Staff Favorite Videos on Hoopla, Kanopy, and Mango

Hoopla Logo Kanopy Logo Mango Languages Logo
Did you know that as a Waltham resident, you have access to three different video streaming services through the library?  Our subscriptions to Hoopla, Kanopy, and Mango Languages allow our patrons to watch a variety of content on your computers, phones, tablets, and televisions at no charge.  There is a lot of content and it can get a little overwhelming so here are some suggestions of what our staff have enjoyed through these services. If you need help using these services, please send an e-mail to
For more suggestions from our staff, please read our last “Staff Reads” post or review our “Staff Favorite Podcasts


  • What We Do in the Shadows, available on both Hoopla and Kanopy



  • Clue (Kanopy): This is one of my favorite movies.  I’m so excited that it’s available for free to our patrons!  There are so many good lines.  “Communism is just a red herring”  “It flames, flames, on the side of my face.”  I could go on and on and on.
  • Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (Kanopy): I have a bit of a bias, I admit, but I loved learning more about this famous institution.
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Kanopy): Jimmie acquaints himself with the large house that his grandfather built in San Francisco and goes on a journey of self discovery.
  • You Can Count on Me (Kanopy): Quiet and touchingly funny movie about the relationship between an adult brother and sister.
  • The Virgin Suicides (Kanopy): So haunting and lovely.
  • Big Night (Kanopy): Warning!  You’ll be very hungry at the end of this movie.
  • The Farewell (Kanopy): Great showcase for Awkafina, who I first saw in Crazy Rich Asians. 
  • Moonlight (Kanopy): Coming of age film that won the Best Picture Oscar.
  • The Great British Baking Show (Hoopla): This is the nicest reality show ever made.
  • Call the Midwife (Hoopla): This British import makes me cry every episode and I just love it.
  • Hamilton: One Shot to Broadway (Hoopla): While theater lights are dark, enjoy this documentary about the Broadway smash hit.
  • Frida (Hoopla): Salma Hayek is great in this biopic.
  • Bride and Prejudice (Hoopla): Very fun Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice. 
  • Viva Cuba (Mango Languages): Beautiful movie about the forbidden friendship of two young children.



I’ve been spending most of my time using Kanopy Kids these last few weeks. It’s great because it has some of my son’s favorites like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and even new-to-us titles featuring favorite characters, like The Miffy Movie. Also in heavy rotation are Wild Kratts and Franklin, which makes me feel nostalgic for the 90s.

Though I haven’t been using Hoopla much, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to see so many of my favorite titles. For books: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict, and 1984 by George Orwell. For movies: 13 Going on 30 and RBG! And I was amazed to see Spectrum by Westlife available under music – my favorite band from my youth and their glorious newest album!

Dana’s recap:

National Park Week April 18 – 26

It’s National Park Week!  I have been very lucky and have had the pleasure of visiting a small number of our many National Parks, including Yellowstone, The Grand Tetons, The Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park.  That doesn’t even cover the National Parks and Historic Sites that we’re lucky to have in our state, including the beautiful Cape Cod National Seashore.  Visiting a National Park in person is not an option right now, so please enjoy this guide featuring a variety of online resources and do some “visiting”.

  • National Park Service and National Park Foundation
    The National Park Service (NPS) and National Park Foundation are amazing resources and have put together a lot of great initiatives so you can enjoy the National Parks from the comfort of your home.
    • Earth Day Digital Celebration
      April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  The National Parks has created a lot of videos and activities in order to celebrate.  Here are my two favorite guides:
    • “Parked at Home” Initiative
      • Junior Ranger Online Program: Those who have visited National Parks with young children may have had the pleasure of participating in the Junior Ranger program.  I highly recommend it as its informative and fun for the adults just as much as the kids.  A few years ago, my young travel companion held the distinction of being the first “Junior Ranger” of the season at the Boston Harbor Islands and the actual ranger made a big announcement to others at the visitor center to a huge round of applause.  
      • Distance Learning: Great resources for teachers who are teaching via virtual classrooms or for parents looking for some ideas for home schooling.  Even those of us who are neither teachers or parents can find something to learn.
    • Virtual Visits to a National Park
      Though nothing beats an in person visit to these amazing landmarks, these still photos and web cams are the next best thing.  Here are a few I’ve been enjoying:
      • Yellowstone live webcams: In addition to Old Faithful, “visitors” can view the various entrances to the park, different views of Mount Washburn, and the Mammoth Hot Springs.
      • Grand Canyon Tour with Elmo and Murray from Sesame Street: These Youtube videos featuring Grand Canyon Park Ranger, Amala, teaching the two Muppets about the features of the park, are very sweet.
      • Channel Islands National Park Tour with Jordan Fisher: Actor Jordan Fisher, best known for co-starring in the live productions of Grease and Rent, gives visitors a brief look at this California National Park.  Of the three I mentioned here, this was the one I had not visited (or knew) so I really appreciated it.
    • Massachusetts National Parks
      When the COVID-19 crisis is behind us, you’ll be able to satisfy your National Park itch by not traveling far.  We’re lucky in this state to be home to 15 National Parks, 5 National Heritage Areas, 3 National Trails, and 189 National Historic Landmarks!  Here are some of the highlights that you can enjoy from home:

posted by Laura

Waltham Public Library Virtual Book Club Meetings

We are pleased to announce Virtual Book Club Meetings from the Waltham Public Library!

For further information about the Library Book Clubs, please e-mail Laura at Copies of the titles are always available through the library’s subscription to Hoopla unless otherwise noted.

Please note: All in person book club meetings are suspended until further notice.  Please continue to look in this space as we add virtual meetings.

  • Monday, April 27, 7:00 pm: Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • Thursday, April 30, 7:00 pm: Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson
  • Saturday, May 2, 10:00 am: America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
  • Monday, May 18, 7:00 pm: Tell us what you’re reading!
  • Tuesday, May 26, 7:00 pm: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  • Thursday, May 28, 7:00 pm: New Kid by Jerry Craft
  • Monday, June 15, 7:00 pm: Tell us what you’re reading!
  • Saturday, June 20, 10:00 amNews of the World by Paulette Jiles
  • Monday, June 22, 7:00 pm: Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
  • Thursday, June 25, 7:00 pmAfterlife by Julia Alvarez
  • Saturday, July 11, 10:00 am: The Turner House by Angela Flourney
  • Monday, July 13, 7:00 pm: Tell us what you’re reading!
  • Thursday, July 16, 2:30 pm: Tell us what you’re reading!
  • Monday, July 27, 7:00 pm: Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
  • Thursday, July 30, 7:00 pm: Mama Day by Gloria Naylor
  • Saturday, August 15, 10:00 am: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Monday, August 17, 7:00 pm: Tell us what you’re reading!
  • Thursday, August 20, 7:00 pm: Speaking of Summer by Kalisha Buckhanon
  • Monday, August 24, 7:00 pm: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  • Tuesday, August 25, 2:30 pm: We’ll Tell You What We’re Reading!  Join us on Youtube Live!
  • Saturday, September 19, 10:00 am: Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford; Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 946 9021 2108; Passcode: bdV93y
  • Monday, September 21, 7:00 pm: Tell Us What You’re Reading; Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 831 0833 8950; Passcode: K5502p
  • Thursday, September 24, 7:00 pm: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones; Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 896 7377 5397; Passcode: cA1rpL
  • Monday, September 28, 7:00 pm: An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon; Zoom Link; Meeting ID:940 4675 2833 ; Passcode:  rpkyn3
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2:30 pm: We’ll Tell You What We’re Reading!  Join us on Youtube Live!
  • Saturday, October 17, 10:00 am: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie; Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 967 4622 7733; Passcode: 9HNuJx
  • Monday, October 19, 7:00 pm: I Am Legend by Richard Matheson; Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 954 0982 0000; Passcode: k2igD1
  • Wednesday, October 21, 2:30 pm: We’ll Tell You What We’re Reading! Join us on Youtube Live!
  • Thursday, October 22, 7:00 pm: The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett; Waltham residents can download the e-book and audiobook from Overdrive/Libby between September 16 – October 22, without waiting!Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 830 6428 6059; Passcode: hQ45DU
  • Monday, October 26, 7:00 pm: Tell Us What You’re Reading! Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 876 7495 8787; Passcode: g7i4S7
  • Saturday, November 14, 10:00 am: Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West; Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 938 8911 8280; Passcode: 6kGBML
  • Monday, November 16, 7:00 pm: 10% Happier by Dan Harris.Special guest, Matt Carriker and Agape Waltham; Between October 15 and November 16, Waltham residents can download the e-book or audiobook on Overdrive/Libby without waiting! Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 997 3062 3557; Passcode: rr8RET
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2:30 pm: We’ll Tell You What We’re Reading! Join us on Youtube Live!
  • Thursday, November 19, 7:00 pm: The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferante; Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 889 4923 8313; Passcode: zb2Rp9
  • Monday, November 23, 7:00 pm: Black Leopard Red Wolf by Marlon James; Between October 19 and November 23, Waltham residents can download the e-book or audiobook from Overdrive/Libby without waiting! Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 928 2350 2823; Passcode: KcsZ2m
  • Monday, November 30, 7:00 pm: Tell Us What You’re Reading! Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 883 4862 5065; Passcode: FK3ygs
  • Saturday, December 12, 10:00 am: Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry. From November 12 – December 12, Waltham residents can access the e-book and audiobook on Overdrive/Libby without waiting! Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 947 1022 2943; Passcode: pLGEf4
  • Monday, December 14, 7:00 pm: The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 958 5402 3930; Passcode: 7Wt60U
  • Wednesday, December 16, 2:30 pm: We’ll Tell You What We’re Reading! Join us on Youtube Live!
  • Thursday, December 17, 7:00 pm: His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie; Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 832 6150 5808; Passcode: v4sBQa
  • Monday, December 21, 7:00 pm: Tell Us What You’re Reading! Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 823 3770 7690; Passcode: wW9wJN

Staff Favorite Podcasts

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Our staff love podcasts of all different types and opinions. Please read below to get a list of what some of our staff have been enjoying. Want to see more staff suggestions? Read the latest edition of “Staff Reads”.



  • Love Letters: The podcast version of the Meredith Goldstein column
  • Keep ItSocial commentary on pop culture and society
  • Awesome EtiquetteFun look at modern manners from the descendants of Emily Post.
  • Out on the LanaiAnalyzing every episode of The Golden Girls!
  • The Book ReviewInterviews with authors featured in that week’s New York Times Book Review
  • Stuff You Missed in History Class: Goes into depth about topics of which you may only know a capsule, including the flu epidemic of 1918.
  • Ewing BarbecueGen Xers watching Dallas!
  • For HarrietThoughts from Kimberly Foster about pop culture and news affecting the African-American community.
  • Musical Hell: “Diva” gives sentences in her court to some of the worst offenders when it comes to movie musicals.


  • Lore by Aaron Mahnke: My personal favorite. He looks over folktales, mysteries and historical events throughout the world, and explains how they’ve impacted modern day culture. Also, he’s a Massachusetts local, so while he explores all sorts of stories it’s New England tales that really get to shine.








  • Pod Save America, Pod Save the World, Lovett or Leave It:  (My household) loves Crooked Media and these three pods are mainstays- Jon, Jon, and Tommy are involved in 1 or more of these 3. The pods are varying levels of seriousness with humor. Lovett is pure fun though it is news related, Pod Save America is more serious and in-depth discussions about current events revolving around US politics but still with some humor. PSTW is by far the most serious of the three and it focuses on foreign affairs. Occasionally we listen to other pods by Crooked Media and I’d encourage you to check them out!
  • The Daily: Brief look at a big story to start your day. So good.
  • This American Life: About ten years ago I went through their archives and listened to every.single.episode. It was before podcasts were really a thing, (I think of TAL as the OG pod) so there wasn’t as much out there. It took a while of course (it was about 600+ episodes at the time)but it was worth it. I particularly love stories from David Rakoff (RIP), David Sedaris, and Sara Vowell. They stick out in my memory, but Ira and his team always put out amazing stories. They connect dots you didn’t think to connect, and of course, pull on my heart strings. I don’t listen as regularly these days, instead bingeing it now and then to catch up, but it always feels like home. You can still find all of their archives on their site.
  • Monster: DC Sniper
  • Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me


  • 99% Invisible: All about design, why things are the way they are.  Excellent episodes include “Ten Thousand Years”, “Weeding is Fundamental” and “The Great Bitter Lake Association”
  • Criminal: A show all about crime, best intro episode “Ex Libris”
  • Spooked: Spooky ghost stories told by the people who experienced them. Are the stories real? I don’t know, but they’re definitely fun to listen to!
  • NancyAll things LGBT
  • Headlong: Surviving Y2K: An interesting look back at what people thought would happen NYE 1999.
  • Good Christian Fun: A discussion about contemporary Christian culture from the late 90s. Discussed from a evolved, progressive viewpoint, but with a fondness for the past.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristen Russo recap every episode, and Jenny (a musician) writes a song related to each episode.
  • Vernonica Mars InvestigationsJenny Owen Youngs and Helen Zaltzman recap each episode of Verónica Mars.
  • Vanity Fair Still WatchingI enjoyed their recaps of Westworld and Sharp Objects.




  • Last Podcast On The Left: Hilarious and meticulously researched, covering true crime and all things spooky. A bit loud, a bit raunchy, but very very funny.
  • My Favorite Murder: Two friends and comedians hang out and discuss cases. These two are down to earth, and have a looser feel to the format.
  • This Podcast Will Kill You: Two epidemiologists go over a different disease each episode, covering the biology as well as the history. Currently they have a six part series on Covid-19.
  • Bear Brook: Investigative podcast. A wild story about how a crime can be solved, even without knowing the identity of the victims. The people interviewed, investigators and townspeople are great characters, and the story is packed with twists and turns.