Sunday, August 10, 2014

280. Josiah Carpenter Library, Pittsfield, New Hampshire

This library dates to 1901. The building is quite handsome, and the plaque in front reflects town pride. Four computers serve the residents' needs for Internet connection. The main room on the first floor has the circulation desk, part of the book collection, and media. (Since 2008, only patrons 18 and older have been able to check out DVDs; it seems that the younger patrons had a serious problem with returning movies on time!) There is a room on either side of the door available for quiet reading, perhaps with a cup of coffee from the coffee maker, which you may have for 50 cents.

The back room contains the stacks; the collection here appeared to be non-fiction and teen books. There was a sign inviting patrons to "browse the new books in Large Print." And one section is labeled "Classics," with books by Dickens Hawthorne, and such. The collection is limited, but is augmented through state-wide interlibrary loan.

The children's area is downstairs. Unfortunately it is not open to the public at this time while some needed renovation is done. There are a couple of bright rugs, a large "project table," and a collection of children's books, including picture books, J fiction, and non-fiction. Although children cannot come down to browse and make their own choices, staff will bring books upstairs for them on request. I found the "children's catalog" on the library website. They use a program I've not seen before called Kidviz. If this is unfamiliar to you, I suggest you take a look; it's quite interesting. It was puzzling, however. I expected it to only display "J" books, and when I used the selection buttons that seemed to be the case. But when I put "horses" in the search box, the first results were novels by
Dick Francis!

Despite obvious shortcomings, the library has a variety of programs throughout the year, including movies and author visits. There is a teen writing group, a teen reading group, and a summer reading program that was held outdoors when weather allowed and in the nearby elementary school when necessary. In this small town, the SRP attracted 30 to 40 kids, which suggests the library's value. I hope that the renovations can be completed soon, for the sake of those kids.

To learn more about this library, go to or visit their Facebook site at

8/9/2014, car

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