Things are Rockin’ at Topsham Public Library

If you haven’t heard: Libraries Rock! Not only is that true, it is also the theme of the summer reading program, and things are rockin’ at Topsham Public Library.

Join musician, Marc Black, on Wednesday, August 1 at 6pm for a special multimedia experience about the history of the baby-boomer generation. Black performs a wide range of popular songs including favorites like “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, and “Blowin’ in the Wind” while you reflect on the history and sing along.

In high school, Black’s band, the Blades of Grass, reached the top forty and performed alongside the biggest acts of the day including the Doors, Van Morrison and Neil Diamond. He has since recorded more than a dozen CDs including one ‘pick hit’ in Billboard Magazine and another that was recognized as a ‘minor masterpiece’ by famed music producer John Hammond Sr. In June, 2014, Black was inducted into the New York Chapter of the Blues Hall of Fame.

Mark your calendars, and get your groove on!

1500+ Hours Donated by Topsham Public Library’s Volunteers

Recently, Dave, Topsham Public Library Volunteer Coordinator, and his crew of shelving volunteers reached a milestone. This fiscal year, our wonderful volunteers performed over 1500 hours of volunteer time!  That is up 300 hours from last year.

Our shelving volunteers complete a number of duties including shelf reading, book shelving, packing and unpacking ILL deliveries, and shelf shifting. These 1500+ hours do not include the hours spent in the gardens by our garden volunteers, nor does it include the time spent by volunteers who deliver books for our Books on Wheels program.

Each volunteer averages 28 hours a year donating their time. There are 10 volunteers who gave us 50+ hours this year, some even more than 80 hours, and we want to give them a shout out! Tristan Caswell-Riday, David Hammond, Jeffrey Hanscom, Cherylene Labbe, Susan Lowe, Claire McCrea, Karen Richard, Ann Sanfasin, Claire Saulnier, and Owen Yabsira have contributed to the success of Topsham Public Library.

Needless to say, it is impossible to do what we do without our volunteers. No matter how much time our volunteers give, we appreciate them all. Thank you!

Bowdoin International Music Festival Musicians visit Topsham Public Library

Bowdoin International Music Festival performers at the 2017 Community Concert held at Topsham Public Library.

Topsham Public Library will host students of the Bowdoin International Music Festival in a free concert on Saturday, July 7th at 2pm. The Bowdoin Festival’s Community Concert Series presents gifted classical musicians from around the world performing solo and chamber music in non-traditional venues. The performers are conservatory and graduate students who attend the festival’s summer program to hone their performing skills in preparation for a life in music.

The Bowdoin International Music Festival was founded in 1964 by Lewis Kaplan and the late Robert K. Beckwith of Bowdoin College. The mission of the festival is to prepare gifted young musicians from around the world for a life in music through study with world-class artists, and to present classical music in concerts performed to the highest artistic standards. Over its 54-year history, the Bowdoin International Music Festival has established itself as a vital force throughout the music world.

This Community Concert Series is a favorite at Topsham Public Library, and we hope to see you there! As always, the event is free and open to the public.

Ed Webster, Mountaineer to Visit Topsham Public Library

On Thursday, June 28 at 6:00PM at Topsham Public Library, Ed Webster, author of the White Mountain rock climbing guidebooks, will present his newest lecture about the recreational development of Mt. Washington, known as Agiocochook, by the native Abenaki. Webster will discuss his unique collection of early artwork, stereophotographs, and pictures taken by 1920s and ‘30s rock and ice climbers and skiers and share little-known stories and anecdotes that he has unearthed in his research. Come and enjoy this illustrated lecture about every New Englanders’ favorite mountain.

Ed Webster began rock climbing at age eleven. Now a veteran of seven Himalayan expeditions, Ed is one of America’s best-known rock climbers and Himalayan mountaineers. ​Webster’s writing and photographs have, additionally, been published worldwide in over fifty magazine articles, in Alpinist, Climbing, Rock & Ice, Popular Mechanics, Rolling Stone, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, National Geographic Books, and the Sierra Club. He has authored five books including all three editions of his definitive guidebook, Rock Climbs in the White Mountains of New HampshireClimbing in the Magic Islands; and his best-selling autobiography Snow in the Kingdom, My Storm Years on Everest. 

This program is open to the public, and is sponsored by Topsham Dental Arts. The Topsham Public Library is located at 25 Foreside Road in Topsham.

Rare Readers – What were your favorites this year?


As always, the Rare Reads book group read a variety of books this year. What were your favorites? Which had the best discussions? Let us know in the comments below! Here’s the list to remind you:

Rare Reads Book List 2017-2018

September: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

October: Pink Chimneys by Ardeana Hamlin

November: Wonder Woman by various
December: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

January: Life on Mars: Poems by Tracy K. Smith

February: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

March: Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch

April: Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

May: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Tips On Requesting A Movie

With the recent release of Murder on the Orient Express, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Dunkirk we have noticed a pattern of confusion as patrons request movies and TV shows from home. So, I’m going to give you some tips to keep in mind when requesting those items.

The most important step to take when searching for a movie is to limit the search to Topsham Public Library:

This is especially important when it comes to new releases or popular movies. When holds are placed on items, the owning library’s copy goes to their patrons first. As a Topsham Public Library patron, when you place a hold on a movie that Topsham Public Library owns, it will go to you before it will go to another library. So, when a movie has sixty or seventy or sometimes one hundred holds, if you request the Topsham Public Library copy, then it will come to you sooner than if you request a copy from another library.

If Topsham Public Library does not own a copy of the movie you want, then search All Minerva Locations:    

If another library has the item, and it does not have any holds on it, you should get it rather quickly (a week-ish). If it is a popular item, there will be a wait as, again, owning library’s copy goes to owning library’s patron first.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that the first item that pops up on your search may not be the item you want. For example, Murder on the Orient Express:


As you can see, there are two movie versions of Murder on the Orient Express that Topsham Public Library owns. The first one on the list is an older version from 1974, and the second is the 2017 theatrical release. Make sure you are choosing the one that you want by checking the release date and the cast that’s listed. Don’t just request the first one that pops up.

Also, make sure you have the right format. If you want a DVD rather than a book or a Blu-ray, for example, check the icon to the left of the listing. DVD has a green icon.

As always, if you need help requesting something, don’t hesitate to ask for help when you visit Topsham Public Library, or you may call us at 725-1727.

Summer Reading Begins June 1

It’s that time of year again. I think it comes more quickly each year! If you are a regular, you are familiar with the summer reading program at Topsham Public Library. If you are new, you don’t want to miss out!

Every summer, we host a summer reading program, and this summer it begins Friday, June 1. There are programs for children, teens, and yes, adults, too. Every age group has goals and incentives to encourage reading, and prizes are earned and won. Plus, throughout the summer there are special activities planned. Come on in to Topsham Public Library and pick up your summer reading packet and get in on all the fun!

Did You Watch The Great American Read?

On Tuesday, May 22, PBS aired the premier of The Great American Read. Did you watch it? In case you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, PBS is hosting The Great American Read in which the public votes on their favorite book from a 100 book list and in Fall, 2018 PBS will air 7 episodes covering the voting process and announcing America’s favorite book.

I did watch last night’s kick-off episode, and I have one complaint: I feel like they squeezed too much in to the two-hour episode. They quickly covered each title on the list of 100 books, and though it was informative, I would have liked to have spent more time on each title. But, that’s just me.

On the positive side, my opinion changed on some of the titles. I have not read every book on the list, and there are some titles I will read this summer, and there are others that don’t interest me, but after watching the show last night, some of those that I have no interest in reading are now on my “To Read” list.

To cast your vote on your favorite book visit The Great American Read website. If you haven’t seen the list it is on their website or you may request a copy at Topsham Public Library.

Happy reading!

Wanna Go Fishing?

Thank you to Keith Spiro for this photograph taken at Fishing Rally 2017.

My father loved to fish. He would get up early in the morning, and by the time I woke up fish would be frying on the stove. I remember two times Dad took me fishing. My earliest memory was picnicking on the bank of the Little Black River. After a little lunch, my dad taught me to put a worm on the hook, and then he showed me how to cast. I then put a worm on the hook, and I cast my rod, and I caught something. The hook had caught on my brother Tim’s ear. I was done fishing for the day.

My second memory finds us again on the Little Black only this time Dad, Tim, and I were in a canoe. I might be seven, and Tim was four. We were actually on our way back to shore, and dad suggested I try catching a fish one more time. This time, I actually hooked a fish. I was reeling it in when Tim tried to grab it and instead of grabbing the wriggling fish, he fell over the side of the canoe head first into the deep water. In my mind’s eye, all I can see is my father’s hand coming out of nowhere, plunging into the dark water and pulling my brother up from the depths. I knew I was safe with my dad.

I think that was my last time fishing. Though I don’t fish anymore, I am thankful for the role fishing has in my heritage. That’s why I appreciate the Fishing Rally that Topsham Public Library, Topsham Parks and Recreation, and Topsham Solid Waste Facility sponsor annually. There won’t be canoes to fall out of, and hopefully the only thing your hook snags is a fish, but it’s sure to be an adventure.

So, don’t miss your opportunity on Saturday, June 2, 8am-11am to learn to fish, or to fish again after a long absence, or if you’re an avid fishing enthusiast to just enjoy a few hours fishing with your community. The event will be held rain or shine at “the Ponds” behind the Solid Waste Facility on Foreside Road. Try your luck—and maybe win a prize! Topsham Public Library will provide fishing poles and bait for those who need them. This is a catch and release program, and for this one day only, a fishing license is not required.

All ages welcome! Coffee and refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Topsham Public Library. This program is free and open to the public.