At the library

A New Favorite Author

It's always nice to stumble upon a new author whose books really excite you. A few months ago I picked up a book by a man named Blake Crouch, about whom I had heard exactly nothing. It was titled "Pines", and sounded interesting. When I read it I was so hooked by the plot that I had a hard time putting it down, and finished it in a little over a day. Since that time I've read seven other of his books (including "Wayward" and "The Last Town", the sequels to "Pines"), and they have all been unputdownable (yes, that word is in Webster's, I just checked!) If you are a lover of fast, suspense and action-filled plots, you will enjoy Crouch. His books won't be confused with great literature, but they are a lot of fun. They appear to be self-published, but don't have that amateurish feel you often get with such titles. He knows how to write a great story and to keep it from seeming unrealistic or foolish. So spend some time on your couch with Crouch. I'm guessing you won't be disappointed, and you might be like me and even find a new favorite author.


Pines jacketSecret service agent Ethan Burke arrives in Wayward Pines, Idaho, with a clear mission: locate and recover two federal agents who went missing in the bucolic town one month earlier. But within minutes of his arrival, Ethan is involved in a violent accident. He comes to in a hospital, with no ID, no cell phone, and no briefcase. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels ... off. As the days pass, Ethan's investigation into the disappearance of his colleagues turns up more questions than answers. Why can't he get any phone calls through to his wife and son in the outside world? Why doesn't anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what is the purpose of the electrified fences surrounding the town? Are they meant to keep the residents in? Or something else out? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the world he thought he knew, from the man he thought he was, until he must face a horrifying fact - he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive



wayward jacketThe sequel to "Pines." Welcome to Wayward Pines, population 461. Nestled amidst picture-perfect mountains, the idyllic town is a modern-day Eden...except for the electrified fence and razor wire, snipers scoping everything 24/7, and the relentless surveillance tracking each word and gesture. None of the residents know how they got here. They are told where to work, how to live, and who to marry. Some believe they are dead. Others think they’re trapped in an unfathomable experiment. Everyone secretly dreams of leaving, but those who dare face a terrifying surprise. Ethan Burke has seen the world beyond. He’s sheriff, and one of the few who knows the truth—Wayward Pines isn’t just a town. And what lies on the other side of the fence is a nightmare beyond anyone’s imagining.



Last Town coverIn this conclusion to the Wayward Pines trilogy Ethan Burke has to deal with the ramifications of revealing the truth about the town they all live in. It is a secret that has the entire population completely under the control of a madman and his army of followers, a secret that is about to come storming through the fence to wipe out this last, fragile remnant of humanity.





snowbound jacketFor Will Innis and his daughter, Devlin, the loss was catastrophic. Will’s wife, Devlin’s mother, vanished one night during an electrical storm on a lonely desert highway and, suspected of her death, Will took his daughter and fled. Then one night, a hardedged FBI agent appears on their doorstep and says, “I know you’re innocent, because Rachael wasn’t the first…or the last.” Desperate for answers Will and Devlin embark on a terrifying journey that spans 4000 miles, from the southwest desert to the wilds of Alaska, heading unaware into the heart of a nightmare, because the truth is infinitely worse than they ever imagined.




abandon jacketOn Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman and child in a remote gold mining town disappeared, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins; and not a single bone was ever found. One hundred thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town so that they can learn what happened. With them is a psychic, and a paranormal photographer--as the town is rumored to be haunted. A party that tried to explore the town years ago was never heard from again. What this crew is about to discover is that twenty miles from civilization, with a blizzard bearing down, they are not alone, and the past is very much alive.



desert places jacket"Greetings. There is a body buried on your property, covered in your blood. The unfortunate young lady's name is Rita Jones. In her jeans pocket you'll find a slip of paper with a phone number on it. Call that number. If I have not heard from you by 8:00 P.M., the police will receive an anonymous call. I'll tell them where Rita Jones is buried on your property, how you killed her, and where the murder weapon can be found in your house. (I do believe a paring knife is missing from your kitchen.) I strongly advise against going to the police, as I am always watching you." Andrew Z Thomas is a successful writer of suspense thrillers, living the dream at this lake house in the peidmont of North Carolina. One afternoon in late spring, he receives a bizarre letter that eventually threatens his career, his sanity, and the lives of everyone he loves. A murderer is designing his future, and for the life of him Andrew can't get away.



locked doors jacketSequel to Desert Places and prequel to Crouch's and Konrath's STIRRED... Seven years ago, suspense novelist Andrew Thomas's life was shattered when he was framed for a series of murders. The killer's victims were unearthed on Andrew's lakefront property, and since he was wanted by the FBI, Andrew had no choice but to flee and to create a new identity. Andrew does just that in a cabin tucked away in the remote wilderness near Haines Junction, Yukon. His only link to society is by e-mail, through which he learns that all the people he ever loved are being stalked and murdered. Culminating in the spooky and secluded Outer Banks of North Carolina, the paths of Andrew Thomas, a psychotic named Luther Kite, and a young female detective collide. LOCKED DOORS is a novel of blistering suspense that will scare you to death.



stirred coverThird book in the series, co-authored with J.A. Konrath. Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels has seen humanity at its most depraved and terrifying. She's lost loved ones. Come close to death countless times. But she always manages to triumph over evil. Luther Kite is humanity at its most depraved and terrifying. He's committed unthinkable acts. Taken human life for the sheer pleasure of it. He is a monster among monsters, and no one has ever caught him. Each is the best at what they do. Peerless. Unmatched. Until now... In Luther's experience, people are weak. Even the strong and fearless break too easily. He wants a challenge, and sets his depraved sights on Jack. But with a baby on the way, Jack is at her most vulnerable. She's always been a fighter, but she's never had so much to fight for. So he's built something especially for Jack. His own, private ninth circle of hell - a nightmare world in a forgotten place, from which no one has ever escaped. It's J.A. Konrath's greatest heroine versus Blake Crouch's greatest villain in Stirred, the stunning conclusion to both Konrath's Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels thriller series and Crouch's Andrew Z. Thomas series. Only one can survive. And it won't be whom you think.

run jacket5 D A Y S A G O: A rash of bizarre murders swept the country… Senseless. Brutal. Seemingly unconnected. A cop walked into a nursing home and unloaded his weapons on elderly and staff alike. A mass of school shootings. Prison riots of unprecedented brutality. Mind-boggling acts of violence in every state. 4 D A Y S A G O: The murders increased ten-fold… 3 D A Y S A G O: The President addressed the nation and begged for calm and peace… 2 D A Y S A G O: The killers began to mobilize…  Y E S T E R D A Y: All the power went out… T O N I G H T: They’re reading the names of those to be killed on the Emergency Broadcast System. You are listening over the battery-powered radio on your kitchen table, and they’ve just read yours. Your name is Jack Colclough. You have a wife, a daughter, and a young son. You live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. People are coming to your house to kill you and your family. You don’t know why, but you don’t have time to think about that any more. You only have time to…. R U N


Titles in our collection of new DVDs and Bluray discs

The following movies can be found in the library's collection of newly received DVD and bluray movies as of August 21st. Hundreds more older movies are also available. All of these titles can be placed on hold if they are checked out.

Admission [DVD]
Anna Karenina [Bluray]
Anna Karenina [DVD]
Argo [DVD]
The Avengers [Bluray]
Beautiful creatures [DVD]
The brass teapot [DVD]
The call [DVD]
Captain America, the first avenger [Bluray]
Cloud atlas [Bluray]
Cloud atlas [DVD]
Company of heroes [DVD]
The dark knight rises [Bluray]
The dilemma [DVD]
Eclipse: The twilight saga [Bluray]
11 flowers [DVD]
Father vs son [DVD]
Flight [Bluray]
Flight [DVD]
42 [Bluray] : the Jackie Robinson story
42 [DVD] : the Jackie Robinson story
Gangster squad [DVD]
G.I. Joe : the rise of Cobra [Bluray]
A good day to die hard [DVD]
The guilt trip [Bluray]
The guilt trip [DVD]
Hit & run [DVD]
Hitchcock [Bluray]
Hitchcock [DVD]
The hobbit [Bluray] : an unexpected journey
The hobbit [DVD] : an unexpected journey
The hunger games [Bluray]
Hyde Park on Hudson [DVD]
I am number four [DVD]
Identity thief [DVD]
The impossible [Bluray]
The impossible [DVD]
Jack Reacher [Bluray]
Jack Reacher [DVD]
Jack the giant slayer [Bluray]
Jack the giant slayer [DVD]
Jack the giant slayer 3D [Bluray]
Johnny Dangerously [DVD]
The karate kid [DVD]
Kicking & screaming [DVD]
Kill the Irishman [DVD]
Killing Lincoln [DVD]
The last stand [DVD]
A late quartet [DVD]
Lawless [DVD]
Leon the professional [Bluray]
Les miserables [Bluray]
Les miserables [DVD]
Life as we know it [DVD]
Life of Pi [Bluray]
Life of Pi [DVD]
Lincoln [Bluray]
Lincoln [DVD]
The lucky one [Bluray]
Magic Mike [Bluray]
The man from nowhere [DVD]
Midnight in Paris [Bluray]
Miss Minoes [DVD]
Mission: impossible. Ghost protocol [Bluray]
Mud [DVD]
The muppets [Bluray]
Oblivion [DVD]
O brother, where art thou? [DVD]
On the road [DVD]
Oz the great and powerful [Bluray]
Oz the great and powerful [DVD]
ParaNorman [Bluray]
Parental guidance [DVD]
Parker [DVD]
People like us [DVD]
The perks of being a wallflower [DVD]
Pirates of the caribbean. on stranger tides [Bluray]
Pitch perfect [Bluray]
Playing for keeps [DVD]
The place beyond the pines [DVD]
Premium rush [DVD]
Prometheus [Bluray]
Promised land [Bluray]
Promised land [DVD]
Quartet [DVD]
Red dawn [DVD]
Redline [DVD]
Rise of the Guardians [Bluray]
Robot & Frank [DVD]
Rock of ages [Bluray]
A royal affair [DVD]
Safe haven [DVD]
The Sapphires [DVD]
Seal team six [DVD] / the raid on Osama Bin Laden
The sessions [DVD]
Seven psychopaths [DVD]
Sherlock Holmes [Bluray]
Sherlock Holmes [Bluray] / a game of shadows
Side effects [DVD]
Silver linings playbook [DVD]
Sinister [DVD]
Skyfall [Bluray]
Skyfall [DVD]
Sparkle [Bluray]
Stoker [DVD]
This is 40 [DVD]
The town [Bluray]
Trading places [DVD]
The tree of life [Bluray]
The tree of life [DVD]
Trouble with the curve [DVD]
Twelve o'clock high [DVD]
The twilight saga : breaking dawn, part 2 [DVD]
Warm bodies [DVD]
The words [DVD]
Zero dark thirty [Bluray]
Zero dark thirty [DVD]

2013 Kids' Summer Reading Program Grand Finale

Warmest thanks to all who made our Children's Room summer reading program and finale our BIGGEST EVER! 

451 kids participated and read a total of seven THOUSAND hours!!!!!  Way to go, young readers! And thank you to all the grown ups in their lives who encouraged their literacy and filled out reams of raffle tickets!

Speaking of raffle tickets, here are the winners of this summer's prizes:

Christian Filteau
John-William Washington
Nathan Domingos
Colin Watson

Avery Phoenix

Kierra Martin
Monique Baril
Cameron Hurrell

Haylie Lewis

Jagger Strickland

It is a pleasure and privilege to once again thank the Friends of the Lane Memorial Library for their amazing generosity, hard work, and support.  Not only did they provide the funds for the four Kindle grand prizes, but they enabled us to hire the Toe Jam Puppet Band, who kept our finale rocking. We are very fortunate indeed to have such a group of dedicated and delightful people supporting the library in a myriad of ways.

Heartfelt thanks to the following stalwart folks who oversaw games, food, check in, clean up, and a variety of other responsibilities at the finale itself:

Fidan Chong
Emma Donnelly
Matthew and Samantha Gibb
Alma Hewitt
Diane Keyes
Jenn Jackman
Anne Marchand
Chris Silverman
Nancy Stiles
Terri Teleen
Jenny Tobler

Many thanks, too, to all the people who brought in water, napkins, and strawberries.  An enterprise of this size could not happen without the help and contributions of such wonderful neighbors.

Jaime Langton, and her daughters Sophia and Becca, did an outstanding job painting faces at the event.  The looooong (and patient) line of children waiting to have their faces painted attests to the Langtons' artistry. Thank you, Langton ladies!

We owe a great debt of gratitude to everyone at the Centre, Marston, and Sacred Heart schools.  They are so gracious in welcoming us in to talk about Lane Memorial Library's summer reading program with their students.  In the five years since we began sharing our reading programs in the schools, we have seen the number of participants triple.

A huge THANK YOU to Flatbread Pizza, who donated 25 delicious pizzas for our party.

Hurray and hugs for our subs, Sandy Kent, Carol McGrath, Nicole Cico, and Rose Hanley.  These marvelous ladies have come to our rescue so many times this summer, often at a moment’s notice, and frequently staying later than scheduled out of the goodness of their hearts and their dedication to this community.  Volunteers Sarah Coffen and Meg Cico helped keep our department tidy and cheerfully made hundreds of paper wall decorations for our readers to sign and hang up.

Most of all I would like to thank Miss Wendy, Miss Julie, and Miss Liz.  They are so amazing, both individually and as a fantastic team.

While Miss Julie is--sadly for us--moving to England soon, I am so glad she was here to witness this record-breaking summer reading program.  You will be greatly missed, Miss Julie, but please know you've left a legacy of exceptional work, great innovations, and much laughter here in the Children's Room.

A Presidential Trip Through Hampton


George WashingtonOne would think, given New Hampshire’s status as the first in the nation Presidential Primary state, that there would be any number of sitting Presidents who had visited Hampton. But the reality is quite different. As far as I know, there have been only two sitting Presidents who have ever been in Hampton, and they were both just passing through on their way to Portsmouth. Any number of Presidential candidates have been to Hampton, and you can read about many of their visits on our website. But once in office they have not come back. I imagine you’ll be surprised to hear that one of the two who did make it to Hampton was none other than George Washington.

An entire book has been written about Washington’s visit to New Hampshire in 1789. He crossed into New Hampshire from Salisbury and traveled up what is now Route One to Portsmouth, passing through Hampton along the way. After staying a few days in Portsmouth he returned south through Greenland and Stratham to a stop in Exeter, and finally out of the state through Kingston and Plaistow.

It was just twelve days after his inauguration as our nation’s first President that Washington, in writing to James Madison, questioned “Whether, during the recess of Congress, it would not be advantageous to the interests of the Union for the President to make the tour of the United States, in order to become better acquainted with their principal characters and internal circumstances, as well as to be more accessible to numbers of well-informed persons, who might give him useful information and advice on political subjects?”

Washington left New York, which was then the seat of government, and headed northeast into New England on October 15, 1789. After a stay in Newburyport his party passed into New Hampshire on the last day of October. As you can probably imagine his visit to our area caused a great deal of pomp and circumstance. Four hundred Massachusetts cavalry had escorted Washington to the border where he was met by New Hampshire General John Sullivan of Durham, several state dignitaries, and another seven hundred mounted horsemen. After the President had greeted the dignitaries and passed all the troops in review, he dismounted from his horse and climbed into a chariot. And as he himself later wrote in his journal, “With this cavalcade, we proceeded and arrived before three o’clock at Portsmouth.”

Unfortunately the President did not make record in his diary of his ensuing journey through the Seacoast to Portsmouth, so we are left to wonder what he made of our small town, which at the time hosted a population of less than 900 souls. Joseph Dow, in his history of Hampton, states that the people “gathered at Toppan’s Corner [the intersection of Winnacunnet Road and Route One] to see him pass, and that he bowed pleasantly to right and left.” But we can imagine that the crowd likely stretched all the way up and down the road, perhaps not in the same numbers as we have recently seen in a very different procession through our town, but a cavalry of over 700 mounted soldiers and dignitaries would likely bring out everyone in the vicinity. Hampton was just a sleepy little country town in those days, and this was probably one of the biggest events in its history to date.

The other President to visit Hampton was James Monroe in 1817, but Dow in his History makes no mention of the visit. Other sources do mention stops in Newburyport, Hampton Falls, Greenland and Portsmouth, so we can assume that he had to pass through Hampton along the way. John Adams was said to have visited Portsmouth because he had relatives who lived in Newington, but there is no mention of whether he passed through Hampton on his way there. Later Presidents who visited the area usually went to Portsmouth, and arrived by sea or train, bypassing Hampton.

So it has been a long time since a sitting President has been in our little town. Are you reading this President Obama?

The Most Popular Books of the Past Five Years

Looking for some good summer reads? If you aren't yet on the list for this year's top titles and want something right away, why not try the best from the past? Here is a list of the top ten books in each of the past five calendar years, as judged by how many times they were checked out of the library. Do you see any that you wanted to read but missed? With one exception all of these are novels written primarily for adults. Who can figure out what the one exception is?


  1. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn.
  2. "Guilty Wives" by James Patterson.
  3. "Kill Alex Cross" by James Patterson.
  4. "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James.
  5. "Explosive Eighteen" by Janet Evanovich.
  6. "The Litigators" by John Grisham.
  7. "Unnatural Acts" by Stuart Woods.
  8. "Defending Jacob" by William Landay.
  9. "Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins.
  10. "D.C. Dead" by Stuart Woods.


  1. "Live Wire" by Harlan Coben.
  2. "Toys" by James Patterson.
  3. "Rescue" by Anita Shreve.
  4. "Tick Tock" by James Patterson.
  5. "10th Anniversary" by James Patterson.
  6. "Sing You Home" by Jodi Picoult.
  7. "Worth Dying For" by Lee Child.
  8. "Hell's Corner" by David Baldacci.
  9. "Strategic Moves" by Stuart Woods.
  10. "I'll Walk Alone" by Mary Higgins Clark.


  1. "The 9th Judgment" by James Patterson.
  2. "Deliver Us From Evil" by David Baldacci.
  3. "U is for Undertow" by Sue Grafton.
  4. "Kisser" by Stuart Woods.
  5. "Lucid Intervals" by Stuart Woods.
  6. "The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks.
  7. "Caught" by Harlan Coben.
  8. "Worst Case" by James Patterson.
  9. "Split Image" by Robert B. Parker.
  10. "Alex Cross's Trial" by James Patterson.


  1. "Cross Country" by James Patterson.
  2. "Run for Your Life" by James Patterson.
  3. "Loitering With Intent" by Stuart Woods.
  4. "Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult.
  5. "The Associate" by John Grisham.
  6. "Finger Lickin' Fifteen" by Janet Evanovich.
  7. "Hot Mahogany" by Stuart Woods.
  8. "Plum Spooky" by Janet Evanovich.
  9. "Night and Day" by Robert B. Parker.
  10. "Rough Weather" by Robert B. Parker.


  1. "Double Cross" by James Patterson.
  2. "Playing For Pizza" by John Grisham.
  3. "Stranger in Paradise" by Robert B. Parker.
  4. "Change of Heart" by Jodi Picoult.
  5. "Fearless Fourteen" by Janet Evanovich.
  6. "Honor Thyself" by Danielle Steel.
  7. "Twilight" by Brendan DuBois.
  8. "The Appeal" by John Grisham.
  9. "Body Surfing" by Anita Shreve.
  10. "Beverly Hills Dead" by Stuart Woods.

Isinglass Teen Read Award Winner Announced!

DivergentThe Isinglass Teen Read Award was begun in 2001 by the Barrington Public Library and the Barrington Middle School in order to promote teen reading, the participation of teens in the creation of their own reading list, and to honor those authors whose works speak to youth. The award is now open to all New Hampshire students in grades 7-8.

Voting is done annually in April.  So join us in reading from the current, and past lists, and send us your suggestions for new titles to add!

The 2013 Winner is:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

What's it about?

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

 During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

2014 Nominees:

Auracle by Gina Rosati
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki
In a Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth
Insignia by S. J. Kincaid
The Killing Sea by Richard Lewis
Losing It by Erin Fry
Origin by Jessica Khoury
Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum
Throne of Glass by Sarah Mass
The Warrior's Heart by Eric Greitens
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

The Flume: NH Teen Readers' Choice Book Award Winner Announced!

DivergentWhat Is It?

The Flume: NH Teen Reader’s Choice Award was created in 2005 in response to a New Hampshire teen’s request to have a book award geared towards high school students. This award is a state-wide venture led by a collaborative effort from school and public librarians. Each year teens nominate titles, published within the last two years, they think deserve to be recognized. Librarians narrow the group of titles to a shorter list. Teens then vote for the winning title from that list.

What’s The Nomination Criteria?

Titles must be nominated by teens in grades 9-12, can be fiction or nonfiction books, with appeal to this age group. They must have a publication date within the last two years. If the book is part of a series, it must be able to stand alone, meaning a reader doesn’t have to read the other books in the series to understand what’s going on.

The 2013 Winner is:

Divergent by Veronica Roth

What's it about?

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

2014 Nominees:

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Ask the Passengers by A. S. King
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Death Cloud by Andy Lane
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Heist Society by Ally Carter
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott

Tech Help Central

Why is Technology Confusing?Walk into just about any library today and one of the first things you'll notice is books - and usually LOTS of them. This is the way it has been for the lifetime of everyone who is alive today, and is likely to continue for some time yet. Some say the day will come when that isn't the case, but exactly when and if that will happen is anyone's guess. But look around a little more closely and you will see that amongst and around the books are growing collections of movies, documentaries and audiobooks, as well as large groups of public access computers where library patrons spend their time on activities from games to filling out job applications.

It is this latter service that is commanding more and more of a librarian's attention. But beyond merely helping our users navigate the Web or use their email or use word processing software, we are helping more and more people navigate the confusing waters of today's endlessly changing technology. Even those of us who spend most of our day glued to a computer screen find ourselves in a constant battle to keep up with the change.

For those who rarely if ever use computers, this can be very daunting. It used to be that one could ignore computers and the Internet and get along just fine, but that is no longer the case. In one afternoon the other day I had three perfect examples of how true this is, and how the library can be the go-to place for people who need help with technology.

One woman had been in the process of purchasing real estate, and the mortgage company had emailed her a document that they wanted her to sign and email back. She had no idea how this could be done. I printed out the document for her, then she signed it and we used our public scanning station to scan the document back into digital form so it could be saved on the computer and sent back via email.

Another was interested in advertising her home nursing services and had been told she should do it on craigslist, but barely knew what that was let alone how to use it. So we helped her get an account on craigslist and showed her how to create a simple classified ad. Hopefully she'll get some good responses!

And finally, if you want to take a photo today you are likely going to be using a digital camera or your smart phone. I've run into lots of people who really have no idea how to get them off the camera and end up storing large numbers of them on the little memory cards that come with the camera. This isn't the safest place to store irreplaceable photos, and our third patron needed some help connecting her camera to our computer and copying the photos on it to a flash drive.

I could go on and on with examples of how libraries sometimes feel like Tech Help Central. Want to apply for a job? Many if not most will require you to fill out an application online, which assumes a level of sophistication with technology that not everyone has. We help people with this task regularly. Do you have a photo or document you need scanned but don't own a scanner. We do, and can help you use it. Did a friend or relative generously give you an ebook read you have no idea how to use? Come on in and ask for help.

So remember. The library isn't only a place where you can find a good book, ready today's newspaper, check out the latest movie, or bring your children to story time. It might also be the place to go when your grandchildren in California have finally convinced you that the best way to stay in touch with them is on Facebook. Only you have no computer and haven't the slightest idea how to get on Facebook!

Inside the Hampton District Courthouse

Hampton Grammar School THEN AND NOW

The building now known as the old Hampton District Courthouse has a long and storied history.  Built in 1873 as the Center Grammar School on Winnacunnet Rd., it was moved in 1916 to its present location across from the library.  Since then it has served as Hampton's first public Kindergarten, the American Legion Post #35 hall, and Fire Station #2 from 1932 until 1978 , when it officially became the Courthouse.  In 2005 the building was declared uninhabitable due to mold and asbestos contamination, and retired from public service.

After much debate and discussion , the Hampton Board of Selectmen made the decision in March of 2013 to demolish the Courthouse. Before it goes away forever, Town Manager Fred Welch gave permission for staff of the Lane Library and members of the Hampton Historical Society to don dust masks and take photographs of the interior rooms and spaces.  We've created a gallery to showcase the results, and reveal the inside of a building rarely seen by the public. We also have a gallery of photos and videos taken during the building's demolition on May 28, 2013.

For those interested in how the shots were made, I used a wide-angle lens coupled with a process known as HDR photography, where multiple exposures are blended together to achieve a broader tonal range and enhanced colors.  This gives a slightly surreal and melancholy effect, and is a popular choice when shooting abandoned or disused interiors.

Courthouse interior     Courthouse interior


Thanks to Cheryl Lassiter for supplying an image of a small plaque found on the sidewalk outside the Courthouse building commemorating the Cashman Bros. of Newburyport, contractors who moved and renovated the building.

Cashman Bros plaque

Did Sam Adams have a Hampton connection?

Sam AdamsMemory is fickle sometimes. A few days ago I was asked a question by a visiting genealogist. By the way, we get lots of those. With a history going back almost 375 years there are people from every corner of our country who can trace their ancestries back to one of the founders of our town. It's not unusual to see someone here doing research just about every day, especially in the summertime. But I digress. The question had to do with Massachusetts revolutionary Samuel Adams and his Hampton ancestors. I was surprised by the question because I have been looking up Hampton genealogy for more than three decades and this was the first (or so I thought) that I had heard about Sam Adams having Hampton ancestry. I was a bit dubious about whether or not it was true. So I ventured up to our New Hampshire room and cracked open some books to figure it out. To my surprise it turned out to be true. Sam Adams' mother was Mary Fifield, daughter of Richard Fifield, and granddaughter of Giles Fifield and Mary Perkins, who both lived in Hampton in the mid-1600s. Mary was the daughter of Abraham Perkins, one of the founders of the town and, coincidentally, one of my own personal ancestors.

So, like I say, I was very surprised. How did I not know this already? I'm sure you've already figured out that I had known it, but had just forgotten. In fact, thirteen years ago I wrote an article for the local newspaper about famous people with Hampton ancestry, and Sam Adams was included. Oh well, so my memory is not the greatest sometimes. Maybe in another thirteen years I can "discover" the news about Sam Adams all over again!

If you'd like to read the article it is available on our website, and is as timely as ever. Well, except for the final paragraph where I talk about something new at the library - audiobooks on CD! We still have plenty of those and they are enormously popular even though many people are now using the library's subscription to Overdrive to download audiobooks onto their mobile devices. Most of our books on tape are gone now though, as very few people use them any more.

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