Watertown Free Public Library Turns 150

“Solon Whitney began the library as a room in Town Hall in March of 1869, and we’ve been evolving ever since…”

– Watertown Free Public Library website

For the past 150 years, the WFPL has served Watertown citizens through resources and services that have steadily evolved to meet changing times. From expanded, community-focused programming to digital archives to online learning and town-wide book groups, the WFPL has consistently offered its visitors endless opportunities to learn and grow. So what does all that look like today in 2019, as the library celebrates this big milestone? For those of you who might never have been, or who could use a refresher, there’s a lot more going on behind those book stacks. Here’s a peek at some features of the WFPL you might not know about:

  • They offer personalized reading lists: Tired of asking yourself “what should I read?” The WFPL is ready to help. Just head to the library website,  tell them what genres you prefer, and one of the librarians will send you a list of personal recommendations to check out!

  • There’s an actual art gallery: Want to look at local art, or maybe see your own pieces hung somewhere? Head to the 2nd floor T Ross Kelly Family Gallery, where the WFPL showcases local artists’ work all year long. And now through March 30th, they’re taking submissions to help celebrate their 150th – click here to learn more!

  • They host online language courses: Thinking of broadening your horizons? Watertown residents with a library card can take online, self-paced courses in over 60 languages through the WFPL! Head to the Mango Languages page to get started.

  • They even have an app! Although we all love to curl up with a good book, the WFPL knows that most of us are reading on phones and tablets. The Libby app allows full access to the library’s entire selection of digital books, audio books, and magazines – whether on your phone or tablet! Learn how to download and get started, here.

  • They offer free ESL classes: Know someone who’d like to learn English? The library’s Project Literacy Program offers a free range of services to adults learning to write, speak, and read English.

  • You won’t leave hungry. The library’s Red Leaf Café greets you right near the building’s front entrance, and offers up sandwiches, salads, wraps, and pastries, along with coffee drinks. Lots of gluten free selections, too!

We’ve just scratched the surface here – make sure this month includes a visit to the WFPL so you can discover more for yourself.