Maine Balsam Libraries Consortium, which uses open-source Evergreen software as its shared integrated library system.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Creates access to library resources through copy cataloging and classification: imports bibliographic records, evaluates records for quality, attaches holdings information, assigns subject headings and call numbers.
  • Processes new materials for use by patrons; repairs damaged library materials; performs additional collection maintenance activities as needed.
  • Works with other Thompson Free Library staff to serve library patrons; provides circulation, reference, readers’ advisory, and technology assistance.
  • Engages in professional development; participates in discussions within the Thompson Free Library and Maine Balsam Libraries Consortium about improving library services and cataloging standards/best practices.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; approachable and responsive to patrons’ needs.
  • Highly competent with technology; adaptable to new systems and applications.
  • Motivated to train for and fill multiple roles within the library.
  • Accurate and efficient, with great attention to detail.
  • Flexible and organized; capable of managing multiple projects and priorities.
  • Eager to help improve the library catalog and cataloging processes. 
  • Committed to serving the community.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Previous library work experience; familiarity with library catalogs and integrated library systems.
  • General knowledge of bibliographic records (i.e. MARC, RDA) and Dewey Decimal Classification.

Thompson Free Library is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for professional references to Thompson Free Library: thompsonfreelibrary@gmail.com or 186 East Main St, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426.

Liam Riordan presents: “Commemorating Maine Statehood” on Oct 29 at 6 pm

Thompson Free Library and the East Sangerville Grange will host Liam Riordan, Professor of History at the University of Maine, live via Zoom on Thursday, October 29 at 6 pm for “Commemorating Maine Statehood: What Can We Learn from the Bicentennial?”

This event is free and open to the public. To participate, join the Zoom meeting online at:  https://networkmaine.zoom.us/j/82866765250 You can also dial in by phone at: 1-646-876-9923 with Meeting ID: 828 6676 5250

This illustrated presentation and discussion explores the statehood process in Maine that culminated in 1820 with formal separation from Massachusetts. That struggle engaged a range of challenging public issues that are still recognizable today. Commemorating statehood can help us to better understand:

  • the explosive place of slavery vis-a-vis the Maine-Missouri Crisis
  • the uncertain location of the international border and regional diversity
  • sharp partisan conflict and the “two Maines”
  • Wabanaki sovereignty

Dr. Riordan received his Ph.D. in history at the University of Pennsylvania and has been a faculty member at UMaine Orono since 1997. He is a specialist on the American Revolution with a current research emphasis on Loyalists, those who opposed the Patriot movement. He has also done extensive research and community engagement work about the Maine statehood era and its bicentennial commemoration. He helps to organize National History Day in Maine, the statewide affiliate of a national research program for grade 6-12 students.

For online state bicentennial resources, please visit: https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/me200/

Thompson Free Library’s Maine Bicentennial Speaker Series is supported by a Maine Bicentennial Community Grant and will explore topics and perspectives sometimes overlooked in traditional narratives of our state’s history.

Kim Brawn, Thompson Free Library

Remember to put your oxygen mask on first before trying to help anyone else. That’s what flight attendants always tell us to do in case of an in-flight emergency. But don’t wait for an emergency to start practicing self-care. Taking care of yourself, especially during the pandemic, is more important than ever for physical and mental health. Reading a book or participating in an online program are simple ways to take time for yourself. This October, visit the Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft in person (with special COVID-19 precautions) and attend engaging live events via Zoom.

To get the most out of your TFL membership be sure to set up your online account through our website. It’s a great way to keep track of what materials you have out, renew them, and put items on hold. Browse the online catalog to find books to read next. If you need help setting up an account, contact the library and we can help.

TFL’s Philosophy Circle meets online via Zoom on Friday, Oct. 2 at 3:30 p.m. for a lively discussion that delves into deeper topics and age-old questions that are still-relevant in today’s turbulent times. Prior attendance is not necessary but an open, curious mind and a willingness to listen and contribute are welcome. 

Celebrated and influential poet and Maine resident Richard Blanco’s “The Prince of Los Cocuyos” is the subject of the TFL Reading Group’s next meeting via Zoom on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. Blanco shares his experiences growing up in Miami as the gay son of Cuban immigrants. Kirkus reviews calls it a “warm, emotionally intimate memoir” (contact the library for a copy).

TFL’s Movie Club meets on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. online via Zoom to discuss Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom,” a 2012 coming-of-age comedy-drama set in 1965 on an island off the coast of New England where 12-year-olds Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) have fallen in love and decide to run away. The film, which has been called charming, whimsical and poignant, is filled with quirky characters played by Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton. The DVD is available at the library (or contact us for more ways to watch). 

Voices from Home presents an Online Story Slam on Friday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. The theme is “Rise.” Maya Angelou’s iconic poem “And Still I Rise” leapt to mind for me but there are so many directions to take that one word. When did you rise to the occasion/challenge or rise up against injustice however large or small? Rosa Parks took a stand by taking a seat. Will we come out of 2020 like a phoenix rising from the ashes? Maybe simply rising out of bed is a major accomplishment on bad days. Practice a 4- to 8-minute true story to share. Or come and listen and see what rises up in you. 

The Maine Bicentennial Speaker Series continues Thursday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. with UMaine history professor Liam Riordan’s “Commemorating Maine Statehood: What can we learn from the Bicentennial?” This illustrated presentation and discussion explores the statehood process in Maine that culminated in 1820 with formal separation from Massachusetts. Learn about sharp partisan conflict and the “two Maines,” as well as Wabanaki sovereignty, among other topics. 

Michelle Fagan, TFL’s youth services librarian, reminds parents and teachers to learn more about the text sets available at the library. A text set is a collection of related texts organized around a unique topic, theme, concept, or idea (such as dinosaurs; friendship & kindness; art; fairy tales, folk tales, tall tales; autumn & winter; ocean; nature; poetry; spring & summer; friendship & kindness; geography). Michelle hand-picked each book. Text sets can be checked out just like books. 

“With 24 hours or more notice we can also bundle together books on a topic or theme of your choice for you to pick up. We can also order from other libraries but please give as much notice as you can. Planning ahead — especially now — is a good thing,” Michelle says. 

“Remember to take advantage of our parent and teacher section with helpful books on behavior, education, and more,” Michelle adds, “And don’t forget we’re still offering take home crafts for kids so keep looking for those during library visits.”

Speaking of visits, please put your mask on first and come see us in person Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., with special precautions in place. We want to keep everyone as safe as possible while still sharing the library’s incredible collection and services. Make TFL a fun stop on your errand route. Books are definitely a basic supply and reading is the best self-care out there. 

Curbside service is also available during business hours. For more information (including Zoom links to our free virtual public programs), visit our website, Facebook page or contact us at thompsonfreelibrary@gmail.com or 207-564-3350. WiFi is available 24/7 in the TFL parking lot. Find us on Instagram @tf_library.