June 01, 2020
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Thompson Free Library’s Online Offerings

Community Author: Kim Brawn
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The Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft will remain closed through May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are beginning the planning process to reopen in June,” said TFL Director Greta Schroeder, who will provide more information as it becomes available.


In the meantime, we’ve got you covered with entertaining and educational content hosted by TFL as well as other wonderful libraries, organizations, and artists. We are always on the lookout for fun, informative events and valuable resources to help you navigate this challenging landscape that seems never-ending. Or as actor Josh Charles tweeted, “I feel like I’m in ‘Groundhog Day’ with the fun parts cut out.”


Please note: the programs below will be held via Zoom. You can participate online or dial in using your phone. Visit our website (https://www.thompson.lib.me.us/), Facebook page or email us (thompsonfreelibrary@gmail.com) to learn how to participate or for more info. Since there is so much free online programming available, Greta created an Upcoming Virtual Programs page (https://www.thompson.lib.me.us/virtual-programs/). If you don’t have internet access, you can visit the TFL parking lot to use our Wi-Fi.


Friday, May 8 at 1 p.m. TFL’s Tom Lyford will host a new weekly series called Tom’s Circulation Desk. This live Zoom event is an offshoot of his popular TCD videos. You may not be able to belly up to the actual circulation desk at this point, but you can listen to Tom’s endless catalog of stories and chime in on how you are weathering all this time at home.


“I’ve gotten a good response from the videos I’ve posted and love hearing from our patrons,” Tom said. Just as his in-person conversations twist and turn, so do the online chats. His humorous, relatable monologues touch on many topics, even sharing some of his favorite movies, TV shows, or podcasts.


TFL’s Reading Group meets on Thursday, May 14 at 6 p.m. to discuss “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail” by Ben Montgomery. Gatewood’s story, as the author describes, is one “of overcoming hardship and finding yourself and finding peace.” This “quiet delight of a book” (from Kirkus Reviews) also brings attention to the iconic trail, that at the time, was in definite need of maintenance–and to hiking in general.


Whether you are philosophical by nature or this crisis has put you in that mood, you are welcome to join TFL’s Philosophy Circle on Friday, May 15 at 3:30 p.m. Bring an open, curious mind and feel free to speak up or just listen.


After the success of last month’s virtual story slam the next Voices from Home Oral History Project Story Slam “Come Together” has been scheduled for Friday, May 22 at 6 p.m. Share your own story or just listen. Stay tuned for more details.


As part of our Maine Bicentennial Series, Susan Pinette, director of Franco American Studies at UMaine, will discuss, “The French in Maine: Who are they and Where do they come from?” on Thursday, May 28 at 6 p.m.


Consider contributing a story, photo or video to Heart of Maine Community Stories (https://heartofmaine.omeka.net/contribute) an online platform for collecting and sharing stories about life in this region. The community-based project is a collaboration between Hartland Public Library, Newport Cultural Center, Pittsfield Public Library, and Thompson Free Library. “The current focus is on documenting life during the COVID-19 pandemic and other historic events that have impacted our communities,” said Greta.


Cool news: TFL is now on Instagram (@tf_library). Please follow us. We enjoy seeing what you’re up to and look forward to finding new ways to connect and share (e.g., Tom celebrated National Poetry Month by reading a daily poem.)


Youth Services Librarian Michelle Fagan is continuing to do book talks, read alouds and Thursday story time via YouTube and posting the videos to our Instagram and Facebook accounts. Besides contributing original content to social media, Michelle continues to find incredible programs and activities aimed at kids and teens to share with everyone.


Due to the economic upheaval from the COVID-19 crisis, filling out the Census has never been more important. It’s quick and easy and the results impact us all in so many ways including the planning and funding for local libraries, roads and highways, head start programs, school lunches and food benefit programs, Medicare and Medicaid and rural water and waste disposal systems.


Right now while we are understandably focused on our physical health, let’s not forget the mind-body connection. May is mental health awareness month, coming at a time when many people are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, grief, and fear, along with trying to manage ongoing conditions. Find help and information on our mental health resources web page (https://www.thompson.lib.me.us/mental-health-resources/).


If you are simply stir-crazy or dealing with more serious issues, attending a program can be a much-needed distraction and stimulate the brain. Participating in a group may provide the interaction you crave. And, helping others is a great way to feel better and less alone. For ideas, see the Volunteer Opportunities page https://www.thompson.lib.me.us/covid-19-volunteer-opportunities/.


As we plan and prepare our path to reopening, stay safe, healthy and connected.