By Kim Brawn, Thompson Free Library

April is our bridge to spring. Possibilities grow and bloom. Bright vibrant colors replace the hazy monotones of winter. Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft is bursting with activities and programs to capture your imagination and engage your mind. It’s time to click that collective refresh button.

Like the air after a driving rain, youngest-ever inaugural poet Amanda Gorman placed fresh optimism alongside raw realism as she reflected our conflicted emotions in her stirring poem, “The Hill We Climb.” On Friday, April 2 at 3:30 p.m. (online via Zoom) TFL’s Philosophy Circle revisits the intersection of poetry and philosophy with the focus on Amanda Gorman.

TFL’s 101 Series kicks off online via Zoom on Thursday, April 8 at 1:30 p.m. with Recyclable Art 101. Our own STEAM guide Alicia Millette shows us how to repurpose books in three ways: making roses from book pages, sculpting a vase from an old book, and creating art by folding pages within a book. Most supplies are available for pick up at the library, where you can also see Alicia’s finished pieces.

Maine authors Claire Ackroyd (“Murder in the Maple Woods”) and Laurie Chandler (“Through Woods and Waters”) join TFL’s Reading Group at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 8 online via Zoom to discuss their respective books. It promises to be an interesting session with behind-the-scenes stories and glimpses into how they approach the writing process. Both books are set against rugged Maine backdrops: Claire’s takes place in the maple sugar camps above Jackman while Laurie’s chronicles her solo canoe adventure through Maine’s newly established Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. All are welcome to attend, including those who haven’t read the books.

Heads up stargazers and sky watchers: Librarian Michelle Fagan is excited to announce TFL’s Star Gazing Party with Northern Stars Planetarium and other possible guests. The event will be held Friday, April 16 at 8:30 p.m. outdoors at Charles A. Chase Jr. Memorial Airport located on Pine Street in Dover-Foxcroft. Learn fun facts and intriguing information about different stars and planets. Feel free to bring binoculars. Masks & physical distancing required.

Before the next Story Slam, TFL will host a virtual storytelling workshop led by Bobby Keniston on Tuesday, April 20 at 2 p.m. During this online program called Express Yourself, the local playwright, director, actor — and Story Slam host/contributor — will offer up tips, ideas, and direction to help you find your own voice and tell your story in a meaningful, entertaining way. This workshop is geared towards teens and young adults but is open to everyone.

The next Voices from Home/TFL Story Slam is Friday, April 23 at 6 p.m. online via Zoom and the theme is Growth. Poet and priest John Henry Newman once said, “Growth is the only evidence of life.” That got the wheels turning: What is your story of growth? How did you grow and change into the person you are today? What is the moving force in your personal growth? How did you grow up? We invite you to share a 4– to 8-minute true story about growth in a positive, welcoming, and encouraging environment. Don’t have a story? We love a supportive audience. Just listen with an open mind and heart (who knows, a story may bubble up anyway!). 

Look for Alicia Millette’s new STEAM kits for kids and families next to the circulation desk. Find out how water can be used to move objects by creating your own Hydraulic Lift; learn about potential and kinetic energy by making a Zipline Racer and Pyramid Slingshot; and make Seed Bombs (which make a great Mother’s Day gift!). 

Speaking of seeds, TFL’s Seed Library debuts this month! Card catalogs — those iconic fixtures of libraries past — have been transformed into drawers filled with a variety of seeds for patrons and visitors to take home, plant, and to eventually bring back the new seeds. Details soon!

Along a similar vein, the Piscataquis Regional Food Center and UMaine Cooperative Extension are shining a spotlight on their Garden in a Box program and providing resources on successful gardening, including a binder filled with printed materials and DVDs, that we will share with you.

Be sure to take advantage of April’s opportunities, reconnect with the soil, plan your garden, start your outside projects, and remember to nourish yourself in the process. As always, your local library is a good place to start. Libraries are like Miracle-Gro for the mind. 


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. For more information (including Zoom links to our free virtual public programs), 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.