The newest issue of our quarterly newsletter is out! July’s edition details what we’ve been up to this spring and summer (it’s been a busy time!) Featured are: many, many programs, our wonderful new mural, story walks, Irma returning to the library, and more! Click here or on the picture to the right to read the latest issue

For anyone who missed the programs detailed in the newsletter, please check out our Youtube channel:

Thanks again to all of you for being part of what makes the library great.  We hope to see you again soon!

By Kim Brawn

“Things to do in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine for $500, Alex.”

July sizzles with fun activities and great programs at this family favorite where can you find your summer vibe, relax on vacation, and awaken your mind. 

“What is the Thompson Free Library?” That’s correct!

If you’ve wanted to see what TFL’s Philosophy Circle is like, come join other curious minds on Friday, July 2 at 3:30 p.m. under the tent. The topic is the Philosophy of Education. “I don’t know where the conversation is going to go, but I have readings from ancient Greece to the present,” says library director Jon Knepp.

Weeds can drive anyone crazy this time of year. We’ll try to tame these invasive beasts at “Weed Management 101” on Thursday, July 8 at 1:30 under the tent. Trisha Smith, from UMaine Cooperative Extension Piscataquis County, will lead an interactive discussion and share tools and techniques for minimizing their impact on garden harvests and landscape aesthetics. Bring questions & samples for identification and advice! 

TFL’s Reading Group convenes at 6 p.m. on July 8 under the tent to discuss Maine author Greg Brown’s debut novel, The Lowering Days. The acclaimed book is an emotionally powerful saga, set in 1980s Maine, that explores family love, the power of myths and storytelling, survival and environmental exploitation, and the ties between cultural identity and the land we live on. Kirkus Reviews calls it “a gripping tale. . . in Brown’s hands, the Penobscot region of the 1980s and 90s—with its eccentric cast of Vietnam veterans, hippy fugitives, gruff lobstermen, and Penobscot tribal members—comes wonderfully to life.” (Greg’s author talk from March is on YouTube—well-worth watching!)

Aye, matey! “Capture the Pirate Flag!” sails into TFL’s port on Friday, July 9 at 2 p.m. and is open to families with kids of all ages as we build cardboard pirate ships to hide our flags. Water will be the weapon of choice so please dress accordingly!

The beautiful music of the Highlands Classical Chamber Ensemble will echo through the evening of Thursday, July 15 starting at 6:30 under the tent and beyond as needed. The ensemble’s talented musicians: Margery Aumann, piano; Kathy Hunter, flute; Evelyn Marston, flute; Susan Ramsey, violin; Emelia Grant, violin; Evan Viera, piano; and Ruth Fogg, cello. The playlist may include Gershwin, Brahms, Vivaldi, & a Celtic Suite. (The concert is free & open to the public.)

Kids will love “Wet & Wild Water Play” on Wednesday, July 14 at 10:30 a.m. They’ll play water games and just have fun getting wet. (Aimed at elementary school age & younger.)

Chewonki’s “Scales & Tails” brings four live reptiles under the tent on Wednesday, July 21 at 10:30 a.m. The presentation, geared towards children, will cover the characteristics, adaptations, and ecology of these often-misunderstood creatures. 

Attention history buffs and amateur anthropologists: Maine State Museum director Bernard Fishman presents “A Story of Maine in 112 Objects” based on his book of the same name on Thursday, July 22 at 6 p.m. The museum selected and photographed 112 artifacts and specimens that, together, tell a sweeping story of the land and its people from prehistoric times to the present. Mammoth tusks, Norse coins, and Joshua Chamberlain’s pistol are just a sampling of the objects included. 

Wind down with a good book and get school credit. TFL’s Teen Book Club meets Friday, July 23 at 2 p.m. Come share your thoughts about any book you’ve read. (This program can be used for FA’s reading requirement provided FA rules are followed.)

After a long hiatus, “Family Game Night” returns Tuesday, July 27 at 6 p.m. Play ring toss, ladder ball, and more on the library lawn. Tables will be set up for board games under the tent. Ms. Michelle is planning some yummy special snacks too!

Quick reminder: plan a fun family outing to explore the Story Walks at Law Farm and Sedomocha Dot Warren Nature Trail. 

Finally, get ready for an in-person under the tent “Voices from Home Story Slam” on Friday, July 30 at 6 p.m. with the theme “Encounters.” Perhaps a close encounter, a chance encounter, recurring, positive, or negative. Patti Smith once said, “It was an unexpected encounter that slowly altered the course of my life.” Have you encountered a person, place, or thing that made your inner compass do a 180? Maybe your encounters have not always been of the earthly kind. Share your 4–8-minute true story in a welcoming, supportive environment. (This event is for teens & adults.)

TFL’s July lineup—and an incredible collection of books & more—will help create the best summer vibes and memorable experiences for all ages. 

TFL is open to the public Tues.-Fri. 9-5 & Sat. 9-1. Masks are optional indoors for those vaccinated and encouraged for those who are not. 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.

Summer reading has begun! Use the Beanstack app or come into the library to pick a tracking calendar or bingo sheet for teens and adults. Read books, come to programs, and get prizes! At the end of the summer people who completed the program will get put in for a fun drawing.

May be an illustration

By Kim Brawn, Thompson Free Library

Our goal this June at the Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft is to eliminate the words “I’m bored” from your vocabulary. Yes, we can deliver the goods.

Out of the gates, summer reading sign up begins Tuesday, June 1. Open enrollment continues until the end of June and the program runs until Aug. 31. Use the Beanstack App or keep track on paper. The first 25 kids who sign up (app or paper) will get a special logbook to track their progress. An alternative for adults and teens who participate is a bingo sheet available at the library. “Free ice cream, books, and other prizes will be given to readers of all ages,” said Youth Services Librarian Michelle Fagan (a.k.a. Ms. Michelle).

Thursday, June 3 at 6 p.m. under the TFL tent Jim Nelson, award-winning author of maritime fiction and nonfiction and a Lewiston-native, presents “Blusters, Bunglers & Boneheads” a talk about the naval battles in Maine during the Revolutionary War and how each ended in disaster. Nelson a UCLA film & TV grad, whose enthusiasm for Hollywood waned while his passion for the nautical world deepened, spent six years exploring the high seas. He worked on traditional sailing ships like the Golden Hinde where he met Lisa, his shipmate turned soulmate. Nelson has appeared on the History and Discovery channels and written over 20 books that run the gamut from Vikings to piracy in Colonial America, naval action in the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War.

Join TFL’s Philosophy Circle on Friday, June 4 at 3:30 p.m. under the tent to contemplate Mary Wollstonecraft, the 18th-century English writer, philosopher and advocate of women’s rights.

TFL’s 101 Series reconvenes in-person under the tent on Thursday, June 10 at 1:30 p.m. for “Practicing Good Forestry on Your Own Land” co-sponsored by Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District. Jim Ferrante, Maine Forest Service district forester, shares what landowners can do to enhance their property and achieve their homesteading goals. He’ll focus on strategies like harvesting wood products such as firewood and sawlogs, techniques to strengthen wildlife habitats, small scale sugar bush management, and touch on silvopasture and invasive plant control.

“Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman is the featured book for TFL’s Reading Group that meets Thursday, June 10 at 6 p.m. under the tent. People Magazine calls it “[A] quirky, big-hearted novel…Wry, wise, and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure.” Copies available at TFL.

Maine author Matt Cost stops by on Tuesday, June 15 at 6 p.m. under the tent to talk about his book ”Mainely Power,” a mystery set in Brunswick, which has been selected as the Maine Humanities Council’s Read ME book of the year. Find out how this former teacher, coach, and video store, bookstore, and gym owner came to create his well-received Goff Langdon detective series and what new characters are on the horizon.

TFL partners with Spirit Warrior and Winds of Change Ranch on Thursday, June 17 at 2-4 p.m. for an Introduction to Horsemanship Basics for ages 6-9. Spirit Warrior is located at the Winds of Change Ranch (186 Garland Line Road) and offers classes in therapeutic horsemanship, equine experiential learning and riding instruction. Space is limited so registration is a must. Contact Ms. Michelle at TFL by phone or email (mfagan534@gmail.com).

Attention Sasquatch believers, skeptics and the curious, writer Michelle Souliere joins us online via Zoom on Thursday, June 24 at 7 p.m. to discuss her new book “Bigfoot in Maine” which explores the history of sightings and encounters of the cryptid kind in the state’s dark woods. Souliere is an illustrator who owns Green Hand Book Shop in Portland. Her fascination with “anomalous stuff” led to her popular 2010 book “Strange Maine.” Find the Zoom link on our Facebook page or contact TFL.

Kids will enjoy the sounds of science in a two-part Sound Science program (held under the tent) from Hunt and Allison Smith. During the first session on Tuesday, June 29 at 2 p.m., the Smiths will play a variety of instruments and conduct interactive science experiences. Part Two (Friday, July 2 at 2 p.m.) finds the pair working with participants to create “invented musical instruments” culminating in a group “jam session.” Sign up required, contact Ms. Michelle.

STEAM guide Alicia Millette has been a busy bee creating more take-home kits to captivate the kiddos. This month’s line-up features: Rubber Band Car, Owl Lifecycle Activity, Make Your Own Barometer and Steam Boat. Plans are in the works for larger theme-related kits that can be checked out. Subjects include the human body, geology and Maine nature. Each plastic tote will contain a collection of hands-on activities as well as a book and field guides. Stay tuned.

Finally, Story Walks — fun times for the whole family — return to SeDoMoCha’s Dot Warren Nature Trail and the Law Farm. Follow our Facebook page for updates.

To recap: history, mystery, forestry, horses, Mary Shelley’s mom, science, a bestseller with 8 strangers in a Swedish apartment, more science, reading in nature, and … wait for it … Bigfoot! Case closed, receipts brought, boredom banished!

Please note: The Thompson Free Library will still require face coverings inside the library in order to balance patron privacy with the new CDC guidance. However, masks for outside events only will be optional, though we ask you to distance from those not in your party. We will continue to update our policies as new guidance comes out.

TFL is open to the public Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, 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.