Woburn Public Library > FAQ


Using the Library

How do I get a Library Card?
All Massachusetts residents can get a Minuteman Library Card. Bring a photo ID and proof of address (such as a driver’s license or utility bill with your name and address) to the Circulation Desk at the library and fill out an application.

How long can I keep library books?
Circulation times vary.
Most books can be borrowed for three weeks and can be renewed twice.
New fiction can be borrowed for two weeks and cannot be renewed.
DVDs can be borrowed for one week and can be renewed once.

The Library Building

When was the library built?
The Woburn Public Library building was built in 1879.

Was this building always a library?
Yes!  The Library was designed by famous architect H.H. Richardson, who also designed Trinity Church in Boston.  It was the first library of his to be completed and is one of the defining examples of the Richardson Romanesque architectural style.

Why can’t we go up to the balconies?
An outside firm (hired by the city) determined that the balconies had to be closed for the safety and security of our patrons.

Library Services and Collections

Where do I look up books and other materials?
There are five (5) catalog computers in the library.  Three are on the main floor of the library and two are in the Children’s Room.  All five terminals can be used to look up materials in the Woburn Public Library and any other Minuteman Library using the Minuteman Catalog.   Library staff is available to assist with searches and to teach patrons how to use the catalog.  Handouts are available at the Children’s and Main Circulation desks.

How do I get a book/magazine/CD/DVD that is at another library?
You may request materials from other libraries in the Minuteman Library Network with your Woburn Library card by using the Minuteman Catalog. Library staff members are available to show you how to place a request if you need assistance.   The Woburn Public Library will notify you by email or phone when your material arrives.  The item(s) will then be held at the Circulation desk for one week.

If the material you are looking for is not available in the Minuteman Library network, please ask at the Reference or Circulation desk for assistance.  The Woburn Public Library’s Interlibrary Loan librarian will try to get the material for you from other libraries in the state, country, or possibly the world.  (There may a small fee if an item comes from outside the Minuteman Library Network.)

Where is the Children’s section/room/library?
The Children’s Room is on the lower/ground floor of the Library.  You can access the Children’s Room through the back door of the Library (near the rear parking area) or via the stairwell in the Study Hall.

Do you have music CDs?
At the moment, we do not have the space in the building to adequately shelve a CD collection.  You may request music CDs through the Minuteman Library Network with your Woburn Library card.

Do you have museum passes?
Yes.  The Library has passes to a number of local museums; these passes may be reserved for use by Woburn residents.  To learn more about our museum passes click here.

Does the Library provide Internet access?
Yes. The Library currently has eight computers with Internet access, split between the Reference area and the Children’s Room.  To use the computers you need to have a valid Minuteman Library Network library card, or a library card from another MA library that has been registered in the Minuteman system.

Does the Library provide fax services?
No, the Library does not provide fax services to the public at this time.

Do you have WiFi/wireless?  How do you access?
Yes, the Library has a public wireless network.  It is available for free in the library building.  For most people, access to the network is as simple as opening a web browser.

Where can I find old Woburn newspapers?
We have Woburn newspapers on microfilm dating back to the late 1800s. Visitors and patrons may access the collection during regular Library hours.  For assistance with the collection please see a staff member at the Reference Desk.

Genealogy and Archives

My family is from Woburn.  How can I find some historical information about them?
We have books and other resources with information on Woburn families. Stop by the Reference Desk and pick up a genealogy brochure for tips on conducting family history research in our collections.

I live in an old house in Woburn.  How can I find more information about it?
Our house research brochure, available at the Reference Desk, has a list of books, sources and search tips to assist you in your research.

The Library and the Community

I have some books I would like to donate.  Can I give them to the library? Where else can I donate books?
Due to limited storage areas the Library is not accepting book donations at this time.  If we start accepting book donations for a books sale or for some other reason, information will be posted in the Woburn Daily Times and the Woburn Advocate.  In the mean time we have compiled a list of local organizations that may accept donations.  Click here for the list or stop by the Library for a paper copy.

Does the library have any information on classes to learn English?
We have compiled a list of area organizations that offer English classes and conversations groups.  Click here to see the list, or visit the library and speak to a Reference Librarian for more information.

Do you have any stamps or envelopes for mailing?
We do not supply mailing materials here at the Library.  However, we are located adjacent to a Post Office that does sell mailing supplies. The address of the office is 2 Abbott Street.