So, You Want to be a Travel Writer?

Come and learn the inside story on the world’s most coveted job on Saturday, January 12th from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Have you always wondered what it would be like to get paid for traveling? Are you currently writing about your journeys and want to know how to take it to the next level?  Ray Bartlett has over 15 years experience as a guidebook writer for top-industry publications and will give you the tools and the know-how to jump into travel writing as a career.  He will help you set writing goals, figure out what aspects of travel writing will work best for you, discuss budgets and trip-planning, and more.

Ray Bartlett, travel author and novelist, has written for top-industry publications writing guidebooks, articles, magazine pieces, and even doing radio, for names like Lonely Planet, Insight Guides, Moon Handbook, and Budget Traveler.  Many of his guidebooks are best sellers on Amazon.  He is also the author of Sunsets of Tulum, a “destination fiction” novel set in exotic Yucatan.  His new novel, The Vasemaker’s Daughter, is due out in spring 2019.

You can register online! This workshop is generously sponsored by the Library Board of Trustees.

This Year I Will … Resolutions for the New Year

On The Point with Mindy Todd this morning we discussed books that might inspire you to set a few resolutions for the New Year, or make you decide that there was no need to make a resolution. As Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary on Friday, January 2nd, 1931: “Then — well the chief resolution is the most important — not to make resolutions. Sometimes to read, sometimes not to read. To go out yes — but stay at home instead of being asked. As for clothes, I think to buy good ones.” Vicky Titcomb, of Titcomb’s Bookshop joined us for this show. The show was pre-recorded, so if you would like to share any of your favorite books on New Year’s Resolutions, please leave a comment and we will add it to the list!

Vicky’s Picks

The Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Make Your Bed: little things that can change your life … and maybe the world by Admiral William H. McRaven

George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior

Forks Over Knives — the cookbook: over 300 recipes for plant-based eating all through the year by Del Sroufe

Gmorning, gnight!: little pep talks for you and me by Lin-Manuel Miranda; illustrations by Johnny Sun

Wherever You Go, There You Are: mindfulness meditation in everyday life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace by Dr. Patrizia Collard

TBC30: 6 steps to a stronger, healthier you by Michael Wood

The Yoga Deck by Olivia H. Miller

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: a life-changing list by James Mustich

What Good Should I Do This Day?: a journal inspired by Benjamin Franklin

Jill’s Picks

The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume Four, 1931 – 1935. Letter from Friday, January 2nd, 1931.

How to Be a Better Person by Kate Hanley

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope by Anne Lamont, particularly chapter eleven, “Food.”

Food & Life by Joël Robuchon and Dr. Nadia Volf

Letters of Wallace Stevens selected and edited by Holly Stevens. See journal entry for December 31, 1900.

The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker

The Year of Reading Dangerously: how fifty great books (and two not-so-great ones) saved my life by Andy Miller

A Calendar of Wisdom: daily thoughts to nourish the soul Written and selected from the world’s sacred texts by Leo Tolstoy

This Year I Will: how to finally change a habit, keep a resolution, or make a dream come true by M. J. Ryan

Selected Letters of Dylan Thomas, edited and with commentary by Constantine Fitzgibbon.  See the letter of 25 December 1933.


Listener Picks (We weren’t live, but we still have some listener suggestions!)

You Are a Bad Ass: how to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life by Jen Sincero



Self-Help Dewey Numbers  To Use When In Your Public Library …

Aging and Longevity 155.6719
Anger 152.47
Anxiety 152.46
Assertiveness 158
Codependency 155.9
Empathy 152.41
Emotions 152.4
Fear 152.46
Forgiveness 155.92; 179.9
Grief 155.937
Habit Breaking 158.1
Left and Right Handedness 152.335
Meditation 158.12
Memory 153.12
Perfectionism 158.1
Rejection 158.2
Relationships 158.24
Relaxation Exercises 155.9042, 158.12
Self-Acceptance 158
Self-Esteem 158.1
Self-Help Techniques 155.264
Self-Hypnosis 154.7
Stress Management 155.9042
Time Management 158.1
Worry 158.1

Our Book Bike Has Arrived!

You may recall, back in March, we won a book bike at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia. We have been patiently waiting since March for our specially made for us book bike to arrive. And now it has! You can stop by the main library and see it in person if you would like, and before you know it, we expect it will be appearing at events around town! Watch our social media for more updates! #LibrariansOnARoll



Curbside Service at East Branch

Starting Monday, October 15, 2018 and lasting through May 15, our intrepid staff at the East Branch will be offering curbside service!  Patrons can have their library materials delivered right to their car.

Just think, is your baby asleep in the car seat …  Do you have a dog in the car you don’t want to leave …  Is it pouring rain, sleet, snow or hail …  Or are you simply in a hurry to get all your errands done?  Now your trip to the East branch can be quick and easy.

Just park in the designated spot and use a cell phone to call from your car – or call from home beforehand and staff will deliver your materials to you.  (No roller skates involved.)  Be sure to have your library card with you, please.  Let us know what you think.

Lanny McDowell – exhibiting “Flights” at FPL

My creative energy, paintings and avian photographs, expresses my awe and respect for powerful natural cycles:  in my paintings, the patterns of wind and water that drive waves to our shores, that guide clouds across the sky; in my photographs, it’s the wondrous life cycles of the birds that share the planet with us and inspire us.”

Lanny McDowell – exhibiting “Flights”, a collection of paintings and photographs at the Falmouth Public Library Art Walk

October 2nd – 30th, 2018


There is much precedent of artistic talent in Lanny’s family, including his mother’s great sculpture and his father’s designs for both traditional colonial and innovative modern homes; and there are the fine landscape oils of Nelson Augustus Moore (1824 – 1902) and his son, Edwin (1858 – 1928).

Lanny grew up outside the small town of Kent, in the northwest corner of Connecticut, attended Hotchkiss School, and earned a BA in Art History at Yale. He moved to Martha’s Vineyard full-time in 1970 and lived on Tisbury Great Pond in the first house he built. After about a dozen years back in Kent, he resumed the Island life in West Tisbury for over a decade; and now in his home near the head of Lake Tashmoo in Vineyard Haven.

Mr. McDowell has been very fortunate to have travelled to destinations scattered about the globe and is an avid birder. His photographs of birds appear frequently at the Facebook group called Martha’s Vineyard Bird Alert, and in newspapers, periodicals, nonprofits’ publications and videos; and he is very happy that they adorn people’s homes from here to Miami to Scottsdale to Oahu. His fine art paintings have been shown in a number of Vineyard galleries.


“I believe in paying attention to the marvels that surround us.  My creative energy, paintings and avian photographs, expresses my awe and respect for powerful natural cycles:  in my paintings, the patterns of wind and water that drive waves to our shores, that guide clouds across the sky; in my photographs, it’s the wondrous life cycles of the birds that share the planet with us and inspire us.”


Farewell to Kasia Piasecka

Today is a sad day for the reference department and for the patrons of the Falmouth Public Library, as we say farewell to our reference librarian, Kasia Piasecka. Kasia arrived in February 2015 and we were lucky to have her commute from Providence, Rhode Island as long as she did! (Happily she really enjoys podcasts, which helped when the bridge was backed up!) We are full of joy that she has found a position with the Providence Community Library, and wish her all the best in her new position.

For those of you that never make it down to the Reference Department, let me tell you a little bit about what Kasia has done during her time at FPL. One of her biggests efforts was to reconfigure and reinvigorate our Teen Room. She put a big emphasis on manga and graphic novels, rearranged all of the furniture (more than once!) and made an effort to welcome everyone into the room. Most recently Kasia has been scheduling all of our remarkable programs for both teens and adults. Those of you who know her best are probably those of you who have experienced her incredible patience and skill teaching you how to use e-books on whatever device you might own. To give you an idea of how much patrons appreciated Kasia’s help … she was once given a homemade pie after helping someone!

Kasia also expanded the horizons of the reference department itself, introducing us to new ways of communicating with our patrons, improving our graphics in general, and most of the time being the voice of our Facebook page. Whenever we got stuck with a web page issue, Kasia could almost always find a solution to the problem. She was one of our biggest contributors to our staff picks shelf, and you will still be able to find her picks there for some time to come.

Do stop by and say farewell to Kasia today. We will be celebrating her success, and lamenting our loss in the reference department all day with treats.

And should you know of a reference librarian who is looking for a great job in a great library, we’re looking for a Kasia replacement! (Although we are pretty sure she is not replaceable!)



Pirates on the Point with Amy Vince & Peter Abrahams

Today’s book show on The Point was all about pirates. Amy Vince sat in for Mindy Todd to talk books with Peter Abrahams and Jill Erickson. Below you will find the books we had a chance to talk about, and a few extras that we did not have a chance to talk about. If you have a favorite book about pirates, let us know and we will add it to our list. Miss the show? Don’t worry, you can listen tonight at 7:00 PM on WCAI or listen online!


Peter’s Picks

The Republic of Pirates: being the true and surprising story of the Caribbean pirates and the man who brought them down by Colin Woodard

Under the Black Flag: the romance and the reality of life among the pirates by David Condingly

The Whydah: a pirate ship feared, wrecked, and found by Martin W. Sandler

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: the forgotten war that changed American history by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager

The Pirates of Somalia: inside their hidden world by Jay Bahadur

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Wine-Dark Sea by Patrick O’Brian

No time for:

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Delusion by Peter Abrahams


Jill’s Picks

Books of the Sea: an introduction to nautical literature by Charles Lee Lewis

Wondrous Strange: the Wyeth tradition: Howard Pyle, N. C. Wyeth, Andrew Wyeth, James Wyeth

The Pirates of the New England Coast 1630 – 1730 by George Francis Dow and John Henry Edmonds

Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth by R. Buckminster Fuller

Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eagar

Seafaring Women by Linda Grant De Pauw

The Golden Age of Piracy: the rise, fall, and enduring popularity of pirates edited by David Head

The Desert and the Sea: 977 days captive on the Somali pirate coast by Michael Scott Moore

No time for picture books:

The Ballad of the Pirate Queens by Jane Yolen, illustrated by David Shannon

Captain Jack and the Pirates by Peter Bently & Hlene Oxenbury

Swap by Steve Light


Listener Pick

Ireland’s Pirate Queen: the true story of Grace O’Malley, 1530 – 1603 by Anne Chambers


Friday Reads: Cape Cod Telephone Directory, July 1977

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.  Topics may be new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 

Today’s blog is written by Jill Erickson, head of reference and adult services

*          *          *          *          *


Why are we featuring a telephone directory for Friday Reads?!? Because we were recently given a copy of the July 1977 New England Telephone Cape Cod with Orleans Area Yellow Pages. What did we do with this gift? We were delighted to add it to our Reference Local History collection in the reference room. As it happens, a surprising number of people show up at the reference desk looking for addresses of people who at one time lived in Falmouth. Our collection of telephone books previously began in 1986, so this is a lovely addition.

There are some other resources for addresses. Our collection includes two Resident and Business Directory of Bourne, Falmouth and Sandwich Massachusetts: containing a complete resident, street and business directory, town officers, schools, societies, churches, post-offices. One from 1900 and one from 1903. In addition we have a number of “blue books” which begin in 1908. The official title of the 1908 edition reads: The South Shore Blue Book: containing lists of the summer residents of the principal resorts along the South Shore from Hull to Plymouth and Sagamore, Shores of Buzzards Bay, including the Falmouths, Woods Hole, Marion, Mattapoisett, Fairhaven, Salter’s Point, Quisset, etc. In these volumes one learns not only where people were living in Falmouth, but where their winter home was as well! For Woods Hole it also tells the reader that Woods Hole can be “Reached by trains of New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. 72 miles from Boston. Time 2 hours, 31 minutes. Fare, $1.45; 10 rides $12.75.”

So before you throw out your pre-1986 phone books … think about giving them to us!

Beat the Heat at the Library!

It’s another Cape scorcher, and you really need somewhere cool to go. Why don’t you head over to your local library?

Here are five cool things you can do at your library to beat the heat.

  1. Pick a quiet corner and read. All branches have daily newspapers and magazines as well as plenty of books to while away the hours.
  2. Watch movies. Bring in a laptop or tablet and use the library’s free Wi-Fi to access movies on Overdrive or check out a DVD and watch it on your computer or one of ours.
  3. Research your roots. Did you know we have genealogy databases for researching your family tree? HeritageQuest can be accessed from your home computer, but a few like must be accessed at the library. Drop by on Tuesday afternoons between 2-4 in the Reference Room to ask a genealogy question and get help from the experts from the Falmouth Genealogical Society.
  4. Learn something new. The library has so many interesting and informative programs. You can join a book club, learn how to download free ebooks, or make a puzzle. To learn a new skill online; bring your headphones and access for free.

Whatever you choose to do, it will be in blissful air-conditioned comfort!

Hot Weather Tips

Summer months bring fun, sun, and heat! Sometimes, the heat can become dangerous, especially for children, pets, people who work outside, and people with certain health conditions. Staying safe in high heat is important. Check out these tips to stay safe.

  • Drink plenty of cool water! Stay hydrated.
  • Wear loose, light-colored clothing that will keep you cool. Wear sunscreen and a hat for protection.
  • Check on neighbors who might be vulnerable to the heat, especially those without air conditioning.
  • Never leave children or pets in a car—not even for one minute. Temperatures inside a car can quickly skyrocket to deadly levels.
  • If you work or play outside, take frequent breaks to hydrate and cool off in the shade.
  • Don’t forget the pets! Keep pets indoors if possible. If kept outside, give them plenty of water and shade to rest in.
  • Symptoms of heat-related illness include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps, and increased thirst. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention.

Library’s Historical Documents are Digitized

The preservation of the Falmouth Public Library’s historical documents is now complete.

Through a grant by the Falmouth Community Preservation Fund in 2010 , the Library was enabled to rebind documents and records dating back to 1792.

Recently, the collection was digitized by the Digital Commonwealth, a non-profit collaborative organization that helps Massachusetts libraries create, manage, and disseminate  cultural heritage materials.

The collection may be viewed in full on the Internet Archives.