The Brooks Free Library offers complete reference services. We have a fully staffed reference desk with a professionally trained reference librarian available to help assist in your search process, answer questions, and recommend books. If there is a new nonfiction title that the library does not own that you would like to read, let us know! If the book is new and of general interest to other members of the community we will generally purchase a copy for the library.
As part of our reference area we have a special collection of books by Cape Verdean authors and about Cape Verdean experiences and history. We also keep copies of town reports. Tax forms are available through the library reference department.
The Inter-Library Loan (ILL) system allows us obtain books for you from libraries located all across the country! If you cannot find the item you are looking for in the CLAMS library system, the chances are excellent that the reference staff can locate a copy for you through ILL. Articles from magazines and professional journals can be provided as well as books and other items.
There are two levels of ILL - the first level is the Statewide Commonwealth Catalog, which searches libraries in Massachusetts. To use the Commonwealth Catalog, simply click here to log in with your CLAMS library barcode and CLAMS PIN. Search for the book by title, author, or isbn, and then place a request on the book. You will be notified by email that your books has arrived.
If your item cannot be located in the Commonwealth Catalog, the next step is to check in with the reference staff. They will use Worldcat to locate a copy of the book you are looking for and then contact the owning library to ask if they will lend the book. You must have a Harwich library card (numbers start with 10109) to place an ILL request. To request a book through the national ILL service, you will need to contact a member of our reference staff. You can come to the library in person at any time, or call us at 508-430-7562 ext. 3 for the reference department. The more information you have about a book or article (such as title, author, edition, publisher, isbn or issn, etc) the faster we will be able to locate a suitable copy.
A common question at the reference desk is a request for book recommendations or for resources for finding discussion questions for book groups. Check out our Reader's Advisory page for great suggestions!
Downloadable audio and e-books are a popular format for consuming books. Visit our e-Book Help Page for more information on how to download ebooks and audiobooks.
Historical Research and Genealogy
Many residents and visitors are interested in researching their family history. Click here to find more information on researching genealogy.