President Obama’s Summer Reading List

Every summer we are eager to see what summer reading books President Obama might have brought with him to the Vineyard. Way back in 2009 we actually sent the President and his family CLAMS library cards, along with a copy of Cape Cod and the Islands : where beauty and history meet by Kathryn Kleekamp and a history of the Falmouth Public Library.  We never heard back, but every summer we hope that he might actually visit one of the many lovely public libraries on the Vineyard.

His list this year is as follows:

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

We can’t help but notice that one of these titles was mentioned on the book radio show that I do the last Wednesday of every month with Mindy Todd on WCAI!  Local author, Peter Abrahams just last month recommended Barbarian Days: a surfing life by William Finnegan. Do you think the President was listening?!



In Search of Falmouth Yearbooks

The Falmouth Public Library is searching for two volumes of the Lawrencian, the yearbook for the Lawrence High School, to borrow so that we might have a complete set to digitize. The years we are completely missing are 1932 and 1971, but we are also interested in yearbooks from 1931 to 1937. If you have copies of any of these years, we would love to borrow them, so that we might include them in our digitization project of the Falmouth yearbooks. They would be returned to you as soon as we are done with the project. We know our Falmouth Enterprise digital project has been enormously helpful to people, and we think this project will be as well. You can email us at if you have any questions about the project or have a yearbook we might borrow. Many thanks!

Friday Reads: Codex 632


The Staff Picks collection is an eclectic mix of books, audiobooks, music CDs and DVDs that library staff members have enjoyed.   Sometimes when staff write their comments they’ll point out that while the work they are recommending might have a weakness, it really is worth your time despite it.  To me, this is one of the great aspects of Staff Picks – you know ahead of time that you might encounter a rough patch, but the overall journey is a rewarding one.  With that in mind, I’d like to share a Staff Pick card written by our library director, Leslie Morrissey about the novel Codex 632: the Secret Identity of Christopher Columbus by José Rodrigues Dos Santos:

“I have to give this book a mixed review.  The historical information in the book is absolutely fascinating, but the story itself seems to be simply a vehicle which provides the opportunity to support the history found in 15th century documents.

The story starts out with Thomas Noronha, a professor of history and  expert cryptographer who is hired to continue the investigative work of  scholar who is found dead in his hotel room.  The narrative takes the reader around the world, from Lisbon, to New York and Rio in search of the true identity of Christopher Columbus, a puzzle no historian has been able to solve.

What makes the book worth reading is the depth of information the reader is exposed to in terms of writings, personal letters and government documents, all of which reinterprets what most of us have been lead to believe is true.

The book has been translated from the Portuguese.  I found the facts to be infinitely interesting.  I’m glad I stayed with it despite the weak story line.  The last sentence creates and AHA! Moment for the reader.

This book may be for you but it’s not for everyone.”

Look for this and other Staff Picks on the black shelf near the new books.

Friday Reads: Guideposts magazine in LARGE PRINT


We know that many Falmouth patrons prefer large print format for their books because it is much easier on the eyes than regular print.   So we are dismayed that very few magazines are also published in this format.  We’ve had the classic, Reader’s Digest in large print and for a while now and we have been looking for other suitable titles to add.  Well, we are very pleased to announce that we finally found one:  Guideposts.

Guideposts is a small, monthly magazine published by a nonprofit organization, (also called guideposts) which was founded in 1945 by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and his wife.  Their website ( states, “Guideposts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing hope, encouragement, and inspiration to millions of people across America and the world. Through uplifting magazines, books, websites, a prayer network, and outreach programs, Guideposts helps people deepen their faith and inspires them to reach their true potential.”  They describe their magazine as having “stories that show the power of prayer and God’s work in our daily lives. These captivating stories will inspire you to put your faith into action and overcome your problems, achieve your potential, and help others.”

Our first issue arrived this week and you can find it in the periodicals room, filed alphabetically by its title, between Granta (a literary magazine) and Guitar World.  As you can see, we have a variety of magazines that we hope will suit many tastes.   Past issues can be checked out – just lift the shelf to find them.

Introducing … our new Website!

By now you have no doubt noticed that we are sporting a new look on our website.  Don’t worry – all the helpful information you have come to rely on, like our events calendar, this blog and lists of great books recommended by the staff are still here.  Things we have done differently are:  …  re-organized  pages to make what you want easier to find, ….  made our databases more visible, … added more pictures of the library … and lots of new information, such as library policies and more ways to contact us, so you can reach the department you need.  Be sure to check out the spiffy new Teen and Children’s pages.  A patron recently told us he didn’t see any information about our special collections when he came into the building.  We listened and made sure that there is now a webpage devoted to our special collections, which you can find under the “About” tab.

I’d also like to point out that our weekly newsletter that is delivered to your email also has a beautiful new format.  We have added pictures and limited the news to highlights only, so you won’t be bogged down by a long column of text.  The full events listing will still be published as is in the Friday Enterprise and on our events calendar online.  If you don’t already subscribe to our newsletter, look for the link on the homepage and sign up!  If you already subscribe, look for it in your inbox.

If you have been following along with library news these past nine months or so, then you have probably noticed that we have been actively asking for opinions from everyone about how we are doing and how we can improve.   We want to be sure everyone knows we are here for them and we can help in innumerable ways.   Need a good book to read?  We can recommend several.  Need information to solve an issue?  We’ll find it for you.  Want to learn a new skill or craft?  We have books that teach many things from making a terrarium to building a barn and, who knows, it might be one of the several programs we offer for free throughout the year.  In addition, we have meeting rooms for the community to gather for author talks, lectures and workshops, as well as display areas for artists to show their work.  We are a community hub.  We hope our new website reflects all this and that you find it attractive and easy to use.   Some pages are still under construction; so I hope you will excuse us if you come across one.  We are working hard to make it the best we can, as quickly as we can.   We hope you like it!



The Herbert Henry Smythe Scholarship applications are here!

Big news: the application packets for the Herbert Henry Smythe Scholarship arrived at the reference desk today.  You have until 3 PM on June 3, 2016 to submit them.  There is “$38,000 of scholarship aid from the Henry Herbert Smythe Trust.  The committee typically awards more than thirty scholarships.” Eligible students must be voting residents (or children of voting residents) of Falmouth with a maximum age of 24 years as of January 1, 2016.  “ Recipients may be pursuing a variety of post-high school educational plans at any accredited college or technical school.” So, come on down, get your application packet and turn it in for your chance win some money for college.  Good luck to all!

Applications are available at the reference desk of the Main Library.

Precinct Meetings

Falmouth Town Clerk, Michael Palmer, has announced the precinct meetings, which are listed below. Want to read a great book about politics? Try one of these! We particularly love All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren.

Precinct Meetings

Precinct 1 Tuesday March 29th 7:00 at the Morse Pond School Auditorium

Precinct 2 Tuesday March 29th 7:00 at the Morse Pond School Auditorium

Precinct 3 Tuesday March 29th 7:00pm at the Morse Pond School Auditorium

Precinct 4 Wednesday, March 30 7:00pm at the East Falmouth Elementary School

Precinct 5 Thursday March 31st 7:00pm at the West Falmouth Library .

Precinct 6 Thursday March 31st 7:00pm at the West Falmouth Library .

Precinct 7 Wednesday, March 30 7:00pm at the East Falmouth Elementary School

Precinct 8 Wednesday, March 30 7:00pm at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds

Precinct 9 Wednesday, March 30 7:00pm at the Barnstable County Fairgrounds

Join the Discussion!

The East Branch of the Falmouth Public Library is very pleased to host a discussion entitled Cancer Survivorship:  Achieving Mind & Body Wellness, lead by Kristine Whaples, MS, RCEP, CDE, CET on Wednesday, March 16, 2-4 PM.  Kristine is a registered clinical exercise physiologist and certified diabetes educator who coordinates the Living Fit for You! Cancer Wellness Program for Falmouth Hospital.

Overall wellness is an essential component of cancer recovery and quality survivorship.  There is a definite relationship between lifestyle and post-cancer therapy survivorship. It has been well-established that through increased exercise, a healthy plant-based diet, and stress management, survivors will benefit from:

• reduced risk of recurrence

• increased survival and longevity

• reduced risk of toxic cancer treatment-related side effects

• management of overwhelming fatigue

• reduced risk of other chronic diseases

• improved quality of life

Our discussion will focus on recommendations for nutrition, exercise and stress reduction. You will gain insight on how to move forward, develop a wellness plan and achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Please register by contacting the East Branch at 508-548-6340 or the Reference Department at the Main Library 508-457-2555 x 6 or

The Library is Transformed with Kniffiti!

You have to see it to believe it.  The main library is bedecked with all sorts of colorful and whimsical creations made out of yarn graffiti, or kniffiti as rebel yarn crafters like to say.  Wooden chairs sport crocheted and knitted covers with surprising textures and patterns, a seating area by a bank of windows has become an “aquarium” and Charlotte has spun a new web in the children’s department.  But that isn’t all.  Take a tour of every room on the top floor, the hallway downstairs and the children’s room, and discover for yourself all of the creations, large and small. 

Why did we do it? For fun, to stretch our creative muscles, to experiment with yarns and stitches we wouldn’t ordinarily use, to investigate our terrific collection of yarn crafting books at the library, to build community and bring some color to the library during the cold, gray month of March.  About a dozen ladies met at the library every Saturday morning in January and February to create our projects out of yarn that was donated to the cause by generous local yarn lovers.  We probably received 40 pounds of yarn in our donation box during December, including all types and colors imaginable.  And some were beyond my imagination!  On Saturday February 27 we installed our creations (it took more than two hours) and then after all of our hard work, we celebrated with refreshments under the stained glass dome.  There were cake and drinks for all lucky visitors who happened to arrive in time to partake.  The excitement was palpable.  Quiet library?  Not on Saturday.  We were having way too much fun transforming the library into a hotspot for creativity.  Come on down to see our “Library Yarns” display and tell us what you think.

The installation will be up through March 31st.