Catablogging@FPL: Dewey or Don’t we?  We do!

The Dewey Decimal Classification system is a tool the Library uses to organize the materials in our collection.  Conceived by Melvil Dewey in 1873, “Dewey” is the most widely used method for classifying materials in public libraries.  While many patrons are familiar with Dewey and are comfortable moving in and out of the stacks through the various sections, Dewey is sometimes known to cause some to hesitate at first introduction.  However, the library staff is always happy to guide patrons through the sections of the nonfiction collection, even if only to point out the Dewey schedule on the columns on either end of the building.  We actually enjoy sharing the wonders of Dewey!  In fact, one librarian, Scooter Hayes, even created a musical video as “Melvil Dewey International Library Hip Hop Superstar” in an effort to make learning Dewey fun for young people!  Check out Scooter’s video here!

While the FPL catalogers are not inclined to create any musical videos, we thought it might be interesting to highlight new titles in the collection each month by featuring examples from each of the ten main sections of Dewey.  So here’s a list of the sections to come starting this month:

000 Computer science, information & general works

100 Philosophy & psychology

200 Religion

300 Social sciences

400 Language

500 Science

600 Technology

700 Arts & recreation

800 Literature

900 History & geography

Catablogging@FPL: Rules for Library Hand

In this fast-paced day and age of getting materials onto the shelves as soon as possible, it may come as a surprise to many that there was a time when such library work not only took great time and effort; but took patience, perseverance, and practice on the part of the catalogers.

Because of a project made possible by the people of Falmouth through the Community Preservation Fund, we had the pleasure of cataloging a collection of the Library’s historical documents.

When the beautifully bound collection arrived, we were charmed by a document entitled, “Rules for Library Hand.” It reminds us that while the aim of our work is ultimately same, the execution is quite different.  Consider, for example, some of the rules that a staff member once wrote out by hand in an effort to learn the proper way to produce handwritten catalog cards:

1. Hold your pen between the first and second fingers.

2. Be careful to make all writing uniform in size, slant, blackness of line, spacing, and form of letters.

3. See that each letter stands upon the line.

4. Be careful to make no unnecessary lines and avoid flourishes.

5. Be careful to cross the t’s squarely and dot the i’s directly over the letter.

Oh, the days of learning to cross t’s and dot i’s! 

In this fast-paced day and age of getting materials onto the shelves, into our catalog, and onto our website as soon as possible, we so enjoy taking the time to appreciate and admire the work of our predecessors; and we are truly inspired to be carrying on the legacy of documenting, describing, and organizing information for our public—with the same care, only a little faster!

Come take a look at the collection, just ask the Reference Staff.

Catablogging@FPL: Hello to OCLC and Worldcat!

The Falmouth Public library is excited to announce that on August 1st we rejoined the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) as contributing members to Worldcat, the world’s largest online public access catalog.  As members, we work together with other librarians around the world to “explore the trends that shape our future; share data, work and resources; and magnify the impact of libraries.”

Check out these Worldcat facts and stats!

This is not only exciting news because as librarians we like to organize and share information, but it is also a great opportunity for the FPL to poise itself for future efforts in extending and amplifying our collection, especially making our unique resources more discoverable by our local public and the public-at-large.  As an example, some of the representatives from Falmouth’s Board of Selectman recently toured the Library and were shown how our cataloger creates original database records for both the CLAMS catalog and Worldcat, especially for the Library’s local resources….

…like Troy Clarkson’s new book:

Succanessett Snapshot : The People and Places that Make Falmouth a Community

…or even town reports on various studies:

The Falmouth Reconaissance Report: Heritage Landscape Inventory Program

We are delighted to be a part of the the world’s largest public catalog again because, like OCLC, we like to believe that “libraries empower people and transform communities!”

Ah May! May flowers, May baskets, May babies!

May babies? Yes, it is that time of year again!  May is when we celebrate the First Tales Early Literacy Program: All babies born during the month of May at the Falmouth Hospital Birthing Center will receive a copy of Margaret Wise Brown’s classic children’s book, Goodnight Moon and a Falmouth Public Library onesie designed by Tessa Morgan of Flying Pig Pottery in Woods Hole. 

The Friends of the Falmouth Public Library and the Early Childhood Resource Center at the Falmouth Public Library are always delighted to join forces in the promotion of early literacy.  We love to encourage reading to newborn babies!

According to the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care:

“Parents have the greatest impact on their children’s life. The first three years of life are a time of rapid brain development and learning.  This time becomes critically important for infants and toddlers as they develop the foundations for learning.”

So if you know of any new parents during the month of May, pass the word…

Hungry to Plan Your First Weekend of Spring?

Where else can you spend your weekend partaking in such fun food related activities as learning about raising chickens, making a delicious and healthy shake with your children, having a dinner with a man named “Andre,” or enjoying a pint while listening to local poets read their poems?

The Falmouth Public Library (…and Liam’s for the latter event!)


Saturday, March 23rd, 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Hermann Meeting Room

Join Melissa Caughey, a member of the Cape & Islands Farm Bureau, in a discussion on the basics of raising chickens in your backyard.


Saturday, March 23rd, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Children’s Room

Join Crickett Warner, local certified holistic food coach, and Laura Ford, FPL children’s librarian, as they combine efforts in teaching kids about healthy eating. 

Drop in and make a shake!


Saturday, March 23rd, 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Hermann Meeting Room

In Louis Malle’s captivating and philosophical film, actor and playwright Wallace Shawn sits down with friend and theater director André Gregory at an Upper West Side restaurant, and the two proceed into an alternately whimsical and despairing confessional on love, death, money, and all the superstition in between. A unique work in cinema history.  Rated PG.

(Sadly, the is the last in the Reel Food Film Festival.)


Sunday, March 24th, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Liam Maguire’s on Main Street, Falmouth

Alice Kociemba is hosting a free open mic poetry reading at Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub.  Sign up by 2:45 at Liam’s to share your original or favorite poem about food, drink, and cultural heritage…or just listen while having a pint!


All events are part of What’s Falmouth Reading?’s celebration of all things food. 

Extra! Extra! ECRC@FPL Newsletter is Hot Off the Press & Just in Time for Valentine’s Day!

Following after recent editions of the ECRC newsletter that feature such concepts as reading and playing, the music issue marks the third in the series of five activities—reading, playing, singing, talking, and writing—highlighted in the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) early literacy program.  Although teachers and librarians incorporate musical activities into the classroom and program rooms; parents, too, can help their child get ready to read through music.  So why not sing and dance with your child?

In the music issue you will not only discover a variety of ways that children are introduced to the benefits and wonder of music by those who work with children, but you will also find a list of titles that may help you build a family repertoire!  And do not forget the library’s awesome collections of musical CDs!  Our thanks to Susan Fitzgerald of the Cape Cod Conservatory; Marcia Hempel and Norina Reif, who lead music and movement programs at Cape libraries; and Margaret Loughnane, a music therapist, for contributing great articles and photographs.

Also included in the music issue is how to prevent the spread of flu in day care facilities, how to become a mentor in Falmouth Public Schools, and information on the launch of What’s Falmouth Reading 2013 for kids and families.  We are reading books about food and local gardening.  And speaking of local gardening, check out the awesome Mullen-Hall School Garden Project on the front page, as well as Lulu our adorable reading mascot!  Lots of fun stuff, so stay warm & healthy, think spring & gardens, and sing & dance with kids!

…and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Our Heartfelt Sympathy…

The Director and the staff of the Falmouth Public Library wish to extend their heartfelt sympathy to the Sandy Hook families who have suffered such an unfathomable loss and to let the Sandy Hook community know that they are in our thoughts as they attempt to navigate their way through such difficult times. 

In order to help our own community cope with the possible impact of such a tragedy, the Library has put together a collection of pertinent resources that address issues that may arise due to such a tragic event.

Books from our Adult Collection:

Children Changed by Trauma- A Healing Guide by Debra Whiting Alexander.  Shows parents and others what they can do to help children who have witnessed a traumatic event cope with emotions, learn to talk about what happened, and begin to feel safe again.

Books from our Children’s Collection:

On that Day: A Book of Hope for Children by Andrea Patel.  Sometimes bad things happen in the world. But there will always be good things in the world, too. You are one of those good things. With simple language and a heart-felt message, Andrea Patel addresses a timely and timeless question: What can you do when bad things happen? “Whatever we as teachers, and as adults, can offer the children-and each other-in the way of reassurance, and hope, and optimism, can only help heal us all.”

Sometimes Bad Things Happen by Ellen Jackson.  PreS-Gr 2-This book is designed to help children cope with “bad things” that occur in their everyday lives and to allow them to explore their feelings of sadness, fear, anger, etc. Some of the examples offered include a game being canceled, a sibling being pushed by a bully, adults fighting, and seeing scary news stories on television. After acknowledging the emotions, Jackson reassures youngsters that while “a few people do bad things” most people “want to make the world a better place for everyone.”

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes.  This gently told and tenderly illustrated story is for children who have witnessed any kind of violent or traumatic episode.

This Place I Know: Poems of Comfort.  Gr 1 Up-In memory of the September 11th tragedy, this book was compiled initially to offer hope and comfort to children who witnessed the event firsthand, but has far broader application, speaking to all people, young and old, who suffer trauma. Eighteen poems, by contemporary and 19th-century poets, deal with loss, fear, and grief, and touch on feelings deep within, reminding readers that goodness and love prevail, after all, and that there is enduring strength in the constancy of nature. Work by 18 well-known children’s book illustrators such as William Steig, Petra Mathers.

Online Resources:

Children and Grief

Disaster and Trauma Resource Center

Early Childhood Resource Center @ Falmouth Public Library

(Hard copies of all online documents are available, as well, in the Library.)

Extra! Extra! November is Family Literacy Month and the ECRC Newsletter is Just in Time!

The focus of the fall issue of the ECRC@FPL newsletter is READING!  Not only is reading one of the five activities that the ECRC@FPL is promoting in conjunction with our Every Child Ready to Read programming, but it is also Family Literacy Month in Massachusetts!

Family Literacy Month is an opportunity to engage parents, schools, and community partners to support children in out-of-school time learning.

The ECRC@FPL is delighted to support and take part in such endeavors.  In this issue, we include the topics:

RELUCTANT READERS (by none other than “Library Man,” who just happened to write the recent FPL blog post entitled Recent Readings),



…as well as the NEW TITLES in the ECRC collection on reading.  So visit the collection online or in the Children’s Room and read with the family!

Readers will also meet Lulu, the new ECRC@FPL reading mascot!


StoryWalk® Founder Presents Innovative Program that Combines Walking and Reading Outdoors

If you work with children or families, learn how to host this fun, yet educational, initiative that places a children’s storybook along a popular walking route in your community.  The creator, Anne Ferguson, will share how she selects a children’s book and prepares it in order to present it at regular intervals along popular paths so readers can follow the story as they walk. Conceived as a way to inspire parents, teachers, and caregivers to take young children out of doors to learn, StoryWalk® helps build children’s interest in reading while encouraging healthy outdoor activity for both adults and children. 

This FREE program is great for librarians, educators, family program coordinators, and others within the community who are interested in promoting literacy, fitness, and fun family programs. 

Date: October 11th, Thursday

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The StoryWalk® Workshop is sponsored by the ECRC@FPL, which is a state grant awarded to the Falmouth Public Library by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care and serves those throughout the region who educate and care for children.

To register, please contact the FPL Children’s Room: 508.457.2555 x5

News from the ECRC@FPL

The Boston Children’s Museum recently invited the ECRC@FPL to take part in an initiative that brings museums and libraries across the state into the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care’s effort to to promote early literacy.  Jeri Robinson, Vice President of Education and Family Learning at the Museum, states, “As part of the $50 million Massachusetts Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant, Boston Children’s Museum (BCM) has been contracted to coalesce a statewide partnership network of children’s museums and libraries to work together on impacting school readiness outcomes for all Commonwealth children and families…Through this initiative, EEC is seeking to formalize collaborations with the state‘s libraries and children‘s museums to build long-lasting knowledge, programming, resources, technologies, and curriculum.”

We are delighted to be part of this effort not just because promoting early literacy comes natural to librarians (especially to our awesome staff in the Children’s Room), but because we also offer great resources for parents, who are most certainly their child’s first teacher.

Case in point #1: FAMILY NIGHT AT THE FALMOUTH PUBLIC LIBRARY! We recently got together with the Falmouth Preschool and explored the wonders of the Library.  While the kids got a tour of the Children’s Room and were read to by Miss Laura, parents were upstairs with Jill Erickson, Head of Reference & Adult Services, discovering all the free resources available to them…….LIKE HALF PRICE PASSES TO THE BOSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM!

Case in Point #2: FIRST TALES EARLY LITERACY PROGRAM AT FALMOUTH HOSPITAL BIRTHING CENTER!  The Friends of the Falmouth Public Library and the ECRC@FPL will provide a copy of Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon and a FPL Children’s Room onesie designed by Tessa Morgan of Flying Pig Pottery to all babies born at Falmouth Hospital during the month of May 2012. Thanks to the terrific staff at the Birthing Center for helping us to spread the word that OUR FIRST TALES BEGIN AT BIRTH!