First Thursdays are reserved for live music at Camden Public Library, in formats ranging from informal song circles to coffeehouses and concerts.

“We are pleased that we can contribute to the local music community and we’ve had a great response to our Coffeehouse series this fall,” said Ken Gross, program director at the library.

The library hosts sessions for songwriters, an occasional open mic evening and “we have quite a solid lineup for the Coffeehouse series in 2011,” Gross said. The events are either free or have a modest admission fee to help pay the musicians. The Library Coffeehouse featured local musicians Will Brown, David Lewis, George Fowler, Kat Logan and Jim Loney this fall.

“We have a tradition of excellent, really nationally-known musicians here in Camden. The acoustic or folk music community in Camden is remarkably strong and deserves to be sustained. I think we serve an underserved portion of our music community,” said Gross.

The next two first-Thursday sessions of live music will be Songswaps, set for Dec. 2 and Jan. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. A Songswap is an informal song circle.

“We usually get 10 to 15 musicians here with their guitars and sometimes an oddball collections of other instruments, singing mostly well-known songs that other folks can play along with. It’s great when we get a stand-up bass to join us!”, said Gross.

There will be a special concert on Feb. 3 featuring Gordon Bok in the Reading Room, along with some of the musicians who joined him on his latest recording. Tickets for Bok’s concert are $10 and are already on sale. The snow date is Feb. 8

The schedule for the music series will continue through May; Library Coffeehouse with Skip Gorman’s Music of the Old West on March 3;  a special coffeehouse with Sara Grey and Keiron Means on March 24; David Dodson on April 7, with an opening set by Peter Herson; and a return to the Library Coffeehouse by Gillette and Mangsen on May 5.

Admission to the Library Coffeehouse ranges from $5 to $8. For more information, call Gross at the Camden Public Library at 236-3440.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.