By Kim Brawn, Thompson Free Library

“Come with me and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.” Maybe Gene Wilder wasn’t specifically referring to libraries when he sang those lyrics in the 1971 film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” but the description surely fits. Imagination is connected with creativity, learning, innovation — not to mention a far more colorful life. This August, the Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft promises to energize imaginations with programs, activities and books for all ages.

First up, some organized outdoor chaos. Those in grades 6-12 are invited to participate in the “Messy Mayhem Games” on Thursday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. Word on the street is that chocolate syrup, shaving cream, and other messy favorites will be involved, so dress to be a mess!

Switching gears, TFL’s Philosophy Circle continues with their education theme on Friday, Aug. 6 at 3:30 p.m. under the tent. If you are a current or former educator, please join the group and share your thoughts on educational philosophy. 

Certified instructor Lilian Mahan is back with “Tai Chi for Health 101” on Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 1:30 p.m. under the tent. She will guide us through basic Tai Chi & Qi Gong movements, focusing on their incredible mind-body benefits. She and some of her students will also give a short demonstration of this meditative martial art!

“The Guest Room” by Chris Bohjalian combines an explosive premise, a timely social topic, and fast-paced storytelling and is the subject of TFL’s Reading Group on Thursday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m. under the tent. Copies are available at the library.

A worthy cause (Milo PAWS–Penquis Animal Welfare Shelter) is counting on you to read to your imagination’s content during the Read-A-Thon on Wednesday, Aug. 18 from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. under the tent. There will be pizza, ice cream, and prizes. April and Erma will stop by with cotton candy. Open to all ages. Pick up your pledge sheet at the library!

Dexter’s popular Harold J. Crosby Community Band will put us in a marching mood with their rousing music on Thursday, Aug. 19 at 6:30 p.m. outdoors at TFL. 

The Teen Book Club reconvenes Friday, Aug. 20 at 2 p.m. under the tent. Read a good book? Share your thoughts and meet FA’s reading requirement!

Never stop glowing! TFL’s “Glow Party” is set for Saturday, Aug. 21 from 7:30-9 p.m. under the tent. On tap: games, science, art, even glow in the dark cotton candy from April & Erma. School Librarian Carolyn Clark will also announce the SeDoMoCha Summer Reading winners.

Mr. Drew and his Animals Too take center stage outside on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 10:30 a.m. He’ll bring a dozen cool creatures with him, including reptiles and insects. Drew rehabilitates exotic animals and does educational outreach. 

Fascinated by local history? Join us online via Zoom on Thursday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. as Northeast Historic Film presents vintage videos and photographs of Dover-Foxcroft and the surrounding area. 

Don’t forget: TFL’s Summer Reading ends 8/31. All bingo sheets and reading logs need to be in by Sept. 2 Prizes will be drawn Sept. 3. Kids who read 20 minutes a day for 30 days will get free books!

One of the best ways to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is to fire up their imaginations. And that’s just what the new STEM area at the library does. TFL’s STEM guide Alicia Millette has set up permanent shop next to Youth Services Librarian Michelle Fagan, across from the children’s section. There you’ll find a marble run game; OSMO, a fun learning system; Dash-A robot that teaches beginning coding; origami; and lots of supplies for various STEM activities. We also have larger STEM kits that can be checked out for two weeks. Themes are Maine Nature, Geology, All About Magnets, Animal Games and Snap Circuits. These kits include many great books, activities, and games families can enjoy. 

Fantasy and sci-fi author Patricia McKillip wrote that “Imagination is the golden-eyed monster that never sleeps. It must be fed; it cannot be ignored.” With an impressive roster, TFL offers up the ultimate buffet to satisfy that glowing, golden-eyed monster. Summer days may sneak away, but imagination inspires us forever. 

TFL is open to the public Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Masks are optional indoors for those vaccinated and strongly encouraged for those who are not. For information 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.