By Kim Brawn

DOVER-FOXCROFT — December — when four in the afternoon feels like nine at night. Darkness creeps in earlier and earlier, confusing our circadian rhythms. We may feel sleepy or just want to curl up with a good book. To lean into less daylight and still be productive, we can “front-load” our days with the most important things on our to do list. December’s gift is a tension between light and dark. The Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft is a bright, welcoming spot as winter solstice nears.

Michelle Fagan, our youth services librarian, brings back the festive fun with TFL’s second annual Christmas Decoration Scavenger Hunt, an enjoyable family adventure that gets everyone in the holiday spirit. Whether it’s light or dark out, you and the kids can walk or drive around your community searching for Yuletide favorites using the checklist available for pick up at the library or on our website ( Bring your completed checklist in to win a free Christmas or winter book (last pick-up day is Dec. 23 by 5 p.m.) We also have take-home kits (STEM & craft) available, perfect for family activity time.

If the idea of holiday leftovers makes you smile broadly and salivate slightly, then you’ll be game for the next meeting of TFL’s Philosophy Circle on Friday, Dec. 3 at 3:30 p.m. Library Director Jon Knepp says that the “Holiday Leftovers” edition will include “a discussion of food, nutrition, and diet — but in keeping with the theme, we will be covering anything else we want!”

It’s never been more convenient to shine a light on, revisit, or research the past, whether months or decades ago. Working together with the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society and Foxcroft Academy, TFL has made FA Yearbooks from 1940-2021 available on the advantage-preservation website ( They’re also accessible via the library website under Online Resources. 

We have a friendly (and probably familiar to many!) addition to our staff. As Jon explains, “We are happy to welcome Shannen Rhoda as our new library clerk. Shannen was chosen from a number of qualified candidates and brings a lot of experience working in our community and engaging with our library. Make sure to say hello when you see her!”  

Ms. Michelle, our perennial holiday elf, has once again carried out that sacred tradition: bringing up all the holiday books and DVDS for display and easy access! Take a break during this hectic time to enjoy a cozy Christmas mystery or watch your favorite silly/sentimental holiday movie. Another Michelle touch, the front window “candles” now cast their glimmery spell into the night. 

Author Robert Johnson could have been describing December when he wrote, “The place where light and dark begin to touch is where miracles begin to arise.” We hope that visiting the library, exploring our expansive collection, and taking advantage of our extensive resources will add a lightness to your days. We can’t promise miracles, but anything’s possible. 

Please note: The library will be closed Friday, Dec. 24 and Saturday, Dec. 25 for Christmas. The following week we will be closed Friday, Dec. 31 and Saturday, Jan. 1 for New Year’s. Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season!

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. We currently require masks indoors. For more information, visit our website (, Facebook page, or contact us at or 207-564-3350. Find us on Instagram @tf_library.