TV Shows on DVD

I have to admit that although I love to read, I really enjoying watching television. And, now I am sad to say that the current tv season has ended. Luckily, there are several shows on DVD. I have been able to catch up on some current hits that I may have missed, as well as relived some favorites from my childhood. The Waltham Public Library has a variety of these tv shows, including Six Feet Under, which I discovered this way. I was also able to catch my new favorite show, Ugly Betty, from the beginning. I’m also currently in the middle of viewing Buffy the Vampire Slayer a show which features as one of its heroes, a librarian! (I can’t believe I never watched the show until now) Check out the whole tv series collection in the AV Annex in the library.

posted by: Laura

Coming Soon: A More Pleasant Time in the Computer Area!

ComputerFor the past several years, we have been using time management software on our public computers in order to ensure that all patrons can get fair use of the computers. The timers were designed to allow as many who want to to use the computers. However, as those of our frequent users know, the software was not without its problems. We often were faced with error messages, blocks on the CD-Rom and your flash drives, sound which had no volume, and timers which simply didn’t work. Finally, after months of research, we have finally found a new product which will make using the public computers a more pleasant experience. The following is just a sample of what will happen with the new software:

  • Fewer to no error messages that you and the staff can’t understand.
  • You will be able to access your CD-Rom and flash drives on all of the computers.
  • There will be sound on all of the computers.
  • The queuing station will no longer assign the same computer at the same time to two different people.
  • If you reserve a two hour computer, no one else will be able to take it from you.
  • The system is more user friendly, so in the event there is a problem, staff will be able to assist you much quicker.

Unfortunately, while we get ready for this migration, we need to uninstall the old software and install the new, so we will have no public PC access from May 12 - May 14. For those of you with laptops, our wireless access is still available throughout the whole building. We’re sorry for the inconvenience but we promise it will be worth it.

posted by: Laura

High School Book Club

The joint book club between Waltham High School and the Waltham Public Library is ending its fifth year and I couldn’t be more excited. The book club started in the fall of 2003 as a collaboration between high school librarian, Kelly McCollum and myself, back when I was the young adult librarian. The first four years we met after school and read a variety of books. Our most popular books were What’s in a Name by Ellen Wittlinger and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. I remember our first meeting so vividly when we read Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman, and discussed the numerous challenges the book had received at other schools. This inspired a lively discussion about banned and challenged books. I also enjoyed going and meeting teenagers who normally might not have visited the public library. There were a number of our members who became regular public library users after attending book club meetings.

The club has gone some changes over the last few years, and this year, we tried something different. Led by current high school library teacher, Kendall Boninti, the book club now meets during student’s lunch breaks. We have met all year and the new format seems to be working really well. Students who were unable to attend our after school club, can now more easily attend. Teachers have also been attending, and they and the students are able to see different sides of each other. Paula Cerrato, a reference librarian here, has also become involved with the club.

Our most popular book this year, was probably Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, which led to a very enthusiastic discussion among the students.  This morning, we held a discussion on Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, which prompted the students to discuss a variety of issues raised in the book.  Next month, we will hold our last meeting of the year, but I look forward to continuing this relationship and discussing books with the teenagers of Waltham.

I am grateful to first, Kelly, and now Kendall, as those who have made such great efforts with getting the book club started and keeping it going. It has been very instrumental in strengthening the library’s relationship with the public schools.

posted by: Laura