COVID-19 Library Closure

Library Closed Until May 4th

As directed by Town Manager Michael Driscoll, the Watertown Free Public Library will remain closed to the public until Monday, May 4. The Town Manager’s 4/2/20 coronavirus update is available here.

Coronavirus Information

For information about how to best protect yourself and our community, visit

Holds, Returns, and Fines

Holds: No holds will be available for pickup while the Library is closed.

Returns: Please keep your borrowed items at home, even if they are overdue. Minuteman Library Network (MLN) is extending all due dates until Tuesday, June 30.

Fines: Fines will be waived during this closure. If your account registers fines during this time we will waive them for you when the library re-opens. Fine caps have been raised from $10 to $50 so that you are not blocked from using online resources.

Sign Up for A Library Card

Yes, you can open a Library card while the Library is closed! Complete the Minuteman Library Network registration form to sign up. Although you won’t receive a physical card, you will have immediate access to our digital collection.

Contact Us: If you’re having trouble logging into our digital services because of account issues, we can help. You won’t get an immediate response, but we’ll do our best to get you connected. Click here to ask question.

Using Library Resources at Home

Don’t forget that you can access many free library resources and entertainment platforms from home. Check out the eLibrary highlights below or visit for a full list of our digital offerings.

*As a response to our temporary closure, and library closures around the country, we’re pleased to offer increased plays and checkouts for some of our most popular digital platforms.

Drawing of a computer screen filled with books. Opens in new window


OverDrive/Libby: Check out ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines from home.
Hoopla: Instant access to music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics, TV shows, and movies. *Plays have been increased from 7 to 10 per month, with no wait lists.
Kanopy: Stream movies and documentaries from home. *Plays will be increased from 3 to 5 per month, effective March 18. Plays are unlimited for select films. Kanopy Kids plays are now unlimited through April 16.
NoveList: Running out of things to read? Use NoveList for suggestions!


New York Times Digital Access: Stay up-to-date on news with NYT digital access.
RBDigital: Check out magazines from home including The Economist, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveller and more.


PebbleGo: Access hundreds of articles about animals, educational games, and learning activities from home. *All users now have access to even more PebbleGo English and Spanish learning modules, through the end of the academic 19-20 year.
Sesame Street Ebooks: Snuggle up with your favorite characters and learn letters, counting, and more.
TumbleBooks: Practice reading together with animated & narrated picture books from TumbleBooks.
Scholastic Learn at Home: Scholastic is providing free lessons; login information provided on site.
Kanopy Kids: Stream carefully selected videos that include award-winning movies and TV series, classic films, and family-friendly documentaries *Kanopy Kids plays are now unlimited through April 16.
WGBH Distance Learning Center: Free, trusted digital resources from PBS LearningMedia.
Publisher’s Weekly - How Kid’s Lit. is Responding to Coronavirus: Children’s authors and publishers are going digital to provide kids with ways to read, draw, engage, and support eachother.


Ancestry Library Edition: Access billions of records, including census data, vital records, and directories. *Now available outside the Library, for a limited time.
HeritageQuest Online: Do you have time for a little research? Explore the history of your family. Learn a new skill while you’re stuck at home with
Instructables: Missing HATCH while we’re closed?  Check out the projects in Instructables for inspiration.
MIT OpenCourseWare: Colleges may be closed, but MIT has courses at undergraduate and graduate levels for you to explore at home.
Britannica School Edition: Explore topics and concepts for students in PreK through 12th grade.
Mango Languages: Brush up on your language skills with Mango and learn to say hello in over 70 languages.


MedlinePlus: Curious about medical topics?  Check out Medline Plus for the science behind medical tests, prescriptions, and more.
Gale Health & Wellness: The Gale database has a section dedicated to Coronavirus information.

A Reminder: Be Kind, Return your eBooks!

For those of you who remember VHS tapes, you know the phrase “Be Kind, Rewind.”  In our age of virtual resource sharing, we can be kind to the next person in line by returning eBooks and eAudiobooks on the OverDrive and Libby apps when we’re done reading them. 

You can return materials in several different ways. The Libby app will prompt you once a book reaches 100% completion by asking “Finished?” when you view the title on your Shelf.  The browser version of OverDrive has a “Return” button below each title in your Loans. In the OverDrive app, press and hold on the cover of a title and select “Return to library.” Checking out Kindle books? You can return Kindle books from your Amazon account under “Manage Your Content and Devices.” OverDrive has a guide on how to complete the process.