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 or 207-564-3350. WiFi is available 24/7 in the TFL parking lot. Find us on Instagram @tf_library.

Thompson Free Library will offer curbside pickup service for books, movies, and other library materials beginning on Wednesday, June 3. Pickup hours will be Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday morning pickups can be arranged by appointment.

Library staff will be available Tuesdays through Fridays to provide information and assistance by phone or email. Library patrons are encouraged to use the online catalog to make requests. Contact the library if you need to set up a username and password for an online account.

Please follow these guidelines for curbside pickup:

Allow one day for requests to be processed. Same-day requests will be filled as time allows.

Call the library when you arrive, or let us know what time to expect you.

Open the trunk or a passenger-side door so that a staff member can deliver the materials safely. Please stay in your vehicle or maintain a six foot distance.

The library is also now accepting the return of borrowed materials. Please use the book drop located by the main entrance, which is open 24/7. All returned materials will be quarantined for 72 hours before being re-circulated.

Curbside service is part of the library’s phased plan for reopening safely. The library continues to offer online programs via Zoom and social media, digital resources including e-books and audiobooks, and free WiFi access outside the library building.

Calm | Calm Together Free meditations, sleep stories, movement exercises, journals, and music.

Centers for Disease Control | Stress and Coping Includes suggestions for parents, people at higher risk for serious illness, people coming out of quarantine, and first responders.

Child Mind Institute | Supporting Families During COVID-19 Topics include supporting children with autism, remote learning, managing anxiety, discipline and behavior, and dealing with loss.

Fred Rogers Center | Support for Helpers During Coronavirus Talking with children about coronavirus, caring for children and yourself, learning with children through play and digital media.

FrontLine WarmLine A new volunteer phone support service for Maine’s first responders and health care workers. Available from 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week by calling (207) 221-8196 or 866-367-4440.

G.E.A.R. Parent Network | Parents of youth with behavioral health needs are invited to visit the website or call 1-800-264-9224 for emotional support, resources and referrals, and educational workshops via webinar.

Good Therapy | Psychology, Therapy, and Mental Health Podcasts Suggestions for podcasts on mental health topics to stream during coronavirus. (For more recommended listening, visit Tom of Podcasts.)

NAMI Maine | NAMI Maine’s Response to COVID-19 Info about NAMI Maine’s programs including helplines and support groups, as well as mental health tips. |LGBTQ Resources A collected list of local and national LGBTQ resources. | Teen Text Support Line A peer support text line for youths 12-20 years old available daily 12pm – 10 pm by texting (207) 515-8398.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network | Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with COVID-19 [pdf] Tips on preparing your family and reducing risk, coping with stress, helping children cope by age group, and seeking additional help.

Psych Central | Coping with Coronavirus: Your Anxiety and Mental Health Links to articles, services, podcasts and videos on how to keep mentally and emotionally healthy. Psych Central also hosts a weekly “Coping with Coronavirus” livestream on their Facebook channel every Friday from 1-2 pm.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline | Emotional Well-being During the COVID-19 Outbreak Coping tips, helpful resources, and info about lifeline crisis centers.

University of California, SF | Emotional Well-Being and Coping During COVID-19 Includes resources for dealing with grief, maintaining sleep and physical activity, and stress reduction.

Free online resources from Maine cultural institutions, including virtual exhibits, interactive maps, games, lesson plans and more!

Abbe Museum

Educator Hub | Downloadable classroom and reference materials including lesson plans designed to bring Wabanki history and culture into the classroom.

Interactive Maps | Changes in the Dawnland, Languages and Landscapes, Stories of the Dawnland, and Wabanaki Today.

Colby College Museum of Art

Colby Museum @ Home | Hands-on art projects, audio & video recordings, jigsaw puzzles, virtual exhibitions and more.

Hudson Museum

Online Exhibits | View the museum’s exhibits online.

Resources for Teachers | Find websites, books and videos on Wabanaki history and culture.

Web App | Explore material culture traditions central to the Native Peoples of Maine through interviews, games, and animations.

YouTube Channel | Watch videos showcasing Wabanaki artists talking about basketmaking, birchbark and carving traditions, and more.

Maine Historical Society

Maine Memory Network | Access to thousands of historical items, lesson plans, and online exhibits.

Maine State Museum

Lessons & Resources | Lesson plans, primary source sets, and other resources to connect students with Maine State Museum exhibits and collections.

Osher Map Library

Gallery Exhibits | Virtual re-creations of Osher’s popular gallery exhibits.

Map Play 4 Kids | Slideshows, trivia, geomatching, scrambler, and links to other fun geography games.

Teach | Social studies lessons using maps, charts, and atlases as well as worksheets, board games, and other activities for K-12 students and teachers.

Penobscot Marine Museum

Online Exhibits| Take a tour of PMM’s paintings, photographs, and museum artifacts.

Penobscot Bay History Online | Educational site where students, teachers, and researchers can learn about maritime history and culture.

Story Map | Travel with Ernest W. Perkins from Boston to Buenos Aires through his diary written in 1892. Includes activity prompts.

Explore the world from home with Google Earth Voyager — a collection of interactive guided tours on topics like travel, culture, nature, and history. Voyager integrates media including 360 videos and Street View to let you learn about the Earth from a new perspective!

Try one of the following tours, or visit Voyager for many more!

Amazing Libraries

Global libraries with a difference — from 9th-century landmarks housing medieval manuscripts, to ultra-modern buildings that light up the city sky at night.

Animals and Wildlife of the World

See a sampling of the planet’s eight million species of wildlife, from ancient tortoises of the Galápagos to monkeys that bathe in the hot springs of Japan.

Discover the United States

From coast to coast, the US is home to stunning natural sites, diverse cultural scenes, and historic landmarks.

Great Hikes Around the World

From Switzerland to Israel, ascend these picturesque hiking trails and discover breathtaking views along the way.

Museums Around the World

Visit 28 museums near and far — from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the National Museum in New Delhi — to learn about art all over the globe.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Visit 30 historic landmarks around the world, including the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge and more!

US National Parks and Historic Sites

Get up close with nature and explore the beauty of US National Parks.

Walk the Appalachian Trail

Tour popular Appalachian Trail pitstops, where hikers find shelter and stock up on supplies during the 2,190-mile journey. (Featuring Monson, Maine!)

The World’s Ocean

The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface, yet only 5 percent has been explored. Discover the wonders found under the sea with Street View imagery collected by Underwater Earth and The Ocean Agency.

WWII Memorials Around the World

From Pearl Harbor to Brandenburg Gate, these monuments piece together the solemn story of WWII as countries experienced it around the world.