- Activities & Events
- Virtual Program Videos
Virtual Program Videos
We’ve recorded some of our most popular library classes and guest programs so you can learn from home, anytime.
- The Digital Traces of Pregnancy: Privacy & Reproductive Rights
- Russia's Invasion, Ukraine's Resistance, & Prospects for Peace
This webinar covers the ways that our digital lives—including app use, social media, purchases, GPS data, and more—expose information about our reproductive choices. Viewers will learn how to map out their own personal risk profile and will leave with strategies to protect themselves, as well as protect the safety and choices of those around them.
Claire Lobdell is the distance education librarian and archivist at Greenfield Community College in Greenfield, MA. Claire is a member of the Library Freedom Project, a surveillance resistance and digital privacy organization.
Join Professor Oxana Shevel (Tufts University Political Science Department & President of the American Association for Ukrainian Studies) for a discussion of the reasons behind Russian president Putin's invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine's determined resistance, and how the war might end. While the war is often analyzed through the lens of US-Russia geopolitical competition, this talk emphasizes the importance of alternative factors: changes in national identity in Ukraine and of divergent political regime dynamics in Russia and Ukraine.
- The Ransomware Hunters
- Hopepunk Panel
- Emotional Currency
- The Secret Life of Groceries
- Urban Nature, Human Nature
Pulitzer Prize finalist Renee Dudley and Pulitzer Prize winning local author Daniel Golden discuss their latest book, The Ransomware Hunting Team. Urgent, uplifting, and entertaining, The Ransomware Hunting Team is a real-life technological thriller that illuminates a dangerous new era of cybercrime.
Scattered across the world, an elite team of code crackers is working tirelessly to thwart the defining cyber scourge of our time. You’ve probably never heard of them. But if you work for a school, a business, a hospital, or a municipal government, or simply cherish your digital data, you may be painfully familiar with the team’s sworn enemy: ransomware. Again and again, an unlikely band of misfits, mostly self-taught and often struggling to make ends meet, have outwitted the underworld of hackers who lock computer networks and demand huge payments in return for the keys. The Ransomware Hunting Team traces the adventures of these unassuming heroes and how they have used their skills to save millions of ransomware victims from paying billions of dollars to criminals.
Join Renan Bernardo, Brianna Castagnozzi, Susan Kaye Quinn, and T. K. Rex in conversation about Hopepunk and Solarpunk literature. Hopepunk challenges us to look up from our doomscrolling and envision a future filled with defiant optimism!
Dr. Kate Levinson discussed building healthier relationships with money as guided by her book, Emotional Currency: A Woman's Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money.
Benjamin Lorr joined us to talk about his nonfiction stunner The Secret Life of Groceries: The Dark Miracle of the American Supermarket. The book delivers powerful social commentary on the inherently American quest for more and the social costs hidden therein.
Peter Del Tredici of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University reveals the wild, cosmopolitan ecosystem that exists all around us. This book talk celebrates the second edition publication of Del Tredici’s book, Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide (Cornell Univ. Press).
- Organic Landscaping
- Common Sense Composting
- Financial Literacy and Budgeting for Basic Needs
- Ask the Docs: A COVID-19 Town Hall
- A Conversation with Culture-Keepers About Local Indigenous History
- Zine Roundtable
- Decoding the News
Learn about health and environmental impacts of organic landscaping from local experts! Facilitated by Debbie Smith, attorney, Justice of the Peace, and longtime Watertown resident.
Part 1: Jim Agabedis from Minuteman Landscaping
For this session, join Jim Agabedis from Minuteman Landscaping to learn how a natural organic program works, take a look at how to successfully use a natural organic program, and understand what to expect.
Separate fact from fiction in this virtual composting class where you'll learn the composting do's and don'ts from the experts and the options for community drop-off composting and curbside composting. Questions were answered by Anya Pforzheimer, Watertown's Recycling and Sustainability Coordinator, and Conor Miller, CEO of Black Earth Compost.
Gain a basic understanding of financial literacy and budgeting - especially for people who have been impacted by COVID-19 and for low-income families. Richard Tatarczuk (Former CFO) and Kate Peterson (Chief Financial Officer) of the Watertown Savings Bank present the basics of financial literacy and show how to create and stick to a budget.
Sophia Suarez-Friedman and Maysa Ramos, Watertown Social Services Resource Specialists (SSRS), discuss resources and services available to Watertown residents, including resources to reduce costs, for emergency financial needs, and specific to the pandemic.
Sophia and Maysa's slides are embedded below, and the spreadsheet that Richard references can be found on Google Sheets.
On March 24, 2021, Watertown Free Public Library and Providence Public Library hosted a virtual Town Hall-style event about COVID-19. Brown University’s Dr. Philip A. Chan and Mass General’s Dr. Robin Schoenthaler answered your questions about COVID-19.
Dr. Chan is an Associate Professor for Warren Alpert Medical School and School of Public Health at Brown. He is also an Attending Physician at The Miriam Hospital Immunology Center and Consultant Medical Director for the Rhode Island Department of Health Division of Preparedness, Response, Infectious Disease and EMS. Dr. Robin Schoenthaler is board-certified radiation oncologist for Massachusetts General Hospital, still she has come to be known by the moniker “the-Boston-cancer-doctor-who-writes-about-COVID”. Since March 2020 she has become a “COVID-translator,” with a weekly column on COVID reaching a national lay audience.
New Repertory Theatre, Pigsgusset Initiative, and the Watertown Free Public Library hosted a dynamic community conversation about local Indigenous history and the role of Indigenous culture-keepers in challenging narratives that attempt to erase them.
In May of 2021, New Rep will premiere their second Moving Play, centering on local Indigenous history. Discussion participants are Moving Play Playwright, Mwalim Morgan J. Peters (Mashpee Wampanoag), and Director, Jaime Carrillo (Aymara). Dr. Mishy Lesser (Upstander Project/Pigsgusset Initiative) moderated this inspired dialogue.
The Zine Roundtable celebrates alternative storytelling and zine resources as part of Zine Month at the Watertown Free Public Library. Moderated by Hatch Assistant and artist Yi Bin Liang, the discussion explores the production and power of zines.
The Zine Roundtable features area artists and organizations, including Papercut Zine Library, Seth K. Deitch, Adrian Alvarez, and Somerville Public Library.
Go beyond the headlines and be sure you’re getting accurate facts about the election, the pandemic, and more. Skip the bias, lose the hype, and quiet the noise. Get pro tools and tactics from David Wallace, former business/tech reporter for The New York Times and Reuters, and journalism lecturer at Boston University.
Crafts, Cooking, & DIY
- DIY Ginger Ale
- Gouache Paint Night
- Waxed Cord Bracelets
- Light Up Greeting Cards
- Lip Balm & Body Butter
- Chocolate Truffles
- Leaf-Printed Towels
- Beeswax Wraps
Make a healthy, probiotic ginger ale that provides the health benefits of ginger without the artificial ingredients. This program was hosted by Grounded Goodwife.
- 1 inch grated fresh ginger root
- Water (7 cups total)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast
- In a saucepan, combine 1 inch grated fresh ginger root, 1 cup water, and 3/4 cup sugar. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat and steep, covered, for 1 hour. Strain.
- In a 2-liter container with a tight-fitting lid, combine 6 cups water (lukewarm/room temp), 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the ginger syrup mixture, and 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast. Shake to mix.
- Leave container at room temperature for 48 hours. 1-3 times a day, carefully loosen the cap to relieve some of the pressure (without opening the bottle all the way). The drink becomes very pressurized and fizzy! Be very careful, and don't point the bottle at anyone (or your own face). Refrigerate and drink within 10 days.
Learn the basics of gouache painting with Yi Bin! Gouache is an opaque watercolor paint. Like watercolor, gouache allows the paint to be altered even after it dries by just adding water. Paint a multicolored potted flower by mixing just four paint colors.
Take your friendship bracelet-making skills to the next level! Pauli will show you how to make three types of bracelets using waxed cords, beads, charms, and a few simple tools.
This square knot tutorial explains the knots used as the bracelet closure.
Learn the basics of paper circuits and light up someone's day with a light up greeting card! We'll show you how to make a simple card with copper tape, LED lights, and 3 volt batteries.
Want to add more lights? Check out this tutorial from Make: to learn about series and parallel circuits. Card templates featured in this video can be found at Xerox.
Enhance your next at-home spa day with sumptuous body butter and lip balm! We'll show you how to make your own lip balm or you can use these instructions to whip up some body butter.
Simple chocolate truffles make a perfect gift - or a lovely treat for yourself! We'll show you how to make this quick and easy recipe.
Bring the beauty of autumn into your kitchen! We'll show you how to make leaf-printed towels in this simple nature-based craft.
Save your leftovers in a sustainable way! We'll show you how to make a simple, reusable beeswax wrap.
Explore the eLibrary
Working on our Genealogy Scavenger Hunt? Learn the basics of searching for your family on Ancestry Library Edition.
Learn to use OverDrive to access the vast selection of eBooks and eAudiobooks available for free from the Library.
Stay Tech Savvy
- Online Privacy Basics
- Smarter Online Shopping
- Cutting the Cord
- Cloud Storage 101
- iPhone and iPad Basics
With so many people shopping and living life online, learn how to stay safe in a digital world.
With so many people shopping and living life online, we discuss tips and tricks for smart shopping.
Tired of paying for expensive cable packages? We’ll navigate equipment options and explore streaming services, including what the library has to offer!
Running out of space on your hard drive or device? Want a backup that you can’t accidentally misplace? Move your files to cloud storage! We’ll cover the basics, including what cloud storage is and how to keep it safe.
Get familiar with navigating your Apple devices and learn how to use the various applications that come with them.