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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. |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.

Approximately three months ago, I didn’t know what a podcast was, or is. Sounded to me like something from The Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But behind TFL’s front desk one day, I tuned in to a conversation between Michelle and Kim and kept hearing the word “podcasts” being bounced around (apparently I was wearing my hearing aids that day). Once they were clued in that I was eavesdropping, I was abruptly challenged with, “So, which podcasts are you into?” My deer in the headlights response elicited glances that left me me feeling as old as one of Tim Conway’s characters on The Carol Burnett Show, “Mister Tudball, the Oldest Man.” Long story short, I was encouraged to consider joining them in the twenty-first century before it was too late, given a short list of pod-thingy titles to sample, and a step-by-step tutorial on How to Download a Podcast App on My Phone. Despite my misgivings, it turns out that it’s easy. And podcast apps are free.

If you’re a listener to NPR, then you’ve heard a few podcasts already. Much of their broadcasts use the podcast format: scintillating little discussions and interviews with ten-second musical interludes between segments. Podcasts are 1-minute to 2-hour-long radio-broadcast-like presentations, recorded and left available for you 24-7 on the web. You’ll find fiction and rock-hard nonfiction, in all genres. They can, and do, cover virtually any subject imaginable: crocheting, movie or book reviews, flying saucers, poetry, unsolved mysteries, hypnosis, history, conspiracy theories, trivia, art, physics, psychology, philosophy, podcasts about NPR, and even podcasts on how to do podcasts if you can believe it (let’s call them podcast podcasts). So: to infinity and beyond!

If you own a Mac tablet, iPad, or iPhone, visit the App Store and SEARCH for “podcast app.” From there select the purple “Apple Podcasts” icon, after which you will click on “Get” or the Download Symbol. In a minute or so, the prompt “Open” appears. Click it. Voila! You’re there! It’s the same if you own a PC or Android phone, except you visit the Microsoft Store website. My PC comes with the Spotify program included though, and many people use that.

OK. So here we all are: sheltering at home, virtually quarantined with an empty social calendar. And like me you’ve got your TV, (hopefully) your books, and of course Facebook and Twitter. The restaurants and movie theaters are closed. All sports, including the Olympics have been cancelled or postponed. Along with your doctor and dentist appointments. Why not experiment with something new for a change? You might be surprised. I definitely have been. But I’m not your mother and I’m not your boss, so you can do what you like. But here are a few peeks into some alternate audio universes awaiting an explorer just like you. Only suggestions, mind you. Each episode has a little description at the beginning titled “Details” to give you a heads up.

TOM’S PICKS


Decoder Ring

Decoder Ring

Episode: The Grifter (1/31/19) Brett Johnson was a career criminal: fraudster, conman, cyber-criminal. A fascinating true account, the stuff of movies, similar to Catch Me If You Can. non-fiction


The Dark Side Of

Season 3, Episode 34: The Best of Hollywood: Judy Garland & The Wizard of Oz. 16 year old Judy Garland filmed the beloved classic in 1938, battling eating disorders and drug addictions she developed on set- unbelievable story

Season 2, Episode 14: Johnny Cash: Man in Black. Johnny Cash’s outlaw image wasn’t just an act,and for decades he struggled with the consequ3ences of drug use, depression, and his own personal dark side. Riveting.


Quirks & Quarks

Episode of 1/17/20: Ancient gum preserves genome, a living robot, wolf puppies play fetch, rattlesnakes skin holds raindrops for drinking, science of imagination and quiet snow.


Stuff You Should Know

(A compendium of anything and virtually everything.)

Halitosis: Worst Smell Ever?, How PEZ Works, How Ouija Boards Work, The Man Who Didn’t Eat for a Year, How Human Cannonballs Work, The Coconut Cult, What Is the Civil Air Patrol?, How Dying Works, Were Nazis Drug-Fueled Crankheads?, How Disgust Works, Bedbugs, Wigs in English Courts… much, much more


Radio Rental

Episode 1, 10/31/2019: (Two creepy, engaging first-person stories) (1) a young man on an airliner feels the powerful adrenaline of fight or flight… (2) an Alfred Hitchcockian account of an anonymous game by smart phone that is going too far? A real creeper, this one.


Odd Ball

Episode 1: Darndest Thing I Ever Saw, Episode 2: Who is Gerri?, and Episode 3: It Gets Weirder

A “true” story (well, true in the since that many people actually witnessed the phenomenon and several agencies subjected it to scientific scrutiny, and that it occupied the newspapers for a number of years). An odd, metallic, bowling-ball-size ball is found in the Florida woods, and its strange characteristics caused many to ask, is this object extraterrestrial?

Explore! Experiment! You’ll find something different…