1931 Annual Report for the Lane Memorial Library


"After the church and the school, the free public library is the most effective influence for good in America.”

When the trustees began the task of transforming the Hampton Public Library into a modern institution, they did not realize what was before them. Had they done so they would hardly have had the courage to begin. The time had come, however, when it was necessary to enlarge the library building or discard many books, for the capacity of the structure was exhausted. They chose the latter alternative. They thought that it was the psychological moment to make other changes that had long been needed. The Hampton library was the only library in the State where the people were not given access to the books. Open stacks had long been desired by the public. They could not have carried out their plans had it not been for the efficient supervision of Miss Dorothy Annable, secretary of the State Public Library Commission, who devoted several weeks of her time to the work, with no expense to the town except her board. The library was closed to the public Saturday, September 12, and reopened on Wednesday, November 18. On that day 231 books were taken out.

About two thousand books were discarded. Some of these were sold, and some given to individuals and institutions. After the process of culling was completed, there remained the task of pasting pockets into nearly seven thousand volumes, rearranging and reclassifying the books, and writing the name of each volume and the author on separate cards. This was a monumental task. The trustees acknowledge with gratitude the great assistance they received from unpaid and volunteer helpers, both girls and women, who gave many afternoons to the work, and without whose assistance it would have been impossible to reopen the library before Spring. They also appreciate the patience of the public who were deprived of books while the library was closed.

The trustees discovered that the library building itself and some of its equipment needed attention. There was a leak in the roof which threatened to do serious damage. The coving needed to be repainted. The furnace was broken and required new parts and resetting. Book cases had to be built. They found that the funds available were entirely inadequate, and they have been compelled to practice the most rigid economy.

The trustees feel that the town should appropriate at least two thousand dollars a year for the support of the library. The library building was built and dedicated in 1910. So far as we can find out, not one cent has been expended on it for repairs and upkeep since that time. There is no water in the building. As it is now there is no place for the librarian to wash her hands when they become soiled in handling books; no water available to extinguish a fire in its early stages in case one should start; no water to use when the building is cleaned. The introduction of water would require a special appropriation, which the trustees will not ask for this year.

The town report shows that in 1910, the year the library building was constructed and dedicated, the town appropriated for the library $322.50, for police $397.69, for schools $4,476.39. In 1930, twenty years afterwards, the appropriation for library had risen to $1,200.00, police $9,488.58, schools $35,000. Had the appropriation for the library mounted in proportion to the appropriation for police it would have been around $8,000, and in proportion to schools around $3,000. They feel that the sum they ask for, $2,000, is modest indeed.

Much to the regret of the trustees, Mr. S. Albert Shaw, the librarian, tendered his resignation in November and could not be induced to recall it. Consequently there was nothing left for the trustees to do but to acquiesce. Mr. Shaw has been librarian for nearly fifty-eight years. The trustees wish to bear witness to his deep interest in the library, his unfailing courtesy, and the high moral and literary standards he has kept in mind in the selection of books.

Mrs. Margaret S. Noyes was appointed to fill the unexpired term. Mrs. Noyes attended the Summer School for Librarians at Durham last Summer, and has assisted Mr. Shaw and Miss Annable in their task of remodeling the library. The trustees feel that Mrs. Noyes will receive the support of the public and will do her best to make the library one of the best in the State.



October 13, 1931, I was elected treasurer for the balance of the fiscal year, and herewith submit my report.


From Town of Hampton: $ 395.00
From S.A. Shaw: 245.56
Books sold: +    42.43
  $ 682.99


Margaret S. Noyes, salary as librarian $ 75.00
Margaret S. Noyes, cataloguing 54.00
S. A. Shaw, cataloguing 51.30
Thomas Cogger, 5 tons coal 80.00
Herbert B. Beede, work on furnace and parts 57.88
Edgar W. Howe, building shelves 29.50
W. S. Noyes, cleaning up basement 10.00
E. & H. Electric Co. 18.40
Noyes Lumber Co. 3.87
Remington Rand Inc., book pockets 26.30
Filing Equipment Co., Boston, library cards 28.94
Express on cards .80
The H. W. Wilson Co., headings 2.75
Gaylord Brothers, supplies 20.76
Letter files and postage 2.00
Subscription to periodicals 4.50
H. W. Wilson Company, Guide to Literature 8.47
The Pilgrim Press, books 57.71
Saw horse .70
Mrs. Edith French, cleaning 3.25
Small bills paid by Mrs. Lane +  37.18
  -$ 573.31
Balance on hand: $ 109.68

Report of Librarian

Mrs. Noyes, librarian, reports that she has received from fines $11.40 and paid out $6.12 for supplies, leaving a balance in her hands of $5.28. This is not included in my report.