All Falmouth Public Library staff are enjoying the enthusiastic response to the postcards we are mailing to patrons. We are writing more than 2,000 postcards to people who checked out materials and who came in to the building during the first four months of the year. Intended to be a way to reach out to people in a non-digital way to bring a little joy, the postcard project has inspired library patrons to return the joy right back to library staff with grateful return postcards, emails and telephone calls. Thank you, everyone!

But that’s not all staff are doing while the library doors are closed. We are still open for business remotely, taking questions by phone, email and text. We are promoting digital resources we’ve always had, such as ebooks, e-audiobooks, digital downloads for movies, music, magazines and a wide variety of classes, as well as numerous databases from “Consumer Reports” to the historic Falmouth Enterprise. We are also keeping our eyes and ears alert for high-quality online news and entertainment that is newly available for free as a result of COVID-19. You may recall StorytimeFromSpace.com from last week’s column and Ten Percent Happier, a meditation website at tenpercent.com, which we promoted in the early days of the pandemic. We are reaching out to you via our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and our e-newsletters. To sign up for the newsletters, go to our homepage, falmouthpubliclibrary.org, and click on e-newsletters at the very top. To see any of our social media pages, look for the link at the bottom of our homepage.

Library staff are taking this opportunity to attend online classes to further our knowledge about a wide variety of topics, from providing the best reading recommendations to offering successful programs online. And of course, we are taking care of our collection, subtracting the outdated, replacing the venerable and adding the new. Right now, with ebooks and e-audiobooks in high demand, we are responding by putting our book budget dollars into OverDrive. It is remarkable to watch the books check out within hours of becoming available.

We are looking forward to reopening the doors to the public. To that end, library management are examining the facilities and operations carefully. We are researching best practices for operating during a pandemic and coordinating with libraries across the commonwealth, as well as state and local governments. We are thoughtfully preparing our COVID-10 control plan. Many changes have taken place in all of the libraries buildings, and there are more to come. The safety of patrons and staff is our guiding principle.

Until we reopen, we will continue to serve you and communicate with you remotely. We’d love to have your help with our new “Falmouth at Home” project. Periodically, we are requesting that our patrons email us photographs relating to a selected topic, which we will archive to illustrate our daily lives during the pandemic. The Falmouth at Home archive is on our homepage, accessible to anyone. In honor of Memorial Day, please send us photos of a veteran you knew and loved. Include a caption and your name. Email your photos to fpldigital@falmouthpubliclibrary.org. Earlier, we requested photos of your bookshelves, what you are reading/watching/doing, and your pets. If you sent a photo for one of those topics and you do not see it in our Falmouth at Home database, please resend it.

This week, we are highlighting another of our digital resources: Acorn TV from RB Digital. Acorn TV is a streaming service featuring British TV and films. It has “world-class mysteries, comedies and dramas from Britain and beyond,” including “Midsomer Murders,” “The Heart Guy” and “Finding Joy.” According to their homepage, “With thousands of hours of commercial-free programming and new shows added weekly, there’s always something to watch!” To enjoy Acorn TV, you’ll need internet access; a laptop, tablet or desktop; and a Falmouth Public Library card. Start by visiting our homepage at falmouthpubliclibrary.org and clicking on “eBranch,” which is a gateway to all of our digital offerings. Next, click on “online resources” and scroll down the list to the “Downloadable & Streaming Media” section. Acorn TV will be at the top. Please note that Acorn TV is one of four platforms offered by RB Digital. The other three are Great Courses (lectures), IndieFlix (movies and TV) and Qello Concerts (music concerts and music documentaries). One account will give you access to all four platforms. You can log in to one platform at a time, and a log-in lasts seven days. After that expires, you can log in to the same platform again or a new one, but you cannot log in to more than one at a time.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 508-457-2555, email us at info@falmouthpubliclibrary.org or text us at 66746 and start your question with “askfpl” Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Ques

tions Asked at the Reference Desk

Q. There is a group that meets at the Church of the Messiah in Woods Hole on Sunday afternoons to talk about the Middle East. I don’t know the name of it. Are they still meeting now?

A. The group is called The Middle East Forum of Falmouth, and their website says the group is the “formal successor to The Ad Hoc Committee for Peace and Justice in the Middle East. The goal of the forum is to foster a better understanding of the problems in the Middle East by providing a broad range of information on the history and current issues of this complex area.” Lectures will be given on Sundays from July 12 to August 23 from 5 to 6 PM via Zoom. E-mail infomeff.world@gmail.com if you want to attend and you will be sent a link. The schedule of speakers and their biographies are on their website.

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