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

“I’ll Have What She’s Having.” Remembering Nora Ephron

Perhaps you know her as the screenwriter for When Harry Met Sally? Or as the writer who used her messy divorce from Watergate famed reporter, Carl Bernstein as the basis for her novel Heartburn and the subsequent film? Or as the screenwriter whose movie treatment of Julie and Julia was actually better than the book upon which it was based? Or as the happily married wife of the writer of Wise Guy and its screen adaptation Good Fellas? Or, finally, as the writer, who wrote several funny essays and wasn’t ashamed to admit that she hated getting old?
However, you know Nora Ephron (and perhaps you don’t, in which case, it’s your loss), there is no denying that the world has lost a very funny, poignant, and talented writer. Many of her screenplays have produced wonderful one liners that have become as part of our lexicon as Dorothy’s “There’s no place like home” and Rick Blaine’s, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” “I’ll have what she’s having” penned for When Harry Met Sally and famously uttered by director Rob Reiner’s mother, was ranked #33 on the the AFI list of top 100 movie quotes, joining the ranks of such greats as Citizen Kane, The Godfather, and Sunset Boulevard. I saw When Harry Met Sally in a movie theater in Florida with my great aunt and uncle and I remember the two of them laughing hysterically at that scene. (I, being 14, laughed, but truthfully didn’t really get the joke for a few years.) The movie became a favorite of mine (despite not getting some of the humor right away) and as with most of my favorite movies knew every line of dialogue. When I turned 32, I realized with excitement and some horror, that I was now the same age as Sally in the movie because I remembered the following scene line for line:

If you want to remember Nora Ephron, check out one of her movies, novels, or books of essays from our library. I promise that even if you’re melancholy about her passing, you will have a good laugh:
Books: Fiction

Books: Non-Fiction and Essays

Movies (Screenplays)

Children’s Summer Reading Club Pajama Party

The Children’s Room will be having a pajama party celebrating the 2012 “Dream Big: Read” Summer Reading Club theme from 4pm-6pm on Wednesday, June 13th. Sign up for the party here or by calling 781-314-3425 x4.

Kids can wear their best pajamas and bring a favorite stuffed friend! We will be having story readings and doing dreams/night themed crafts & other activities. Sign ups for the club will also start on Wednesday, June 13th. Club participants will receive a “Dream Big: Read” bookmark and reading log. We will have a read-o-meter on which children will color a square for every book they read this summer. Each time a child checks out books during the summer they will receive a chance for a prize drawing.

On Saturday, June 16th our drop-in craft from 10:30-11:15 will feature book club themed crafts.

Join the fun at the pajama party on June 13th and all summer!

posted by Lisa

How you can mend a broken heart?

Wow, we are quickly losing the disco-era stars.  Now its Robin Gibb, who along with his twin brother Maurice and the eldest brother Barry formed the Bee Gee’s.

Everyone, even my Mom, loved the Bee Gee’s, with their catchy songs, falsettos and great beat.

Again, I can remember dancing to “Stayin’ Alive”, “Jive Fever” and of course “Night Fever”.

The Bee Gee’s were born in England and raised in Australia.  They began their career in the ’60s but it was their soundtrack for the movie “Saturday Night Fever” that catapulted them to fame.  Who could ever forget the young and handsome John Travolta dancing to “You should be dancing”.  Yes I should, and with John Travolta in a white suit and me, years younger and pounds thinner is a beautiful dress, spinning under the disco ball.  Oops-I digress.

After the sudden death of brother Maurice in 2003, the name Bee Gees was retired.  Robin and Barry did a few projects together and Robin continued his solo career until his health failed as well.

Luckily, we can still here the Bee Gees and their “blue-eyed soul” for many more decades.

Come into the library and check out their CD’s and video and you too can be dancing.


Donna Summer–Queen of Disco

Donna Summer was born La Donna Gaines, one of seven children in Boston.  She was raised in Dorchester and attended

the Jeremiah E. Burke High School where she performed in school musicals and in church.  Just weeks before graduation,

Summer left for New York to begin her musical career.

Her first big hit was “Love to Love You Baby” which reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in early 1976.

If you’re like me, in the “70’s  you remember dancing under the disco ball to “Bad Girls”, “Last Dance” and “Dim all the lights”

My personal favorite was slow dancing to “MacArthur Park” with my crush of the week.

Donna Summer received  twelve  Gold Singles, six American Music Awards and five Grammy Awards.

She became a cultural icon and influenced such pop divas as Madonna and Beyonce.  Her songs are still sampled today.

If you are a fan or need a refresher, stop into the library and check out a CD such as “Bad Girls” or the “Donna Summer Anthology”  Summer also authored an autobiography entitled “Ordinary Girl; The Journey” located on the second floor in the Biography section.

Library Snapshot Day, Waltham 2012

Thanks to all of our patrons, friends and staff members who let us take their photos on Library Snapshot Day, April 11, 2012.  See them all on our Flickr page.







Dora Saint, the author” Miss Read” (April 17, 1913-April 7, 2012)

Miss Read wrote of quaint English village life filled with eccentric characters such as Mrs. Pringle, the school cleaner whose bad leg “flares up” when there is too much work to do. Mrs Curdle, who runs a travelling village fair, and of course the vicar.
Her stories are set in the fictional Cotswold villages of Fairacre and Thrush Green that abound with gardens filled with specimen roses and blooming holyhocks. There is always a storm brewing, but in delightful village style it is a storm in a teacup.
Miss Read was the author of more than 30 novels and while she never made it to the bestsellers lists, her loyal fans can take pride in the fact that all her books went into many editions.
There is no better stress reducer than curling up with a Miss Read book. Treat yourself and come into the library and check out a piece of nostalgic English country life!

posted by Maureen

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