Stories of the library
making a difference in people’s lives.
The Wed. evening computer classes are excellent! Instructors and very helpful and informative! Looking forward to more – thank you very much! Great library – all your staff are very friendly and always willing to help!
My 23 Year old twins spent many, many wonderful hours in the childern’s section, 20 years ago. It was a saving grace for a new mom.
It has allowed me to access resources I need and am interested in.
Waltham Public Library offers for me a wealth of resources for gaining proficiency in speaking the English language and a conducive atmosphere for study.
The library is a major part of my life. I love to read. Where else can you can you go and find hundreds of books to borrow?
My main source of information & entertainment.
From the time I was a youngster growing up in West Watertown, the library has provided me with a source of reading material for my enjoyment. The relationship between me and my town library has grown with the passage of time by offering me the following services:
1. Auto Repair: If you want to learn how to repair your automobile, start at the local library. Their selection of reference books such as Chilton’s or Audel’s, will show you how to perform tune-ups, do a brake job or change a leaky radiator hose.
2. Home Repair/Maintenance: Do you need to replace a light socket, add an outlet or re-wire a table lamp? The library has a “How-To” book for you.
3. Gardening: Want to take up gardening and grow your own tomatoes? Read up on it first to understand the various steps.
4. Movies: Want to see a movie? The library has a huge selection of CDs, DVDs and VCR Video Tapes from Gone With the Wind to the latest releases.
5. Music: If you enjoy music, check out the audio selection with choices from opera to the “Easy Listening” format as well as modem recording artists.
6. News: Need to keep up on current events? See you in the reading room with a wide choice of newspapers and magazines.
7. Job Search: Need help finding a job? Sit down at one of the computer terminals to do a job search, check the status of a company or see what skills are needed in the job market. Any of the helpful librarians are there to assist you in your search. Attend the various seminars offered by the library.
8. Need a bit of mental relaxation? Life is going a bit too fast for you/ Sit outside on one of the benches in the courtyard and enjoy the well maintained lawns and flower gardens available.
9, Children need a diversion? The library has a large selection of free passes to various area museums. The Children’s room is not only stocked with books for all reading levels but it is appointed with their own toy and game selection which can be used at the site or taken home on their own library card or yours.
10. Lectures: The library has a schedule of evening lectures, musical performances, presentations on what is available at the Museum of Fine Arts. A calendar of these programs are yours for the taking. Join the Friends of the Library and get early notification.
In conclusion, I cannot stress enough how important a role your local library can play in making your life more enjoyable, and all at little or no cost to you.
- Tom Emberley
Improves my brain.
Love Love Love the Waltham Public Library and other libraries I frequent in the Minute Man library system. Love the ease of searching for and reserving books, tapes, and DVDs online. When we were thinking of moving out of Waltham a couple of years ago, I told my husband that one of my criteria in choosing a new town, would (be) that it had to have the Minute Man library system available to me. As it turned out, we didn’t move so I continue to use and enjoy everything that the library has to offer me.
The books are great. I just lose myself in them.
(She can’t write much because she has Parkinson’s, but she wanted to let us know that the library is a life saver for her. She is in a wheelchair and on oxygen and does not know what she would do without the books we provide. She says that Gary Smith is a fine young man.)
We have loved the children’s part of the library. Our two girls (age 2 1/2 and 1) love the books, the trains, the drinking fountain with step stool, the CDs, the toy food and kitchen, all of it. And I have loved discovering all the resources. Thank you.
Ten years ago, I was traveling to Italy and ordering my passport. Even though I thought I had a valid birth certificate, I didn’t. Because my father was a career Navy man, I was born on a Naval base that no longer existed. However, the very clever girl at the Information desk found the naval base where I was born, and gave me the information as to where my birth records were transferred to. Thanks to her resourcefulness, I made it to Italy.
I commute 100 miles (one way) each day and without books on tape I could not do it. Without the library I could not afford it!
My husband and I have benefited immensely from the large collection of The Teaching Company DVD’s and tapes that the library loans for no fee. We have watched these excellent programs by the finest professors in the country on many, many subjects, including the arts, science, history, archeology, astronomy, math and more. I think that these resources provide a high caliber of intellectual stimulation for the general public that can be enjoyed in the home, at ones own pace. We hope that the library will continue to invest in future Teaching Company courses and that these will be used and appreciated by the Waltham community for their enrichment. What a bargain!
-Dee & David
The staff of the Waltham Library are always so helpful, friendly and competent. It is a pleasure to go there and they have never disappointed me. In fact, they so frequently have gone the extra mile that I am rather spoiled! I hope that the city’s financial situation will allow for full staffing at the library in the near future and will continue to serve the community in its exceptional manner.
This library is getting better and better every time I come. Lots of resources.
The public library gives me the opportunity to read as much as, and whatever, I like. I am not constrained by the cost of books because I can read them for free. The library also helped me in passing on my love of reading to my children. When they were small I started bringing them here on a regular basis. They would check out many books, and every night we allowed them to read in bed until they fell asleep. They also enjoyed the various events/programs offered to children.
I always have a sense of accomplishment when I read a book - accomplishment not like in having endured a hardship but in that I have bettered myself. And having a building full of attractive books, books that catch my eye, helps me pursue something I am going to enjoy anyway.
The library makes winters bearable. When the days get shorter and colder, I am driven indoors. I have to find other things to do. When I was a kid, it might have been ice skating and sledding. Now it is books that help me get through the winters.
I have come to view the library as beautiful natural resource, like a park, a mountain or a waterfall. That perception is created somewhat by the library being a beautiful building on beautiful park like grounds but equally importantly is what’s inside: rows of books to get lost in, chairs to take a seat in and travel someplace else in the books and magazines that I find on the shelves.
I also like the “commerce” I see inside your doors - I see kids doing the business of getting their homework done. I see community meetings being held for people who share an interest. I find bulletin boards that list services and events that I might want to take advantage of. I see people who might not have internet access at home looking for a job or ordering clothing or household items from your computers.
In the three years I have lived in Waltham, I have thought about the library a lot and spent a lot of time inside your doors. I have become to look at it as a jewel in the community. I just came on line today to check your hours - I know that, given it is a holiday, you will be closing early and my son and I will be over there in a few minutes to take out some movies to watch on New Year’s Eve. Just another example of how you enhance our lives.
it makes me feel rich
Every few weeks, I take a stack of books out of the library, and line them up on a counter in my kitchen. They’re a bulwark against many forms of emptiness. And they’re much more, too: a window into other worlds and into myself. Looking at the line-up makes me feel rich. Reading the books makes me happy.
The books live on my counter until they’ve been read - which always happens either in the kitchen or in the bathroom. Finished books go into my car so they can be tossed into the Returns slot whenever I find myself near the library. Nice that I can do that at any hour! At the 3-week point, it’s usually necessary to renew a few books. By the end of 6 weeks, I’m down to zero and it’s time to re-stock, during the library’s open hours. I dip into the books while I’m cooking, while I’m on hold, while I’m brushing my teeth, and yes, while I’m sitting on the toilet. I can have a kitchen book and a bathroom book going at the same time. Kitchen books get chosen carefully. For the bathroom, though, it’s a game: no fair thinking about it. I make myself blindly grab, for the surprise of seeing which book comes up.
Years back, I owned many books, but I’ve sold or given away most of them. Except for a very few, they were dust-collectors. The library is a huge win: I can read a book or two a week yet tread lightly upon this earth and spend virtually no money. And it’s a pleasure to even walk into the library. I’m surrounded by so many hours of pleasure, and it’s all free for the taking! Thank you, Library!
Whenever I am feeling blue, or bored, or am just in the center of town, I stop in. My first memories of the Waltham Public Library were created by my father. He told me that as soon as I learned how to write my name, I would win the best honor in the world-an actual library card of my own. We raced up the curved stone steps (and he usually let me win). He taught me never to take out more books than I could carry, a rule which I often break nowadays. I generally maintain a wishlist on Amazon.com and then find the books at the library. Same for the movies, which for $1 each turn out to be much cheaper than Netflix or any other rental service around. The librarians have become lifelong friends, as have many of the other patrons I have bumped into while seeking a book. It’s one of those places that remind me how incredibly diverse and amazing the Waltham community is. The WPL has taught me how exciting it is to have information at your fingertips. The internet is great for searching, or one page at a time reading, but I use the WPL for any subject that I want to enjoy learning about. Thank goodness for the WPL and all the smiles/knowledge/it has provided for me and all the other patrons throughout the years!!!
Growing up in the 60’s from a large family the library was a source not only of information but offered the quiet and peace that goes hand and hand with reading. When I was a young girl the children’s room was on the left side of the library. The children’s room was accessible by a side entrance that had lots of trees and bushes on either side of the cobblestone walk. Entering the library from the side felt magical it felt like you were going into a new world. The old children’s room (now geneology) by it’s size , the wooden bookcases and the huge fireplace let you know you needed to be respectful. I read every biography on the back wall (orange and red jackets) and cherish the memory of sitting on the low stools making my selection. I just recently started going back to the library and my visit to the old children’s room sparked an interest in geneology. It was like returning to and old friend.
I have thousands of friends at the library and they are all books. In a difficult world, where circumstances leave one feeling depressed and desperate, I can open one of my many library books that are always by my side and escape into someone else’s Life and Journey – I get to travel many roads this way, and while I am reading I forget to be afraid, & temporarily live another life story. My life has grown & been enriched by so many stories. A friend is always there for me.
The Library is the last vestige of Victorian sensibility. It is a delightful place to visit, air conditioned, clean, a joy to behold and a world to escape into.
My son learned to read when he was three. He’s now a voracious reader at seven years old. We couldn’t possibly keep up with his reading appetite without the library. He’s a good role model for his two younger siblings, who love the library as well.
I’ve seen to many libraries of Greater Boston, but I’ve never seen that library can play such a big role in community like Waltham library. The passes to the museums, that you have, give opportunity to everyone to be closer to art, history, fun, that means a lot especially for low-income families. Thank you!
I became a book lover thru Waltham library. Thanks again. Keep up the wonderful work.
I am a graduate student in Boston University’s city planning program. Prior to beginning my studies @BU, I utilized Waltham’s Library resources – for help from friendly staff members about research reference information to how to do an interlibrary loan through different libraries. The library staff member’s efforts are not only encouraging, but also help me learn how to be self-sufficient with research. I am currently doing a research on how libraries can affect their communities and Waltham Public Library is a great example for my paper.
The Waltham Public Library has been a secondary resource for both entertainment as well as knowledge for my entire family. My daughter has been coming there since she was 18 months old (when we first moved here from North Carolina). Over the years she has loved different aspects from trains to puppets. Currently she is in the book reading club and truly loves it! She has read over 40 books this summer and can’t wait to add more books to the list every time she reads one. We have met and made some of our best friends in the area thanks to the library. In winter, it gives us a place to go outside the house.
I worked in our branch library through high schoool and college. When I got married the librarians gave me a (First edition!) copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child et al. I learned to cook, I became friendly with Julia and now I write cookbooks.
WPL has the best genealogical collection in the entire Minuteman system. The elegant front rooms are also an ideal oasis from the city.
Everything I need is at your library – computers – books – newspapers – especially help for me from all your staff! Very friendly and courteous! Thank you – Always a pleasure to come to such a very nice place!
By putting books in my life. For me it is like a candy store. Increased knowledge, new information, and great escape when I need it.
I recently moved to Waltham. I love the mix of people and nationalities I find here — and the staff are friendly and helpful.
Saves me $!!!
What a great resource! Our family just moved here and we love the museum passes and coming to play and pick out books.
The music changed my life. I had never listened to music much until I discovered the Waltham Public Library. Thank you!
The library has been part of the “village” that has helped raise our son! Whether finding information on symbols in heraldry or obscure rock CDs, our family is better for the help the great team at Waltham Public Library. I also love the old map of Waltham outside the browsing room. (Selling copies could be a great fundraiser!) Thanks, Fran
I became a librarian because of my public library, in Indianapolis IN. A branch of that library was located next to a five and dime Ben Franklin store. My mother and I went to both every Saturday – Pearl S. Buck and snicker’s bars were my Saturday evenings – nothing better.
I grew up in the 70s and 80s, in pre-internet times, in a town not much bigger than Waltham. The library was on my way home, from school to the bus station (after I got into grade 7 – different school system). Very often I “missed” the bus, browsed the library, and found new treasures. Other than school, which was so slooooow, this was a place where I could read & learn about things that interested me, mattered, at my own speed. I started with science fiction, continued with physics (& taught myself about relativity), astronomy, philosophy, history – in a very real sense, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Plato, Aristotle, Richard P. Feynman, Bertrand Russell have been my most important teachers.
One author I stumbled across was H.P. Lovecraft, a horror writer who placed his stories in his home, New England. He was who raised me some 20 years later to travel to Boston & MA. Loved it. Still love it. I quit my old job, decided to go back to the university, do a PhD – astrophysics – and well, here I am. For me, libraries still are places to get new ideas, new opportunities and frankly, enjoy a good book.
I found the books I needed for my term paper here and a lot more. This is a beautiful building with great resources and really nice staff. I’ll definitely be back!