Information for Landlords & Tenants

Suzanne Hoey from the Barnstable Law Library visited us in April for two free workshops for landlords and tenants. We have made the materials and resources from her presentations available to you here. If you would like to get in touch with Suzanne directly, please contact the Barnstable Law Library. 


Helpful Information for Tenants

[link to Suzanne’s Powerpoint Presentation for Renters/Tenants]

Barnstable County Registry of Deeds 

If you are interested in renting a property, it’s a good idea to obtain the landlord’s full name and address and check the Barnstable County Registry of Deeds to verify they are the owner of the property.

[link to pdf] Legal Rights: Tactics in Discrimination (excerpt; 2017 edition)


All Court Forms

Eviction Defense Forms

Self-Help Forms

Massachusetts Law about Landlord and Tenant

Massachusetts Trial Court Electronic Case Access 

Search for the landlord’s last name and first initial by looking in the Housing Court department’s court records.

Tenant’s Rights in Massachusetts: Private Housing

Read the entirety of Legal Tactics: Tenants’ Rights in Massachusetts, 2017 online. This handbook provides practical information about tenants’ rights in private housing—housing that is owned by an individual or a privately-owned company.

Helpful Information for Landlords

[link to Suzanne’s Powerpoint Presentation for Landlords]

[link to pdf] Attorney General’s Guide to Landlord/Tenant Rights

This document outlines not only rental agreement considerations, but also tenancy, payment agreements, eviction, habitable living conditions, and housing discrimination. It is important for both landlords and tenants to understand the laws and regulations that govern these areas and what they might mean for their particular living arrangement.

[link to pdfHousing Providers Rights and Responsibilities Under Federal and Massachusetts State Fair Housing Law, Mass. Housing, Jan. 2011

Explains fair housing / discrimination law to landlords, including: how to market your apartment legally, communication with prospective tenants, dealing with families and children, explanation of disabilities and the rights of the disabled, and more.

Massachusetts Discrimination Law 

Massachusetts Law about Landlord and Tenant

Massachusetts Trial Court Electronic Case Access 

Search for the tenant’s last name and first initial by looking in the Housing Court department’s court records.

Tenant’s Rights in Massachusetts: Private Housing

Read the entirety of Legal Tactics: Tenants’ Rights in Massachusetts, 2017 online. This handbook provides practical information about tenants’ rights in private housing—housing that is owned by an individual or a privately-owned company.

Choose Privacy Week: May 1-7, 2018

Start learning how you can protect yourself from scammers and identity thieves at the Falmouth Public Library next week during Choose Privacy Week. Choose Privacy Week is the American Library Association’s annual, week-long event that promotes the importance of individual privacy rights and celebrates libraries and librarians’ unique role in protecting privacy in the library and in society as a whole.

Scams, Fraud, & Identity Theft

Thursday, May 3, 2018 | 1:00 pm | Hermann Room

Learn how to spot and avoid identity theft and fraud and learn how you can protect yourself and your family. Find out what common scams you should be watching out for  and the precautionary steps you can take to protect yourself from falling victim. Bring your questions and concerns.

Skimming: What You Need to Know

Thursday, May 3, 2018 | 3:30 pm | Hermann Room

What is skimming? Learn about this deceptive scam from the experts.

Meet Our Speakers:

Amy Schram has been with Better Business Bureau since 2011 and is responsible for educating the public at large and fostering the business to consumer relationship. Prior to joining BBB Amy was traveling throughout New England serving as a Motivational Speaker for Monster’s Making It Count Programs. She has previously performed in the Entertainment Department of the Walt Disney World Company and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emerson College.

Robin Putman currently works for the MA Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation serving as it’s Research and Special Projects Manager. In her role within Consumer Affairs, Robin conducts extensive outreach in dozens of communities throughout the Commonwealth, planning, coordinating, scheduling, and participating in a wide variety of events to provide consumers with information, education, and resources.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a nonprofit organization focused on advancing marketplace trust, consisting of 112 independently incorporated local BBB organizations in the United States and Canada, coordinated under the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) in Arlington, Virginia.

How else can I learn about privacy?

Welcome Melinda!

Katharine Lee Bates’s “America the Beautiful” resonates for many as the most patriotic and beloved American anthem. But poet, scholar, social activist, and Wellesley College professor, Katharine Lee Bates also loved to travel, thanks to her childhood in Falmouth. Her journeys from Cape Cod, to Wellesley, Oxford, Chicago, Colorado, Spain and Egypt, played big roles in influencing her writing of “America the Beautiful.”

Join us for a talk with author Melinda Ponder as she speaks about her new book “Katharine Lee Bates: from sea to shining sea” and Katharine Lee Bates on her travels on Saturday, April 7 at 3:00 pm.

Request your copy

Event Information:

Date: Saturday, April 7, 2018

Time: 3:00 -4:00 pm

Location: Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main Street, Hermann Meeting Room

No registration needed. Register on our registration page to receive a reminder email.

Melinda Ponder is also the author of Hawthorne and Women: Engendering and Expanding the Hawthorne Tradition and Hawthorne’s Early Narrative Art. Melinda Ponder first became intrigued with Katharine Lee Bates’ story when she attended Wellesley College and studied English— in the same English Department that Katharine Lee Bates established at the school decades earlier. She continued her academic career as a published literary critic with an M.A. in American Studies and a Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Boston College. Currently, she is a Professor Emerita of English at Pine Manor College. Her essays and articles on Nathaniel Hawthorne and other American and British authors have appeared in Genre, The Chicago Tribune, The Essex Institute Historical Collections, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review. Having grown up in Indiana, she now lives in Cambridge, MA.


“How I loved this splendid biography! Melinda Ponder brings Katharine Lee Bates to life as never before. And what a fascinating, remarkable woman she was—so much more important in the history and literature of our country than I had realized.”
~Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize historian

“Finally, a full portrait of the wise and witty woman who wrote the words that best express our love for America. Melinda Ponder’s rich narrative is a timely reminder that intellect, integrity, and a rigorous respect for truth are the real pillars of patriotism.”
~Lynn Sherr, former ABC News correspondent and author of America the Beautiful: The Stirring True Story Behind America’s Favorite Song

“Katharine Lee Bates: From Sea to Shining Sea unfolds at long last the impressive life story and strikingly variegated career of the author of America’s unofficial national anthem. A limit-bumping thinker ahead of her time, sometimes even at odds with it, Katharine Lee Bates also had a remarkable gift for reaching the broader American public.”
~Lawrence Buell, Harvard University, author of New England Literary Culture and The Dream of the Great American Novel

“…[A] carefully researched and thoroughly entrancing life tale of a brilliant and accomplished woman whose many achievements have too long been eclipsed by the enduring success of America the Beautiful. … Ponder wisely sets this triumph in the context of a full and richly lived life.”
~Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast

“Melinda Ponder’s … beautifully written biography presents Katharine Lee Bates as, in her time, a “New Woman.” Readers will find that this life story of a beloved poet, patriot, and social reformer has much to say about our own time.”
~Barbara Kanellopoulos, The Falmouth Enterprise

“Congratulations to Melinda Ponder for telling the story of a poet who was also a true American hero…. is book is a stirring tribute to a brilliant and deeply patriotic American whose message we need to hear today.”
​~Stephen Kinzer, historian and author, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire

Join us for Joy of Learning!

The Friends of the Falmouth Public Library have just announced the Joy of Learning Spring 2018 class schedule. Please use our online form below to enroll or you may enroll in person at the Main Library’s Reference Desk.

Icebergs and Their Drift into the Atlantic Ocean

Two Sessions: Tuesdays, April 17 & 24, 2:00-3:00 p.m.

This talk will discuss the size and shape of icebergs and their origins, with emphasis on the West Greenland icebergs which drift into the Atlantic shipping lanes. It includes the International iceberg patrol of the U.S. Coast Guard. Attempts to destroy bergs are shown.

Instructor Bio:
Robertson Dinsmore retired from the Coast Guard in 1971. He was Director of Operations and occasional captain of the research ships Atlantis II and Oceanus, retiring again in 2001. He served as a consultant to the National Science Foundation and is currently the director of the U.S. Lighthouse Museum.

Exotic Campaigns: The Struggle for the Kaiser’s African Colonies in the First World War

Three Sessions: Wednesdays, April 11, 18, & 25, 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.

For a number of reasons, the conquest of Germany’s African colonies was a vital component of the Allies’ grand strategy. This course will cover the fighting in these little-known theatres of the First World War. It will also introduce some colorful leaders, Germany’s only undefeated WWI general, the longest naval engagement in history, and the amazing flight of the Zeppelin I.59.

Instructor Bio:
Michael McNaught earned BA and MA degrees in history at Oxford University where he specialized in Military History and the Theory of War. An independent school teacher and administrator for 44 years, he has lectured extensively at Falmouth Academy, the Falmouth Historical Society, and the Joy of Learning program since moving to Falmouth in 2004.

Does the U.S. Still Need a Navy?

Three Sessions: Thursdays, April 19 & 26; Friday, May 4, 1:00-2:00 p.m.

An exploration of the role of the Navy in facing today’s security threats.

Instructor Bio:
Michael T. Corgan, Ph.D. Associate Professor of International Relations, Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, Adjunct Faculty at the University of Iceland, and Associate Faculty at the University of Lapland

The Portuguese in Falmouth (updated and revised)

Four Sessions: April 6, 13, 20, & 27, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Session I: Portugal: the Azores and First Wave

Session II: Immigrants and Outcasts: Second Wave

Session III: Immigration, Restriction, and Assimilation

Session IV: The Third Wave to Present Day

Instructor Bio:
Lewis A. White worked at M.I.T’s Synchronic Lab and NASA’s Electronic Research Center. He completed graduate work at Worcester Polytech where he taught computer technology, as well as at Hesser College.

Joy of Learning Online Registration Form

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Welcome Dr. Budson!

As you age, you may find yourself worrying about your memory. Where did I put those car keys? What time was my appointment? What was her name again? With more than 41 million Americans over the age of 65 in the United States, the question becomes how much (or, perhaps, what type) of memory loss is to be expected as one gets older and what should trigger a visit to the doctor. Dr. Budson’s new book, co-written with Maureen K. O’Connor addresses these key concerns and more. Join us for a talk with Dr. Budson on Saturday, March 10, 2018, as he discusses his research and his new book, Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory: What’s Normal, What’s Not, and What to Do About it.

Request Your Copy 

Event Information:

Date: Saturday, March 10, 2018

Time: 1:30 -2:30 pm

Location: Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main Street, Hermann Meeting Room

No registration needed. Register on our registration page to receive a reminder email.

Andrew E. Budson, MD, majored in chemistry and philosophy at Haverford College before receiving his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Budson is Professor of Neurology at Boston University, Lecturer in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and Chief of Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System. His career combines education, research, and clinical care to help those with memory disorders.

Maureen K. O’Connor, PsyD, was educated at Ithaca College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. O’Connor is Assistant Professor of Neurology at Boston University, Director of Neuropsychology at the Bedford Veterans Affairs Hospital, and Member at Large of the National Academy of Neuropsychology. Her award-winning research, education, and clinical care focuses on patients with memory disorders.


“Memory concerns are common and addressing them in practical terms is rare. Andrew Budson and Maureen O’Connor take on this challenge in Seven Steps to Managing Your Memory, providing understandable real-world advice about how to know if memory is normal or abnormal and how to understand what memory impairment means. The advice is practical, comprehensible, and valuable – don’t forget this book.” — Jeffrey Cummings, MD, ScD, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Las Vegas, NV


“This book provides a comprehensive review of how the brain stores memories, the causes of memory disorders and how these disorders should be evaluated, treated and managed. This book is so clearly written that it provides valuable information and practical advice for people with memory disorders, their families and health-care professionals.” — Kenneth M. Heilman, MD, Department of Neurology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL

“The book combines scientific data from the research literature, clinical knowledge, and their extensive experience to offer a helpful, practical guide to managing concerns that older people may have when their memories start to falter.” — Martin L. Albert, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA


“This thoughtful book offers insight into how the mind works and provides answers to fears about ‘losing our memory’. Through a series of vignettes, the authors help sort fact from fiction and, by the end of the book, the reader will be comforted to learn that being unable to find the keys for the tenth time in a week is likely the result of an overtaxed mind rather than something more serious. In this world of media bombardment and multitasking, here is a book that provides just the reassurance we need. A ‘must read’ for everyone over the age of 40. Just don’t forget to buy it!” — Cecilia McVey, RN, MHA, Certified in Nursing Administration, Boston, MA


“An informative and accessible discussion of memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other mental-health concerns. This primer will be useful to middle-aged and elderly readers, caregivers, family members, healthcare professionals, and others striving to understand the aging brain or find concrete ways to enhance brain health.” – —Publishers Weekly


“Understanding how memory works, and how well it works, is key to understanding yourself. For this this reason, Seven Steps To Managing Your Memory is recommended reading for everyone.” — The Electric Review


“Overall, I would highly recommend the book as a valuable resource for patients and families. I found it to be clear, accessible, generally accurate reading. I will gladly recommend the book to my patients and their families, and I would encourage other neurologists to do the same.” — Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology

Technology Class Schedule

March 2018

Draw and Paint with ArtRage on Your Tablet 
Saturday, March 24 , 2:00-3:30 pm
Bay Meeting Room

Instructor: Lori Cooney
Audience: Teens, Adults
Level: Beginner

Are you interested in digital drawing and painting using your tablet? Join technology expert Lori Cooney for a tutorial on ArtRage, a powerful tool available for iOS and Android. ArtRage is a realistic painting and drawing app that includes a full range of easy to use drawing tools like the oil brush, inking pen and glitter. All the tools act like real paint, pencil or chalk, and interact in different ways with each other and the canvas texture.

Sign up

Ask a Librarian: Library e-books for Beginners
Monday, March 26, 10:00 – 11:00 am
Bay Room

Instructor: Kasia Piasecka
Audience: Adults
Level: Beginner

Are you curious about how to download and read free e-books and e-audios from the CLAMS Overdrive Catalog on your computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet? Learn about free apps like Overdrive, Libby, by Overdrive, Biblioboard, and Axis 360 from one of our Reference Librarians. Bring your preferred reading device with you (iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Kindle Fire, etc) with you if you’d like and we will help you get started!

10:00-10:30: Library e-book collections and Overdrive tutorial

10:30 – 11:00: One-on-one assistance

Need help from home? Try visiting the library’s e-books page. If you need further assistance, consult the Overdrive Help website.

Sign up


Lori Cooney is a Project Coordinator & Instructional Design Specialist at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In addition, she is a Christa McAuliffe Teacher and has earned several teaching awards, including the WPI Technology Humanist Award and the MassCUE Pathfinder award.

Kasia Piasecka is a Reference Librarian at the Falmouth Public Library. She enjoys reading ebooks, iPhotography, and learning about new technology.

Welcome Maureen Boyle!

We’re pleased to welcome award-winning journalist, investigative reporter, director of the Journalism program at Stonehill College, and debut author Maureen Boyle to the Falmouth Public Library on Saturday, January 27 at 3 p.m. to speak about her new book, Shallow Graves: The Hunt for the New Bedford Highway Serial Killer.

Book sales and signings with Maureen Boyle will follow the event.

Event Information:

Date: Saturday, January 27, 2018

Time: 3:00-4:00 pm

Place: Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main Street, Hermann Meeting Room

No registration needed. Register on our website to receive a reminder email.

Maureen Boyle is an award winning journalist and has been a crime reporter in New England for more than 25 years, including at the Standard-Times of New Bedford during the serial murder case about which she wrote. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Bridgeport and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College. She is now director of the Journalism Program at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. This is her first book.

Reviews & Interviews

WBUR interviews Maureen about her new book. [listen to the story]

“Riveting. Heartbreaking. Authentic. This impeccably researched chronicle of a terrifying chapter in history will keep you turning pages as fast as you can. Important, powerful, and compelling, this is true crime at the highest level.” – Hank Phillippi Ryan

“Chronicles the killings and their aftermath with a novelist’s power and perceptiveness. A compelling work of narrative nonfiction. . . . A great read.” – Irene Virag, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter and journalism professor at Stony Brook University

“First-rate reporting. . . . It takes a master storyteller to weave facts into a work of art that makes readers both think and feel. Boyle has succeeded. Highly recommended.” – Tom Hallman Jr., Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of Sam: The Boy Behind the Mask

“Boyle expertly captures a terrifying time in a compelling and entertaining narrative. . . . Nearly impossible to put down.” – Tim White, co-author of The Last Good Heist

“The definitive examination of a case that continues to grip a troubled region. . . . Irresistible.” – Chris Gonsalves, author of Haunted Love

Shallow Graves: The Hunt for the New Bedford Highway Serial Killer

Request a copy

Eleven women went missing over the spring and summer of 1988 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, an old fishing port known as the Whaling City, where Moby Dick, Frederick Douglass, textile mills, and heroin-dealing represent just a few of the many threads in the community’s diverse fabric. In her book, investigative reporter Maureen Boyle tells the story of a case that has haunted New England for thirty years. Maureen first broke the story in 1988 and stayed with it for decades. She spins a riveting narrative about the crimes, the victims, the hunt for the killers, and the search for justice, all played out against the backdrop of an increasingly impoverished community beset by drugs and crime. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews, along with police reports, first-person accounts, and field reporting both during the killings and more recently, Shallow Graves brings the reader behind the scenes of the investigation, onto the streets of the city, and into the homes of the families still hoping for answers.

Technology Classes

January 2018

Get Organized Using Your Smartphone

Saturday, January 13, 2-3:30 pm
Bay Room

Instructor: Lori Cooney

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to get organized? Join Lori Cooney for a class on getting organized using helpful apps on your smartphone, including calendar, alarm, and more. iOS and Android apps will be covered.


iPhotography for Beginners
Saturday, January 27, 10-Noon
Bay Room

Instructor: Lisa Rudy

Learn to use the controls on your iPhone camera to capture, edit, send, and save your photos. You will also explore the Enlight app and discover tools for making ordinary photos amazing, softening harsh lines, using filters, and even turning photos into “paintings!”

Grades 6-12 and adults welcome. This workshop is for those with iPhones with IOS version 8 or later. Not sure if you have IOS version 8 or later? Here’s how to check:


Please call the Reference Department to sign up for the waiting list.

Ask a Librarian: Downloading Library eBooks for Beginners
Monday, January 29, 10-11:00 am
Bay Room

Instructor: Kasia Piasecka

Are you curious about how to download and read free ebooks on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet? Learn about free apps like Overdrive, Libby, Axis360, and Hoopla that you can use to read ebooks and listen to eaudios. Attend this workshop or schedule a free appointment with our eBook expert.

Books and resources on how to use different digital devices will also be available to peruse and check out.

Sign up


Lori Cooney is a Project Coordinator & Instructional Design Specialist at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston. In addition, she is a Christa McAuliffe Teacher and has earned several teaching awards, including the WPI Technology Humanist Award and the MassCUE Pathfinder award.

Kasia Piasecka is a Reference Librarian at the Falmouth Public Library. She enjoys reading ebooks, iPhotography, and learning about new technology.

Lisa Rudy is a fine art iPhone photographer and juried artist at Cape Cod Art Association whose work has appeared in numerous venues across Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  Lisa sells prints and photo-based products at events and through her website:



Dancemeditation Class

Dunya McPherson’s passion for dance took her from a small seaside New England town in 1972 to the Julliard School in the heart of NYC’s vibrant, edgy art scene. A decade later, healing from a serious injury, she turned away from her successful performing career and retreated to a monastic mountaintop community directed by a charismatic Iraqi Sufi Master. This sojourn opened a mysterious, beautiful inner world, and an understanding of dance as moving prayer. Her path became Dancemeditation.

Dunya will read from her book Skin of Glass: finding spirit in the flesh at the Woods Hole Library (581 Woods Hole Rd.) on Wednesday, January 17 at 7:30 pm [more information]. You can then join her at the Main Library (300 Main St.) for a relaxing DanceMeditation session on Monday, January 22 at 2:00 pm. Drop in or contact the library to sign up.

About the Workshop

*** Come ~ Go In ~ Receive ***
Dunya’s Dancemeditation helps us trust our bodies. We move through the crust of harried surface worries and into our Huge Intelligence. Body speaks to us from the flow of our most Original self, freeing us from habitual patterns, and increasing our awareness of embodied present-ness.





The workshop will be comprised of 1.5 hour of movement, introducing you to exploration in gentle curvilinear motion, hand dances, and breath-based stretching, healing rocking, and intuitive movement flow. The movement period will be balanced with rest to allow integration. The session is designed to promote revitalization, a deeper relationship with our body, an inward, intuitive connection to movement and breathing, and a taste of the Sufi Way of embodied mysticism under the guidance of an acclaimed authority, living Sufi master, and meditative leader.

To learn more about Dancemeditation Practices, visit:

Please bring a mat and blanket with you.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing for movement, and have a warm layer and socks for the rest period.
Complimentary tea will be provided at the end of the session (3:30 pm). Participants are invited to stay afterward for conversation and refreshments.

Entrepreneur & Small Business Workshop Series

We’re excited to welcome staff and volunteers from the Small Business Administration and SCORE for three informative presentations for new entrepreneurs and small business owners this December, as well as in February and May 2018. All programs are free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged.

The SBA Advantage

Learn about the many resources available to help you begin your business startup. Find information, advisors, assistance, as well as financial sources, to further your business ideas. Presented by the Small Business Administration.

Dates: Thursdays, December 14, 2017; February 22, 2018; May 31, 2018

Time: 10:00 am – noon

Room: Hermann Meeting Room (300 Main Street, Falmouth)

Untitled design(1)


Meet Our Speakers:

Small Business Administration (SBA) helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Its 320+ chapters hold events and workshops locally across the U.S. and its territories, and match up entrepreneurs with local, volunteer mentors.

Depending on availability, SEED staff may be present as well:

SEED (South Eastern Economic Development) is a regional nonprofit economic development corporation, SEED Corporation focuses on job creation by financing all types of small businesses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. SEED makes loans ranging from a $1,000 Micro Loan to a $5.5 million SBA 504 Loan and also administers a small business technical assistance program.