Frequently Asked Questions




Library Facts

  • Over the past five years circulation has increased by 78%.
  • Compared to 2007, the number of events offered each year has increased by 140%.
  • The total circulation of library materials for the 2012-2013 fiscal year was 37,032.
  • During the last fiscal year the Library hosted 397 programs and events attended by 8,103 people.
  • Last year the children’s early literacy program’s monthly average attendance was 400 children and their caretakers.
  • The Library is staffed by 11 part-time employees. There are no full-time employees.
  • Free Internet access through Wi-Fi is provided. Patrons can use Library computers or personal devices.
  • Library patrons have access to materials through the CLAMS (Cape Libraries Automated Materials Sharing) library network. West Falmouth Library is a CLAMS member library.
  • Each year events and special programs are offered for all ages, many at no cost.

Is there an endowment?

  • The Library has an invested endowment of $1.6 million. Transfers from the endowment are budgeted. The amount disbursed annually from the endowment to cover Library operations does not exceed Investment Guidelines of 3-5% of assets.

How is the Library funded each year?

  • The Library is funded through donations made to the Annual Fund, revenue from fundraising events, and a draw from the endowment.
  • Additionally, the Town of Falmouth provides 6% of the $200,000 annual operating budget.

Are there volunteers?

Yes, an active group of approximately 135 Library volunteers enables the Library to provide services while keeping costs down. They assist the Library with many tasks such as shelving books and other materials, clerical tasks, maintaining the gardens and helping with fundraising events.

Why aren’t Libraries becoming obsolete?

Current research shows that libraries are valuable to communities and are not obsolete. More than just books and computers, libraries are places where individuals gather, interact, and learn. They provide resources, access to information and life-long learning opportunities that are free of charge for everyone in the community. Librarians educate and guide library users on how to find resources in any format, hard copy or digital.

Libraries provide free access to technology. The availability of free Wi-Fi access, desktop and laptop computers, a copy machine and wireless printer will continue to be provided at the West Falmouth Library. As technology changes the Library will plan for technological enhancements for users.

“The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.”

–Albert Einstein


Why does this project need to be done?

The building is old, needs care, and has accessibility and safety challenges.

What happens to the operating budget when the size of the Library increases?

The project will not increase the annual operating budget substantially and is designed to be managed by the existing staff. The capacity improvements to the Library will increase revenue opportunities.

Will there be new shelving?

Yes, there will be a minor increase in shelving.

Why are there four bathrooms?

State plumbing code regulations dictate the number of bathrooms needed.

Why do you need a renovated kitchen?

We need a space that works more efficiently and accommodates more than one person with ease.

Will the building be more efficient to operate?

Yes, that is the goal.

Is there a “green factor” with the project?

We will seek to achieve LEED standards as feasible with the budget.

Will parking spaces increase?

Board members will work with the Town of Falmouth on the parking challenges. There is a possibility for a limited increase in parking.

Can the project be scaled back?

Yes, but it would ultimately be more costly if elements were deferred to the future.

Who is the architect?

Rick Fenuccio from the architectural firm of Brown, Lindquist, Fenuccio and Raber.

How is the project being managed?

The Building Committee, comprised of members of the Board of Directors, the Library Director and community members, will oversee the project. The Architect, Rick Fenuccio will manage the project.

When will work begin?

We anticipate that the work will begin in the spring of 2016. We will need to raise 50% of our goal prior to signing the design contract and 75% before the shovel can be put in the ground.

When will work be completed?

It is anticipated that the construction will be completed within a year of the start date.

Will the Library be closed during the construction work?

There may be some instances when the Library will have to close temporarily.


What is the goal of the Capital Campaign?

The goal is $2.9 million and the project began with a $200,000 gift. Based on the professional estimates, these funds will be adequate for the entire cost of the project including design, fundraising, construction and furnishings.

Who will be asked to participate?

Members of the Falmouth community, friends, foundations, local businesses, state and local government will be asked to contribute to the Capital Campaign.


What do we say if people tell us that we can’t make our goal?

  • Historically the Library has met goals for improvements: 1896 (original building), 1972 (the rear addition) and in 1998 (the outdoor space).
  • 88% of the feasibility study participants said that the case for support was strong and 80% indicated that the goal is feasible.
  • The community cares about the Library and its historical significance and preservation.
  • We think we can raise the $2.9 million. Will you join us?

Is there additional funding (in addition to individuals and businesses) available?

  • Community Preservation Fund
  • Historical Preservation Fund
  • Massachusetts Cultural Alliance Fund
  • National and local private and public foundations


Can my gift be made as a memorial or in honor of someone?

Yes, gifts may be designated to perpetuate the name or memory of a friend or loved one. Please let us know the name of the person you wish to honor or remember when you make your gift; we will be happy to notify the honoree or the family of the loved one of your kind donation.

How long do I have to fulfill my pledge?

You may fulfill the pledge in up to five years. You have the option of paying your pledge annually, semiannually, quarterly, or monthly. Each donor will receive reminders in accordance with the pledge.

Is my gift tax deductible?

Yes, contributions to our campaign are deductible in accordance with federal tax law. As always, please consult with your financial advisor for questions on how your giving affects your personal financial situation.

What if I can’t fulfill my pledge later during the campaign?

Your pledge is a statement of your intent; it’s not a binding legal agreement. We understand financial situations can and do change. If you cannot fulfill your pledge as originally planned, perhaps you will be able to make it up later, or in a different way. Alternatively, if you are able to contribute sooner or more than originally planned, that is perfectly acceptable.

Will there be Donor Recognition?

Yes, any person, family, or group donating will be permanently acknowledged. Of course, donors wishing to remain anonymous will be respected.


Why should I make a pledge to this campaign?

“The dreams and vision of past generations that created this beautiful Library in West Falmouth are ours to pass on to future generations. We have inherited the responsibility for this legacy and have the opportunity to create the Library for the future.”

Library Director

“Our society is becoming more fractured and individuals are more isolated by technology. West Falmouth Library is the soul and center of our community—the one place we can meet and transmit the shared values of our society: literacy, generosity, cultural improvement, and a community coming together. West Falmouth has its library to keep these values alive. It is our civic responsibility to make this work for the next 100 years, just as the founders did in 1896.”

Current Library Board Member

“It is a cultural and intellectual center for the town.”

Library Patron

“Only through an appreciation of where we were and what we did, can future generations carry on the traditions that matter so much to all of us.”

Former Library Board Member

“The West Falmouth Library is a part of the community’s history that touches all of us, whether we frequent the Library, attend an event, or drive through the village.”

Local Resident

“The West Falmouth Library needs donations of all sizes to complete this project. Every dollar raised will make a difference in completing this project.”


For more information, please contact the Library Director, West Falmouth Library at
(508) 548-4709 or by e-mail,