Due to COVID-19 containment efforts, the Oak Bluffs Public Library building will remain closed to the public until further notice. Contactless hold pickup begins Saturday, June 20.

Maritime Month

About Maritime Month

In September 2017, the Oak Bluffs Public Library celebrated the first Maritime Month to honor local mariner, Gordon Goodwin, whose family had donated a memorial fund to the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs with the request to add maritime collections and programming in the library. In Gordon Goodwin’s memory, the library plans to host Maritime Month each September to celebrate our island’s maritime culture.


The next Maritime Month will be September 2020.

If you are interested in speaking, displaying artwork, or demonstrating during the month, please contact our Reference Librarian, Nina Ferry, nferry@clamsnet.org or by calling (508) 693-9433.


2019 Maritime Month Report (pdf)


Adult Events:

Boating Safety & GPS Orientation
Tuesday, Sept. 11 | 6 – 8pm
Hands-on, informative boating safety course taught by Coast Guard Auxiliary, Chris Scott.

Sailor’s Valentines chat w/ Gregg Roberts
Saturday, Sept. 15 | | 2 – 3pm
Join nationally recognized maritime artist Gregg Roberts as he describes the history, misconceptions and artistry of Sailor’s Valentines.

Knot Tying Workshop
Tuesday, Sept. 19 | 6:30 – 8pm
Join William H. Mabie, recently retired Merchant Marine, for a fun and informative knot-tying workshop.

WHOI Field Trip
Thursday, Sept. 27 | All day
Join the library for a free day trip to Woods Whole Oceanographic Institute.

Eric Jay Dolin Book Talk
Saturday, Sept. 29 | 2 – 3pm
Celebrated author Eric Jay Dolin discusses his new book Black Flags, Blue Waters, The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates about the “Golden Age” of American piracy.

Children’s Events:

Maritime Storytime
Wednesdays | 10:30am
Weekly storytimes feature a marine or ship-themed craft (Ages 3+)

Sailor’s Valentines
Saturday, Sept. 8 | 10 – 11:30am
Kids of all ages can glue shells on a simple cardboard base.

Tivoli Day
Saturday, Sept. 15 | 10am – 1pm
Stop by our booth to decorate a pirate treasure chest

“I Spy” Bottles
Thursday, Sept. 20 | 5 – 6pm
Children and teens can fill a plastic bottle with beach sand and small objects for others to find.

Scrimshaw Craft
Saturday, Sept. 29 | 10 – 11:30am
Using ivory soap and shoe polish, children and teens can create their very own scrimshaw

Saturday, Sept. 29 | 10:30 – 11:30am
Meet the Coast Guard at the library and tour a Coast Guard boat


Adult Events:

The Ocean Unites Us
Aug. 31 | 6pm
Learn about the efforts to memorialize the 400th anniversary of slavery in the US

Tour of the MV Solar Shellfish Hatchery
Sept. 2 | 10:30am
See where millions of shellfish are produced for the island every summer. Participants will be able to touch and hold baby shellfish. For more information about this organization, explore mvshellfishgroup.org.

The Literature of Adventure
Sept. 14 | 6pm
Sailor, boatbuilder and writer Harry Ricciardi – who recently returned to the island from seven months at sea with no engine – discusses some of his globe-trotting and sailing predecessors.

“Conch” Fishing & Cooking Demonstration
Sept. 28 | 6pm
Learn how local “conch” fisherman, Wes Brighton, harvests channeled whelks – then learn how to cook whelk fritters from Chef Deon Thomas.

Women and the Sea : Exploring Women’s Roles in Maritime Songs
Sept. 30 | 5pm
Join folksinger Debra Cowan as she sings songs and ballads about women of the sea

Nat Benjamin’s Sail to Haiti (Rescheduled)
Nov. 7 | 6pm
Nat Benjamin, of Gannon & Benjamin, talks about his sail to Haiti aboard Charlotte, a 50′ schooner he built. He’ll also answer questions about boat building and sailing. A re-scheduling of a presentation from September 19th.