Winter Creations

When I recently babysat my nephew and niece there was just enough snow for them to make snow angels.  They were so proud of what they made.  One of the reasons I enjoy doing the drop-in crafts is because the kids often have a similar reaction with their artistic creations.

In the winter, the weather often makes kids need to make things inside.  Several areas of the nonfiction section provide instruction for activities to meets kids’ various interests.  At j507 you can find books on science projects.  Children who like to cook can find simple books on that topic at j641.5.   The books on Lego creations are at j688.72.   We also have a bunch of books about arts and crafts in the j740s.

Our next drop-in craft will take place on Saturday, December 15th from 10:30am-11:15am.  We will be making various winter crafts.  Click here to find books about winter.

posted by Lisa

Waltham City Directories Online

Great news! We now have the Waltham City Directories available online. They are in Internet Archive, a non-profit digitizing and archiving venture. Check out
The collection currently includes 1925-1990 but will have earlier volumes added eventually. It also includes most suburban directories covering Wayland, Weston, Lincoln and Cochituate from 1906-1926.

This is actually just the first stage of the library’s involvement in Digital Commonwealth, a cooperative effort to digitize and make readily available collections from Massachusetts libraries of all types. Over time we will also be contributing historic Waltham maps, high school yearbooks, voter listings and other items. Stay tuned!

posted by Jan

Turkey Talk

Do you whether it is a male or female turkey that makes the noise “gobble” (hint: it’s not both…the other says “cluck”)?  Did you know that wild turkeys can fly up to 55 miles per hour?  Did you know that turkeys have about 3500 feathers?  Test your turkey knowledge and find out more fun facts here.

If you are interested in learning more turkeys you can find books about them at the call number j598.6.  There is also now a new database at the library to look up animals.  Among the databases the library provides that are suitable for children is the Marshall Cavendish International Wildlife database.  This trustworthy source provides information on many animals.  One nice feature of this database is the option to change the language in which the information is provided.  In addition to allowing you to view information in a language that is most familiar to you, this option also lets you switch back and forth to practice a new language.  Waltham residents can access this database from home using their library card barcode.

If you want to gobble up more turkey fun join us in the storytime room during our drop-in craft from 10:30am-11:15am on Saturday, November 17th.  We will be making turkey headbands.

Posted by Lisa

Election 2012! Don’t Forget to Vote November 6.

Unless you have been completely avoiding television, radio, the Internet, or interactions with any other living human being, you are probably very aware that there is a Presidential election on November 6. Here is some (non-partisan) information that will help you tackle this election, as well as some more lighthearted stuff to help you laugh throughout the election season.

Valuable Information: Where Do I Vote; Who and What are on My Ballot and other Key Information

  • If you would like to participate in the November 6 election, you must be registered by October 17. You can register to vote in person at the City of Waltham City Clerk’s office at City Hall on 610 Main St.
  • Can’t make it to city hall? You can also register to vote by mail. Pick up a mail in registration form in either English or Spanish at either the reference desk or in the community room at the library.
  • You can also download one from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website.
  • You can also download a form in Spanish or in Chinese. (Formulario de inscripción de votante por correo oficial de Massachusetts; 麻州官方 選民郵寄登記表)

  • Planning on going out of town during the election? Download the form to request an absentee ballot. You can also participate in absentee voting at the Waltham City Clerk’s office.
  • It’s not only candidates for President who are running. You will be voting for a U.S. Senator, a U.S. Representative, a state Senator, a state Representative, and other candidates for offices.
  • There are three ballot questions that voters must decide upon. Click upon the questions to get more information as well as arguments on either side.
    • Question 1 is concerned with the Availability of Motor Vehicle Repair Information.
    • Question 2 proposes allowing a “a physician licensed in Massachusetts to prescribe medication, at a terminally ill patient’s request, to end that patient’s life.”
    • Question 3 is concerned with eliminating, “state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients.”
  • Find out where you vote and view a copy of your ballot including names of all of the candidates in your area.
  • Want to try to get the background behind what the candidates are saying? Check out the non-partisan Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact‘s Truth-O-Meter.

Some Fun Stuff this Election Season

  • Re-live old campaign commercials dating back to 1952 with The Living Room Candidate
  • Check out this old Popeye cartoon, satirizing the political process, with Olive Oyl running for President. (Keep in mind that while a lot of it is still relevant, it’s also very dated.)
  • Follow Saturday Night Live’s complete election coverage with its “SNL Election Central” page.
  • Had enough of this election? Watch Saturday Night Live skits featuring former Presidents and Presidential candidates.
  • Relive this classic sketch featuring a spoof of debate between Vice President Al Gore and then Governor George W. Bush.

posted by Laura

Mother Goose on the Loose

Mother Goose on the Loose is an interactive program that uses stories, music, and movement.  This program is designed to use a fun experience to stimulate young children’s learning.  This fall the Children’s Room will be offering Mother Goose on the Loose as a drop-in program at 10:00am on Saturday mornings from October 13th to November 3rd.  The program is intended for children aged 18-36 months and their caretakers.

On October 13th, following Mother Goose on the Loose, our drop-in craft program from 10:30am-11:15am will feature a Humpty Dumpty craft suitable for children of various ages.

Posted by Lisa

Children’s Books Galore at Bargain Prices

If you’re interested in buying children’s books for $1 or less: Come on down!

There are many shelves of children’s books to choose from at the Friends of the Waltham Public Library‘s annual Book Sale. We’re open during library hours (closing 30 minutes early) until Wednesday, October 3.

Half Price Sale: Sunday, September 30, 1 – 4:30 pm
$5/box Sale: Monday – Wednesday, October 1 – 3, 9am – 8:30pm

See you there!

Scarecrows and Learning

I started coming to the library as a child with a mom who was passionate about learning. It wasn’t unusual for her to consult an old family encyclopedia on one topical entry and for us to find her an hour or so later looking at various surrounding topics. As another school year has begun children will be coming to the library doing school projects. We also love to see them coming in to find out about stuff they are simply interested in.

Our collection has information books for children of various ages. For younger children we have an Easy Non-fiction collection in row 12 organized by topics (animals, body & health, bugs, community, general, habitats, math, pets, science, sports, transportation & vehicles, weather). For older children we have a large Non-fiction collection on various topics organized by Dewey decimal number in rows 2-7. For children who like to look at encyclopedias, those that circulate are located in row 8. The library also provides access to several databases for children through which they can find information on a variety of topics.

I remember the scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz as a character who was seeking knowledge. This Saturday, September 15th during the children’s drop-in craft from 10:30-11:15 we will be making a scarecrow doorknob hanger. We also will be making a leave doorknob hanger to welcome foliage season. Come make a craft with us and check out our books about scarecrows or autumn.

Posted by Lisa

Primary Day — September 6

Tomorrow is Massachusetts Primary Day, so go out and exercise your right to vote! Here is all of the information that you need to make voting seamless:

  1. Polls are open from 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM
  2. Find your polling place. Type in your address at this site from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth and find out your polling site.
  3. If you’re planning to vote as a Democrat, take a peek at the Democratic ballot for Waltham voters.
  4. If you’re planning to vote as a Republican, take a peek at the Republican ballot for Waltham voters.
  5. Not registered to vote? It’s too late for tomorrow, but you can download a Mail in Voter Registration form in time to vote for the November 6 election. The deadline to register for the November election is October 17. You can also pick up a Mail in Voter registration form at the library’s reference desk or go in person to the Waltham City Clerk’s Office.
  6. Going out of town for the November election? Download an absentee ballot request form, or go in person to the Waltham City Clerk’s office.
  7. More questions? Contact Waltham City Clerk, 781-314-3120 or Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 1-800-462-VOTE, 617-727-2828

posted by Laura

Treasure Hunting for Adults & Children

Have you had the fun of a treasure hunt lately? While children love them, adults can enjoy the fun too! You can even use your favorite technology to help. Check out the Geocashing website to see how you can use your GPS-enabled device to find interesting stuff all over the world.

Children can learn from a young age that exploring the world can be fun. For young children you can borrow our Dora the Explorer or Diego DVDs. Older children can learn from our Explorers of the World nonfiction DVDs. Everyone can expand their knowledge of states by looking at the maps and atlases at the call number j912.

Kids can also enjoy pretending to be a pirate and protecting the treasure they’ve found. At the drop-in craft from 10:30am-11:15am on Saturday, August 18th children can make a pirate-themed headband and a “keep out of my treasure” doorknob hanger. Also, you can check out books from our Ahoy Mateys booklist.

posted by Lisa

Ocean Creatures

It is getting to be vacation time and people are heading to the ocean. One of my favorite Disney movies is The Little Mermaid where all of the colorful creatures sing about life under the sea. National Geographic has great Ocean Photo Galleries that depict real-life ocean creatures.

On Saturday, July 14th children who come to our drop in craft from 10:30am-11:15am can make a colorful fish magnet and/or paint a colorful octopus.

In row 8 of the Children’s Room you will find the magazine National Geographic Kids through which children can learn about creatures of land and sea. For kids interested in nature we also have Ranger Rick, put out by the National Wildlife Federation, and Kind News, a free magazine to keep put out by The Humane Society of the United States. Those interested in books about animals and nature can find them in the j590s in row 3.

Come make and learn about the creatures living below the surface!

posted by Lisa

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