Roots of NH Libraries

CHAPTER 62     An Act to Promote the Establishment and Efficiency of Free Public Libraries

History of NH Libraries
by Mildred P. McKay, State Librarian, 1942–1964

Peterborough Town Library
First tax supported library in the United States.

1717—2017: the 300th Anniversary of the NH State Library
The following essays were written by Michael York, State Librarian, in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the NH State Library.

First State Library 1717
Library Access in Every Community
Government Documents at the State Library
NH Libraries are Fun and Vibrant Places
Classrooms, Libraries, and Reading
Calculating the Value of Libraries
Downloadable Books at the Library
NH State Library Really Delivers
NH State Library Talking Books Service
Ask a Librarian
NH State Library and Your Family Tree
The Future of Libraries

New England Carnegie Libraries
Between 1886 and 1919 Andrew Carnegie donated over $40 million to help pay for 1,687 public library buildings including nine libraries in New Hampshire. Continue reading …

A History of US Public Libraries: Carnegie Libraries
Digital Public Library of America

“…if wealth ever came to me, that it should be used to establish free libraries."
                                                                                                               — Andrew Carnegie

What is the IMLS?

The Institute of Museum and Library Services published a short history on their 20th anniversary in 2016.

MISSION: The mission of IMLS is to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development.

VISION: A nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities.

Why is IMLS important?
LINK to the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants-to-States page. New Hampshire's InterLibraryLoan (ILL) service is partially funded by an IMLS/LSTA grant. READ State Librarian Michael York's article on ILL service in New Hampshire.

Smithsonian Images into Public Domain

The Smithsonian Institution released 2.8 Million Images into the public domain. The launch of a new open access platform ushers in a new era of accessibility where you can download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images—right now, without asking. With new platforms and tools, you have easier access to nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from our collections—with many more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo. MORE >

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. Check it out HERE.

New York Public Library

More than 180,000 items are available online. The New York Public Library just made their Public Domain Digital Collection free to share and reuse. Check it out!

Art Institute of Chicago

Explore thousands of free high resolution images of artwork in the museum’s wide-ranging collection—from their world-renowned icons to lesser-known gems from every corner of the globe—as well as books, writings, reference materials, and other resources. Check it out!

Library Services in the Digital Age

Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project report found that "... 91 percent of Americans (16 or older) say that public libraries are important to their communities, and 76 percent say libraries are important to them and their families." This report puts to rest the notion that public libraries are not needed in a world where information is available predominately online and in electronic formats. Americans continue to see the value of libraries and believe the availability of computers and Internet services is as fundamental to libraries as books and reference help. LINK to read the entire report.

"Libraries in NH are NOT dying."

Check out these statistics: 63 NH Library Construction Projects (2006–2018), both completed and in the active planning and/or constructions stages. Thanks to Christie Sarles, Director of the Tuftonboro Free Library, for originally compiling this invaluable. Download the updated  LIST

Not your Grandmother's Library any longer

Read about the current trend in libraries as they move to re-identify themselves in the 21st century. The shift is on from a repository of books to a repository of assets. You can now checkout musical instruments, telescopes for star gazing, binoculars and bird-watching handbooks. READ MORE on Marketplace on Minnesota Public Radio.

Millennials and Library Usage

New analysis of Pew Research Center survey data indicates that 53% of Millennials (those ages 18 to 35) in America are more likely to have visited a public library in the past year than any other adult generation. Continue reading …   

"... print books remain much more popular than books in digital format ..."

Are you intrigued by this statement? Read the Pew Research Center report HERE.

Pew Research on Libraries

"Americans strongly value the role of public libraries in their communities, both for providing access to materials and resources and for promoting literacy and improving the overall quality of life. Most Americans say they have only had positive experiences at public libraries, and value a range of library resources and services.” LINK to the website and downloadable PDF of report

PEW Research on Children and Libraries

Pew Internet and American Life Project report found that: "The vast majority of parents of minor children—children younger than 18—feel libraries are very important for their children.” Very interesting research about parents, children, libraries, and reading. LINK to the report.

NH State Library Statistics Report

Library statistics are collected annually by the New Hampshire State Library. The data provides holdings, services, programs, income, expenditures and personnel information. This data is useful to compare services with libraries of similar size, population, funding, etc. The 2017 report is available for download from the NHSL website.

Statistics for 2018 are currently being compiled.


Center for the Book at the State Library

"The Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library was established in 2003 to celebrate and promote reading, books, literacy, and the literary heritage of New Hampshire and to highlight the role that reading and libraries play in enriching the lives of the people of the Granite State." LINK to their website. The Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library is an affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.
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