Library Clerk

The Thompson Free Library is seeking a part-time (15 hours per week) Library Clerk to join our friendly, collaborative team.  This position will require some evening and weekend hours. Starting pay rate is $14.00 per hour. Benefits include vacation days, sick leave, and holiday pay. The successful candidate will be service-oriented, cooperative, self-motivated, and comfortable with technology.

Core Responsibilities:

Works with other TFL staff to serve library patrons by:

-providing circulation, reference, readers’ advisory, and technology assistance

-reshelving, shelf-reading, and weeding of books and other materials

-working on long- and short-term projects to improve services for our patrons

Required Qualifications:

-Ability to work effectively both independently and collaboratively

-Previous customer service experience

-Committed to serving the community

-Excellent interpersonal and communication skills; approachable and responsive to patrons’ needs

-Highly competent with technology; adaptable to new and changing systems and applications

-Motivated to learn about and fill multiple roles within the library

-Flexible and organized; capable of managing multiple projects and priorities

-Eager to help improve the library’s processes with a commitment to constant improvement

Preferred Qualifications:

-Previous library work experience and familiarity with library catalogs and integrated library systems.

-Previous experience working for a public-facing non-profit.

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.

by Kim Brawn

Technology is a form of progress and a double-edged sword, a perpetual one step forward, two steps back. For all that we can do with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop — for all the convenience, information, and connectedness it gives us — it has created inequities and incredible challenges, like the ability to spread misinformation at startling speed.

Those of us at the Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft do our best every month to level that playing field by offering free public access computers and Wi-Fi. Printing, copying, faxing, and scanning services are also available. Our website features many great resources including a Wakelet collection that Librarian Michelle Fagan compiled early in the pandemic, to help recognize and combat misinformation. Sinan Aral’s (MIT data scientist and entrepreneur) Ted Talk is especially eye-opening, leaving the audience with this powerful warning: “We have to be vigilant in defending the truth against misinformation … with our individual responsibilities, decisions, behaviors and actions.”

Progress is generally forward moving and takes many forms which makes it an engaging topic for TFL’s Philosophy Circle on Friday, Oct. 1 at 3:30 p.m. under the tent. Library Director Jon Knepp says the focus will be on, “What actually is progress? How do we measure it? What is its end goal? I thought it might be a good way to tie some of our other discussions together.”

Time to trade in your Thinker pose for the ultimate in head banger moves! Heavy metal fans — and those who dare to explore – are invited to “Exit Light: Metallica’s Black Album at 30” with author Ben Apatoff online via Zoom on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. Apatoff will discuss his new book “Metallica: The $24.95 Book” (a playful nod to The $5.98 Metallica EP!).

Metal Life calls it, “an incredibly well written history of the band, told in chapters dedicated to each album, each band member and influences. Each chapter tells a story instead of just rehashing dates and events like a calendar … this book allows you, fan or not, to understand and appreciate who Metallica is and more importantly, WHAT Metallica is.” While working on his book during the pandemic, Apatoff found comfort and inspiration in watching the Metallica Mondays shows (concerts the band released on YouTube), “It kept me grounded and helped me.” Contact TFL for the Zoom link or find it in our Facebook event.

A sharp turn finds us back under the tent on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. for TFL’s Reading Group. This month’s featured selection is “Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero” by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory. From Kirkus Reviews: “The chilling account of how the two (Hingson and his guide dog Roselle) worked in tandem to safely descend 78 stories and 1,463 steps, while simultaneously helping others remain calm is truly-awe-inspiring. . . a tragic, inspirational and enlightening memoir.” Copies available at TFL.

Switching gears again, let’s have some ghostly and bewitching fall fun as TFL Under the Tent presents a classic movie about getting slimed and chasing paranormal entities with Bill, Dan, Harold, and Ernie on Friday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m.

Next up: what if The Rose, Carrie Bradshaw, and Sister Mary Patrick made a Halloween-themed movie together? Abracadabra, they did! And you can watch it on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. under the tent. Both films are free, open to the public, and family friendly. Michelle told me, “There will be snacks” (possibly hot cocoa). Be sure to check the forecast and dress accordingly. We do have blankets though.

Random acts of kindness are awesome but let’s start an intentional acts of kindness movement with the focus on what we can do to keep each other safe and healthy while recognizing each other’s humanity. Please get vaccinated, mask up where required and when recommended, and be mindful of others. Many of us who work with the public have been thrust into an unenviable yet necessary public health role during the pandemic. Thank you to our patrons and visitors — the vast majority of whom follow our protocols and policies and appreciate us (and don’t even get mad when we remind them to put their mask over their nose!).

TFL is open to the public Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We currently require masks indoors. For info on events, visit our website (https://www.thompson.lib.me.us), Facebook page, or contact us at thompsonfreelibrary@gmail.com or 207-564-3350. Find us on Instagram @tf_library.

By Kim Brawn

In the before times, uncertainty seemed at arm’s length. Today it’s breathing down our necks. Sometimes it feels like we’ve been dropped into one of those dystopian YA novels my colleague Michelle talks about. Whether you’re completely overwhelmed or just dealing with life’s routine frustrations, finding a little comfort can make a big difference. The Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft can be a balm for these trying days, a comfortable place — inside and out — with something for (almost) everyone.

Let’s start with some quirky comfort. TFL’s own Tom Lyford will host “UFOLOGY MYTHOLOGY” on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. under the tent. Tom describes it as “an unusual evening of music, subculture, misinformation, and quirky fun.” Learn about the day UFOs disabled nukes at a Montana AFB in 1967, find UFOs in famous biblical art, debunk conspiracy theories, and hear eyewitness testimony!

After discussing the fate of the planet, take comfort in the multi-instrumental musical stylings of Hunt and Allison Smith at their outdoor concert on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 2 p.m. The talented duo will play traditional tunes, sing songs, tell stories, and keep your toes tapping. TFL’s Director Jon Knepp heard them at Scoopstock at the UU Church in Sangerville, “They played a waltz, a jig, some bluegrass, some original music, at one point Allison played spoons while Hunt was on a fiddle he crafted himself. I don’t think my description even scratches the surface of what they can do, they’re really impressive!”

Listening to a podcast is a great way to take your mind off things. Join us for “Podcasts 101” on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 1:30 p.m. under the tent. Tom Lyford, TFL’s resident podcaster, introduces us to an incredible realm of digital entertainment. Whatever your interest, there’s a podcast. He’ll play samples from his own Boomer Monologues as well as other cool clips, explain how to access them, and maybe inspire you to create your own!

TFL’s Reading Group meets at 6 p.m. on the 9th to discuss “Mill Town” by Kerri Arsenault who grew up in Mexico, Maine, where for over a century the community revolved around a paper mill that provided jobs for nearly everyone in town, including three generations of her family. The Maine Edge’s Alan Adams raves, “For stretches, it is pure memoir — and first-rate memoir at that … In other places, the book is a compelling and taut work of industrial investigation [and] Arsenault is meticulous in her research. Mill Town is haunting and heartbreaking, charming and funny … and utterly exceptional (copies are available at TFL).

If your kids are budding meteorologists or just interested in weather phenomena, they’ll want to attend the National Weather Service’s online event Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. NWS in Caribou hosts this introductory program on weather, science, and the job of a meteorologist. Contact TFL on how to watch.

Quilts, known to provide physical and emotional comfort, take center stage on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. under the tent. Laureen LaBar, Maine State Museum curator, presents “Maine Quilts: 250 Years of Comfort and Community” which is based on her book by the same name. She will explore the rich history of quilting in Maine, from the colonial era to the present day. Every quilt tells a story, even shining a light on lesser-known aspects of Maine history.

Adults get their own online weather program on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. NWS in Caribou highlights regional weather patterns and provides information on weather forecasting, including watches, warnings, and alerts — what they mean and how they decide which one to use. Contact TFL on how to watch.

TFL is open to the public Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Due to current COVID conditions, we are now requiring masks indoors. For information on events, visit our website (https://www.thompson.lib.me.us), Facebook page, or contact us at thompsonfreelibrary@gmail.com or 207-564-3350. Find us on Instagram @tf_library.

by Kim Brawn

“Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.” Maybe Gene Wilder wasn’t specifically referring to libraries when he sang those lyrics in the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” but the description surely fits. Imagination is connected with creativity, learning, innovation — not to mention a far more colorful life. This August, the Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft promises to energize imaginations with programs, activities and books for all ages.

First up, some organized outdoor chaos. Those in grades 6-12 are invited to participate in the “Messy Mayhem Games” on Thursday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. Word on the street is that chocolate syrup, shaving cream, and other messy favorites will be involved, so dress to be a mess!

Switching gears, TFL’s Philosophy Circle continues with their education theme on Friday, Aug. 6 at 3:30 p.m. under the tent. If you are a current or former educator, please join the group and share your thoughts on educational philosophy.

“The Guest Room” by Chris Bohjalian combines an explosive premise, a timely social topic, and fast-paced storytelling and is the subject of TFL’s Reading Group on Thursday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. under the tent. Copies are available at the library.

A worthy cause (Milo PAWS–Penquis Animal Welfare Shelter) is counting on you to read to your imagination’s content during the Read-A-Thon on Wednesday, Aug. 18 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. under the tent. There will be pizza, ice cream, and prizes. April and Erma will stop by with cotton candy. Open to all ages. Pick up your pledge sheet at the library!

Dexter’s popular Harold J. Crosby Community Band will put us in a marching mood with their rousing music on Thursday, Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. outdoors at TFL.

Never stop glowing! TFL’s “Glow Party” is set for Saturday, Aug. 21 from 7:30-9 p.m. under the tent. On tap: games, science, art, even glow in the dark cotton candy from April & Erma. School Librarian Carolyn Clark will also announce the SeDoMoCha Summer Reading winners.

Mr. Drew and his Animals Too take center stage outside on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 10:30 a.m. He’ll bring a dozen cool creatures with him, including reptiles and insects. Drew rehabilitates exotic animals and does educational outreach.

Fascinated by local history? Join us online via Zoom on Thursday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. as Northeast Historic Film presents vintage videos and photographs of Dover-Foxcroft and the surrounding area.

One of the best ways to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is to fire up their imaginations. And that’s just what the new STEM area at the library does. TFL’s STEM guide Alicia Millette has set up permanent shop next to Youth Services Librarian Michelle Fagan, across from the children’s section. There you’ll find a marble run game; OSMO, a fun learning system; Dash-A robot that teaches beginning coding; origami; and lots of supplies for various STEM activities. We also have larger STEM kits that can be checked out for two weeks. Themes are Maine Nature, Geology, All About Magnets, Animal Games and Snap Circuits. These kits include many great books, activities, and games families can enjoy.

Fantasy and sci-fi author Patricia McKillip wrote that “Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored.” With an impressive roster, TFL offers up the ultimate buffet to satisfy that glowing, golden-eyed monster. Summer days may sneak away, but imagination inspires us forever.

TFL is open to the public Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Masks are optional indoors for those vaccinated and strongly encouraged for those who are not. For information on events, visit our website (https://www.thompson.lib.me.us), Facebook page, or contact us at thompsonfreelibrary@gmail.com or 207-564-3350. Find us on Instagram @tf_library.