Alex is heading off on a new adventure, and we are all very happy and excited for him. Unfortunately, that means we are looking to fill his very big shoes at Thompson Free Library!


We are looking for a part-time (25-30 hours per week) Technical Services Librarian. The successful candidate will be cooperative, self-motivated, detail-oriented, and comfortable with technology, very preferably with previous cataloguing experience. If this sounds like you, read the entire job posting at:

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for professional references to Thompson Free Library: or 186 East Main St, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426. For more information, please reach out at or (207)564-3350.

By Kim Brawn

We often don’t recognize reimagining as it happens. We may see it in the rearview mirror. It’s a process that nudges or compels us to recreate something. Pop culture fixtures like Madonna and Star Trek have been redefining themselves for decades. Even libraries are no longer those static institutions we picture in our minds. They’ve had to reimagine their roles to meet the moment. But their heart and soul remain. The Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft may introduce new material but we’ll always play our greatest hits. 

TFL’s Philosophy Circle meets on Friday, November 3 at 3:30 p.m. to discuss “Objective vs. Subjective Truth.” A quick search defines “subjective” as based on or influenced by personal feeling, tastes or opinions while “objective” is not influenced by feeling or personal opinions in considering and representing facts. Well, that clears things up. Undoubtedly, the group will reimagine those terms and have a lively conversation that may cross into the same areas as “if a tree falls in a forest but no one hears it, does it make a noise?” (All are welcome, prior attendance is not necessary.)

On Thursday, November 9, the cusp of Veterans Day, Dennis Lyford from the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society visits TFL at 1:30 p.m. to share his video “The Smalltown Heroes” about Piscataquis County Troops in World War I, with a discussion to follow. Dennis has compiled an impressive array of period photos and information and melded them together with music to help us revisit that pivotal time in history through the eyes of local soldiers. 

November 9 at 6 p.m. TFL’s Reading Group convenes to talk about the award-winning bestseller Circe by Madeline Miller. People Magazine describes the book like this, “Think a novel based on Greek mythology isn’t for you? Just wait. Miller’s spell builds slowly, but by the last page you’ll be in awe. In prose of dreamlike simplicity, she reimagines the myth of Circe, the sun god’s unloved daughter who went on to invent witchcraft and enchant Homer’s Odysseus.” (Copies available at the library.)

As a youth services librarian, Michelle Fagan (who celebrated her 10th anniversary at TFL in October) has to reimagine programs all the time to keep her young patrons engaged. If you haven’t already checked out her weekly Story Time and playgroup (Fridays at 10 a.m.), please stop by. “This is a good time for kids to come listen to stories, sometimes fingerplays and songs. Afterwards, kids and parents can socialize and spend time in a welcoming environment. We have number and letter literacy games, puzzles, coloring and more.  We welcome babies up through elementary age kids,” says Michelle.

The library now has two ROOM phone booths. Not the antique relics we used to call people from, but a compact, reimagined workspace that allows for more privacy and less distraction. These spaces will be great for phone calls, virtual meetings, and focused work. 

TFL’s director Jon Knepp says, “These were purchased thanks to our Remote Workers’ Grant from the Maine State Library. We are continuing to renovate the basement as well and look forward to having that space available. We will be having heat pumps installed downstairs in November to make the basement more comfortable and efficient!”

This month also brings several scheduling changes. The library will be closed Saturday, November 11 for Veterans Day and will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 21. We will also be closed Thursday-Saturday (Nov. 23-25) for the Thanksgiving Holiday. 

Books and programs—wildly diverse and comfortably familiar—remain our bread and butter. But to survive and thrive, libraries must provide the most relevant community services and support. Helping people navigate their lives in the 2020s and beyond is a goal worth revisiting and revising. TFL is up to that task—as well as all the fun stuff!

TFL hours: Tues & Thurs 9-7, Weds & Fri 9-5, & Sat 9-1. Visit our website:, our Facebook page, Instagram @tf_library, or contact us at or 207/564-3350. All programs are free & open to the public. When possible, we livestream them via Facebook and upload to our YouTube channel. 


Our latest newsletter is out now! Click the link below to see it!

October 2023 [pdf]

Contents: Celebrating the Library’s Past, Present, and Future! | Bringing Songwriters ‘Round | Juke Box Heroine | “10/4, Good Buddy!” | Wild Thing…You Make My Heart Sing | Pulling Your Strings | Pop Goes the Artist | Three Times A Charm | Droning On and On | Get a Whiff of This! | Spoiled Meat | A Tale You Can’t Resist | A Book for Ants? | Discovery Process | Counting Crows (and Cows) | Screen Shots |

by Kim Brawn

We project a lot onto October. Thoughts turn to scenes of brilliant foliage, creative costumes that scare and delight, and pumpkin spice-infused everything. Sometimes October plays the unpredictable card, in politics they call it the October surprise (think tall FBI guy turned author), sometimes it’s a very jolting surprise like I had waiting for the bus at the corner of Van Ness and California in San Francisco on October 17, 1989.* Hopefully this October will be full of comfortable fall rituals and surprises of the interesting and exhilarating kind. The Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft has a myriad of ways to spend your autumn days.

Rescheduled from August, Ed Linz returns to TFL on Thursday, October 5 at 6 p.m. to tackle the Vietnam War, the topic of his latest book, “A Filthy Way to Die.” Ed, an engaging presenter, will discuss the origins of the war and memories of it from his Naval Academy classmates who fought on the ground, in the air, at sea, and on the rivers and canals. This will be an interactive session seeking comments and thoughts from those in attendance.

Bias is the topic of discussion for TFL’s Philosophy Circle on Friday, October 6 at 3:30 p.m. Can anything be unbiased? Who gets to determine bias and how is it determined? Our own implicit biases can definitely surprise us. There are many philosophical and psychological angles to approach the subject. (All are welcome, prior attendance not necessary.)

“Family Fun Night” will crank up the spooky vibes on Tuesday, October 10 at 5:30 p.m. with Halloween-themed activities. Enjoy snacks, play games, and have fun! (All are welcome.)

TFL’s Reading Group meets on Thursday, October 12 at 6 p.m. to talk about People of the Book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks. While it received plenty of high-profile praise, an online review by Daniel De Kay caught my eye, “This is a book-lover’s book. Coursing through history with diversions into social upheaval, love affairs, botany and biology, it’s an engrossing voyage across centuries.” (Copies of the book are available at the library.)

Here’s a surprising duo: Michael Good, a birding guide and naturalist (who’s not an author) and Sandra Neily, a Northwoods mystery writer (who’s not a birder). Now what could they have in common? Come find out on Thursday, October 19 at 6 p.m. as Michael, the biologist and Maine guide, and Sandra, the award-winning author of Deadly Turn and Deadly Trespass, team up for  what’s sure to be an intriguing program.

Sometimes I swear we have a poltergeist in the front rooms at the library. A noise will surprise me, I go investigate and find no one there (or so it seems?). But soon, a gaggle of ghosts and goblins will be on full display as kids and teens trick or treat for books on Halloween (Tuesday, October 31) from 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Get a free book whether you wear a costume or not. Original front doors will be open.)

Be sure to check out our upcoming book displays where we celebrate indigenous authors and stories (Indigenous Peoples’ Day is Monday, October 9) and offer up some “wicked” good reads.

Who knows what’s in store as we breeze into October, crunching through a carpet of fallen leaves. Fingers crossed you have lots of warm-apple-cider-sweater-weather moments as you cheer on your favorite teams—with no seismic surprises. But remember to include frequent trips to the library in your rites of fall, we still have a surprise or two up our sleeve.
*6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake struck that day.

TFL hours: Tues & Thurs 9-7, Weds & Fri 9-5, & Sat 9-1. Visit our website:, our Facebook page, Instagram @tf_library, or contact us at  or 207/564-3350. All programs are free & open to the public. When possible, we livestream events via Facebook.

By Kim Brawn

We’re very fortunate that Lucia Eddy Thompson was fond of reading and not poker or we might have a casino instead of a library at 186 East Main St. in Dover-Foxcroft! It was 125 years ago that our founder Dr. Elbridge A. Thompson dedicated the Thompson Free Library in the loving memory of his wife, Lucia. This month, we celebrate that anniversary—what began as a proposal at a town meeting in 1897 transformed into a library that has changed lives and the greater community.

Fascinated by Harry and Meghan? Say hello to Henry and Lucy, the stars of Gerard Gawalt’s latest book Fire and Ice: Henry and Lucy Knox and the Settling of Maine. Henry, a bookseller from Boston, who became a general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War married Lucy from a wealthy British loyalist family and the heir to an expansive property in the Eastern District of Massachusetts known as Maine (now Knox County). Gerard, who has written many historical books and is a curator at the Library of Congress, will discuss this intriguing true story on Thursday, September 7 at 6 p.m. as part of the James Brown Lecture Series. (In memory of James Brown who, for many years, was the chair of Foxcroft Academy’s English department as well as the president of the Thompson Free Library Association.)

Come celebrate TFL’s 125th anniversary from 2-4 p.m. on September 9, the very day in 1898 that the library was originally dedicated. There will also be an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the outdoor pavilion that was constructed this spring and summer—and has, according to library director Jon Knepp, “greatly improved our ability to hold programs and host groups in the wonderful outdoor space at the library.” Local musicians Hunt and Allison Smith will provide an incredible soundtrack for the event with their original and traditional tunes. Inside TFL, there will be an open house displaying some of the artifacts and pictures of the library throughout its history. Light refreshments and a cake will be served. This celebration is free and open to the public.

Youth services librarian Michelle Fagan teams up with Penquis Cap’s Jennifer Cook to present “Family Fun Night” on Tuesday, September 12 at 5:30 p.m. Activities include games and crafts. Snacks will be provided, and all are welcome. (This ongoing program will be held the 2nd Tuesday of each month.)

Nature documentaries are more spectacular than ever thanks to drones. If you’re captivated by these hi-tech devices that have flown into most aspects of our lives, come to “Drone Photography 101” with Blaine Chadwick on Thursday, September 14 at 1:30 p.m. in TFL’s outdoor pavilion. Blaine, who owns 3Rivers Unmanned Aerial Service in Milo, will talk about the history of commercial drone use, how he uses his drone to help highlight the area’s diversity and beauty, and the role drones play in real estate and land assessment. He’ll also give a demonstration (weather permitting)!

Many of us who grew up in Maine mill towns look back and wonder how all the smoke and chemicals affected the health of residents. If this topic resonates, join us as author Marie Thérèse Martin (who goes by Terry) stops by TFL on Thursday, September 21 at 6 p.m. to talk about her memoir And Poison Fell from the Sky. Terry grew up grateful for the paper mill that buoyed the economy of her small Maine town, providing jobs for hundreds of local workers, but years later when she was a nurse and her husband a doctor, they began to believe that the area’s sky-high cancer rates were caused by the smoke and chemicals that billowed from the mill’s stacks. They sounded an alarm which began a long and bitter fight “to expose the devil’s bargain their hometown had struck with the mill.”

Tom Lyford is the colorful manifestation of the library’s past, present, and future rolled into one. The former TFL staffer, and current bon vivant volunteer, has decided to regale us with a Bonus 101 entitled “The Boss of Me: A Personal Resume Told through Stories and Poems” on Thursday, September 28 at 1:30 p.m. Tom calls it “a tongue-in-cheek mini-memoir detailing my supposed work-life from Day 1 (birth) to the present.” (And he swears that this will “probably, most-likely, undoubtedly—well, maybe—no, really” be his final program.)

The themes of small-town life and relationships and their complexities ripple through Shannon Bowring’s character-driven debut novel, The Road to Dalton. Shannon, who grew up in northern Maine and works in the Patten Free Library in Bath, visits TFL on Thursday, September 28 at 6 p.m. Morgan Talty, author of Night of the Living Rez, describes her novel as “Paved with beauty, grace, humility, and love . . . a triumphant work that reminds us what literature should be.”

And it was a love of books and learning that inspired the building of this library as a gift to the community. It’s become a dynamic hub of activity as well as the keeper of an impressive collection. Just as Dr. Thompson did over a century ago, TFL is making choices today that will make life better for our future selves, individually and collectively. It’s an exciting time for us and we want to share it with you!

TFL hours: Tues & Thurs 9-7, Weds & Fri 9-5, & Sat 9-1. Visit our website:, our Facebook page, Instagram @tf_library, or contact us at or 207/564-3350. All programs are free & open to the public. When possible, we hold events in our outdoor pavilion and livestream them via Facebook.