Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Hours

It's another holiday week, and that means special hours!

Wednesday, December 31: Close at 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 1: Closed

The rest of the week, we're open our regular hours. So come in to visit us, come to a program, and grab some materials for the new year.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Hours

During the next two weeks, our hours will be a little different due to the holidays.  Below are the days when our hours are different than normal:

Wednesday, December 24: Open 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Thursday, December 25: CLOSED

Wednesday, December 31: Open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 1: CLOSED

Every other day for the rest of the month we'll be open during our regular hours, so be sure to come visit us!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's time for the 2014 Watertown Children's Book Awards!

Which new books touched your heart this year?

2014 is almost through, and we're taking a look back at some of the best books that entered our lives this year. We're doing more than just reminiscing, we're rewarding!  We're beginning the search to honor our absolute favorite books of 2014 with the Watertown Free Public Library Children's Book Award!

We've got a pretty great list of our own ideas, but more importantly, we want to know what you think!

What were your favorite children's books published this year?  Let us know in person in the Children's Room, or comment on this blog post to share what you think!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Get through holiday travel with great free apps

Chances are, this won't last the whole trip.

Traveling for the holidays and terrified about how you'll get through the car ride or flight? Of course, books and audiobooks are excellent choices to pass those long hours. But we also get lots of questions about apps for iPads and various electronic entertainment devices. There are tons of high quality apps out there that do more for their kids than merely occupy their time.

We research great apps through review journals, online reviews, and recommendations from other librarians and educators. We make many wonderful apps available on our circulating devices, and we give families a chance for hands-on exploration at our Digital Story Time programs. Most of the apps on our devices do cost money, but you have an opportunity during our programs to try them before you buy them.

Looking for something to download with no commitment? Here are some wonderful apps that are FREE to download!

PBS Kids Video by PBS Kids – Ages 5 and under

Toontastic Jr. Pirates Puppet Theater – Ages 5 and under

Felt Board – Mother Goose on the Loose by Software Smoothie – Ages 5 and under

Colors That Luli Loves by Michael Kariv – Ages 18mo-5 years

Jackie Junko by Springy Thingy – Ages 3-7

How Far is UP by E Sargeant – Ages 4-6

Chewing Gum Adventures by Happy Ink Publishing – Ages 4-7

Shout Science by Scott Dubois – Ages 7-11

Bill Nye the Science Guy by Disney – Ages 7-10

And as always, feel free to come on in and ask us for even more ideas.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Learn Basic Bike Maintenance at the Library!

Do you know how to grease the wheels of your bicycle? Do you know how much tire pressure your wheels should have? What do you do if you get a flat tire?

Learn how to tackle these common problems and more at our Bicycle Repair program THIS Wednesday, November 12, at 3:30pm. Families with children in grades 2 and up are invited to bring their bikes and try their hand at basic bike maintenance. We'll have a wonderful teacher from Landry's Bicycle to give you all sorts of tips and tricks to keep your bike running smoothly.

This program does require registration, but there's still space so stop in or call us at 617-972-6435 to sign up. If you want to bring your own bicycle and have a way to get it here, please do! (You are still welcome to attend if you can't bring your bike.)

Don't miss this chance to tune up your bike now so it's ready to ride when springtime comes!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2014 National Book Award Finalists Announced

The National Book Foundation has just announced the finalists for the 2014 National Book Awards! There are five finalists in the Young People's Literature category, which is made up of books for elementary up through teen readers.  Check one out today!

Threatened, by Eliot Schrefer
Best for middle school readers and up

Into the jungle. Into the wild. Into harm's way. When he was a boy, Luc's mother would warn him about the "mock men" living in the trees by their home -- chimpanzees whose cries would fill the night. Luc is older now, his mother gone. He lives in a house of mistreated orphans, barely getting by. Then a man calling himself Prof comes to town with a mysterious mission. When Luc tries to rob him, the man isn't mad. Instead, he offers Luc a job. Together, Luc and Prof head into the rough, dangerous jungle in order to study the elusive chimpanzees. There, Luc finally finds a new family -- and must act when that family comes under attack.

The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, by Steve Sheinkin
Best for middle school readers and up

On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution. This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.

Best for high school readers and up

Listen—Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t. Now he’s alive again. Simple as that. The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too. Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, there are going to be a few more scars. Oh well, you only live twice.

Revolution, by Deborah Wiles
Best for upper-elementary grade readers and up.

It's 1964, and Sunny's town is being invaded. Or at least that's what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote. They're calling it Freedom Summer. Meanwhile, Sunny can't help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe. And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool -- where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs.

Best for upper-elementary grade readers and up.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Have you already read any of these books? What did you think? Which one would you choose for this year's National Book Award?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Unlock More Free E-Books with OverDrive Advantage

Did you know that, if you're a Watertown patron, you have access to extra e-books and e-audiobooks?

You may already know about our OverDrive service, through which you can download e-books and e-audiobooks directly to your devices for free. Tons of different items are available to everyone with a Minuteman library card through our Digital Media Catalog. And while our physical library closes each night, our digital media is always available to you, 24 hours a day.

OverDrive Advantage makes this service even better. Just like our regular books, when an OverDrive item is checked out to another patron, it is not available to anyone else until it is returned. Through OverDrive Advantage, the Watertown Free Public Library purchases additional copies of super popular items that are only available to Watertown patrons.

How do you access these special, Watertown-only items? Sign in with your library card! When you open our Digital Media Catalog, click the "Sign In" link at the top right of the page. Enter your library card number and PIN. The catalog will automatically know from your card number that you are a Watertown patron, and will make additional titles available to you!

Once you're logged in as a Watertown patron, you'll see that some titles have a special icon indicating that extra copies are now available to you because of OverDrive Advantage!

These titles will work just like all the other e-books and e-audiobooks in our collection. You just get more available!

And remember, if you ever have any questions about using OverDrive or any of our other digital products, don't hesitate to ask us! You can call or stop in anytime, you can book an appointment for more in-depth help, or you can find more information on our website.

Happy e-reading!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What is HATCH?

Here at the Watertown Free Public Library, we've got big news! We are very close to opening HATCH,  Watertown's very first Makerspace! It'll be a space in the Arsenal Project (formerly the Arsenal Mall) where residents of Watertown can utilize all sorts of free tools for countless creative endeavors, including 3D printing, electronics, and art.

But what, you ask, does this mean for children?

Introducing HATCH: CR Edition (short for Children's Room Edition)!  On a couple of Thursday afternoons this month, we'll provide a space for kids to explore a variety of tools and materials in an independent manner. This program will remind many of you of our Science Is Everywhere program, and it's definitely helping kids develop their STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and math). The big difference is that each project will be much more self-guided, and kids will decide for themselves how they'd like to utilize the materials we provide.

This month's HATCH: CR Edition programs will be for children in grades 2-5, and you won't need to register.  Join us on:

Want to find out more about HATCH in general, and the awesome makerspace we're creating at the Arsenal Project? Stop in and ask or check out our website to learn about what tools will be available, as well as opportunities to teach or volunteer!

We hope to see you tomorrow and on September 18!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Awesome Job Summer Readers!

On Wednesday, August 20, we held our Summer Reading Wrap-Up Party! We started the afternoon with an awesome hula hoop performance with Boston Hoop Troop. Then we had a party, complete with cake, taking home reading logs, banner-making, and prizes.

Also that afternoon, we found out the total number of hours that we all read together this summer.

Congratulations! We did it! We read a total of 3,378 hours, putting us well above our 3,000 hour goal!  And you know what that means...

We were able to donate a goat to Heifer International! Throughout the course of the summer, you read enough to donate a flock of geese, honeybees, rabbits and, of course, a goat! You made a big difference in the world and helped families all over the globe.

So Summer Reading is finished for now, but you can definitely keep reading! We'll keep the Summer Reading books available until school starts, so you've still got time to check out some of the great books on the grade-level lists. And if you haven't taken it home yet, you can stop in anytime during our open hours to pick up your reading log. If you bring it to school with you at one of the Watertown elementary schools, you'll get to participate in a special event for summer readers.

Congratulations to all of you Summer Readers!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Last 3 Days of Summer Reading!

We are so close!

There are only three days left to log your hours for Summer Reading! So far we've read a little over 2700 hours, which means we're super close to our goal of 3000 hours. If we can read and record just a few hundred more hours, then we'll be able to donate a goat to Heifer International, which will help families in need by providing milk and fertilizer. So stop in anytime we're open in the next few days and stamp your log so your reading counts!

In addition to your reading logs, you won't want to miss the fun programs we've got planned to wrap up this year's summer.


9:30 and 11:00 a.m. - Nursery Rhyme Time. Nursery rhymes, stories, songs, and fingerplays for newborns through pre-walkers.

10:15 a.m. - Family Concert with Ben Rudnick and Friends! Ben is an award-winning and acclaimed bilingual musician whose jazzy tempos will get the whole family dancing! For ages 5 and under.

3:30 p.m. - Fizz, Boom, Books! Kids entering grades K-3 in the fall will share science-y books and do an experiment with paper planes.


2:15 p.m. - Boston Hoop Troop and Wrap-Up Party!
THIS is the big event you've all been waiting for! We'll have an amazing hula hoop demonstration with Boston Hoop Troop, then we'll find out how many total hours we've read so far. Do you think we'll read enough to donate a goat? Come on Wednesday to find out! If we make it to our goal, we'll celebrate with some delicious cake.

You won't want to miss it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

2000 Hours Means: Bunnies!!

Congratulations Watertown readers, you've been reading so much this summer that we've surpassed our third goal!  You've read over 2000 hours - 2,136 to be exact - and you know what that means.  We get to donate rabbits to Heifer International!

In addition to being adorable and sweet, rabbits can be incredibly helpful to families around the world.  It's possible to collect rabbit fur, kind of like collecting sheep fur, and weave it together to make fabric.  Bunny poo is also wonderful fertilizer for crops on a farm.  Plus, rabbits reproduce really quickly, so families who receive rabbits can share their rabbits' offspring with friends, family, and neighbors.  This is a gift that can help an entire community!

Amazing work you guys, and keep reading!  There's only about two weeks left of Summer Reading, and we've still got about 1000 hours to go to be able to donate a goat.  So read, and come in to log those hours.

Haven't signed up yet?  Don't worry, there's still plenty of time to make your reading count.  Just come on in during our open hours and sign up for your own reading log.

Plus, don't forget, on Wednesday, August 20, we'll have our great big Wrap-Up Party at 2:15pm!  We'll kick-off the celebration with an amazing performance by Boston Hoop Troop, a talented hula hoop group.  Then we'll find out if we read enough to donate a goat, and we'll celebrate with some delicious cake.  See you there!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Another Reading Goal, and Another Donation!

Great work, Watertown readers!  So far, you've read a little over 1000 hours this summer!  And you know what that means: HONEYBEES!  How does this donation help?  Heifer International will give a hive of honeybees to a needy family somewhere in the world.  Here's how the family benefits from the bees:

  • They can sell the honey, beeswax, and pollen.
  • The bees will help pollinate any other crops they're growing, making their farm more successful overall.

Together, we've made it a third of the way up our thermometer toward our ultimate goal of donating a goat!  So keep reading, and keep coming in to stamp and log your hours.  And if you haven't yet signed up, there's still plenty of time.  Come in anytime during our open hours and start your reading log, and have your hours count toward our collective goals.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

We did it! We've read over 500 hours so far!

It's official: We've reached our first reading goal of the summer!  Together, all the kids in Watertown have read over 500 hours already - 526 to be exact.  And you know what that means...

We're donating a flock of geese to Heifer International!

Your gift, this flock of geese, will help a family in need somewhere in the world.  The family can eat the eggs, and the goose droppings can help fertilize their crops.  You can find out more about how these geese will benefit families by checking out the Heifer International website.

This is just our first of four total goals, and four animals we can donate, so be sure to keep reading and logging in your hours.  And great job!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer Reading's Going Strong!

Have you signed up yet for Summer Reading?

We're about two weeks into Summer Reading, and we've got tons of readers and tons of fun programs!

So far, Watertown kids have already read over 325 hours! We're over halfway to our first goal of 500 hours, when we'll donate a flock of geese to Heifer International!

Each paper gear on our giant robot represents one child who signed up for Summer Reading.  Our Reading Robot is almost full! 

When kids sign up for Summer Reading, they set a personal reading goal for the whole summer.  They write their name and their goal on a gear, which goes on our Reading Robot for the whole world to see.  Look at these amazing, ambitious goals! 

Each gear represents one hour one hour that a child's spent reading.  We've got a good start, but these walls will get jam-packed as we start meeting our reading goals.

Want more information about Summer Reading?  Check out our Summer Reading Website, where you'll find all sorts of info, as well as reading lists for kids going into preschool through grade 5.

Keep reading everybody, and keep coming in to log your hours!  If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time.  Just stop in anytime we're open and start your very own reading log.  And of course, check out all of the fun programs we've got going on.  We've got something nearly every day, for various age groups, so check out our calendar to find out more!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

3 Days till our 5K Fundraiser!

The weather predictions are out, and Saturday will be beautiful! It's the first day of summer, and it'll be the perfect day to go for a run. So make sure you sign up for our 5K Fundraiser Fun Run!

It's going to be an awesome event for the whole family! We'll have a Health and Fitness Expo going on inside the library beginning at 8:00 a.m. where you can get tons of great info about local wellness opportunities. At 8:30 a.m., a yoga instructor will lead us in pre-run stretches. An of course, the highlight will be when the race itself begins at 9:00 a.m.!

PLUS we'll have a delicious visit from the Paris Creperie Food Truck, and you'll be able to grab some yummy crepes to refuel after your run, or while you're cheering on friends and family who are running!

If you haven't signed up yet, there's still time. Visit our 5K website and click on Register.  You'll also be able to sign up the morning of the race if you make a split-second decision.

For those of you who've already signed up (or who sign up right now, directly from this blog post!), be sure to pick up your race bib and your T-shirt.  You can stop in to the library to get them:
- Friday, June 20 from 11am to 7pm
- Saturday, June 21 from 8:00 to 8:45am

And a special thank you to all of the local organizations providing their support!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

We're gearing up for Summer Reading!

Summer Reading starts June 23!

We've started getting ready by decorating the Children's Department! The next time you come in, you'll see a giant robot gracing our windows. He's getting ready for you to put gears on him with your name on them when you sign up! You can start signing up at our Kick Off event on Monday, June 23 at 3:30pm, and then anytime after that for the whole summer.

How does Summer Reading work?

When you sign up, you'll put your name on a reading log and you'll set a personal reading goal. You'll keep track of how much time you spend reading and, every time you come to the library, you'll get to stamp your log for every fifteen minutes you've spent reading. This year, we'll even have special reading logs for kids who are not reading yet, on which they can stamp for time they spend doing any literacy-related activities like singing, rhyming, looking at pictures in books, and attending library programs.

What are we reading for?

We're keeping track of the time that all the kids in Watertown spend reading on our reading meter. When we reach certain goal levels, we'll donate animals to Heifer International. These animals will go to hungry families all over the world. You'll get to celebrate when you reach your personal reading goal, AND when we reach our collective goals together. Here are our goals:

  • 500 hours: A flock of geese
  • 1000 hours: Honeybees
  • 2000 hours: Rabbits
  • 3000 hours: A Goat!
That's a higher goal than we've ever had before! Do you think we can do it?

Looking for more information about Summer Reading? Check out our website, complete with suggested reading lists from the Watertown Public Schools. Or stop in to the library to grab a brochure or ask us about it in person!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Support the WFPL and get fit at the same time!

Saturday, June 21 at 9:00 a.m.
WFPL 5K Fundraiser!

In a little less than two weeks, the Watertown Free Public Library will be hosting our very first ever Fundraiser 5K Run/Walk!  This is an awesome opportunity for the whole family to get a little fresh air and run around Watertown together.  Plus, you'll be supporting the library by helping us raise money for the Building Committee, who helps us pay for some of our programs and fun extras that we all enjoy throughout the year. You won't want to miss this awesome event!

To register, visit our website at www.watertownlib.org/5K. Registration is $20 for adults, $15 for youths (18 and under), and kids under 6 are free!

Not an avid runner?  Don't worry! Runners, walkers, stroller-pushers, and dog-walkers alike will find others moving at the same pace.  Plus, we've got some fun programs going on to help us train together!

Watertown Walks: Mondays, June 9 and 16, 12:00 noon
Join us on the patio in front of the library for a walk through Watertown together! All ages and ability levels welcome!

Watertown Jogs: Thursdays, June 5, 12, and 19, 5:00 p.m.
A personal trainer from Fitness Together will lead us in an easy jog. Meet on the patio in front of the library. All ages and ability levels welcome!

Looking for more info? As above, check out our 5K website. Or visit our Facebook Page! And of course, you can stop in at the library or call us at 617-972-6435 to talk with us about it.

We can't wait to run or walk with you!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Not one but TWO sculpture programs this week!

Children in grades 1-5 have TWO opportunities to try their hands and creating sculptures this week!

Wednesday, May 21 is a half day for Watertown Public Schools, and at 2:00 p.m., educators from the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Boston will be here!  They'll teach kids a little about sculpture and the awesome stuff going on at the ICA, followed by hands-on fun making their own sculptures!

Then on Saturday, May 24 at 10:15 a.m., learn about another kind of sculpture.  Kids will have an adventure with plaster!

Both of these programs require registration but, don't worry, there are still spots left! So stop in or call 617-972-6435 to register!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Preschoolers: Learn to Sign!

Did you know that children who know sign language when they're young tend to be better at spelling and have a larger vocabulary when they're older?*

Many of you use baby signs with your children, and we had lots of grown-ups and babies attend our recent Baby Signs classes here at the library.  Now we're offering sign language for preschoolers too!

Unlike their younger baby-signs counterparts, most preschoolers have mastered verbal language.  But their inclination is still to use their body as part of their communication, and using sign language can help them do that.  For many kids, especially children who prefer to learn kinesthetically, vocabulary and letters are much easier to learn when there's a physical movement attached to it.

So, we're offering a four-week sign language class for preschoolers!  Sessions will be held each Wednesday from May 14 to June 4 at 3:30pm.  (This class was originally scheduled to begin one week earlier, but we've moved it back a week.)  We're bringing in a sign language instructor from WeeHands to instruct your 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds with basic vocabulary and sentences focusing on a range of useful topics.

Registration is required, but there's still lots of space available!  Stop in or call 617-972-6435 to register!

*Zuckerbrod, Nancy. "Start Signing! Why Kids Should Learn Sign Language." Parents Magazine. 2011.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Typing Software Now Available!

Most kids are comfortable using computers, but can they confidently type?  The ability to type with ease and accuracy will be essential as they move forward in school, and it's not a skill kids learn by just using the computer for everyday activities.  Kids need targeted training in where to place their fingers, along with lots of practice before they can type quickly and comfortably.

To help with this, we've installed Type to Learn software on the PCs here in the library!  This program is geared toward children in grades K-5 and has over 100 lessons to teach children typing skills.  Each lesson follows a cycle where they review, view a demonstration, do a practice activity, and then take a quick assessment.  The lessons and practice activities focus on skills like left/right hand coordination, speed, accuracy, and typing cadence.  And the activities are designed to be fun and engaging to keep children interested.  This software is aligned to the National Education Technology Standards for Students, and it's the same program that the Watertown Public Schools use.

If your child has already created an account at school, they can use that same one to track their progress.  If you'd like to create an account, see a librarian and we can help you do so.  Or if you just want to try out the program without keeping track of the activities your child's completed, we've got logins you can use for each grade level.  These are posted on little signs attached to the computer screens here in the Children's Department.

Want to find out more?  You can check out a demo video about Type to Learn and learn all about the program on the company's website.

So come on in and give it a try!  It's a fun way for children to learn a skill that will prove essential for them in their education and throughout the rest of their lives.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Happy Children's Book Day! Celebrate El día de los niños with us!

Every year, libraries and schools across the country celebrate El dia de los niños, or Children's Day.  The event is also known as El dia de los libros, or Book Day.  Officially it's celebrated on April 30, but celebrations span the end of April and much of May.  It's a day to highlight the beauty and excitement of literacy for children and families of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

This year, we're celebrating Dia de los niños during our usual Toddler Story Time hour.  On Tuesday, April 29, at 10:15 a.m. we will have a multicultural story time for one- and two-year-olds.  The program is geared toward the little ones, but kids who are a little bit older (maybe 3 or 4) would enjoy it too and are welcome to come.  We'll sing songs in multiple languages and we'll read stories from cultures all over the world!

Happy Children's Day! ¡Feliz dia de los niños!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

April Vacation Fun!

April Vacation Week is so close we can taste it! And we've got a packed schedule, full of tons of fun for kids of all ages.  Don't worry about what you'll do while the kids are out of school.  Just come to the library!

Monday - Closed

Happy Patriot's Day!


Nursery Rhyme Time - 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.
Songs, rhymes, stories, and play for pre-walking babies. No need to register.

Matt Heaton Music - 10:15 a.m.
Classic, folk, and surf-inspired songs for ages 5 and under. No need to register.

Planting Party - 3:30 p.m.
Kids in grades K-5 can celebrate Earth Day by making their own terrariums. Call or stop in to register.


French Story Time - 10:15 a.m.
Stories, songs, and a craft in French, for ages 2-5. Fluency in French is not required, and no need to register.

Artful Adventures - 2:00 p.m.
An artist from the Museum of Fine Arts will show kids in grades 1 to 5 how to make artwork work of their own! Call to register.


Toddler Sing-Along - 3:30 p.m.
One- and two-year-olds will enjoy music and movement activities. No need to register.


Lego Club - 3:30 p.m.
Kids in grades K-5 can create to their heart's content with tons of Legos! No need to register.


Digital Story Time - 10:15 a.m.
Preschoolers will enjoy a story time with traditional and e-books, then get a chance to explore apps on our iPads. No need to register.

Want to know more? Ask any librarian, give us a call at 617-972-6435, or check out our online calendar of events. We'll see you on Spring Break!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy Library Snapshot Day!

Help us celebrate Library Snapshot Day by taking your picture in our DIY Photobooth!  It'll be set up all day today, so pop in and pose with some silly props!

Library Snapshot Day is a nation-wide initiative aimed at getting pictures of all the awesome things going on in libraries everywhere.  Here in Massachusetts, libraries are all picking dates throughout this week to get pictures of patrons enjoying the library.

Here at the Watertown Free Public Library, we've decided to do this by letting YOU take the photos!  We've set up a banner where we'd love it if you write something about why you love the library.  Then pose with a silly hat or funny prop and snap your photo.

Also throughout the week, we'll have a display where you can submit even more comments about the library.

Stop by today and check it out!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What To Do on Half Days?

Next week the Watertown Public Schools have three - that's right, THREE - half days!  What in the world are you going to do with your cabin-fevered, cooped-up kids on those afternoons?  Never fear, we've got tons of fun stuff happening at the library!

Wednesday, March 19

Week 3 of Lego WeDo Robotics at 3:30 p.m.
This program did require registration and is full, but if your third- through fifth-graders have been participating with us, we'll continue our projects!

Thursday, March 20

Family Concert: Bates and Tincknell at 2:00 p.m.
Bates and Tincknell will bring a huge variety of amazing instruments and play all sorts of interactive songs and music in their multicultural program entitled "This Land is Your Land."  It'll be great for ages 7 and under, and you don't need to register, just come on in!

Dog B.O.N.E.S. at 3:30 p.m.
There's still space in our program where kids can practice their reading with a certified therapy dog! Registration is required, so stop in or call 617-972-6435 if you're interested.

Friday, March 21

Lego Club at 3:30 p.m.
Do you love Legos?  We'll have TONS of them available for you to make whatever you can imagine! It's for kids in grades K-5, and you don't need to register.

Saturday, March 22
(No, it's not a half day, but we've still got fun stuff going on!)

Early Childhood Fair at 9:00 a.m.
Visit our booth at the Early Childhood Fair, taking place at Watertown Middle School.  You can also find out about other wonderful resources here in Watertown!

Basic Word Processing for Students at 2:00 p.m.
By popular demand, we're offering a class to help kids in grades 2 and up learn about word processing and creating documents.  Registration is required, so stop in or call if you're interested.

And as always, we've got tons of books, DVDs, video games, audio books and more available to check out, along with the fun games and activities that are always available to play with here at the library!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

WFPL Children's Book Awards

Remember our previous post about the WFPL Children's Book Awards?  There were so many wonderful books published in 2013 that we had quite the field of contenders!  We took suggestions of your favorite books from 2013, and our final winners have been announced!

Picture Book
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
Bored with city life and the proper behavior it requires, Mr. Tiger has a wild idea that leads him to discover his true nature.

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
Seven-year-old Billy Miller starts second grade with a bump on his head and a lot of worries, but by the end of the year he has developed good relationships with his teacher, his little sister, and his parents and learned many important lessons.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel
An illustrated account of immigrant Clara Lemlich's pivotal role in the influential 1909 women laborer's strike describes how she worked grueling hours to acquire an education and support her family before organizing a massive walkout to protest the unfair working conditions in New York's garment district.

Check Them Out!

We've got multiple copies of each of these books, so give them a try!  You can click on the title or book cover to find out if the books are currently available and, if someone else has already nabbed them, you can place a hold using our online catalog.  Alternatively, you can stop in or call and we can tell you the books' availability and/or place a hold for you.

Thank you for your input, and enjoy these amazing, award-winning books!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Vacation Week Fun!

It's here! It's here! School vacation week is here!

We've got tons of fun activities going on during school vacation week!  The library will be busy with lots of children and families, and we've got a ton of stuff going on to make the week special!

Splash 'N' Boots Family Concert at 11:00 a.m.
This amazing music duo will be visiting us all the way from Canada to share their high-energy, interactive music and dancing! It's geared toward families with children ages 7 and under. No registration necessary.

Dog B.O.N.E.S. at 3:30 p.m.
Kids who are learning to read have the chance to read to a certified therapy dog. This program does require registration, so stop in or call 617-972-6435 to sign-up for a fifteen-minute time slot.

Lego Club at 10:15 a.m.
Join up with other Lego enthusiasts to make all sorts of creative feats of engineering skill using our huge collection of Legos! For kids in grades K-5. No registration necessary.

Digital Story Time at 10:15 a.m.
We'll share songs and stories using traditional books, then we'll explore digital book on our iPads. This is for children ages 3-5 with a grown-up. Each grown-up/child pair will get to play with an iPad loaded with educational apps! No registration necessary.

And of course, you can always come in to play in our play area and to find tons of books, movies, video games, audio books to check out and take home!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Award Season Is Here!

Yes, it's that time of year.  Award Season!  The Golden Globes, Grammys and Oscars; the Newbery and Caldecott Awards; and, of course, the Watertown Children's Book Award!

The 2013 Newbery Medal was just announced yesterday, and goes to Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, by Kate DiCamillo.  This is an exciting tale about a squirrel who get sucked up into a vacuum and has a near-death experience, from which he emerges with super powers!  Flora, the girl who revived him with squirrel CPR, utilizes her immense knowledge of comic books to help him navigate his new-found abilities.

The 2013 Caldecott Medal is awarded to Locomotive, by Brian Floca.  Train-lovers will adore this book about a cross-country train ride set in 1869.  The Caldecott Medal is an award for fantastic illustrations, and this book has certainly earned it!

These national awards are wonderful, but what about what you think here in Watertown?  Never fear, we are continuing our annual WFPL Children's Book Award!

There are just a few days left to let us know what you think!  Stop in and look for our big, orange display.  Write your name or initials next to the picture of your favorite book, or write a title/author that's not up there yet.

And keep an eye out, because very soon we'll make the announcement about our big winner!  We'll have a winner for fiction (chapter books), nonfiction (informational books), and picture books!