Library Events: Talk on Controversial 19th Century Minister; Film Brings Women from Armenia, Turkey Together

The Rev. Mark Harris will speak about the Rev. John Weiss, a controversial minister in Watertown from the 19th Century. The Watertown Free Public Library will host a talk by the Rev. Mark Harris on a controversial 19th century minister, and a the screening of a film about women from Armenia and Turkey coming together to cook. The Watertown Library provided the following information:

John Weiss: Watertown’s Flame of Fire An Historical Lecture by Rev. Mark W. Harris


Called a “flame of fire” for his dramatic and prophetic style, the Rev. John Weiss was a controversial figure in 19th century Watertown. As a young minister, he was an outspoken advocate for the abolition of slavery and resigned from Watertown’s First Parish Church because of his views. After a ministry in New Bedford, Weiss returned to Watertown and developed new religious philosophy of scientific naturalism.

Watertown Library Turned Into Glamorous Venue for 150th Anniversary Gala

Guests at the Watertown Free Public LIbrary’s 150th Anniversary Gala entered through a building decked out for a celebration. The normally subdued Watertown Free Public Library was transformed into a glittering, glamorous party venue on Saturday night in celebration of its 150th Anniversary. Several hundred people filled the library for the 150th anniversary Gala Celebration. Strings of lights were draped in the entryway to the library, and vases full of flowers decorated tables around the library. Several hundred people filled the Watertown Library for the 150th celebration.

Best Selling Author Talks About Love of Libraries, Her Latest Book in Watertown

Bestselling author Susan Orlean, right, poses with a fan after she spoke at the Watertown Free Public Library on Thursday. For writer Susan Orlean, trips to her hometown library in Shaker Heights, Ohio, had been a childhood ritual, a way of bonding with her mother as they collected armfuls of books to read and discussed their borrowed treasures on the ride home. Even today, she can remember the sights and smells of that small branch library, and the thump of the date-stamp machine as it gave the books their due dates. But for all the magic of those early visits, the adult Orlean became more of a bookstore customer than a library patron, a buyer rather than a borrower. She rediscovered her fascination with libraries around 2010, when she took her young son to visit their local library.

Watertown Library Invites Public to 150th Anniversary Gala

The following piece was provided by the Watertown Free Public Library:

Tucked away in the basement of Town Hall, Watertown Free Public Library first opened its doors on March 31, 1869 under founding director Solon Whitney. In those early years, the library was open two days a week, four hours a day. The library was well used, but there was intense disagreement over the value of fiction. In 1882, one trustee argued that “the modern story has no place in a town library.” Some worried that novels would corrupt the minds of Watertown youth. Much has changed in 150 years.

LETTER: A Tribute to the Watertown Public Library

Watertown Free Public Library. As we near the 150th anniversary of the Watertown Public Library, I wanted to pay tribute to this invaluable institution that has had a profound impact on my life. When we think of libraries, often the first thing we think of is books. While the Watertown Library has a great selection of books and is also connected to the Minuteman Network catalogue, the library is so much more than books. In middle school, high school, and as an undergrad in college, I did not have a computer, so I relied on the library computers and internet to do my school work.

Clock from Former East Branch Library Has a New Home

The clock that used to hang in Watertown’s East Branch Library has been saved, and now hangs in the Main Library. A piece of Watertown history has found a home in a very appropriate place: the Local History Room of the Watertown Free Public Library. While the former East Branch Library has been sold to St. James Armenian Church, and will be torn down, the clock has been saved, noted District A Town Councilor Angeline Kounelis, who represents the East End. “Do you remember the “clock” that for decades hung at the East Branch Library?

Watertown Library Offers Service With 1,000s of Online Courses

As kids and teachers prepare for a new school year, the Watertown Free Public Library reminds residents of ALL ages that they can learn online anytime with is a leading online learning platform that the library introduced to Watertown residents a little over a year ago. It offers more than 5,000 self-paced courses on a wide variety of topics: leadership and business skills, programming, photography, 3D modeling, and much more. Learners can follow courses from start to finish, or pick and choose individual videos to meet their immediate needs. Anyone with a Watertown library card can access via the dedicated link at For those who aren’t sure where to begin, the library website offers lists of suggested courses on topics like financial planning, maker technology, and graphic design.