Your Community Library Offers Many Services

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Story and photos by Virginia Hatch

Seacoast Scene, May 28, 2003

Paperback book is chosen by Eleanor McCarthy of Hampton, who commented: "It's nice to come in and catch up on all the newspapers without buying them."
Paul McCarthy of Hampton is cathcing up on his reading.

Seniors come in daily to read the newspapers and magazines.

Depending on the time of year, people come in to get warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Stock reports and medical information are popular.

Retired people are interested in travel information for trips.

The Dorothy Little Room is the senior drop-in center where regularly scheduled crafts meet. Card games convene on several different days. (Attendance got so large, that the card games had to move to Maranatha Church Hall on High Street.) Bingo is held on Fridays from 1 to 3 p.m.

Seniors use the computers.

Adults come in regularly for recreational reading choosing books out of the stacks. This will never go away at least not in Hampton. Periodical reading is popular. Magazines can be taken out. Out-of-town people will take a card because they like the magazines or to save on the price of magazines.

"When the economy goes down, library use goes up," said Hampton's Lane Memorial Library Director Catherine Redden. "People will stop buying books They will not buy a computer."

Artwork is circulated for two months for free with a library card. This includes paintings hanging on walls.

In the winter, puzzles are popular check-out items.

All year round, entertainment videos available overnight are popular. There are two-week videos (big sets, classics, National Geographic) available for loan.

Large print books are popular.

Newspapers are read by Jeanny Talty of Hampton.

Families planning a vacation trip to Boston can pick up free museum passes to the Museum of Fine Arts, Children's Museum, Museum of Science and/or the Aquarium. In New Hampshire, passes are available for the Currier Museum in Manchester and the New Hampshire Historical Society's Museum Of New Hampshire History in Concord. On the Seacoast, the Seacoast Science Center passes are not available in the summer. Locally, passes are available to the Seacoast Science Center and the Children's Museum in Portsmouth.

Adults include seasonal workers, who come to the beach to work. Young adults from overseas, speaking various languages, like the language tapes. They, also, like to use the computers to send e-mail to their families and friends. Sam's Club/Wal-Mart Foundation provides a literary grant for materials to help them to learn English.

High schoolers, usually, come for projects, not for recreation. They come between work and schoolwork. The library cooperates with the high school sending to the high school special projects materials. The high school and the library collaborate on databases.

Youth services include book talks to schools. Lane Library works with school librarians.

Preschoolers have storytimes for 15 months to kindergarten-age children including pj (pajama) storytimes.

Toddlers and their mothers can practice eye-hand coordination in the library.

In April, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) comes in three days a week during tax season to provide assistance in preparing taxes.

Mom Kim Coleman of Hampton and her twin children, five-and-a-half years old, Henri and Adela, have chosen videos, books on tape and general books to take home.

Meeting rooms are available for use by reservation.

Genealogical research for local ancestors is popular with people from all over who camp out several days at a time while searching.

Computer-internet training is available for adults. Computer assistance is available to all through the computer-reference librarian.

Inter library loans are available from all parts of the United States.

Book groups for adults are available as reading-discussion groups.

Who's who in government and how to contact them is available.

The disabled can access the library via a ramp. There is an elevator. Large print books and books on tapes and CDs are available for the vision impaired or anyone else. Talking books are available through the State of New Hampshire.

"Our philosophy is 'Make sure everybody goes home with what they came for'," said Director Catherine Redden.

In the Children's Room, parents - moms and dads - come in to pick out books for infants through junior high (7th and 8th graders).

Using the Children's Room computer to access: for print-out colouring sheets and songs if the computer has audio capability.

Storytimes are offered for 15 months through five years old.

Children of elementary school age (grades 1-6) can find juvenile literature books, computers for games, research and the library catalog. Two computers are on the internet in the Children's Room.

Preschool through second-grade children like the puppets.

Elementary and junior high school can choose non-fiction for interest, hobby or school assignments especially New Hampshire history and foreign-country reports.

Encyclopedias and reference materials are available.

Children magazines are popular.

Children's videos can be checked out for two weeks. These include: Wiggles, Disney, Sesame Street and Bob the Builder.

Audio picture books on tape with the book, or novels on tape, such as Harry Potter, are available.

Parent's section includes: adult books on parenting, activity books, child-rearing books, and Drew Bledsoe videotapes on child-rearing.

Daily coloring sheets and monthly crafts may be taken home. This month's craft is how to make a butterfly with coffee filters, pipe cleaners and crayons.

During the summer a reading challenge program is available.

Magazines are being checked by Joe Silveria of Hampton for skateboarding.
Chatting on the computer is Amber Parrish of Hampton.
Insaniquarium, a computer game, is being played by Dan Bourke of Hampton. Assistant Library Director and Technical Services Librarian Bill Teschek looks on.
Children of all ages use the computers in the Children's room of the library.
Volunteers shelving books are: missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Exeter. They are: (Left to right): Elder Daniel Creviston from Olympia, Washington, and Elder Dustan Withers of Roxburg, Idaho.
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