Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Now you can play with Lego Simple Machines at the library!

Have your kids gotten a little too old for our Lego Train set but still enjoy playing with Legos?  Are you looking for ways to help your child learn more about engineering and simple machines?  Want to try it before you buy it?

Well now you can!  We've added a Lego Simple Machines set to our collection of games that are available for use here in the library.  All you need is your library card, and you can check out this set to play with for up to 2 hours here in the Children's Room.  Just like the Lego Train, you'll need to play with it in the program room, which means it's only available when there are no programs going on in there.

Be sure to stop in soon and try it out!

Monday, October 28, 2013

We've got Hoopla! You can stream movies, songs and audiobooks for FREE!

We've just started offering a brand new service for digital media: Hoopla!  Hoopla is a service that provides streaming video, music and audiobooks for free with your library card!  Here's what you need to know:

  • No late fees!  Hoopla items are automatically returned for you when they're due, so you never have to remember to give them back.
  • Unlike our other digital ebooks and audiobooks, we have unlimited quantities of Hoopla items!  That means that all of the videos, songs and ebooks that you see on Hoopla are available all the time.  You don't have to put anything on hold or wait for someone to finish something you're interested in.
  • You can use Hoopla on a computer with an internet connection, and there's also an app for use on devices that run iOS or Android systems.  It's a streaming service, so you just click on what you want to watch or listen to and it starts playing!
Interested?  Here's how to get started:
  • Direct your browser to and click Sign Up in the top right corner.
  • Scroll down and agree to Hoopla's terms and conditions.
  • Enter your information to start a Hoopla account.  When you get to "Your local public library," select "Watertown Free Public Library."  (Note: you can leave the "Library card PIN/password" field blank.)  Click "Register."  Now you've got an account, and it may automatically sign you in.
  • If you are not automatically signed in, click "Sign In" at the top right and enter the email address and password you just created.
  • That's it!  You can click "Browse" near the top look through available titles, or you can use the "Search" box in the middle to find something specific.
Want to try it on your Android or iOS device?
  • Download the "Hoopla Digital" app.  It's free!
  • If you've already done the above steps on a computer, click "Sign In" at the top right.
  • If you haven't started an account yet, click "Sign Up" at the top left.
  • Agree to Hoopla's terms and conditions.
  • Select "Watertown Free Public Library" on the "Find Your Library" screen.
  • Enter your library card number in the "library card" field.  You can leave the "pin" field blank.
  • Enter your email address and a password.  You'll use these two pieces of info to sign in.
  • Once you're signed in for the first time on the app, you'll see a brief tutorial about how to use Hoopla.  Start browsing and borrowing!
Give it a try!  And next time you stop in to the Children's Department, let us know what you think!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Come see our new and improved play area!

Next time you stop in, you'll notice some delightful changes in our early literacy play area!

We've moved a few book collections in order to make space for some fun, developmentally appropriate activities.  Little ones can pull themselves up and work on their hand-eye coordination and small motor skills on our brand new wall-mounted bead maze and gear set.

We've also replaced our activity cube with a brand new one! There's still a well-loved bead maze on top, but the activities on the side are a little different, so you'll want to be sure to come in and try it out.

But where, you may ask, have the books gone?  The bookshelves that used to be along the walls have been removed.  Those books have been moved to the shelves where the board books used to be.  And, as you saw in the last post, we've added brand new shelving for our board books that keep them at eye level for our tiniest patrons.

And of course, we've still got our blocks for developing spatial relations and early engineering skills, and our puppet house for kids to work on imaginative play and narrative skills.  And guess what?  We've even purchased some new puppets!

These improvements and additions make our early literacy play area even more beneficial for our youngest customers, and of course more fun!  So be sure to stop in soon to check it out and play awhile.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our Board Books Have Moved!

Remember how our board books used to live in plastic bins on shelves?  And remember how those bins would fall over and spill?  Or how they would mysteriously disappear of the shelves and reappear in random places throughout the library?

Well no more!

We've just installed brand new shelves for our board books!  Now they're within the play area, right where kids hang out.  They're more easily accessible to crawling little ones.  You can grab one or two (or five!) and share them with your child on our comfy chairs, and the books and chairs are now right next to each other.

So be sure to stop in and take a look and, of course, take some board books home!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Do YOU Think is Awesome?

It's here, it's here!  The Watertown Free Public Library Children's Department now has our very own Awesome Box!

Have you ever returned something to the library that you just wanted to tell everyone about?  Something that surprised you, impressed you, or moved you?  Something that was just, overall, AWESOME?!  Well now you'll be able to let everyone know what you thought was awesome!

It's delightfully simple.  Our Awesome Box will be at the Children's Circulation Desk.  When you're returning something you want to give a shout out to, simply put it in the Awesome Box!

Then we'll add it to our Awesome Box website.  It's as easy as that!  You can submit books, movies, audio books, music, whatever moves you!

If you're ever curious about what other people in Watertown think are awesome, or if you're looking for suggestions regarding what to read, watch, or listen to next, check out the website!

We can't wait to see what you think is awesome!