Monday, December 31, 2007

Opinion Survery

The Waterloo Public Library is interested in learning your feelings about our operating hours. Please take a few moments to visit our Survey Monkey to voice your opinion.


c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sanborn Maps Move to State Library

The Sanborn Maps product, a collection of maps dating back to the 19th Century, will no longer be available through the Waterloo Public Library. However, library patrons may continue to browse this amazing resource via the State Library of Iowa's Sanborn Maps subscription.

A State Library card, necessary to login to Sanborn Maps, can be acquired online in minutes for no charge.

The downside of getting Sanborn Maps through the State Library is having to get another card; the upside is that patrons may now use Sanborn Maps from home; the Waterloo Public Library subscription required users to be in the WPL building.

Another advantage to using the State Library's Sanborn Maps service is that cardholders will also have access to the State Library's collection of online resources. The titles range from newspapers, to EBSCOHost and from medical to legal. Several of the resources are open to any user, but many require a login using a State Library card.

Dropping the Waterloo Public Library Sanborn Maps subscription allows us to reallocate money to other products, our patrons will have access to a great product from home, and the State Library will have the opportunity to show off its wonderful services to Iowans.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Download 2007 Tax Forms!

It's that time of year again. The Iowa Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service are sending out tons of our favorite forms. Usually, we'll have the paper versions you need. However, if we don't, simply follow the links from the Waterloo Public Library Reference blog directly to the appropriate agency's site.

From there, you may quickly download and inexpensively print the most current version of the form(s) you need.

Librarians won't give you tax advice, but we can help you to find the tax form that you're looking for.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Second Floor Window Work

The window crew is now working on the second floor. The walls surrounding the 000-500 non-fiction, as well as the periodicals, are now behind a plastic shelter. The 000-150 area has the shelter right up against it; items on those shelves may only be retrieved by staff members on request.

The job superintendent estimates that this area will be blocked off for at least two weeks. After the windows are replaced the walls must then be resurfaced and painted. Once this is done, the work will proceed along the south wall in a clockwise motion.

While the work is in progress, let's all be careful to not enter the work area or otherwise interfere with the job. We're going to have quite a mess for the next few weeks, but I'm looking forward to having new windows and walls.

As always, if you have questions or comments, contact me at

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cunningham Carolers visit the WPL

Carolers from the Dr. Walter Cunningham School for excellence entertained staff and patrons in the lobby of the Waterloo Public Library today. This makes two consecutive years that the students have visited the library. We hope to see them again next year!

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Free Downloadable Movies!

Card holding patrons of the Waterloo Public Library have access to full length downloadable movies via our subscription to MyLibraryDV. Users may choose from several collections: Movies, documentaries, food, health, how-to, kids, literature, and travel.

My guess is that the theatrical movie collections, which include classics, foreign films, Hollywood Favorites, independent films, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, will be the most popular. However, those of you who like travelogues and cooking shows will find that MyLibraryDV is the place to go for video entertainment.

Viewing the movies requires the installation of a viewer and movie management utility, each of which is easily downloaded from the MyLibraryDV site. You then use the viewer to choose your movie which you must then checkout using your Waterloo Public Library card.

Currently, the most practical way to view a MyLibraryDV title is from home using a broadband connection. However, sometime later this winter, look for the library to establish a viewing station somewhere on the second floor. Stay tuned for details.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Monday, December 17, 2007

Window Project Continues

Despite single digit temperatures, our window replacement crew continues to work their way around the third floor.

It looks like they may have to briefly close the public entrance either later today or early tomorrow. If that happens, we'll post signs directing patrons to the staff entrance in the courtyard.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Madeleine Albright visits WPL!

On Saturday, we had a surprise visitor at the library. Madeleine Albright, the first female Secretary of State, was here speaking in the meeting rooms to a group on behalf of Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

After commenting that we have a beautiful building, Secretary Albright took several minutes to sign autographs and have her picture taken with patrons and staff.

We have two books in our catalog by Madeleine Albright. To see if they're currently available, click here. For more information about Secretary Albright, check out the Biography Resource Center or click here.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

More Express Computers

The City of Waterloo MIS Department has recently allocated more computers to the library: Five new Vostro 200s and 3 Optiplex G240s. Over the next few weeks you'll see them added to our collection of workstations.

Public Access Computer #7, out-of-service for a couple of months, will soon return. We'll be adding an Express computer in the downstairs lobby area. And, we'll also be adding a flatbed-scanner equipped Express Computer in the Reference Department.

Other improvements on the horizon include upgraded Research Stations as well as enhanced computer services in the Teen Area. Providing enough equipment to sastify the computer needs of WPL patrons is one of my major goals. If you have questions or suggestions, please submit them to me at


c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Friday, December 07, 2007

Computer Classes at the WPL

The Learning Center has recently expanded the number of seats from 6 to 9, but as you can see, we're still short on space. Kim V., Literacy Services Administrator, is shown here presenting her Mail Merge class to a packed house; just in time for the Christmas letters!

The Black Hawk County Gaming Association recently granted Kim V application for money to fund a new Training Center in the south west corner (formerly housing the 700s) of the second floor. By this time next year she'll be packing a room of 15 instead only 9!

To see what classes we're offering, visit our the Patron Classes link on our website.

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Newspaper Archive now Available!

The newest addition to the Waterloo Public Library's collection of online databases is Access Newspaper Archive. This product, visibile from any computer within the library's local area network, allows patrons to browse newspapers from as far back as 1759 to as current as 2006.

We'll soon be adding links to Access Newspaper Archive from our website, but until then, point your Public Access Computer's web browser at and start searching!

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Learn About the Iowa Caucuses at WPL!

Monday night we'll be hosting UNI Professor Donna Hoffman to talk about the Iowa Caucuses. The caucuses are only a month away -- come learn about why they play such an important role in selecting our next president. In addition to giving a talk on the topic, Professor Hoffman will be available to answer your questions about the caucuses and the 2008 presidential elections. Voter registration forms will be available, so you can register to vote at the event.

Refreshments will be available. Come to the meeting rooms at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, December 3rd for "The Iowa Caucuses: Past, Present and Future."

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

Window Installation Proceeds

Workers are now replacing windows on the third floor of the Waterloo Public Library. Soon, they will be removing the windows above the stairwell. Once that process begins, it will be necessary to block access to the stairs as it would not be safe to work above our heads.

The job superintendent assures me that the stairs will be closed for only a day or two and that in an emergency (e.g., fire or tornado) it will be possible to tear down the plastic and go. Certainly, we mustn't use the elevators if the fire alarms sound!

Later in December I expect to see the window crew on the second floor. We'll have to put up with some inconvenience as the work progresses, but having new windows and wall coverings will make it all worthwhile!

c 2007 Waterloo Public Library

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