Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Annual Awards. These special individuals and groups have contributed to the excellence of New Hampshire libraries and have given exemplary service in connecting the library to their community. View list of winners to date since 2009.

LIBRARY of the YEAR: Hampstead Public Library • October 25 • read more in the Carriage Towne News 

LILLIAN EDELMANN TRUSTEE of the YEAR: Terry Jillson White , Abbott Library, Sunapee • November 15

LIBRARY DIRECTOR of the YEAR: Lori Fisher, Baker Free Library, Bow • November 8

Wilmot Public Library Friends Group • Wilton Public Library • Nov 18

* DOROTHY M. LITTLE AWARD: Adele Knight • Dublin Public Library • October 28 • read more in the November 2017 issue of the Dublin Advocate News and the Keene Sentinel
* This special award is in recognition of a person who has demonstrated sustained, extraordinary public library advocacy and activism on a local, regional, and state level.

Since June 2017, NHLTA has been sponsoring regional meetings for trustees around the state. The series of meetings began in June in the North Country area at the Weeks Memorial Library in Lancaster. This group of 14 trustees from seven libraries had a lively discussion focused on creating policies that work. They plan to meet again in the Spring of 2018.
In the Monadnock Region 15 trustees and two library directors also met in June at the Dublin Public Library. They had an indepth discussion about stragetic planning and long-range planning. Originally organized by Adele Knight, this group has been meeting for the past 10 years with the next meeting planned in the Spring of 2018.
The Upper Valley area gathering of 16 trustees and four library directors was held at the Wilmot Public Library in July. The discussion covered many topics including working with volunteers, building renovations and repairs, concern about historic preservation, programs and community engagement. The group is scheduled to meet in the Spring 2018 at the Pillsbury Library in Warner.
The Southern Area trustees gathered at the Rodgers Memorial Library in Hudson in September. The main topic of discussion was focused on strategic planning and evaluation of the long-term library director.
Also in September 11 trustees, a library director, and a Friends group member from five libraries in the Lakes Region met at the Moultonborough Public Library. Topics of discussion included fundraising and Friends groups, outreach to specific patron populations and the latest developments in technology. The Effingham Library volunteered to host the next meeting in the Spring of 2018.
In October nine trustees and a director from eight Seacoast and Rochester Area libraries met at the Durham Public Library. The discussion focused on the process of hiring a new library director. They are planning to meet again after March 2018 elections at the Kingston Community Library.
Also in October, two dozen trustees and four library directors from the SILC Region co-op met at the Epsom Public Library. The focus of the discussion centered on the search process for a library director and educational requirements. The group also expressed interest in meeting again after March 2018 elections.

NHLTA will announce on this website and the NHLTA Listserv the dates and times of all planned meetings.

Do you have a "Little Free Library"?

What is a Little Free Library? It's a "take a book, return a book" gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share. More info at the "Little Free Library” website. Do you have a photo of your Little Free Library to share? Email it to Connie Kirwin.

Goffstown Public Library's Little Free Library located in Abingdon Park on Mast Road.
The photo is registered (#32863) with the Little Free Library and can be found on the national map on their website.


The Holderness Free Library has joined other libraries in New Hampshire in establishing a "Little Free Library." It is located at the town beach. The library keeps it stocked with donated and
surplus books. Beach goers have made great use of this addition.

Little Free Library at the Mary E. Bartlett Memorial Library
in Brentwood.


All roads lead to the library.

This delightful photo was taken at the
Concord Public Library, 45 Green Street
by NHLTA Director Marty Davis.


Grand Opening Celebration of the NEW Abbott Library, Sunapee
It was an outstanding celebration on Nov 15, 2014 at the NEW Abbott Library in Sunapee. The program was a heartwarming tribute and thanks to the many trustees, friends, foundation group members, and staff who worked so hard to make this day happen. And to the residents of Sunapee for their support! The Abbott Library is well worth the drive to Sunapee to visit and the view of Mount Sunapee is fantastic. An article about this 12 year effort is featured in the Summer issue of the NHLTA quarterly newsletter. Construction photos of the project are available on the Abbott Library website: www.abbottlibrary.org.

Design by Peter Tennant of Tennant/Wallace Architects, AIA, Manchester; construction by Trumbull-Nelson, Hanover.  



Cost effective, versatile, back-to-school item: the library card

Electronic tablets and smartphones can be important learning tools for today's students, but the most versatile item available to them is the same one their parents and grandparents used: the library card. Continue ...

Bethlehem Public Library
"The Mystery Donor's Tale: A Sister, A Brother And A New Library”
"For 100 years the library in Bethlehem occupied three small rooms in Town Hall. But over the weekend that changed with opening of a new library on Main Street. It was the conclusion of a tale involving a mystery donor, a brother who moved far away and a sister who stayed in the North Country."
More on New Hampshire Public Radio.
                                                   Photos courtesy of Bethlehem Public Library

Salisbury Free Library
In the center of a small town northwest of Concord, the Salisbury Free Library provides a delightful blend of charm, local history and a personalized library experience. The Salisbury Social Library was chartered in 1798; the current Salisbury Free Library was founded in 1898. In 1912 it moved to the Hearse House, now a museum, and in 1960 it moved next door where it resides today, in what was originally a one room schoolhouse. Sharing space with town offices until 1984, its renovation and expansion in 2008 brought it to its current bright and welcoming 2,000 square feet dedicated to the library. Many townspeople identify with the original structure, having attended school within its walls in their younger years.
They are a "small but nimble” library, in the words of director Mindy Atwood, and very patron-focused. "If you don't find it, ask.” If the time of a book group or story hour is inconvenient, then "let's see if we can change it.”
They face some of the challenges typical of small town libraries: limited resources and limited hours for serving patrons, keeping up with cataloguing, and shelving and processing the collection. The town's children attending middle school through high school travel by bus to the regional schools in Penacook, 10 miles away, spending so much time on the road that there is very little time for library visits during the week. A move to catalogue automation has begun, and all recent acquisitions are processed electronically.
What will the future look like? According to Mindy, "We can't know what it will look like, but we will always provide opportunity for growth and a community focus.”
With a town population of 1300, 250-300 active patrons and a collection of 8,200, the Salisbury Free Library has an impressive annual circulation of 8,900. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth a stop and a chat with the amiable and progressive director and staff.

Gale Public Library
The Gale Public Library was founded in 1892 and was located first in the Newton Town Hall, then in a former one-room schoolhouse. It was named after members of the Gale Family, who donated money to the library. In 1978, the library moved into a former elementary school that was built in 1900, where it currently resides. Serving a population of around 4500, the library has a collection of 28,800 items and an annual circulation of over 28,000 items.
Our Friends of the Library group is a small but faithful group of women who raise money and support library activities, such as our American Girl Doll Tea and our annual Halloween Party. Lace tablecloths and china cups adorned the tables in the Children's Room at the Gale Library in Newton recently. The Children's Librarian, with the help of the Friends of the Gale Library, hosted a Doll Tea party and Fashion Show. The Friends group provided the finger foods; pink lemonade and herbal teas were offered in china tea pots for the young ladies to enjoy. The twenty young ladies were dressed in their finest, some with matching outfits on their dolls. The participants made elegant paper and lace fans to compliment their outfits, and then had a fashion show for themselves and their dolls.

The Gale Library offers a multitude of events to encourage all age groups to visit the library. Our older members enjoy the Wednesday evening cribbage night. For nearly 10 years, this group of senior citizens has gathered to socialize and to hone their card-playing skills. One of our most popular programs for the younger generation is the Read with Jasmine program. Children love to read to Jasmine, a certified R.E.A.D. therapy dog. The library also offers a story hour, two adult book clubs, and several other seasonal reading programs for children and adults throughout the year. Arts and crafts, movies, Wii, and a special teen corner also contribute to making the Gale Library a center of community activity.

Moultonborough Public Library
Like many libraries in New Hampshire, the Moultonborough Public Library has become the hub of the community. Scattered throughout the library are inviting areas in which to read books and periodicals, play games or work jigsaw puzzles.
Besides hosting bridge, mahjong and book groups, the library's meeting room has been used by 4,400 people in community groups this past year as well as 1,500 enjoying library programs.  Their meeting room seats 75 with room for 100 people.
A variety of children's activities are offered. Their annual Ground Hog Hunt is held at the Loon Center where the object is to find the stuffed toy ground hog. The Read-A-Thons are very popular with adults as well as children. They all come to the library, read for a half hour, have a snack, read for a half hour, enjoy pizza, another reading session followed by ice cream. The library celebrates Valentine's Day with a tea party for moms, daughters and dolls. There is an annual Easter Egg Hunt and May finds the children gathered around a May Pole.
Nancy McCue, Library Director, cited keeping up with technology as her main challenge. The Moultonborough Public Library was named Library of the Year 2009 by the NHLTA.

Wilton-Gregg Free Library
The Wilton Public and Gregg Free Library is noted for its unique architecture and its majestic location on the hill overlooking the town center.  The library was built in 1907 with a generous donation by David Gregg of Wilton and is managed by a trust, with operational funding provided by the town.  Recent extensive renovations were funded 25% by the town and 75% by private donations.  This community project has resulted in increased usage, greater volunteer participation, and renewed activity of the Friends of the Library.  The library is becoming even more the hearth of the community.

There is a thriving art community in Wilton, and a special feature at the library is a rotating display of the works of many local artists. 

An exciting recent addition to the library is an on-line school edition of Encyclopedia Britannica to be shared by public and school library patrons.