By Kim Brawn

In the before times, uncertainty seemed at arm’s length. Today it’s breathing down our necks. Sometimes it feels like we’ve been dropped into one of those dystopian YA novels my colleague Michelle talks about. Whether you’re completely overwhelmed or just dealing with life’s routine frustrations, finding a little comfort can make a big difference. The Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft can be a balm for these trying days, a comfortable place — inside and out — with something for (almost) everyone.

Let’s start with some quirky comfort. TFL’s own Tom Lyford will host “UFOLOGY MYTHOLOGY” on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. under the tent. Tom describes it as “an unusual evening of music, subculture, misinformation, and quirky fun.” Learn about the day UFOs disabled nukes at a Montana AFB in 1967, find UFOs in famous biblical art, debunk conspiracy theories, and hear eyewitness testimony! 

TFL’s Philosophy Circle tackles the challenging and consequential topic of climate change on Friday, Sept. 3 at 3:30 p.m. under the tent (no specific reading or prior attendance is required).

After discussing the fate of the planet, take comfort in the multi-instrumental musical stylings of Hunt and Allison Smith at their outdoor concert on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 2 p.m. The talented duo will play traditional tunes, sing songs, tell stories, and keep your toes tapping. TFL’s Director Jon Knepp heard them at Scoopstock at the UU Church in Sangerville, “They played a waltz, a jig, some bluegrass, some original music, at one point Allison played spoons while Hunt was on a fiddle he crafted himself. I don’t think my description even scratches the surface of what they can do, they’re really impressive!”

Listening to a podcast is a great way to take your mind off things. Join us for “Podcasts 101” on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 1:30 p.m. under the tent. Tom Lyford, TFL’s resident podcaster, introduces us to an incredible realm of digital entertainment. Whatever your interest, there’s a podcast. He’ll play samples from his own Boomer Monologues as well as other cool clips, explain how to access them, and maybe inspire you to create your own!

TFL’s Reading Group meets at 6 p.m. on the 9th to discuss “Mill Town” by Kerri Arsenault who grew up in Mexico, Maine, where for over a century the community revolved around a paper mill that provided jobs for nearly everyone in town, including three generations of her family. The Maine Edge’s Alan Adams raves, “For stretches, it is pure memoir — and first-rate memoir at that … In other places, the book is a compelling and taut work of industrial investigation [and] Arsenault is meticulous in her research. Mill Town is haunting and heartbreaking, charming and funny … and utterly exceptional (copies are available at TFL).

A little star gazing will put things in perspective and provide a fun learning experience for all ages. Explore the cosmos with John Meader from Northern Stars Planetarium at the “Star Party” on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Charles Chase Memorial Airport on Pine Street in Dover-Foxcroft. Please arrive around 7 to find a space and adjust your eyes!

If your kids are budding meteorologists or just interested in weather phenomena, they’ll want to attend the National Weather Service’s online event Wednesday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. NWS in Caribou hosts this introductory program on weather, science, and the job of a meteorologist. Contact TFL on how to watch.

Quilts, known to provide physical and emotional comfort, take center stage on Thursday, Sept. 16 at 6 p.m. under the tent. Laureen LaBar, Maine State Museum curator, presents “Maine Quilts: 250 Years of Comfort and Community” which is based on her book by the same name. She will explore the rich history of quilting in Maine, from the colonial era to the present day. Every quilt tells a story, even shining a light on lesser-known aspects of Maine history. 

Adults get their own online weather program on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. NWS in Caribou highlights regional weather patterns and provides information on weather forecasting, including watches, warnings, and alerts — what they mean and how they decide which one to use. Contact TFL on how to watch.

This September, schedules take an uncertain shape. We’re busy, tired, and looking for a little peace of mind. TFL can’t solve the big issues, but we can share our resources, services, and collection with the community. To steal a phrase that’s been of comfort to me on this long and difficult road: please be kind and take care of one another. 

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. Due to current COVID conditions, we are now requiring masks indoors. For information on events, visit our website (, Facebook page, or contact us at or 207-564-3350. Find us on Instagram @tf_library.