What is a Library?

Waltham Public Library
What is a Library?
A Library is a Community
It’s a melting pot
A place people gather
Young and old
Rich and poor
Citizens and new comers to our great country
Heck, even politicians come to the library.

Where else can you find so much information with people willing to help?
If you can’t come in person, you can call (781-314-3425) or contact us via e-mail. If we can’t answer your questions, we can point you in the right direction.

It’s not your grandparent’s library any more; besides books we have DVDs, CDs, audio books, Internet access via in-house computers, as well as wireless connection throughout, so you can bring your own laptop, or borrow one of ours.  I’ve even seen people, using their laptops while enjoying our gardens, weather permitting.

If we don’t have what you are looking for, we can try to locate the item at another location; either in our network or from a library out of our system. Then we can have it delivered to the Minuteman Library of your choosing for convenient pick up.

Tax forms and information are available here. Come on in to pick up what you need, other than contacting the “taxing” agency, we seem to be the most convenient place to get them.

You can search for your family’s roots in the Waltham Room. Help yourself, or call ahead for help from the local history specialist.

Programs are available for people of all ages, whether it be story hour and play time in the Children’s Room or Opera, how-to seminars, book discussions, appearances by entertainers and civic group meetings in the Lecture Hall, there are many diverse opportunities offered at the library.

I’ve known the Waltham Library for most of my life, as soon as I could print my name my Mom brought me in to get my very own card.
What a thrill to be able to work in the place I’ve enjoyed throughout my life. It is one of the few city services my husband and I regularly use, we really enjoy getting something personal out of the taxes we pay.

So come on in, get some value from the taxes you pay!
Explore the Library it’s a great place to be.

posted by Jeanette

Librarian Point/Counter Point: Oscar Fashions Part 2

Complete Book of Oscar Fashion

Two of my favorite things are fashion and film (please don’t tell my faithful canine companion Jumpin’ Jack Flash that he is number 3)    And I’m not sure where this leaves my husband in the top ten roster. (be sure you’ll never see his face tattooed anywhere on my body).  I digress.

Although I watched the Academy Awards last night, I soon tired of them. Everything was long and overdone–except most of the women’s hair. I had read earlier, that jewelry and clothing were going to be scaled down as not to be too frivolous in these depressed times.  And that did seem to be the case, although many of the dresses themselves did have some sparkle.

I disliked far more of the dresses than I liked.  I hate those one shouldered frocks.  Even those skinny coat hanger model/actresses are not flattered by that asymmetrical look. That being said, I disliked Frieda Pinto’s gown.  Did her dog eat the other sleeve right before she walked out the door? And that red number on Heidi Klum–kiss, kiss auf wiedersehen  Heidi. Tilda Swinton was wearing her usual sack; while even a beautiful woman like Beyonce managed to look bad.

And what’s up with all those fish tails?  Marisa Tomei was drowning in her  dress as was Miley Cyrus.  I loved Frozen River–but poor Melissa Leo looked like she spent too much time in a frozen river.

Also on my worst dressed list are:

  • Amanda Seyfried–ick–orangey huge ugly bow
  • Kate Winslet–she looked older than me
  • Amy Adams–too clunky of a necklace
  • Meryl Streep–ugly everything–hair, gown color, material and neckline
  • Jessica Biel–What was that?  Looked like she had a maitre d’ towel hanging from her dress
  • Reese Witherspoon looked like an ugly black and blue bruise.
  • Mickey Rourke needed a good cleaning up.  I know he’s in mourning for his dog and all but didn’t he want little Loki to be proud of his daddy?

What is wrong with these people–don’t they have a full length mirror?

Alright, before you think  I am too critical  I did love:

Don’t forget to visit the library to read about past Oscar winners and see past award winning films. Check out Made for Each Other : Fashion and the Academy Awards by Bronwyn Cosgrave and The Complete Book of Oscar Fashion by Reeve Chace.

posted by Marialice
Read part one

Librarian Point/Counter Point: Oscar Fashion Part One

Oscar Statue
A little tired from watching the Oscars last night? Well, you’re not alone, I’m sure, as many wandered in bleary eyed from watching another over long Oscar telecast. If you had checked out your copy of Entertainment Weekly from the library, then chances are you did very well in your Oscar pool. They pretty much predicted every race correctly. If you came to the library to read The Boston Globe yesterday, and listened to their prediction that Slumdog Millionaire was going to clean up, then chances are you won your Oscar Pool.
As a librarian, it was very gratifying to see movies based on books do so well. Slumdog Millionaire, winner of Best Picture, is actually based on the book Q&A by Vikas Swarup, (although the publisher is now publishing it under the title Slumdog Millionaire.) Best actress winner, Kate Winslet’s movie The Reader is based on a book of the same name by Bernhard Schlink.

Everyone knows, however, that the most fun is to be had when critiquing all of the fashion on the red carpet. This year, my esteemed colleague, Marialice, and I decided to channel our inner Joan and Melissa Rivers and give our thoughts on the best (and worst) of the fashion. Were we on the same wave length? We’ll find out:

My favorites:
1) Penelope Cruz: I think this woman would look beautiful even if she wore a paper bag to the Oscars, but she looked lovely in this dress. The embroidery is just enough, and her necklace doesn’t take away from the dress. Despite being strapless, it was also very modest, and in my opinion, age appropriate. This was my favorite look of the evening.
2) Natalie Portman: I’m sure some people were turned off by the rhinestones or beading in the front, and the sash in front was a little odd, I suppose. However, I love the color and I thought the dress really worked on her. She also carried off the strapless look in an elegant way.
3) Heath Ledger’s sister, Kate: I don’t know if it’s bad to mention her dress, but she looked stunning, and what an emotional moment when she referenced her late brother’s daughter.
4) Frieda Pinto: I know that Marialice doesn’t care for the one shoulder look on dresses, but I thought Pinto carried it off extremely well. In a night of black and white dresses, this royal blue sequined number really stood out. I liked her hair, as well.
5) The men: I have to say all of the guys looked very good in their low key tuxedos. (Does Will Smith ever look bad in a tuxedo?) James Franco did look especially good mainly because he was on stage seconds after we saw him in character from Pineapple Express. The only negative I have to say about the men was I really did not care for the leather looking tuxedo jacket that Bill Maher was wearing.

My Least Favorite:
1) Jessica Biel: Jessica Biel was this year’s random celebrity who got to preside over the Technology awards. I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but I did not like that dress. It had a lot of potential and it was such a nice shade of white, but that thing (whatever it was) in the front was so distracting. Her hair was messy, too. She pulled off her out of the ordinary dress at the Science and Technology awards much better, I thought. I guess it would have been a faux pas if she had worn that, again.
2) Jennifer Aniston: I actually didn’t have an issue with her dress, but her hair was too messy.
3) Sarah Jessica Parker: I thought that she was not wearing that in a flattering way at all. Even Carrie Bradshaw makes mistakes. (Actually, I thought Carrie Bradshaw made mistakes a lot!)
4) Amanda Seyfried: The color was pretty, but that bow just takes away from the dress. This isn’t quite as bad as Jessica Biel’s, but I didn’t love it. However, I do appreciate that Seyfriend was wearing two straps, unlike most other other women.
5) Sophia Loren: This really pains me to say this. I love Sophia Loren. I owned a dress in college that I named Sophia Loren because it reminded me of a dress she wore in one of her movies. However, I did not love Sophia in this dress. But, you know what? She’s Sophia Loren and as far I’m concerned, she can do whatever she wants.

Okay, over to Marialice for her take on last night’s fashions.

posted by Laura
Read part two

It’s (Not) the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

IRS Image
Image from

It’s tax season, again! The Waltham Public Library, once again, is providing forms for tax payers. The federal forms are on the ground floor in our AV Annex and the state forms are at the reference desk on the first floor. If you don’t see a form that you need, please feel free to use our computers to print them out or ask a reference librarian to do it for you. Or, you can use one of the following links to help you with forms as well as any questions that you may have:

* Bentley University is once again providing tax help for the VITA Program. The program starts on Saturday, February 14 at 11 am and will run Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-8 and Saturdays from 11-4 in room 101 in the Morrison Building on the Bentley University Campus. There will be no help during spring vacation, from March 7 -15. If you have questions call 781-891-2714. The appointments are first come, first serve basis, only.

Update March 2: According to Boston.Com, the IRS has called March 21 Super Saturday and is planning on offering free tax assistance to those making $42,000 or less. Assistance in Boston will be held at the JFK at 15 New Sudbury Street from 9 am to 2 pm on March 21. More information is available here.

Fashion and Films

Mr. Blackwell
Fashion Expert Mr. Blackwell

I love award shows.  I love them all:  Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammy, Golden Globes, S.A.G. Awards, People’s Choice Awards, yes even

Country Music Awards.  I set my TIVO and watch them later, blowing  through the acceptance speeches.  I am only interested in the gowns, the hair styles, the shoes and the jewels.

It got me thinking–what about movies with great fashion.

Here are few for the fashionista in you:


Desperately Seeking Susan

Devil Wears Prada

Funny Face

Great Gatsby

Marie Antoinette

Out of Africa

Pret a Porter

Pretty Woman


Sex and the City

Talented Mr. Ripley

To Catch a Thief

Happy Viewing

posted by Marialice

Good News for a change

Groundhogs are cute.  Valentine’s Day can be nice.  Still, shoveling out the car can get old.  This news about the economy gets tiring.  For those of us who are getting a little bit under the weather, I offer the following:

good news network

great news network



posted by Louise

Posts for Lincoln’s Birthday

For those who don’t know, the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth is on February 12. Read below for some reviews of new books about the 16th president and for the local connection regarding the last known photograph of him.

A Special Birthday for “Honest Abe”

Last known photograph of Abraham Lincoln. Taken by Waltham Photographer, Henry F. Warren.

Did you know that this year is the 200th birthday of President Lincoln? We’re remembering with him with a new display outside the Waltham Room called “The Last photo of President Lincoln by Waltham Photographer Henry F.Warren.” Our local photog captured that honor when he took three pictures of him out on the south balcony of the White House. That was on March 6, 1865. After much controversy over who had really taken the last photos, Warren came out the winner of the “contest” when new information was found in a diary. Although the original negatives were lost, many prints were made and are highly prized by collectors today.

posted by Janice


February 12th is the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. No doubt you have noticed the many new books written about the life, presidency and death of  the 16th president of the United States.

I recently read two fascinating books about Lincoln that I thought I would share. The first book entitled Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Lincoln by Kate Clifford Larson discusses the involvement of Mary Surratt in the assassination plot. Mary owned a boarding house in D.C. frequented by John Wilkes Booth and other accomplices. Larson writes a compelling account of Mary’s trial which ultimately resulted in her conviction and execution for
her role in the assassination plot.

Manhunt: the Twelve Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson tells the story of the twelve days immediately following the Lincoln assassination and the frantic search for Booth. This tragic episode in our history can also be viewed on the DVD   Hunt for John Wilkes Booth. All of the events leading up to the capture of Booth are dramatically portrayed in this presentation.

Both of the above titles are available at the Waltham Public Library.  Stop by the Reference Desk and we will gladly help you located these and other new

posted by Paula