Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Well Read in NH

When Grenville and I go on long road trips, we always explore the towns we’re passing through. His special interest is town halls; mine is libraries. During our month-long NH road trip last fall, we stopped into as many libraries as possible and, of course, I photographed them inside and out. Some were closed, so just have exterior views.
Travel Tips:  libraries are a great stop: If it’s raining out they are a great place to hang out; bring your own PC and access the Internet without having to buy anything; there’s always a rest room; and librarians are always very helpful  in providing information.
(right Daisy?)

In 1849, New Hampshire was the first state to enact legislation that authorized the establishment of public libraries.
The Bethlehem, NH library is located in the town building. It contains 13,308 volumes, circulates 13,356 items per year and serves 2,407 residents.
Bethlehem NH Library
The Conway, NH Public Library started as the Conway Village Library Association. The Conway Woman's Club and interested citizens created this Association in 1895, providing library services to the community until the current building was dedicated on June 13, 1901.
Conway NH Library
The Dover, NH public library did not come into existence until 1883, but the city has a long history of private and subscription libraries.
Dover NH Library
The Dublin, NH library was shrouded in fog when we visited as was the town of Dublin. The library is open limited hours, usually 4 to 8 p.m. and closed on Friday, the day we visited. Everything else in town was closed on Friday, including the town offices.
Dublin NH lib101 (2)Dublin NH lib101
The Goffston, NH library contains 27,495 volumes and circulates 59,706 items per year. It serves a population of 17,784 residents.
Goffstown NH Library
The Hollis, NH Free Social Library serves the Town of Hollis which was chartered 1799. It is one of the oldest public libraries in the country.
Hollis NH Library
The Jackson, NH Public Library houses a collection of 8,736 volumes. The library circulates 12,354 items per year and serves a population of 872 residents.
Jackson NH Library
The Laconia, NH library was dedicated in 1903. Napoleon Bonaparte Gale, a local banker died in 1894 and left the bulk of his fortune to the City of Laconia for a park and a public library building. The Gale Memorial Building houses the Laconia Public Library and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The main library building is an example of Romanesque Revival style, which emphasizes weight and mass through rock-faced masonry, heavy arches, broad roofs.
Laconia NH Library
The Littleton, NH public library is a Carnegie Library. In 1902, Littleton received a $15,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation. Funded by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929; 1,689 in the U.S. alone.
Littleton NH Library
The Meredith, NH public library opened its doors in 1882 with a meredithNH library1021 (18)collection of 800 books purchased from a former resident. In 1899, Benjamin M. Smith of Beverly, MA offered to build a public library as a memorial to his parents, both of whom died in Meredith. If the town agreed to purchase the land adjacent to the Baptist Church, he would pay to have a library built on that spot for not less than $10,000. The town agreed and purchased the land.
Meredith NH Library
Meredith NH Library2
The William W. Wadleigh Memorial Library, Milford, NH  contains 66,213 volumes. The library circulates 189,768 items per year and serves a population of 14,860 residents.
Milford NH Library
The Whipple Free Library, New Boston, NH public library is named for one of New Boston's prominent citizens, J.R. Whipple. After recovering from a failed Boston grocery venture, he become one of the country's leading hotelmen and a millionaire. In 1887, Whipple constructed a new building and reserved a floor for a library collection of 1800 books with chairs and a table for those who wished to read and relax. The library was donated to the town of New Boston in 1913 by Whipple's family. By 1923 ,the library was reported cramped and moved to the Wason Memorial Building.New BostonNH old library (2)
The old library is still standing, but no longer in use. In 2010, a new library opened. (Note the new Apple desktop PCs and very comfortable reading area.)
New Boston NH library
In 1833, the town of Peterborough, NH became the site of the first public library in the U.S. It was not the first library for public use as such libraries existed before 1833. Instead, its importance is that it was created on the principle that: the public library, like the public school, deserved maintenance by public taxation and should be owned and managed by the people of the community – not dependent on private generosity. peterboroNH library 1015
Peterborough NH Library
The Wentworth Library, Sandwich, NH is housed in a stone building, which was closed on the day we visited. The library’s collection contains 15,500 volumes; it circulates 19,319 items annually and serves 1,359 residents.
Wentworth NH library
The Wilton Public and Gregg Free Library, Wilton, NH dedicated in 1908 is named after the Hon. David A. Gregg of Nashua, NH, who was a summer resident of Wilton. The building is an example of the “Neo-Classic” style prevalent among monumental architecture between 1900 to 1920. Gregg sponsored the entire cost of the land and building (estimated at over $100,000). According to several newspaper accounts, it was considered “one of the finest library buildings in the state.”
Wilton NH Library
Wilton NH Library2
NOTE: The information on library statistics is from lib-web-cats (library web sites and catalogs) an online directory of libraries throughout the world.


Montanagirl said...

The Dublin is my favorite! Very nice post full of great information.

Arija said...

WOW, what a comprehensive NH library post. Can anyone access the internet in the library or do you have to be a resident?
Libraries and museums are great when travelling, they are either heated or cooled as the climate dictates and have rest rooms. A great combination.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks Mona, it was fun and we always looked for the library in every town. We were sorry that the Dublin NH one was closed, but then so was everything else in town on Friday.

Yes, Arija anyone can access the Internet in a library using their personal PC, but you may have to be a resident to use the library equipment. We always travel with our own and bring them in. We like library stops too for the same reasons you mentioned. Thanks for the visit.

Daisy said...

Right you are, Beatrice. :-) They all look welcoming to me. I enjoyed getting to see a peek into all these libraries.

L. D. Burgus said...

What a nice thing to visit especially on a rainy day. There are a lot of nice village libraries to see.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Daisy, I thought you would appreciate this post. These photos had been hanging out in a folder on my notebook PC since last Oct. Congrats on the new Toshiba notebook PC. I have an older one and keep putting off getting an uodated model cause I like this one so much. Hope you enjoy your new one!

Larry, we sought shelter in local libraries on a few rainy days.

Elaine said...

A lot of beautiful old libraries in NH! They all have great old architecture, and even the new Whipple Library's was built to blend in. Our public library here is quite interesting. I've been meaning to do a post on it sometime.

Anonymous said...

I tend to photograph courthouses. Nice pictures of the libraries!

CountryDew said...

I love this! Libraries are wonderful; the caretakers of democracy and free thinking. What a great experience to see these.

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