Vision and Mission
Waltham Public Library Vision
The Waltham Public Library is a fully-funded community hub, fostering a healthy democratic society by providing a wealth of current informational,
educational and recreational resources free of charge to all members of the community. The library is known throughout the area for its knowledgeable
and friendly staff, welcoming and safe environment, accessibility, convenience, current technology and helpful assistance.
Waltham Public Library Mission
The Waltham Public Library provides the city's multi-ethnic, economically diverse population with popular informational, recreational and educational
library resources and services. The library staff selects materials in a variety of formats to meet known and anticipated demand, strives to make the
community aware of library services and materials, and endeavors to make those resources accessible to all with friendliness and efficiency.
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(To reach a staff member by e-mail click on a name below)
Board of Library Trustees
A six member Board of Library Trustees appointed by the Mayor establishes Library policies, which are administered by the Library Director. The Trustees meet on the second Tuesday of each month from September through June at 6:00 PM, unless otherwise posted. All meetings are open to the public and interested citizens are welcome to attend. The current members of the Board are: Joan B. Garniss, Chair, Alan Humbert, Maureen Taddeo, Marie Mackenzie, Jacquelyn Mawhinney and Steve Mann.
There is a metered parking lot behind the library and metered on-street parking. A metered municipal lot is located one block from the library off of Lexington Street between Main Street and School Street.
Calling the Library
The main library phone number is 781-314-3425. When the phone is answered you will be asked to:
Press 1 for library hours
Press 2 for all renewals (Circulation Department)
Press 3 for the Reference Department
Press 4 for the Children's Department and for museum passes
Press 5 for the Audio Visual Department
Press 0 for all other services
Other Useful Phone Contacts:
|Adult Program sign-ups
|Children's Program sign-ups
|Computer and Internet use
|English as a Foreign Language
|Meeting Room use
|Study Room use
Waltham Public Library traces its roots to 1865 when the town created what was called the Free Town Library. It was formed from the merger of three older libraries: the Waltham Social Club, the Rumford Institute, and the Agricultural Library Association. The new library was located on the top floor of a bank building, later, in 1880, moving to new quarters at the corner of Charles and Moody Streets.
It took a generous benefactor, Francis Buttrick, to give the town the building now in use. He started out as a carpenter in town in 1838, eventually starting his own business and purchasing a lumberyard in 1857. He made his fortune in real estate and was able to give the money for a new library building.
In 1913 the planning committee decided that the new library's site would be where the old Central House stood on Main Street. It went back to 1679 and was run as a tavern by a David Smith. Loring and Leland, architects in Boston, were chosen in 1914 for the design of the new building, and the groundbreaking was held on October 23 of that year. The formal dedication of the new library was held on December 11, 1915 with a gala event, and the library reopened to welcome patrons on the thirteenth.
There have been many changes since that time. Several branches have come and gone. A community room called the Sears Art Gallery was added in 1933, partly to house paintings done by Charles Woodbury and bequeathed to the library. It was named for Sarah Lyman Sears, a granddaughter of Theodore Lyman, builder of the "Vale" estate, and sister of Lydia Paine, whose family built "Stonehurst." The most recent renovations were in 1994, doubling the library's space.
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