Maritime Month at Oak Bluffs library


This September and early October, the Oak Bluffs Public Library celebrates its third annual Maritime Month in honor of Gordon Goodwin. According to a press release, with funds provided by the Goodwin family and the generous participation and enthusiasm of many local individuals and businesses, the library is offering numerous activities for adults, young adults, and children as the library continues the Goodwin family’s wishes to celebrate the Island’s local maritime history.

After Goodwin passed away in 2002, his family entrusted the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs with a generous fund to expand its maritime collection and programs, the release states. Goodwin had been on the Island since the mid-1960s. He ran fishing trips from Church’s Pier in Oak Bluffs Harbor. He restored the Gloucester fishing schooner the Lettie G. Howard before operating it as a museum, and — in his spare time — fought tirelessly for the preservation of local seashore and waterways.

Join the Oak Bluffs library on Friday, Sept. 6, at 4 pm, and learn about ocean conservation and upcycling plastic trash into a usable fabric with Lou Leelyn from Lou’s Upcycles. On Saturday the 7th, there will be a pirate story walk for children and their families. Meet at the library at 10:30 am to go on a story adventure, ending with a tour of the Pirate Adventure boat. For adults and older children (over 12), there will be a Kayaking Safety program and tour of Sengekontacket with Island Spirit Kayak guides. Registered participants will meet at the First Bridge at 9:45 am. The following week, there will be a tour of Gannon and Benjamin boatyard on Wednesday the 11th at 3:30 pm, and on Thursday the 12th at 6:30, a book talk with local surfcaster Janet Messina. Join the library at Tivoli Day for a kids’ craft, or come to any of the maritime-themed storytimes all month long. Other programs include making seascapes with acrylic string-pull art on Thursday the 19th at 6 pm, and an afternoon of fishing with librarian Jonathan on Friday the 20th at 1 pm.
There will be an event called “Sail In,” where patrons can decorate a cardboard boat, then sit in it to watch a movie on Saturday the the 24th, followed by a Clam Chowder cooking demonstration at 1 pm. The culminating events are a field trip to Woods Hole Oceanographic Center and Marine Biological Laboratory and to the rare books room at the library on Tuesday the 24th.

You can touch and hold baby shellfish with Emma Green-Beech from M.V. Shellfish Group on Saturday the 28th at 11 am, and there will be a knot-tying and rope-splicing workshop with retired Merchant Marine Chief Mate William H. Mabie on Tuesday, Oct. 1. And last, there will be a headline author talk the week of Oct. 7 — stay tuned for more information about the author talk in October, and come to the library to browse their special collection of maritime books. Many programs require registration due to limited openings. Please contact the library for more information and to sign up for programs, at 508-693-9433 or by email at