Take a joy ride with Thompson Free Library

By Kim Brawn

“The loons! The loons! They’re welcoming us back,” Katharine Hepburn exclaims, in the opening scene of “On Golden Pond.” Joyful moments, like nature itself, are unpredictable, but the joy potential is off the charts this August at the Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft. You can happily bounce from one program to the next, like a late-summer joy ride.

First stop, “State of the Loons with Maine Audubon” on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 6 p.m. Nick Lund, Maine Audubon Advocacy and Outreach manager, gives an in-depth look at the habits and physiology of the Common Loon (including why it’s such an effective underwater hunter). Nick will also update us on what’s being done to protect these iconic birds that have come to epitomize summer in the pine tree state. 

Joy can be found in the unlikeliest of situations, often through the lens of satire and dark humor. Friday, Aug. 5 at 3:30 p.m. TFL’s Philosophy Circle discusses acclaimed author and humanist Kurt Vonnegut, known for his book “Slaughterhouse-Five” with its anti-war and genre-bending “unstuck in time” sci-fi themes. His 50-year career and social commentary should provide plenty of fodder for the group (all are welcome.

Have you ever seen an octopus? Have you wanted to walk on the ocean floor, deep beneath the waves?  Have you watched and wondered about the tide, coming in powerfully on the beach and washing away all the sand castles? Professional storyteller Debbie Bliss raises these questions, and more, in a special storytelling program for children and families at TFL on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 10:30 a.m. “Stories are the way we set free our sacred imagination,” says Debbie, who writes her own material and has performed on TV and radio for over 30 years. 

None of us enjoy being scammed! “Avoiding Online Scams 101” on Thursday, Aug. 11 at 1:30 p.m. can help. Glen Nicholas from Dr. Dan/Home Technology Help covers various online scams (and some phone ones) during his presentation. He’ll give tips on how to identify scams and stop them from plaguing our computers and other devices — and what to do if we fall victim to one. 

At 6 p.m. on Aug. 11, TFL’s Reading Group turns their focus to “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek,” a 2019 novel by Kim Michele Richardson. “Book Woman” Cussy Mary was one of the Packhorse Librarians who delivered books to remote areas of the Appalachian Mountains during the Great Depression. She is also a “Blue” — a member of the lost line of blue-skinned people, who suffer from a rare genetic disorder. BookPage calls it “. . . an emotionally moving and fascinating story about the power of literacy over bigotry, hatred, and fear.” Copies are available at the library.

TFL’s Teen Book Club is back in session on Friday, Aug. 12 at 3:30 p.m. Choose an age-appropriate book to read and have it count towards FA’s reading requirement. 

The Joy Truck a.k.a. the “Joyous Exploratorium” drives into the TFL parking lot on Sunday, Aug. 14 at 1 p.m. for an afternoon of letter writing for all ages. Supplies will be available or bring your own something special if you like. Come see what Merrilee Schoen’s Mobile Creative Expression + Education Center is all about. 

Thursday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. you’ll be marching and tapping and nostalgic for those glory days — football games and parades of the past — as the Harold J. Crosby Band plays music on the library lawn. 

From the wow-time-flies files: TFL will host the “End of Summer Reading Party” on Friday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m., a fun family time, complete with bounce house, prizes, snacks, and drawings for winners of the kids and adult summer reading challenges. 

Kids will relish listening to great stories and doing simple yoga poses with Ms. Michelle at “Storytime Yoga,” on Saturday, Aug. 20 at 10 a.m. 

The final Garden in a Box learning workshop is Thursday, Aug. 25 at 6 p.m. This collaborative effort from Piscataquis Regional Food Center and UMaine Cooperative Extension will center on what to do with your garden at the end of the growing season. Learn how to put your garden to “bed” and prepare for next year.

Undoubtedly, Erma the Reading Dog brings joy wherever she goes. She and her faithful companion, April Taylor, are at TFL on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. through Aug. 30. Contact the library to schedule a time to Read with Erma.)

We meet August with its busy, end-of-summer vibes determined to squeeze out its last drops before the familiar responsibilities and chilly weather return. TFL has an eclectic tapestry of activities that will (hopefully) spark a little joy before the loons at the lake call their goodbyes. 

TFL hours: Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Visit our website, our Facebook page, Instagram @tf_library, or contact us at or 207-564-3350. All programs are free and open to the public.

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