A breath of fresh air at Thompson Free Library

By Kim Brawn

June is when the outdoors becomes a second home. The greenery, the gardens, the songbirds set the stage for projects galore, both practical and fun. It’s an exciting time at the Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft as we christen the new outdoor pavilion which will be a wonderful outside venue for programs, meetings, concerts, and more. It’s a way to, as naturalist/author John Muir wrote, “keep close to nature’s heart . . .”

We’ll start by getting back to our roots, partnering with Piscataquis County Soil & Water Conservation District for “Tree ID 101” on Thursday, June 8 at 1:30 p.m. Jim Ferrante from the Maine Forest Service will show us how to use the dichotomous key within the “Forest Trees of Maine” book to assist with the identification of common trees. He’ll also share some tricks of the trade on how to narrow down your list of potential species. Bring your forestry-related questions! 

TFL’s Reading Group will discuss “The Witch Elm” at 6 p.m. on June 8. The Guardian review says this Tana French novel “. . . works brilliantly as a twisty pageturner, but it is far deeper and more nuanced than that. French’s theme throughout is the bruised relationship between the world and the self: whether our personalities are remade by trauma, or revealed; what is concealed by privilege, and what is exposed.”

Connect and converse with your neighbors at Penquis Community Coffee on Thursday, June 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. downstairs at the library.

If you can relate to swimming upstream, you’ll definitely want to attend the “Atlantic Salmon Talk” June 15 at 6 p.m. Speakers will be Justin Stevens (Maine Sea Grant), Peter Ruksznis (Maine Dept. of Marine Resources), and Maranda Nemeth (Atlantic Salmon Federation). Meet and greet live salmon, our local Endangered Species, as you learn about their ecology, life history, and role in the Piscataquis River. All ages welcome.

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” While John Muir may not have been writing about Maine’s iconic 100 Mile Wilderness, it certainly fits. Glenburn-based author Greg Westrich returns to TFL on Thursday, June 22 at 6 p.m. to talk about his new book “Hiking Maine’s 100 Mile Wilderness” which covers over 40 hikes on what is one of the most famous sections of the Appalachian Trail. The region, from Monson to Abol Bridge, is crisscrossed with logging roads, providing day access to the trail as well as mountains, ponds, and waterfalls surrounding it. 

The Career Center will be at TFL on Friday, June 23 from 12-2 p.m. Get help with your job search, fine tune your resume, learn how to handle those tricky interview questions, and find out about training and education assistance. Pass the word. 

It’s time to chill, relax and read books! TFL’s Summer Reading program kicks off on Tuesday, June 27 from 1-3 p.m. (sign up continues through July 1). “We will be signing up for summer reading Pre-k through 8th grade. We will also have a scavenger hunt for a small prize, snacks, and information about how adults and teens can get involved with summer reading,” said Youth Services Librarian Michelle Fagan.  

Maine children’s author Tamra Wight headlines the first of TFL’s Kids’ Summer Series on Thursday, June 29 at 10:30 a.m. Using her wildlife photography, she will share the inspiration behind the Cooper and Packrat series, discuss how she researches her books, and reveal what it was like running a campground. There will also be a fun wildlife fact game and Q&A session. The summer series runs every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. through Aug. 10.

We’ll end the month on a lively note with Some Reel People giving a concert in the pavilion on Thursday, June 29 at 6 p.m. Billing themselves on Facebook as “a joyous ever-evolving traditional country dance band from the Dexter area, playing jigs, reels, waltzes and polkas, their combined sound of fiddles, guitars, mandolin, banjo, bass, cello, accordions, and recorder will make you want to dance!”

On the cusp of summer — and a new era at the library — we have a lineup of exciting new faces, welcome familiar ones, and an impressive outdoor home for all to enjoy. Let’s lean into Ralph Waldo Emerson’s motto this June and beyond: live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air. Oh, and read good books!

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. When possible, we will hold events in our outdoor pavilion and livestream them via Facebook.

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