Teaching Company items now shelved together!

One of our library’s goals is to promote lifelong learning. One way for patrons to explore new topics guided by respected teachers is to borrow items from our Teaching Company collection. In the past patrons would need to look in various places to find the collection. Now, all Teaching Company materials are shelved together for easy browsing. You can find the collection in Row 11 of the AV Annex on the ground floor.

In case you haven’t heard of the Teaching Company, it’s a publisher of courses with the world’s most engaging professors and their profound insights. You can learn from these professors’ audio or video courses where you want to, when you want to, and how you want to. The extensive collection contains more than 390 Great Courses in diverse subjects and fields including history, science, philosophy, mathematics, literature, economics, and the arts.

posted by Lisa

Primary Day!

Just a reminder to all of our patrons to vote in today’s special primary election. Today, voters will choose candidates to run for a U.S. Senate Seat in the June 25 special general election. Here are some of the facts.

The Candidates



Where Do I Vote?

Register to Vote

  • If you are not registered to vote, it is too late to register for today’s election. If you are not registered and want to be eligible to vote in the June 25 election, you must register by June 5.
  • Register to Vote at your town or city clerk’s office. The Waltham City Clerk is located on the second floor of City Hall at 610 Main Street. They are open Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm.
  • Pick up a mail-in voter registration form at the reference desk at our library.
  • Register to Vote at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles when renewing your driver’s license.
  • Download a mail-in voter registration form from the Secretary of the Commonwealth website. You can download a form in English, Spanish (Español), or Chinese (中国的).

Digital Books!

Enjoy eBooks graphic

Looking to try out digital books? eBooks and eAudiobooks are super versatile and completely portable. Check out a few of these guides for getting started!

How to Enjoy eBooks on your Smartphone or Tablet and on your eReader

How to Enjoy eBooks on Kindle devices Free Kindle Apps and Kindle Fire

Getting Started with Android

Getting started with iOS (iPad, iPhone & iPod touch)

Once you’ve got the one-time set-up stuff done, visit the Digital Media Catalog over and over for new books any time!


Information About the Tragedy in Boston

picture from Boston.com

Our thoughts at the Waltham Public Library are with all of those who were affected by the attack in Copley Square, yesterday. For those of you who need some help or who would like to lend a hand, here is some useful information for you.

  • MBTA: The green line is up and running, though Copley Square is still closed. There may be other disruptions, so please continue to monitor the MBTA site or call 617-222-3200. Riders should expect to go through security.
  • Connecting with Loved Ones and Runners:
    • Call the Boston Police Help Line at 617-635-4500 to get information about a loved one.
    • Check for your loved one at the American Red Cross “Safe and Well” site. Likewise, if you know people are looking for you, please register yourself at that site.
    • You can track runners at the Boston Marathon page.
    • Mayor Menino’s Hotline: 617-635-4500
  • Help with a Place to Stay:

    • If you are in the area for the marathon and are unable to get home, right away, please fill out this form, supplied by Boston.com
    • If you are able to provide housing for those who are delayed in getting home, please fill out this form, from Boston.com
    • The Salem Waterfront Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts is offering free housing to marathon runners as long as they show their bib numbers.
  • Donating Blood: The American Red Cross and area hospitals have said that they have enough blood for this particular tragedy, however there is always a need for blood donations.

  • Financial Donations:

  • Income Taxes:

    • The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (state income taxes) has announced on its website that taxpayers who live in the Boston area or who have been personally affected by the attack have their filing deadline extended until April 23. Call 617-887-MDOR to find out if you are eligible.
    • The Internal Revenue Service has announced on its website that it is providing a three month filing extensions for those affected by the explosions. Those who are eligible for the extension must either live in Suffolk County, be a victim of the bombings, a family member, or a first responder. For more information or to find out if you are eligible call the Local IRS number: 617-316-2850

Chinese New Year, Snakes, and Hearts

Chinese New Year begins on Sunday February 10th in 2013. It is a 15 day celebration to mark the beginning of the spring season. Check out our books about Chinese New Year. 2013 is the year of the snake.

Generally, people don’t think of snakes as friendly sorts of creatures. If you wanted to give a friend a gift, a snake probably wouldn’t be your first choice. If you do like snakes, we have books about them at j597.96.

If you wanted to celebrate your friendship with someone on Valentine’s Day you might give them a friendship bracelet. You could also read a book about Valentine’s Day together.

On February 9th our drop-in craft from 10:30am-11:15am will feature snake crafts and a heart jewelery craft.

posted by Lisa

A Healthy New Year

Visit any gym in January and you will see that many adults have made getting healthier their New Year’s resolution. Let the Children’s Room help you get your young family members on the right path to a lifetime of healthy habits. You can find books for those just learning about health and nutrition in our E Nonfiction section. Located in Row 12 under our display area, this section is separated into different categories appealing to the very young. The books about food, nutrition, and the body have a brown star. The books about sports have a white star.  There is also a Health section in our Parent/Teacher Corner.

Older readers will find books on health and the body in Row 3 at j612 and books about sports and activities in Row 5 at j796. You can also select from our list of recommended children’s books on food and nutrition.

On Saturday, January 19th our drop-in craft session from 10:30am-11:15am will feature two healthy foods crafts.

posted by Lisa

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 http://www.archive.org.
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

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