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Save the Date!

If you are anything like me, you are already planning your summer. We need to make the most of our short summers here in Maine, and enjoy it as much as we can. I am happy to announce a new program that you do not want to miss!

In conjunction with our Summer Reading Program, Topsham Public Library is planning a new event – Staycation 2017 on July 29, 2017! We are still in the planning process, but things are shaping up and we are getting excited! There will be something for everyone.

Principal Rineer from Williams-Cone Elementary, Principal Dedek from Woodside Elementary, plus other local celebrities will be our special guests reading to children, and for adults we already have Gary Rainford, Maine poet, and Paul Doiron, Maine author, lined up to read and we hope to have one or two other special guests added to the schedule.

Our teen programming for that day is still in the planning phase, but we have not forgotten about them!

As well as our schedule of special guests, please bring a bag lunch for a picnic on our beautiful grounds. We will be serving up a free frozen treat (from a local favorite) to our guests and we will have a couple of cornhole games available around the grounds. Bring your frisbee!

Keep and eye out for more information and further details. Enjoy our special guests, enjoy our grounds, and enjoy your community!

 

I Wish My Library Would…

 

Have you ever thought I wish my library would…Well, now there is a convenient way to let us know what you think. There is a new suggestion box at Topsham Public Library, and we want your clever ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

We are also looking for your thoughts about our magazine collection. We want a collection that is relevant and useful to our patrons. What magazines do you like? What do you want that we don’t have? Throughout the library, you will see colorful, skinny questionnaires asking for your input on our magazine collection, so grab one and fill it out. (Of course, you may also pick up a questionnaire at the circulation desk.) Once you have filled out the survey, you may put it in the suggestion box or you may give it to someone at the circulation desk.

An Evening of Horror

Join us at Topsham Public Library for a fright-filled evening of fiction as we plumb the depths of madness and the macabre. On Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 6pm some of Maine’s darkest minds will gather and discuss the craft of horror writing.

Horror Writers of Maine is a relatively new organization that promises to grow in strength and numbers, connecting readers to high quality authorship in the field of supernatural fiction.

Joining us for the evening will be:

Katherine Silva, the Midcoast Maine author of the Monstrum Chronicles series. She is a connoisseur of coffee, and a victim of crazy cat shenanigans. Her second book in the series, Aequitas, was nominated for a 2013 Maine Literary award. She published her first comedy in November 2013. She is a member of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, New England Horror Writers Association, Horror Writers of Maine, and founder of the Midcoast Maine Halloween Readings series. Currently she resides in Waldoboro, Maine working on the rest of the books in the Monstrum Chronicles as well as other projects.

Duane Coffill was born in Brunswick, Maine, and grew up in Freeport where he spent his time reading horror, suspense, and his favorite novel Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. He loves movies! He loves all kinds of horror, action, suspense, and even romance movies with his wife, Shelley. Duane began writing at the age of twelve and has written and published three novels and four poems.  Beyond writing, his career is an advanced computers and computer software with over fifteen years’ experience in various computer training programs. He is the Founder/President of Horror Writers of Maine, Horror Authors Alliance and is a proud member of New England Horror Writers. He has appeared on podcasts and radio, including, ‘Positively Maine’ with Tory Ryden, broadcast at Portland Radio Group on WCSH 6 radio.  He has recently self-published his first book, Cursed Darkness for the Kindle and print versions. Duane is at work on two novels and three short stories. He currently resides in Windham, Maine with his beautiful wife, Shelley.

David Price is a writer and editor who lives in Biddeford, Maine and has worked as a hardwood floor contractor for more than thirty years. He is a member of the New England Horror Writers, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, the Horror Writers of Maine and the Horror Writers Association. David is author of the paranormal suspense novella Dead in the USA and the upcoming novel, Lightbringers.  He can be reached @_David_Price_ or davidpriceauthor.com

April Hawks is a coffee addict, Minecraft enthusiast and avid reader. She has a zombie plan, but it is a preciously guarded secret. April’s first publication was in Bleed from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, with several more short stories appearing in various genre anthologies. Her next publication will be in Northern Frights anthology. April’s big projects in the works are a fantasy novel and a mystery novel. She can be found on Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Pinterest and Instagram

Morgan Sylvia is a writer, metal-head, coffee addict, beer snob, Aquarius, and  work in progress. A former obituarist, she lives in Maine and is now working as a full-time freelance writer. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, most recently in Wicked Witches. She also has stories in the forthcoming horror anthologies Twice Upon an Apocalypse and Northern Frights. In 2014, she released her first book, Whispers From The Apocalypse, an apocalyptic horror poetry collection. Her debut horror novel, Abode, will be released from Bloodshot Books this spring. You can follow her on Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest, WordPress, or Twitter.

Peter N. Dudar is the Bram Stoker Award-nominated author of A Requiem for Dead Flies and recipient of the Solstice Award for his 2015 novella Where Spiders Fear to Spin.  A graduate of the University at Albany in New York State, Dudar now resides in Lisbon Falls, Maine, where he has been writing and publishing fiction for the past twenty years.  When not writing fiction, Dudar also pens a film review column for Cinema Knife Fight, and keeps a blog on WordPress called Dead By Friday.  He is a proud member of both the New England Horror Writers and the Horror Writers of Maine.  Look For his latest short story to appear in HWoM’s new anthology, Northern Frights, which arrives this spring.

Don’t miss it! You will be screaming for more!

 

 

Do You Enjoy Tea?

The garden volunteers are at it again! There are bags of library-grown tea available for free to our patrons! Check out the basket next to our suggestions box! The following information is provided by Eli Arlen, a garden volunteer.

Most of the plants are perennial, so you can grow and harvest your own tea year after year. This year an area of the Topsham Library Garden was dedicated to growing herbs for tea. We grew lavender, thyme, rosemary, spearmint, peppermint, tulsi, lemon balm, lemon verbena, sage and stevia. Throughout the summer these herbs were harvested and dried. Each bag of tea will contain some combination of these herbs. The tea is easy to make, simply place the dried herbs in a mug or pot, cover with boiling water and allow to steep for at least 3-4 minutes. Enjoy!

Here is a little information about some of the herbs used in the tea.

Tulsi, also known as Sacred Basil, is native to India, but it can be grown as an annual here in Maine. It has been shown to help support respiratory health and the immune system. It is also a wonderful stress reliever and soothing to the digestive system.

Lavender is native to the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean. Inhaling the aroma of Lavender can help slow nervous system activity, promoting relaxation. This can help with anxiety, insomnia, stress and depression. Another common traditional use for lavender tea is for digestive issue relief, including nervous stomach and indigestion.

Lemon Verbena, native to South America, has a bright citrus-y scent. Health benefits attributed to lemon Verbena include helping with weight loss goals, protection of muscles, reduction of inflammation, boosting the immune system, calming the stomach, reducing fevers, soothing, nerves, and clearing up congestion.

Lemon Balm is native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. It is related to mint and has a mild honey-lemon flavor. It is a potent stress reliever. Thus it can be great for insomnia, depression, anxiety, and reducing high blood pressure. Lemon balm can also help to soothe an upset stomach and improve digestion.

 

Music in March!

Our ever-popular Music in March concert series returns to Topsham Public Library! Every Saturday in March at 1pm there will be a concert that is free and open to all ages.

On March 4, we welcome Porch Light, an acoustic duo from Midcoast Maine (Our own Mariah Sewall is one-half of the duo!!) offering daring and delicious vocal harmonies on Americana and folk covers. You can join them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PorchLightMaine.

Jud Caswell will return on Saturday, March 11. Jud is Maine born and a local favorite. There is sure to be some banjo-picking, Irish drinking songs and a few award-winning originals. Find out more at www.judcaswell.com.

March 18, brings us Simons and Goodwin. They have known each other for over 40 years, but it was not until 2006 that they joined forces and have delighted audiences with their acoustic act. They cover a wide assortment of Americana music including soft rock, country, blues and pop. You can find out more at www.simonsandgoodwin.com.

Our final concert features The High Winds Flute Choir. Come and experience the sounds of this newly formed flute choir conducted by Nan White.

These live concerts are sponsored by the Friends of the Topsham Public Library. Each week of Music in March will feature a live music performance by local musicians in the Highlands Community Room. Refreshments will be served.

A Spool of Blue Thread

Yesterday the group discussed A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. Have you read it? What did you think? How did you feel when the significance of the spool of blue thread is revealed? Did the “thread” of blue running through the book feel satisfying to you?

My Random Thoughts on Winter

I love Maine. I am from Maine. I can’t imagine living anywhere that does not have four seasons but winter is my least favorite season. I know, I know. There is skiing, and sliding, and snowmobiling, and snowshoeing, and smelting, and making snow angels, and hockey, and ice skating. There is also cold and wet and snow and more cold and wet and snow, and mud and salt all over my kitchen floor, and hats and mitts without their mates all over the place. And boots, I’m constantly tripping over boots!

I begin the winter loving it, and by the time February comes around, I’ve had enough. So what do I do to help myself get through it? I think happy thoughts. What kind of happy thoughts? Well, I think of all the bugs dying. I know we need bugs, and I know we will have bugs, but I believe everything in moderation is a good principle, so winter helps to keep the bug population in check.

Then I think about the snow melting in spring and how the land needs that water. The gardens need it, and I particularly think about strawberries. I love strawberries and I pick them every year. Those strawberries need the spring melt, so we need that snow. Perhaps I should take some strawberries out of the freezer for some shortcake or cheesecake or muffins.

And my children like those foods which makes me think about my kids. I love my children. I also love sitting on my couch in our warm, cozy living room and watching through the window as my children snow blow and shovel out our driveway and walkway. I feel like a good parent when I listen to them sigh and grumble about the injustices of the world as they head out the door to shovel. Gives me goosebumps all over.

Then there is the daily game of make-it-to-your-car-without-falling. Snow is a great covering for ice and it can be very deceiving and you think you have it conquered and then you don’t which you only discover when your feet are suddenly in the air and you are on your back wondering what the heck just happened. Then you have words with your spouse and kids and they don’t seem to see what the problem is, and you’re not quite sure, but they might be trying to hide a chuckle or two.

So I think about how nice it would be to fly to my car (I suppose, if I could fly I probably wouldn’t need a car, but that’s not the point right now) which makes me think about birds and that leads me to think about the cardinals in my neighborhood that visit my feeder. There is something so striking when I watch the male cardinals, just as red as can be, sitting on the snow covered bird feeder. I marvel at it every time. That red on white is crisp and fresh and right. To watch black-as-night crows as they sit on the branches and the squirrels try to outwit my bird feeder is a delight. There really is a rhythm to nature’s ways, and the more you watch the more you see. It’s funny how it works that way.

And I think about how lucky I am to work at Topsham Public Library. It is fun, as storms approach, to help everyone find the items they are looking for so they can snuggle in for the duration of the storm. Suggestions are given and received, and we discuss what we will binge watch (if we don’t lose power), and what snacks and food we make sure we have on hand, and kids are hoping for school cancellations, and everyone is bustling to get home before the first flake falls.

And that makes me think about roads, and I cannot help but feel thankful for Topsham Public Works and the Department of Transportation employees who are out in the storms and bad weather clearing our roads and highways. Thank you! It is certainly something I would not want to be responsible for and they all do a great job handling snow, lots of snow, and the drivers that drive in it. They do it in the morning, during the afternoon, and in the middle of the night while I am tucked in under my warm covers. Thank you!

Stay safe, Everyone! And remember only 33 days until the first day of Spring! We can do it!

 

School Vacation 2017 To Do List

School vacation is fast approaching, and if you need some help planning your week, look no further than Topsham Public Library.

Get the party started at our teen event, Chocolate Wars on Saturday, February 18 at 1pm-2pm. Bring your sweet tooth and try to best your buddies with a little friendly combat! Events include: Chocolate Pictionary, Stack & Sort Races, Chocolate Shuffleboard and more. Ages 11-18 only, registration is required and closes at noon on Thursday, February 17th. Make sure you tell your friends—we need 10 people to run this program!!

The fun continues on Wednesday, February 22 from 10am-2pm with Teen Drop-In Craft. Let your creative juices flow! We provide raw materials. You make great things! Stop by the YA room between 10am-2pm for our casual teen crafts program. Spend as little or as much time as you like. No registration required, ages 11-18 only.

Creativity abounds with ArtLab for kids on Thursday, February 23 at 3pm. Experiment with different tools and techniques to create unique works of art! Exercises taken from the book Art Lab for Kids will encourage participants to explore mixed media and their own creativity! Materials will be provided, Art Lab facilitated by Mariah. Ages 6-13, REGISTRATION REQUIRED!

And you don’t want to miss the finale on Friday, February 24  at 1pm-2:30pm as Friday of the Force returns! Start practicing your Jedi skills now! Join us for Star Wars themed snacks, crafts and activities! Wear a costume for extra fun! All ages.

Roses are Red, Violets are Blue

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
at Topsham Public Library,
we love you!

 

It’s February, and do you know what that means? That’s right! It’s Love Your Library on Saturday, February 11, 2017 starting and 10:00am and continuing through 11:30am.

Come see what your library card can do for you and why Topsham Public Library is your community center for all ages! There will be crafts, tours, and free raffles. Explore the world of virtual reality with our Google VR cardboard glasses. Gelato Fiasco and Wicked Joe are providing refreshments. Come and share the love!