Inside Winchester

Table of Contents

Winchester--Village and Town
Statistical Summary
Town Meeting
Town Government
Town Manager
Community Programs
Health Services
Town Finance
Planning, Zoning, and Building
The Public Library


The Winchester Public Library is a of source information, culture, and recreation. It is a place to borrow books and such diverse items as audio and video recordings, museum passes, and audio-visual equipment. The professional staff is always available to advise and assist borrowers.

The Public Library was first established in 1859. In 1931, it moved to its present location on Washington Street between the Mystic Valley Parkway and the Town Hall. An addition was completed in 1966, and a major renovation was completed in 1996.

Operational Organization

General policy for the operation of the Winchester Public Library is set by a five-member Board of Trustees who are residents and who serve without pay. It is the Board which authorizes expenditures and appoints library staff. The Library Director manages the operation of the Library and prepares the budget for the Board of Trustees.

Library Services

All Winchester residents are eligible for a free library card; other Massachusetts residents may also get a Minuteman card with proper identification. The Library is a member of the Minuteman Library Network, a group of neighboring public and college libraries which cooperate through automated resource sharing.

The Library contains approximately l00,000 volumes with new titles chosen each year by professional librarians on the basis of published reviews. Library users may suggest titles which they would like to see added to the collection. Books in the collection may be reserved for a small fee to cover mailing costs. Approximately 15,000 cardholders borrow over 255,000 items each year.

The Library also houses a collection of large type books, books on tape, CDs, videocassettes, and audiocassettes.

The Reference Room

The Reference Room is located on the Main Floor where computers offer patrons access to the Minuteman online catalog, the Internet, and CD-ROM resources. Reference Librarians are always available to assist patrons in person or by telephone.

Subscriptions to over 200 periodicals and fifteen local and national newspapers make the Reference Room an attractive place to browse. Passes to twelve museums in the Greater Boston Area are also available to Winchester residents.

Minutes of all Town Committees, as well as some reports of Town Boards, are kept on file in the Reference room. Special reports of study groups on topics of local interest arc often available. The Townn Budget, the Finance Committee's recommended budget, and the Town by-laws, zoning laws, and Charter may be obtained at the Reference Desk.

The Library has a small collection of books pertaining to Winchester history, although the Archival Center houses most of the local history material. The Library houses copies of the Town annual reports from l850 to date. It also has microfilm holdings of the Winchester Star from 1850 in addition to an index to the Star.

Children's Services

The Children's Room on the Ground Floor, is designed to serve the needs of' children and young people through the fifth grade. In addition to printed materials, the department circulates cassettes and CDs. Reference service and Readers' Advisory Service are available at all times.

Story times for youngsters - two to six - introduce children to stories, finger plays, songs, crafts, and games. Special programs for all children are presented throughout the year.

Teachers may request books to enhance the school curriculum. Class visits to the Library can be arranged by teachers for orientation. instruction, story times, and book talks.

Meeting Room

The Meeting Room, located on the Main Floor, is available for meeting by Winchester groups during library hours and also serves as a Homework Center after school. The Room houses the Lincoln and Lee Collection of Civil War materials.

Click here for the Library page.

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