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.

Are you stuck at home? Would you like to learn some tips to prepare healthy foods on a limited budget? Come to a virtual workshop taught by a trained nutrition professional!

This FREE 4-class online series offers skills to shop, cook, and eat healthy foods while staying within your food budget. Includes recipe demonstrations, budgeting activities, and time for questions throughout these fun and interactive sessions.

When? Thursdays at 9:30 am or 1:30 pm
Dates? September 3, September 10, September 17, September 24
Where? Zoom! Link provided upon registration.

Registration is necessary.
Call Greta: (207) 564-3350 or email: thompsonfreelibrary@gmail.com

**All participants will receive gifts for participating in each class along with a colorful cookbook with 24 healthy, low-cost recipes and nutrition tips.

Kevin Johnson, photo archivist for the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine will present “Dover-Foxcroft: The Postcard View; Selections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company” live via Zoom at 6 pm on Thursday, August 20 as part of the Thompson Free Library’s Maine Bicentennial Speaker Series. The slide show and talk will consist of the story of the postcard company as well as the historical views of Dover-Foxcroft as well as Milo.

This event is free and open to the public. To participate, join the Zoom meeting online at: https://networkmaine.zoom.us/j/87901260181 (Meeting ID: 879 0126 0181) You can also dial in by phone at: 1-646-876-9923.

The Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company was founded in 1909 in Belfast, Maine by Rudolph Herman Cassens. Cassens’ goal was to photograph small towns and rural areas from Maine to California, producing “real photo” postcards that would be valued for promoting tourism. Cassens did not fulfill his dream of photographing the entire country, but his company did produce over 50,000 glass plate negatives of New England and Upstate New York between 1909 and 1947. The collection is full of historic businesses, family homes and local landmarks.

Main Street, Dover-Foxcroft

The images are fascinating on many levels. They take viewers back in time to when the roads were still dirt, horse drawn carriages outnumbered cars, coastlines were undeveloped, and elms lined the streets. The collection is now part of the archives of the Penobscot Marine Museum and continues to grow as more negatives that “escaped” from the collection are located and acquired. The collection is being digitized and more than 100,0000 thousand images can now be viewed on the museum’s website in their online database www.PenobscotMarineMuseum.org.

The collection was featured in Maine On Glass, authored by Earle Shettleworth, William H. Bunting and Kevin Johnson and published by Tilbury House in 2016. A documentary film, the Northeast By Easternwas made by Wiscasset filmmaker Sumner McKane, also in 2016.

Kim Brawn, Thompson Free Library

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” Many of us are familiar with philosopher Edmund Burke’s quote (or variations/paraphrases thereof). But Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano has a more colloquial twist: “History never really says goodbye. History says, ‘See you later.’”

This August, Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft takes us back in time to explore a monumental societal shift, local landmarks and landscapes, and brings awareness to our history-making present. Also on tap, a wide variety of activities and programs to expand the mind and move the body.

If you like your discussions deep, don’t miss TFL’s Philosophy Circle Friday, August 7 at 3:30 p.m. and Friday, August 21 at 3:30 p.m. Both sessions will be online—and (hopefully) invigorating.

It’s hard to disentangle the past from the present. Current events and history are intertwined. Exploring the past can give today at least some context and understanding. The three-part Maine Humanities Council Summer Discussion Project, “From DC to Dover-Foxcroft: The Long Road to Women’s Suffrage” will focus on important but lesser known chapters in the history of suffrage, addressing themes of power, inequality, and resilience through readings and film clips. TFL, D-F Historical Society, and facilitator Cindy Freeman Cyr have teamed up to bring you this free online program via Zoom. This group will meet Tuesdays, 5:30-7 p.m. on August 11, 25, and September 8. (To register, please contact TFL.)

Did you realize that Tai Chi combines concentration with slow, gentle, continuous movement to improve balance, strength, coordination, and a general sense of well-being? Join us outdoors at TFL on Wednesday, August 12 at 1:30 p.m. (rain date: August 19 at 1:30) for Tai Chi 101 as certified instructor Lilian Mahan guides us through breathing exercises, meditation, and basic Sun and Yang style forms. Participants should be independently mobile, wear face coverings, and will be asked to sign a liability form. No prior experience is needed.

Thursday, August 13 at 4 p.m. The Maine Community Archives Collaborative will host a statewide public Zoom event, All in This Together: Preserving Maine’s COVID-19 Memories to share information about our libraries’ COVID-19 collecting projects and answer questions from community members. It’s a great way to see items that have been collected and learn how to contribute. (For the Zoom link, visit: https://mainestatelibrary.omeka.net)

At 6 p.m. on August 13, TFL’s Reading Group will meet online to talk about The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau. Imagine yourself climbing up the “cloud factory” (a.k.a. Katahdin) in 1846. New members are welcome, contact the library for the Zoom link and a copy of the book. TFL’s Teen Book Club will meet outside at 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 20. Come prepared to discuss a book you’ve recently read. (Participation counts towards FA’s reading requirement; rain date is August 21 at 3).

In celebration of Maine’s Bicentennial, Penobscot Marine Museum photo archivist Kevin Johnson hosts an online interactive presentation on the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 20. He will share photographs from Dover-Foxcroft (& some nearby towns) and ask the audience to share their stories and insights about the local scenes, filling in details about these distinctive images.

We have extended the deadline for our TFL Community Zine. Submissions (via email or snail mail) are due by Friday, August 28 so channel your creativity and send us art, short stories, photos, reviews, poetry, etc. that reflect or reveal your passion.

Summer reading continues until Monday, August 31. This year’s program is a virtual challenge using the website Beanstack and it’s open to all ages. If you are a participant and have earned an award (ice cream or farmer’s market), please stop by the library and pick up your coupon.

Have fun family adventures across from SeDoMoCha and at The Law Farm where story walks are still up (through August 31) and waiting to be read and enjoyed as you stroll through nature.

We’re all in this together. The pandemic’s impact on each person is different. The peaks, surges, plateaus, and declines vary. But all over the planet we are living and breathing this unfolding experience. The shopkeeper where I worked before COVID hit was fond of saying, “Everyone has a story.” Now we each have a unique treasure trove of them worth telling. No matter how big or small, mundane or tragic, direct or indirect. Future historians will appreciate it.

Balancing opening the library with keeping everyone as safe as possible is a challenge. Thank you to all our patrons and visitors for their cooperation, patience, understanding, and sense of humor. Quite honestly, we never thought we’d be asking people to spritz with hand sanitizer made at a Maine distillery known for their gin as they step into the library…but here we are. SYL.

TFL is open—with special COVID-19 precautions—Tues.-Fri. 9-5. Curbside service is also available during those hours. For more info (including how to participate in virtual programs), visit our website (https://www.thompson.lib.me.us), Facebook page, or contact us at thompsonfreelibrary@gmail.com, 207/564-3350, or 186 E. Main St. Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426. WiFi is available 24/7 in the TFL parking lot. Find us on Instagram @tf_library.

Join us OUTDOORS on *Wednesday, August 19 at 1:30 p.m.* as certified tai chi instructor Lilian Mahan guides us through breathing exercises & meditation, gentle warm up & cool down exercises along with basic Sun & Yang style tai chi forms.

Tai chi has been shown to be effective in promoting health, fitness, and relaxation. (And, it’s fun & can be practiced almost anywhere!)

Participants in this class should be independently mobile, consult their doctor beforehand if concerned, & will be asked to sign a liability form. Please bring a mask since tai chi involves stepping & movement & distance between participants may vary.

Join us Wednesday, August 12 at 1:30 pm for Tai Chi 101

Prior to becoming certified through Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi Institute for Health, Lilian was a teacher, respiratory therapist, and medical department manager at EMMC. She holds a Master of Public Health from Loma Linda University.