Recently Finished Projects Makes Watertown Library More Friendly to the Disabled

The Watertown Free Public Library. The following announcement was provided by the Watertown Free Public Library:

The Watertown Free Public Library recently completed two Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvement projects. First, the front patio was extended three feet to allow everyone, including people with mobility devices, to enjoy the coveted outside space. Inside, automatic door openers were added to the entrances of the children’s, teen, and Watertown Savings Bank Room, the large meeting room on the first floor. “Given that our library was renovated in 2006, we don’t find many accessibility issues with the building.

Watertown Library Offers a Universe of Summer Reading Options

A view of what the current Watertown Free Public Library. The Watertown Library provided the following announcement:

Summer reading at the Watertown Free Public Library begins soon! This year’s theme is A Universe of Stories, and we can’t wait to share our stellar book lists, reading challenges, and prizes with you. The library offers summer reading programs for all ages, so whether you’re a fan of CatStronauts, Star Wars, or Stephen Hawking, we’re bound to have something that’s about your speed. And by the way, summer reading isn’t limited to space books!

Birds of Prey, Fireflies & Urban Foraging at the Watertown Library

The Watertown Free Public Library. Meet real birds of prey, find out about fireflies and take a walk with an urban forager during events hosted by the Watertown Free Public Library in May. The following information came from the Watertown Library:

Wingmasters: New England Birds of Prey

Saturday, 5/18 | 10:15 a.m. | WATERTOWN SAVINGS BANK ROOM

Meet real birds of prey! We are thrilled to welcome WINGMASTERS back for a program about New England’s raptor species. These stunning creatures sit at the top of the food chain, but their status is being threatened by changes further down the line. Raptor rehabilitators Julie Anne Collier and Jim Parks and their stunning birds of prey help us understand the plight of these predators in today’s world.

Increases for Police, Fire, Schools Library & DPW Included in Watertown’s FY2020 Budget

Watertown Town Manager Michael Driscoll revealed the Fiscal Year 2020 budget on Tuesday. Next year’s Watertown Budget includes money for an additional police office, a new leadership role in the Fire Department, and at the Library. Tuesday night, Town Manager Michael Driscoll presented the Fiscal Year 2020 budget to the Town Council. The total operating budget is $147.76 million, which is an increase of 3.89 percent or $5.53 million. When Driscoll presented the budget projection in October, there was a shortfall of about $800,000, but Tuesday he said the Town’s revenues came in close to $1.5 million above the projections.

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.

Local Group Hosting Forum About Restorative Justice

Progressive Watertown will host an event called “Restorative Justice: It’s The Law” on March 31. Organizers of the event sent out the following information:

What is Restorative Justice, How Does it Work, and How is it Used? A Public Forum and Panel Discussion moderated by William N. Brownsberger, Massachusetts State Senator. With Featured Speakers:

Margot Fleischman, Board President of Communities for Restorative Justice

Ruth Henry, Watertown Public School Educator

Lori Kenschaft, Clerk of First Parish Arlington, Educator and Activist

Peter Koutoujian, Middlesex County Sheriff

Marian Ryan, Middlesex County District Attorney

WHEN: Sunday, March 31, 2-4 p.m.

WHERE: Watertown Free Public Library, Watertown Savings Bank Room, 123 Main Street, Watertown, MA

Produced by Progressive Watertown. Co-sponsored by Watertown Citizens for Black Lives, Watertown Community Foundation, and World in Watertown.