Friday, December 26, 2014

298. Franklin, NH Public Library

Two connections here. I was aware of one in advance, and it was part of the reason for my visit: my mother and father lived in Franklin for a time, and sometimes visited this library. One that surprised me: the library Director, a very nice man who took for himself the "day after Christmas" work assignment, used to work at the Nashua Public Library, where my mother worked during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. [And where I was a page in the 50s, with my sister following in my footsteps.]

The library was funded by Carnegie in November 1903. The picture below shows many of its classical features.There is a room on each side with a rounded window wall and a fireplace. The only addition to the original building is a back door and an elevator, added about 20 years ago for accessibility. Space upstairs is used by the New Hampshire unemployment services, according to a sign,. From the front door, it is accessed by a curving staircase, definitely original. Floors and interior columns are of marble and lend an air of gravitas to the space.

The room to the right of the main door houses the children's collection. Three bookshelves arranged in a "Y" create three somewhat separate spaces; in one of these spaces, an adult was playing "Go Fish" with a young child. Seasonal books and some new acquisitions were colorfully displayed.

The room to the left of the door a mirror-image of the children's area holds four public computers, periodicals, a fireplace, and seating for browsers, Three of the computers were in use at noon on the day after Christmas--clearly they are meeting a need.

The librarian's desk at one time would have been a barrier between patrons and the stacks; now, of course, one is free to walk back into the stacks. A room to the left appears to be the Director's office. The stacks house a modest collection of fiction and non-fiction. A clever touch, I think, is the use of shallow bookshelves mounted on the rear wall, between the windows. One set of shelves holds paperback non-fiction, and the others hold paperback classic fiction. I spotted a small collection of DVDs, but did not notice other media. If I missed something, I hope someone will leave a comment and correct me.

This is one of very few libraries in NH where I have not seen a grandfather clock. Did I miss it?

My plan was to go from Franklin to Boscawen, but my sister and I failed to spot the library so we drove on to Penacook, ditto. I'll be back in NH next summer and will visit those two, and others.

For more about the Franklin library, visit or

12/26/2014, car, with Jean

Franklin's handsome Carnegie library