IRS Tax Scams in the 2016 Filing Season

Scammers are making unsolicited phone calls claiming to be IRS officials. They demand that the victim pay a false tax bill. They try to con victims into sending cash, usually through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. They may also leave “urgent” callback requests through phone “robo-calls.”

These calls have been received by people in the Falmouth area. One of our librarians received a just such a call. The recorded message said a lawsuit had been filed and warrant would be issued for her arrest if she did not call the 800 number they gave her.

Many phone scams use such threats to intimidate and bully a victim into paying. They may threaten to arrest, deport or revoke the license of their victim if they don’t get the money.

The IRS will NEVER:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

If you receive one of these calls, do not identify yourself, do not argue with the caller — just hang up.

REGISTER: Ticks & Tick-borne Illnesses (This Weekend!)

We are pleased to announce a free two-part series on ticks and tick-borne illnesses on Saturday, March 18, and Sunday, March 19, 2017.  Come learn about how to avoid ticks, the many diseases they spread, how to manage your health if you become infected and about the “untold story of Lyme Disease.”

Part one will be held on Saturday March 18 from 10:30 to noon in the Hermann Foundation meeting room.  A panel of three speakers will present their complementary areas of expertise regarding ticks, followed by questions from the audience.  Larry Dapsis, entomologist from the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, the education department of Barnstable County, will talk about tick habits, habitats and precautions to take when spending time outdoors to avoid exposure.  Lauren Valle, founder of Kinship Herbal and Holistic Healing in Falmouth, will present an array of information related to healing Lyme Disease, including herbal medicines, immunity, nutrition, detoxification, self-advocacy, tracking symptoms and maintaining optimism and strength.  Ron Gangemi, founder of Lyme Awareness of Cape Cod and Entire Health and Wellness, both in Mashpee, will discuss the many tick-borne illnesses that are found on the Cape and the latest information on treatment options and resources, including integrative approaches.  Light refreshments will be served.

Part two will be held the next day, Sunday, March 19 from 2:00 to 4:30 PM, in the Hermann Foundation meeting room.  We will be screening the award winning documentary film:  Under Our Skin, followed by a discussion of the film lead by a reference librarian.  “Under Our Skin is a powerful and often terrifying look not only at the science and politics of (Lyme) disease, but also the personal stories of those whose lives have been affected and nearly destroyed.” ( It won six “best documentary” awards when it came out in 2008 and it is still an important expose on the disease.

Come to either event or both.  Please register for the panel discussion on Saturday.

Program Registration Form

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Friday Reads (and CDs): violins and fiddles

Highlighting today’s early morning news was the story of a Stradivarius violin once lost (stolen) in 1980, found in 2015, and now fully restored in 2017 from its past of Super Glue and Elmer’s Glue patches. Exactly why does the name Stradivari seem to remain in our vocabulary, usually in conjunction with values in the millions? What is so special about this luthier’s instruments? As it happens, the library has a book that may help with these musings. The Violin, a Social History of the World’s Most Versatile Instrument.  2013 [787.2 SCH] has extensive sections on the Stradivari family and Stradivarius instruments.

If you’re wondering about Mira Wang, the violinist who will perform soon on the above-mentioned recovered Strad, you might want to search for a magazine article about her in our fine arts database, Gale’s Fine Arts and Music Collection.

The book title, The Violin, a Social History of the World’s Most Versatile Instrument, elevates the violin to a rank often bestowed upon the guitar… or maybe the piano. Is the violin really so versatile?? Here is a book on fiddling, another style of violin playing:

The fiddle book; the comprehensive book on American folk music, fiddling, and fiddle styles including more than 150 traditional fiddle tunes compiled from country fiddlers. 1967. [787.2THE].

Dig into our CD collection to sample some of the violin’s many music-making guises from both older classics and newer recordings.  From Classical to jazz to gypsy jazz to country to Acadian folk, all the formats share one thing, a beautiful sounding instrument. Here are a few listening suggestions.

Classical violin: Joshua Bell. The Four seasons. Antonio Vivaldi. 2008. [CD MUSIC Class VIV]

Gidon Kremer. Tracing Astor: Gidon Kremer plays Astor Piazzolla.2001 [CD MUSIC Class KRE]

Jazz Violin:         Stephane Grappelli.  Atlantic jazz. Mainstream. 1986. [CD MUSIC Jazz ATL]

Nigel Kennedy.  Recital. 2013 [CD MUSIC Jazz KEN]


Country Fiddle:  Bob Wills (of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys):

Back in the saddle again; American Cowboy Songs. 1983 [CD MUSIC C&W BAC]


Acadian Fiddle: The Slippery Stick: Traditional Fiddling From New Brunswick / with Gerry Robichaud,

fiddle and Bobby Robichaud, guitar. 1996 [CD MUSIC Folk ROB]

The ubiquitous “Dummies” books offer the chance to sample the very long and labor-intensive process of learning to play the violin: Fiddle for Dummies : Book + Online Video and Audio Instruction, 2014; is available to borrow online from Axis360. Without a doubt, any smattering of experience playing a violin OR a fiddle would give one an admiring appreciation and understanding of what’s so special about a Strad!

Friday Reads: In the Heart of the Sea


This month the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club was all hands on deck to discuss In the Heart of the Sea:  the tragedy of the whaleship Essex by Nantucket author, Nathaniel Philbrick.  In a nutshell, the book recounts in harrowing detail how an angry 85-foot sperm whale stove in the Essex in late 1820 and the men, some of them, survived at sea for more than 90 days with little more than some hard tack (dry biscuits) and their wits.

Not just a survival story of man against nature, we also are provided with thoroughly researched and well-presented historical context of Nantucket culture in the 19th Century and the whaling industry.   The shipwreck was well-known during its time, in part because the men resorted to cannibalism to survive.  Also noteworthy was the rarity of a whale, and an unusually large whale at that, attacking a ship.  The event was the inspiration for the climactic scene in Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick.

There was so much to talk about that the hour was quickly over, quite unlike the whaling voyages we were discussing.  Although a few in the group had read the book before, and many of us had some familiarity with whaling, we all were thoroughly engaged and felt enriched for having read this book.

If you are looking for an excellent work of narrative nonfiction about historical New England, then In the Heart of the Sea is for you.  Look for it on the Staff Picks shelf soon.

Next month we will be discussing Unbowed: a memoir by Wangari Maathai.  Join us on Thursday, March 2 at 10 AM in the Hermann Foundation Meeting room.  We look forward to seeing you.

Friday Reads: Great House

Great House is a great book.  Written by Nicole Krauss, author of the international bestseller The History of Love, the follow up novel, Great House is a “tour de force of fiction writing” according to a starred review in Booklist (2010).

In this complex novel we meet five very different people, including an American novelist, an antiques dealer in Jerusalem and a man in London caring for his dying wife.  “Connecting these stories is a desk of many drawers that exerts a power over those who possess it or have given it away.  As the narrators of Great House make their confessions, the desk takes on more and more meaning, and comes finally to stand for all that has been taken from them, and all that binds them to what has disappeared.

Great House is a story haunted by questions:  What do we pass on to our children and how do they absorb our dreams and losses?  How do we respond to disappearance, destruction and change?” (Publisher’s summary)

Here in the library Great House was discussed by the Fiction Book Club some time ago and it is currently on the Staff Picks shelf, although not for very long – it is frequently checked out.

If you are looking for a book that is rich, intricately plotted, character-driven and demands close reading, then you will be hooked on this “soaring, powerful novel about memory struggling to create a meaningful permanence in the face of inevitable loss.” (Publisher’s summary)

Tax Forms are Here!

Tax forms have arrived in the library. They are located in the downstairs hallway in the cafe area. We have basic IRS forms 1040, 1040A & 1040EZ, plus instructions and Massachusetts resident and nonresident booklets.

You can also find tax forms on the IRS website. View their list of current forms and publications here.

Download Common Tax Forms & Instructions

2016 1040 form  [instructions]

1040 Schedule A

1040 Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business)

2016 1040EZ form

2016 1040-ES form

W-9 Form[instructions]

Helpful Publications

Check the status of your refund

Find a professional tax preparer

Find your local IRS office

Form 1040 Tax Tables

2016 Federal Tax Guide

Free Tax Preparation

The Community Action Committee of the Cape Cod & Islands offers tax preparation assistance to those who are eligible. Contact them for more information and to schedule an appointment: 508-771-1727

The Falmouth Senior Center offers tax assistance to those who meet certain income requirements. Contact them for more information: 508-540-0196



Friday Reads: Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil

Did you read the wildly popular Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil by John Berendt when it came out in 1994?  Did you see the movie of the same name, produced by Clint Eastwood and starring Kevin Spacey and John Cusack three years later?  Well I did neither at the time, but I knew they were both excellent, so I selected the book for this month’s meeting of the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club.

The best-selling true crime story Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was shocking when it came out more than twenty years ago because it featured a gay man accused of murdering his bisexual friend/assistant and a transgender drag queen, in a time and place when those subjects were not written about.  The first half of the book describes the city of Savannah, Georgia, its history, architecture and several of its colorful characters whom the author got to know over eight years of living there part-time.  The second half of the book focuses on the murder trials of Jim Williams, the first person in the state to be tried four times for the same crime.

I gathered that five out of the 11 people who came to the meeting had read the book when it was new. Most were happy to read it again, however, because it is a captivating story expertly rendered with the essence of a thrilling novel.  With so many having read the book twice, it prompted a very interesting conversation about how times have changed and how the readers themselves had changed.  We discussed how the author’s experience as a columnist for Esquire and an editor of New York magazines influenced his organization and writing style in his first book.  We also wondered about how skewed his perspective was on his adopted part-time city.  Many Savannahians welcomed this northerner warmly, thrusting him into their party or touring him through their town, but we got to really know only the eccentric ones.  Of course, they make for the most interesting read.

We had a terrific discussion this month and I know at least a few of us are now hoping to visit Savannah someday.   One group member highly recommends Berendt’s other book, The City of Falling Angels, which is about the city of Venice.

Join us next time for In the Heart of the Sea:  the tragedy of the whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick.  Did you read it before?  Reading it again and discussing it with an engaged group like the Narrative Nonfiction Book Club is sure to reveal something new.   Join us on Thursday, February 2 at 10:00 a.m. in the Hermann room.   Copies are available at the reference desk.

Faith Lee
Reference Librarian


P.S. Lady Chablis, the transgender drag queen who became quite famous after the publication of this book and starred as herself in the movie, died in September, 2016 at age 59, according to CNN.

Friday Reads: Christmas Days

Just in time for Christmas, a delightful little book to get you in the spirit of the season:  Christmas Days: 12 stories and 12 feasts for 12 days by Jeanette Winterson.  Indulge yourself a little after all your holiday preparations and discover what’s inside this package.

Winterson, author of twenty titles, brings her British wit to this seasonal collection.  “Winterson’s innovative stories encompass the childlike and spooky wonder of Christmas.” (New York Times Book Review)   In addition to mysteries, some with a touch of magic, you’ll find twelve recipes that complement the stories, such as mince pie and sherry trifle.   Kick back and read for a spell with a glass of holiday cheer using the author’s recipe for Mulled Wine.

I especially enjoyed the Christmas Cracker as our family has a tradition of popping open the crackers, donning the paper hats, and regaling each other with the fortunes, and often trading the tiny prizes inside.

The book just arrived this week, but already readers are queuing up to read it.   You can place a hold on any copy in the network or a librarian would be happy to do it for you.  Just let us know.

By Donna Burgess

Friday Reads: 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas


Snappy, clever, unexpected and fun!   Read 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas if you like writing that sparkles, empathize with precocious children with tough childhoods and like jazz.  Experience in Philadelphia a plus, but not necessary.

Debut novelist Marie-Helene Bertino leads us through a single day in the lives of three people: a rebellious nine-year girl who wants to be a jazz singer, her recently divorced teacher, and Lorca, the owner of the night club, The Cat’s Pajamas.  Their worlds come together on Christmas Eve at 2 a.m. at the Cat’s Pajamas.  Love, hope, music and the streets of Philadelphia are a rich setting for this charming story.

Look for it on the Staff Picks shelf.

Friday Reads: Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

A sure sign of a good book is one that you are happy to read again for your book club, even though you read it on your own when it first came out … and you find that you are so excited by the heart-pounding action and brilliant writing that you have to put it down to catch your breath and calm your nerves, but not for too long, because you can’t wait to find out what happens next.  Such a quandary!  That was the experience of one member of the library’s Narrative Nonfiction Book Club when she was reading Seabiscuit: an American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand.

Seabiscuit, in case you aren’t familiar, was a crooked-legged racehorse, “one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938.” (Publisher’s summary.)  He overcame humble beginnings and numerous setbacks to win the most important race of the time.  But this book isn’t just about the horse.  It is about the three men who loved him: his owner, his trainer and his jockey, and the culture of horse racing that thrived despite the Great Depression and looming world war.

Almost half of the book club members read the book when it came out in 2003.  It “was an instant success – so instant, in fact, that it made its way to No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list before it was even advertised.  The book stayed at No. 1 for nearly 10 months and remained on the best-seller list for more than two years.  Seabiscuit sold more than 6 million copies in the United States alone and has been translated into 15 languages.  It also spawned a hugely successful film that garnered seven Oscar nominations.” (

Members who read the book again for the book club commented that during the first read, they were caught up in the story, but during the second read, they found they noticed more details.  For those readers who enjoy learning about an experience they’ll never have themselves, such as professional horse racing, mountaineering, commercial diving, and the like, the details in Seabiscuit make the reader feel as if he or she is on horseback pounding down the track, streaking over the finish line.  Members who read the book for the first time were enthralled, whether or not they had an interest in horses before opening the cover.  It was just that good.

Next month, we will be discussing Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: a Savannah story by John Berendt.  Pick up a copy at the reference desk now and join us on Thursday, January 5 at 10:00 am in the Hermann Foundation meeting room for another rousing discussion.