Start the New Year with Thompson Free Library


By Kim Brawn

There is something daunting about the pressure of a new year. Beyond the cheers and best wishes lurks a resolution-happy culture filled with fresh starts and goals that are more aspirational than achievable. While creating a mental January (and beyond) to do list, I happened upon this C.S. Lewis quote: “You can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.” That strikes a more hopeful and kinder tone. As we slide into 2024, the Thompson Free Library in Dover-Foxcroft is planted in the present but can help you, in big and small ways, shape a better future.

We hit the ground running with Bangor-born author Dee Dauphinee on Thursday, January 4 at 6 p.m. He has written novels, biographies, and essays and lived in Europe and South America. Dee has also been a farmer, a photographer, and a fishing and mountaineering guide. He wrote the best-seller When You Find My Body that tells the story of Geraldine Largay who vanished in July 2013 while hiking the Appalachian Trail in Maine. He describes what caused her to go astray and the massive search and rescue operation that followed.

His latest work, The Sage of Dibbin Creek, is an engrossing account of a fatherless twelve-year-old boy with learning challenges who finds solace in nature and meets a wise and kind man who changes the course of his life. (The program will include a trivia contest to win copies of the book.)

Family Fun Night returns Tuesday, January 9 at 5:30 p.m. with games, crafts, trivia, and snacks. The planning and prepping are all taken care of, you just have to show up. As Ina Garten likes to say, “How easy is that?!”

TFL’s Reading Group convenes on Thursday, January 11 at 6 p.m. to discuss Weather by Jenny Offill. You can get a feel for this intriguing book from Kirkus Reviews: “An ever growing list of worries, from a brother with drug problems to a climate change apocalypse, dances through the lively mind of a university librarian. . . The tension between mundane daily concerns and looming apocalypse, the ‘weather’ of our days both real and metaphorical, is perfectly captured in Offill’s brief, elegant paragraphs, filled with insight and humor.” (Copies available at the library.)

If you build it, they will come. Or, in this case, just say Legos and kids will come running. Lego Build Time returns to TFL on Thursday, January 18 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. This once-monthly program will run through May. (Dates announced monthly.)

Youth services librarian Michelle Fagan is starting a Family Book Club that’s sure to beat the winter doldrums. Families will read a book together at home and then come to the club for pizza and book chat, with an occasional craft or other activity. The first session is Tuesday, January 23 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. and will feature a short book, pizza, and a conversation about what the group will read this winter. This club is geared towards 2nd through 5th grade families, but younger and older child households are welcome. (The club will meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month through May. Registration required. Please contact the library.)

Did you know that Maine now has semi-open primaries? With the presidential primary around the corner on March 5, it’s important to know that unenrolled voters can now vote in the primary of their choice. To learn more stop by the library on Tuesday, January 30 at 6 p.m. for a presentation by the Highlands Regional chapter of the League of Women Voters of Maine. They will cover how primaries will work in 2024, what this means for voters, and how you can cast your ballot and they’ll answer any questions about voting. (LWV is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government.)

The new year can be a fresh start, a fresh middle, or a fresh ending. Wherever you are in your own personal narrative, TFL has the programs, collection and services to help you along the way or give you a break when you need one. Chapter one is done, but you can still write that fun, twisty ending that no one saw coming.

Holiday schedule reminders: we will be closed Tuesday, December 26 and Tuesday, January 2.

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.