Sunday, August 10, 2014

281. Freedom, New Hampshire

Without intending to, I chose a very lively day to visit the library in Freedom, NH--it was the end of Old Home Week, and the Friends of the Library were holding a bake sale and book sale outside, while inside children were being recruited to draw the names of winners (adults and kids) in the Summer Reading Program.  An interesting touch: instead of the plastic buckets and cups used for the deposit of SRP tickets at other libraries I've visited, Freedom uses glass canning jars with slotted cardboard lids. Neat.
A small room barely contains four public computers, and when I was there all of them were being used. There are also a couple of catalog computers. And while the library has obviously come into the computer era in this regard, I was intrigued to notice that they still use book pockets and cards, and stamped dates, to manage circulation. When I spotted a couple of books with pockets and cards I thought that I might be seeing relics, but I located a recent work of fiction that had been checked out in July 2014. It's a system that has worked well for many, many decades, and I'm glad to see that at least one library still uses it. [Actually, two that I know of. The other is Taylor's Falls, Minnesota.]
The children's room has windows on two sides and a nice collection of picture books, easy readers, plus "J" fiction and non-fiction. A boy was occupied with a construction toy (not with the huge collection of LEGOs), and three tween girls were engrossed in books in a cozy corner.
The summer reading program has something for all levels, and I think it is neat that the youngest participants designed "book jackets" that were displayed in great numbers. I took away a "Summer Reading Program Log" and see that a number of different activities count toward raffle tickets: read, one star for each 20 minutes; check out books, magazines, or audios; write a book review; post, share or comment on the library's Facebook page; attend a library program; and perform a random act of kindness (describe what you did on the back of the paper). A patron would use one of these logs each week, and there are maximums for each category. It's very well-rounded, in my opinion.
On a lower level I found a good-sized meeting room equipped with a computer projector in the ceiling, a zillion jigsaw puzzles, and collections of DVDs and recorded books labeled "Bear Camp Rotating Collection." I should have asked about that. I meant to, but then I was distracted by my main reason for choosing this Freedom among so many possible others for this "library collecting trip."
That reason was Louie, the library cat. Louie was making himself scarce outdoors; after all, the place was very lively with all the action going on. But a tall gentleman located him and brought him to the door (thank you!)...whereupon he wriggled free and bolted across the parking lot. The librarian and I followed him, and as you can see below I was able to get a picture of his handsome, tiger-striped self. Meeting Louie was my birthday present to myself!
At some time in the recent past the library had a contest for patrons to design bookmarks. The winning designs in each of four age groups have been printed on sturdy plastic, with the library address and hours on the back--and these are available for free, so I took one of each! Thank you!
Then I bought cupcakes, brownies, and candy at the sale, pulled myself away from the boxes of books, and headed back to my sister's house in Dunbarton.
8/9/2014, car

Notice the date, 1892.
The current building was "presented to the town" on August 26, 1971.

Here's Louie being distracted by the librarian while I snap his picture.
He did let me pat him a little.

1 comment:

  1. I just re-read this entry and would like to add Nashua, Iowa to the libraries using book cards and pockets. In addition, they still use the card catalog!


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