Close this search box.

well established and here for you

independently owned and operated since 1977

Q&A with Amy Raff

 Photo: Courtney Francis 

Amy Raff became the library director at the Provincetown Public Library in 2018. Her last position before coming here was as director of the Howland Public Library in Beacon, New York. She brings to the job lifelong enthusiasm for libraries and books. But of course, the Provincetown Public Library is a unique place, with its Rose Dorothea ship upstairs, connecting children and adults alike to the town’s history as a New England fishing village, and its diverse programming and services available to all on a daily basis.

Provincetown MagazineAt what point in your life did you decide you wanted to work in a library, and what were the reasons?

Amy RaffI knew I wanted to be a librarian when I was in high school. I attribute it to our high school librarian, Mrs. Knapp. She wasn’t warm and fuzzy, but if you went into the library with a question she always knew where to find the answer. She was a problem solver. That’s when I saw librarianship as a “helping profession” and I wanted in on that. She also put me in charge of the vertical file, which was a highlight of high school for this nerd! Can you imagine that I would cut out articles from printed newspapers and put them in actual file folders based on topic that was then stored in a file cabinet?!

PMYou became the library director in Provincetown in 2018. Over these past six years, is there anything that has surprised you about working here?

ARI came to Provincetown having worked in public libraries for 20 years, so little surprises me in regards to all the wacky things that can happen in a public library, and I already had a very long list of “things they don’t teach you in library school.” But I have never worked in a library that is also a tourist attraction—it’s uplifting to hear the gasps of first-time visitors when they see the special surprise on the second floor. Their delight and enthusiasm remind us daily of how special a place this is.

PMWhat do you think of as your mission as library director here?

ARAs a library director I want to reduce barriers to access, keep the library free from consumerism, support the culture of borrowing and sharing, defend the freedom to read and inquire, and help make people’s lives easier, more enjoyable, and richer with our collections, resources, programming, and space.

PMWhat is your favorite book of all time and why? 

ARThis is an impossible question to answer! Whatever I’m currently reading (or eating!) is my favorite. Right now I’m reading Held in the Light: Norman Morrison’s Sacrifice for Peace and His Family’s Journey of Healing by Anne Morrison Welsh. Norman Morrison was a peace activist who self-immolated in front of the Pentagon in protest of the Vietnam War. It’s not my favorite book of all time, but it is certainly expanding my heart and mind. Also, I will say that every time I prepare to leave town, I pack my copy of Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy by Mark Doty. In this brief poem of a book, you can really see and feel that language is paint. His breathtaking articulation of observations will make you stop reading 
and say out loud, “wow” as he paints the mundane into the sacred with his words. 

PMIs there a recent book or a book you just recently read that you could recommend to those of us looking for something to read right now?

ARI would recommend reading any or all of the most-challenged books of 2023, according to the American Library Association (ALA) because we can. Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson, This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, Flamer by Mike Curato, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, Tricks by Ellen Hopkins; Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews, Let’s Talk About It by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan; Sold by Patricia McCormick. Also, if you are a fan of a contemporary memoirs like me, try: I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeannette McCurdy, Unraveling: What I Learned About Life While Shearing Sheep, Dying Wool, and Making the World’s Ugliest Sweater by Peggy Orenstein, Crying in the H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner, and This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay. The Provincetown Public Library is located at 356 Commercial St. For information about all of the wonderful programming there, call 508.487.7094 or visit

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter

Scroll to Top

Sign up for our Newsletter

Graphic Artist

Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

Keep in touch

Fill in your details and I will get back to you in no time.

Phone: + 1 508-487-1000 ext 6
[email protected] 14 Center St. Provincetown MA, 02657