Staycation Pictures! Thank you, Keith Spiro!

Here is just a sampling in pictures of Staycation 2017! The sun was out, the ice cream was delicious, and the smiles contagious! Thank you to all who came out and enjoyed their day with us! And thank you, Keith Spiro for the great pictures. To view the entire gallery, click here.



Mr. Rich Roedner, Topsham Town Manager, started off the festivities reading some of his favorites to children.






A little later in the morning, Principal Randa Rineer, representing Williams-Cone School joined, in the fun.



Here’s Police Chief Lewis telling a story!


And Principal Dedek (Photo by library staff)!











Master storyteller Carol Birch shared her gift with us and entertained us with her talent.




Everyone enjoyed the grounds at Topsham Public Library while we picnicked and played.

The afternoon was filled with poetry and mystery, as Maine poet Gary Rainford, and Maine author Paul Doiron, were with us to share their love of words and stories.











Thank you also to U.S. Cellular and Friends of the Topsham Public Library for sponsoring this event.

Say Hello to a New Staff Member!

If you have frequented Topsham Public Library in the past few weeks, you noticed a new face behind the desk. Cat is our newest member of staff, so please stop by and say hi!

Cat grew up in Wolfboro, NH, but she has Maine connections as her grandparents lived in Topsham. As much as we love Cat’s knowledge of graphic novels (she prefers DC over Marvel, Batman over Superman, and Wonder Woman over Isis), we especially appreciate Cat’s experience as a chocolatier for six months at a five star establishment on St. Lucia. There’s nothing we like better than when Cat comes through the door and says, “I’ve been playing in the kitchen,” or “I made some chocolates. Would you be willing to taste test them for me?” Does the earth revolve around the sun?

As someone who enjoys cooking, Cat has some very definitive tastes. First of all, at our next cookout, we will not offer Cat any condiments. She hates them! No ketchup and no mustard for her! She might do a little cranberry sauce, but other than that – nothing. She is in a bit of a quandry though when it comes to deciding whether to eat cake for dessert or cake for breakfast, she’ll probably do both, but she does prefer pie to cake. Pizza is also a no-no for Cat as it has tomatoes. Cat doesn’t eat tomatoes or bacon. But Skittles. There is never a bad time for Skittles.

When Cat is not here, she likes to knit, play in the kitchen, sculpt with gumpaste, read comics (not just superhero ones) and listen to The Thrilling Adventure Hour which is an old-style radio play podcast. But you will not find her hiking. She hates hiking. Swimming is ok, but hiking not so much.

So come on over to Topsham Public Library and give Cat a big welcome!



Guest Blogger Keith Spiro and Tai Chi at Topsham Public Library

As part of the summer reading program at Topsham Public Library, Tai Chi was offered on Saturday morning July 1 and July 8. Library Champion (and Official Photographer), Keith Spiro was one of the participants and he has written this week’s blog about his experience. Thank you, Keith!

With soft meditative music in the background, nearly a dozen of us gather on the brick patio behind the Topsham Public Library for an introductory lesson in Tai Chi.

We focus on the three basic conditions: Mind, Breath and Posture.

We learn to transfer energy by gathering fresh energy from the sky and ground while breathing in and exchanging out the stale as we exhale.

Tai Chi and Qugong have been prevalent in China for thousands of years. They are key to self-care in Chinese medicine and are used to increase vitality and inner peace. The practice of Tai Chi can also be a lovely way to loosen up your muscles and start the day.  The smooth fluid motions fit delightfully with the background music and being outside, we felt the light slightly cool breeze and bright sunshine. The new patio allowed a choice of sunshine or shade at that 9a.m. start time.

Our guide, Robin Brooks, directed us to take in a full awareness of ourselves as we traced our own energy across our body along the energy channels. She has come back to Tai Chi after first practicing it many years earlier. While there are 108 movements, she now practices a form of easy Tai Chi. Actually, there is even teacher certification for it as Tai Chi Easy™ as taught by a fellow in Santa Barbara California. His method makes it immediately easy, beneficial and probably of growing value in rehab and long term care venues.

For all of us that morning, it was a fast and fun introduction to the practice of Tai Chi. With concentration, I really could feel the energy in my hands while holding a Tai Chi ball.  The fluidness of motion was easy on my barely awake body as I gently stretched muscles and tendons.

I found it quite pleasant to be gathered as a group going through the practice and motions while paying attention to my posture and energy.

Big thanks to the Topsham Public Library and Robin Brooks for giving us the opportunity to learn something new – while showing off the new space outside the library walls. Topsham Public Library truly is a community center for everyone.

Re-printed with permission from

Children’s Programs During Staycation2017!

Hopefully, by now you have heard about Staycation 2017! at Topsham Public Library and you know about the great programming offered to adults. But there is a ton of stuff going on that day for children, too!

Beginning at 9:30a.m., on Saturday, July 29, a line-up of special guests will read to children. The fun begins with Topsham Town Manager Rich Roedner, followed by Woodside Elementary Principal Dedek, then Fire Chief Brian Stockdale, Williams-Cone School Principal Rineer is at 11a.m. and to end off the reading is Topsham Police Chief Lewis at 11:30a.m.

But the fun doesn’t end there! Bring your lunch and picnic on our grounds. Walk through our gardens. Bring a frisbee or a ball and play in our fields.

A BIG THANK YOU! to Friends of the Topsham Public Library for providing the free ice cream and beverages and they will be offering some activities for the children, too! If you’re not a member of Friends of the Topsham Public Library, check out their table during Staycation and get involved.

We also want to thank U.S. Cellular for their sponsorship of Staycation 2017! The continued support from our community – residents and businesses included – is greatly appreciated.


Paul Doiron is Coming to Topsham Public Library!!

I know you know who he is. And, I know you do not want to miss Paul Doiron at Topsham Public Library on Saturday, July 29 at 2pm! How do I know you know who he is? Because right now, as I write this, there are 242 holds on his newest release Knife Creek in the Minerva system.

As a Maine native, and as one who has had his pulse on all things Maine while Editor-in-Chief  for eight years of Down East: The Magazine of Maine, Doiron adds authenticity to the stories he writes. Game Warden Mike Bowditch is a favorite character of many of our patrons and the mysteries he is entangled in keep us guessing to the very end.

Doiron will be reading from his new release, and his books will be available for purchase. Clear your calendar and join us for Staycation 2017!


Maine Poet Gary Rainford Part of Staycation Lineup

Gary Rainford grew up on Long Island, NY, but now he calls Swan Island, Maine home where he resides with his wife and daughter year-round. Naturally, his poetry is influenced by the beauty and fierceness of the nature that surrounds him.

Salty Liquor is his first published collection of poems, and his work has also appeared in numerous literary magazines and university journals. His latest collection, Liner Notes, 64 ekphrasic poems describing 64 musicians as artists making music, is coming out very soon.

Baron Wormser, Maine Poet Laureate from 2000-2006, says, “Gary Rainford’s poems have the tang of coastal Maine and the honesty of that rock-fog-salt-wind world, at once straightforward yet holding subtleties of feeling that prickle flesh and psyche alike. Each poem provides a glimpse into depths – some momentary, some longstanding – all engaging.”

Gary will be sharing with us at 1pm on Saturday, July 29 as part of Topsham Public Library’s Staycation festivities. Don’t miss him! His book will be available for purchase. For a full schedule of that day’s events click here.



Storyteller Begins Festivities at Staycation2017!

She is no stranger to Topsham Public Library, and we are excited to welcome her back! Carol Birch begins the festivities during Staycation2017! on Saturday, July 29 at 10am.

Oral storytelling is vital to our Maine heritage, and Carol has been developing, working and excelling in the art for over 40 years.

Based in Connecticut, Carol has traveled the world sharing and teaching the art of storytelling. In 1998, she received the Circle of Excellence Award given by the National Storytelling Network for “setting the standards for excellence and demonstrating a commitment and dedication to the art over a significant period of time.”

Clear your calendar, and join us. You don’t want to miss her!



Library Spotting in Michigan

Weddings. Summertime is the season for weddings. That’s how I happened to be in Jackson, Michigan over the weekend. My nephew tied the knot and my sister and I went to join in in the festivities. Of course, one of us had to run around picking up last minute items and toiletries that one of us forgot and shoes to match the dress that one of us found instead of the outfit that one of us brought with us. It was during all that running around that I saw it.

Meijer Branch of Jackson District Library is in Jackson, Michigan. Of course, I had to check it out. I only had a few minutes because my sisters needed to get more errands ran and it was wicked hot out. It is a lovely library. It was very busy while I was there, so I didn’t get to speak with any of the staff, but it was obvious, Meijer Branch is important to its community.


Where have you been? Have you visited any other libraries? Email me and let me know. Send pictures too! My email is

I love my sisters. And of course, I love my own Topsham Public Library.

Summer Reading Program Begins This Saturday!

The excitement is building, people have been asking about it, and finally, on Saturday the fun begins! All kinds of stuff is lined up for the summer. There is something for everyone!

If you have participated before, you know that you want to be here on Saturday, June 17 to pick up your summer reading packet. If you haven’t participated before you should be at Topsham Public Library on Saturday, June 17 to pick up your summer reading packet. There are packets for babies, children, teens, and adults, too. These packets include information about programs and prizes available to all. Of course, if you cannot make it here on Saturday, you can pick up a packet the next time you visit.

Each packet contains a bookmark to record your summer reading. The completion of those bookmarks earn you prizes and/or tickets for raffles. Plus those packets will have flyers that highlight the special programs and opportunities taking place throughout the summer. Some of the highlights (and these are just highlights – you want to get the packets for all the details and programs) are:

for children:

  • Thursday, July 20 at 4:30pm  join us as we explore sharks and their unique adaptations  that help us learn more about their role in the ecosystem. Sharks4Kids will demonstrate why we should protect these animals instead of fearing them. Designed for ages 5-13, limit first 100 people.
  • Knit a Better World on Saturday, July 22 at 2pm. Warm Up America collects knit or crocheted 7×9″ squares and assembles them into cozy blankets. We want to send them some knit squares. Mariah or Emma can assist you in learning the basics of knitting, then you can take your project home to finish over the summer. We will provide yarn and needles. Designed for ages 7-12, registration is required for the instruction/supplies. If you would like to knit squares on your own, simply knit a 7×9″ square and bring it in to Mariah.
  • On Saturday, July 29 join us for Staycation 2017: a morning of special guests will read aloud to children. Guests include the principals from Topsham’s elementary schools, the Topsham Fire Chief, Topsham Town Manager and more. Then enjoy your picnic lunch on our grounds and we provide free ice cream and free beverages sponsored by Friends of Topsham Public Library. Details can be found at or pick up your flyer at Topsham Public Library.
  • Family Concert with Matt Loosigian on Friday, August 11 at 10am. Inspired by Matt’s incredibly dynamic voice and charismatic performance style, participants will sing, play and dance along as this musical wizard pulls giggles out of his guitar! Designed for children, but all ages welcome. Limit first 100 people.

for teens:

  • As part of Staycation 2017, on Saturday, July 29 at 10am there is a hands-on Graphic Novel Workshop where teens will learn the art of creating graphic novels and exploring how art tells a story. Registration is required.
  • Saturday, August 19 at 1pm the ever popular Teen Galaxy Spray Paint is back! Registration is required.  It can be messy so be sure to dress for a mess!

for adults:

  • Introduction to Tai Chi: A Wellness Approach on Saturday, July 1 and Saturday July 8 at 9am with Robin Brooks. We will learn gentle movements that help to balance energy, increase vitality and generate well-being. Wear comfortable clothing, soft shoes, and bring a water bottle.
  • Paul Doiron, Maine author of the Mike Bowditch series, will join us as part of our Staycation 2017 festivities. He will read at 2pm, but you will want to start the fun with Carol Birch Storyteller at 10am, and Gary Rainford, Maine poet, at 1pm. For details check out
  • Lighthouse Keeping with Ernest DeRaps August 2 at 6pm. Ernest G. DeRaps (U.S. Coast Guard, Retired) will show slides and give a talk about his family’s life in three Penobscot Bay Lighthouses and his own experiences in an isolated lighthouse south of Vinalhaven.

For more information about any of these programs, please call Topsham Public Library at 725-1727.

There is much more happening so be sure and get your packet!




Library Spotting

A few weeks ago, while we trudged through our gray, sunless days, Lynne, our lovely co-worker, was enjoying the sun down in the Florida Keys. While she was there, she happened upon two libraries, and she took pictures of them. Pictured left is Monroe County May Hill Russell Library.

That gave me an idea. When you are vacationing and holidaying, do you notice libraries? What if we all took pictures of libraries that we come upon on our travels? It doesn’t just have to be during summer get-aways, either. It can be any time of the year.

Whether you are in Paris, France or Paris, Maine, the tropics or the tundra, if you see/visit/discover a library take a picture and share it with us at Topsham Public Library. (You can post it on our Facebook page or you can email it to and we will post it here on the blog.)


Pictured below is Key Largo Public Library. It caught Lynne’s attention because it was in a strip mall. You may have noticed that Lynne herself is not pictured  any of the photos, but you can go ahead and ham it up for the camera if you want. And don’t forget to visit Topsham Public Library, too!