Sparks Fly at Thompson Free Library

By Kim Brawn

“There is no greater education than one that is self-driven.” These words from astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson paint only part of the picture. Being self-driven requires a spark and a safe space. The Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft can be that space—one that fosters curiosity in kids and rekindles it in adults. Whether you’re one of our regulars or have never set foot inside the library, we hope you’ll stop by Saturday, February 3 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. for “Take Your Child to the Library Day.” Youth services librarian Michelle Fagan will read a library story, serve up snacks, and have a self-led craft for families to do.

TFL’s Reading Group is taking a cosmic perspective on Thursday, February 8 at 6 p.m. with Neil deGrasse Tyson’s bestseller, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Neil knows everyone is busy and many of us have the attention span of gnat, so this seems like the perfect way to learn about the nature of time and space, how we fit in the universe, and how the universe fits within us. Amazon Reviewer Terry L. Price’s description caught my eye: “Tyson’s “Astrophysics” is a journey through the stars for the curious mind. He has condensed the cosmos into manageable chapters, sprinkling in wit along with knowledge.” (Copies are available at the library.)

Let the good times roll with “Family Fun Night” on Tuesday, February 13 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Celebrate Valentine’s Eve with snacks, a game, and a special activity!

At this point in winter, we may find ourselves fast forwarding in our brains to warmer, sunnier days ahead. Here’s a great way to jump start your gardening and make real-life spring even better. The “Starting Seeds Indoors Workshop” on Thursday, February 15 from 10-11:30 a.m. is a UMaine Cooperative Extension (in-person) program led by Horticulture professional Kate Garland. You’ll learn best practices for growing seedlings indoors, develop a personalized seed starting calendar, check out various supplies and tools, and sow a pot of seeds to take home. (Space is limited to 25 participants. Pre-registration is required. Contact the library re: how to register.)

On a quest to help her ailing human, an indoor cat leaves home and teams up with a wilderness-savvy fox on what becomes a perilous journey that tests the feline’s strength and spirit. That’s the plot of Haven: A Small Cat’s Big Adventure and it’s what TFL’s Family Book Club is currently reading. You’re invited to join the club at their next meeting on Tuesday, February 27 from 5:30-6: 30 p.m. Ms. Michelle says, “This book club is geared towards families with elementary students, but all family ages are welcome. We’ll eat pizza, talk about books and get next month’s book—a fantasy—to read.” (Contact Michelle at TFL to register for the book club.)

When you check out items at TFL be sure to enter for a chance to win our February Giveaway—a $25.00 gift card to Raven’s Attic East, a popular vintage store in Dover-Foxcroft that features antiques, arts and crafts, jewelry, furniture, restored and repurposed pieces, and more. (One entry per account and visit, please.)

As that famously enduring New Jersey poet once wrote, “You can’t start a fire without a spark.” Here’s an open secret: libraries are the best places to spark imaginations and fuel curiosity—especially children’s. They encourage exploration and help create life-long explorers, so come join us on this month’s exciting expedition!

Please note: The library will be closing at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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.