150th Anniversary

Tucked away in a room in Town Hall, Watertown Free Public Library first opened its doors on March 31, 1869. Since then, WFPL has found a permanent home at 123 Main Street, opened new departments for children and teens, established an innovative English language program with Project Literacy, created a library-run makerspace with Hatch, and continues to welcome all with a staff dedicated to service. Join us throughout 2019 as we celebrate the past, present, and future of our much-loved library. Here’s to the next 150 years!

150th Anniversary Gala, Saturday April 6, 7 - 9 PM

Join us for a celebration of WFPL's past, present, and future! Experience the library as you never have before with live music, new artwork, and history on display throughout the building. This all ages event will include fun activities in the Children's Room and a pizza party for teens. Beverages and light refreshments will be served. Attire: dress to feel fabulous. Free and open to all. If you are planning to attend, please click the image below to RSVP:


ART150 Call for Art

Help us celebrate our 150th anniversary by creating a piece of artwork that celebrates the Watertown Library. Be as creative as you want; sketch or paint your favorite part of the library, make a historical photo collage, a recycled book sculpture, a poem, an essay, or even a piece of music- anything that celebrates your connection to the library. Learn more about our submission process here.

Photo of Children's room activity with WFPL logo.

Explore WFPL History

In 1869, WFPL was open two days a week, four hours a day. In the early years, there was intense disagreement over the value of fiction. One trustee argued “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. Here are two ways you can follow our story from the “cramped, uncomfortable” basement room in Town Hall to the library we know and love today.

Timeline: Learn how WFPL has adapted to changing times by exploring our interactive timeline

WFPL Gallery: Throughout March, historic photos of WFPL will be displayed in our gallery. Stop by!

Photo of Watertown Library with WFPL logo.

Follow the Story, Share Your Story

Throughout the year, we'll share library history, fun facts, and vintage photos on our blog and social media channels. Share your own library stories and pictures with the hashtag #WFPL150!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog

Photo of two people reading with WFPL logo.