The Modern New Hampshire Library
With e-books and streaming services on the rise, it’s easy to wonder how libraries fit into the picture. However, in New Hampshire’s libraries, books are just the beginning. Our public libraries provide meeting space for clubs, committees, and commissions. They facilitate civil discourse through forums and other forms of community conversation. They provide educational programs for children of all ages—from after school clubs to summer reading events. Libraries also offer computers and internet access to people across the state. And that’s just the basics.
Peruse the programs offered at New Hampshire libraries, and you’ll find a myriad of unexpected (and free!) services. The Portsmouth Public Library provides guided meditation sessions. New Hampton residents can visit the Gordon-Nash Library for yoga classes. These days, New Hampshire libraries are checking out more than books. Patrons can borrow museum passes, appliance efficiency meters, and telescopes! Some public libraries even provide 3D printers for public use (check out this article for more info)!
Getting the Most from Your Library
What does this mean for you? Well, a lot. If you’re moving to the Granite State, there will be a library in your community ready to welcome you. Reference questions aren’t limited to book-related topics—librarians can be your go-to gurus for local information.
If you already live in New Hampshire, think of your library as a hub for networking, personal development, and money-saving resources. Library programs attract diverse, inter-generational audiences, which makes them a valuable outlet for networking. Fitness classes, film series, and other library services enrich your lifestyle without lightening your wallet.
Finally, realize that your library wants you. Yes, you! Libraries are always looking for community members to give presentations or workshops. Are you a music aficionado? Do you travel internationally? Have you mastered a particular cuisine? Talk to your librarian about giving a presentation on your area of expertise. This is a great way to benefit your community while developing your personal brand.
When you talk to your library about volunteering, think about your unique skill-set. If you love videography, perhaps you could make a YouTube promo for the library. If you’re a designer, you could develop event posters. If you’re a photographer, you might take new photos for the library website. Volunteer opportunities can be as creative as you are!
Public libraries are advancing New Hampshire residents through education, culture, and community involvement. They empower us to be independent thinkers, information seekers, and, ultimately, better citizens. New Hampshire’s public libraries are waiting for you. What are you waiting for?!