Lane Library Lines, March 2004
Welcome to the first of our quarterly newsletters! There have been various attempts to put out a newsletter on a regular basis throughout the library's history, and we add this issue as the first of a regular series.
First on many peoples' minds is the recent flood in the Children's Room. During the severe cold spell in January, fate conspired to have two of the overhead heating/cooling units in the Children's Room fail on the same night, January 14th, from different causes. Both had coils freeze, and then split with water leaking out to the room below. Thankfully, it was discovered about six on the morning of the 15th, three hours before we normally open. Prompt actions on the part of Sea Port Property Maintenance's Bruce Nickerson saved further damage. He first called the Fire Department to shut off the water; then called a company to come and remove the standing water. Staff responded and began moving whatever would move out of the room. The water was vacuumed out by a contract company aided by firefighters. Then began the two month process by the staff of listing the flood damage, filing the claims, moving every single book out of the room in order to replace the carpet, and assessing the damaged books and ordering replacements. The library staff was magnificent throughout this process. Our neighboring libraries in Rye, North Hampton, Hampton Falls and Seabrook graciously opened their Children's Rooms to our patrons. Our Children's Services staff pitched in with sleeves rolled up and inventoried the Children's collection, removed all the water damaged books, painted the walls, ordered replacement books, all the while dealing with repairs to the heating system, insurance adjustors, installers, and broken promises of when parts would be repaired and or installed. They were aided by staunch volunteers who maneuvered in and around the carts and crates of books, puppets, office papers, computers, etc. Adult Services staff fielded questions, handed out schedules of neighboring libraries' hours, soothed the cries of those young ones who were so disappointed to lose "their" library space. Paint spots were also found on "upstairs" staff that joined in the painting efforts.
As repairs were made, walls painted, carpet installed, plans were formulated to have a Grand Reopening of the room. Friends of the Library, under Dot Gooby's chairmanship, met with Children's Librarian Cindy Stosse to aid in the plans. The Friends commissioned a new bookcase and a special CD rack. They bought new furniture to replace the flood-soaked floor chairs. They baked cookies and showed up to give tours of the "new" facility on Grand Opening day, March 26th.
The disaster showed us our true library community: from the children who brought in their own loved books to replace the water damaged ones, to the Friends who pitched in with elbow grease and money, to the neighboring towns who loaned us their Children's Services, to the anonymous $100 bill in an envelope postmarked Portsmouth, there was an outpouring of care and concern. Hampton is truly a supportive community, evidenced in the wonderful turnout for the Grand Opening last Friday.
Thank you to everyone who voted for the library's maintenance warrant article and for the support shown to amend it at deliberative session to include the uninsured costs of the flood. The first major project to be undertaken with that warrant article is the reroofing of the original 1910 building. During the last few years, every Nor'easter, be it snow or rain, has resulted in leaks in the original building, evidenced by wastebaskets under the drips, and stained and cracked paint in the old building. Slate roofs do last a long time, but weather and gravity often displace some of the slates and the lined valleys deteriorate.
The second project is weatherproofing the access to the library via the ramp. Many of you have seen that the original architect placed the ramp under the sloping roof, making it inaccessible during most of the winter. Over the years, various solutions have been proposed, but as they all cost more than we could put in the budget and remain level funded, it couldn't happen. We will be doing something, hopefully aesthetically pleasing, but something to make the library safely accessible year round.
Depending on the cost of the above two projects, the third project will be to stabilize or replace some of the glass in the entry foyer and replace some of the closures.
The newest full-time addition to the library staff is Marija Sanderling, Head of Reference Services. See her article for a brief biography. Stan Olson left us and his 90 minute round trip commute (in good weather) to become the library director in his hometown with a 2 minute commute. Who can blame him? Marija has quickly proved she doesn't need to fill Stan's shoes, but has capably stepped out in her own and made her mark. Welcome Marija!
Claudia Cyrus, who has been volunteering as newspaper indexer for the library, joined us part-time when Linda Leubner left us in January for a full-time job. Claudia works 7 hours, Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings. We're lucky that she still indexes newspapers for us too! Welcome Claudia!
Shelby Edwards valiantly waded through the water in the Children's Room, salvaging furniture and puppets and more. She maneuvered through all the obstacles in getting the Children's Room back up and running, only to be outmaneuvered by Mother Nature in the last snowstorm of the year when she broke her wrist. Welcome back Shelby!
During the time that the Children's Room was closed, it has been painted, recarpeted, and organized. New books have been purchased to replace those lost and many books have been donated - 100 came from Cathi Street's First Grade Class. Children have sorted through their own books to give what they could to the Children's Room. Many people offered their time to help. The Friends of the Library purchased new "comfy" chairs to replace those lost and had a new display unit built for our music CD collection. Local businesses - Wicked Awsome and Eno's - did whatever they could to assist in the reopening of the room. The community certainly came together to help.
We are still waiting for shelving to replace what was damaged in the flood, as well as our computer counter and circulation desk. It will still take time to be whole again, but our hearts are happy with the outpouring of support from the community, the Friends, and our fellow staff members. Thanks to everyone that, even through only kind words, have helped during this difficult time.
I began as Head of Reference Services on Feb. 2, 2004, and have been getting my feet wet with the help of the friendly staff on board. A bit of background about myself: I have been involved in New Hampshire libraries since 1994, having first served as Head of Adult Services at the Rochester Public Library, and then most recently as Assistant Director/IT Librarian at the Nesmith Library in Windham. I previously served as Head of Reference Services at the Woonsocket Harris Public Library in Woonsocket, RI, as a combination reference/government documents librarian.
On a more personal side, I live in Wells, ME with my husband, Robert and geriatric cat, Toby. We spend winters restoring our 1840 Cape and summers working in the large vegetable, perennial, and herb gardens we planted on the property.
Head of Reference Services
Genealogy on the Internet
The library offers free instructional classes on how to use the Internet to search your family tree. Classes are offered on Tuesday nights from 8-9 pm and each session runs two weeks. Space is limited and pre-registration is necessary. Participants will learn about the best websites for genealogy, how to use online forums and mailing lists, how to keep up with the changes in technology, and how to use online census records. The library has subscriptions to Ancestry and HeritageQuest that allows you to search indexes for all census years from 1790-1930 and view the actual images of the census pages on your computer screen. Contact Bill Teschek at 926-3368 for further information.
We also offer introductory classes on how to use the Internet in general, for those of you who still haven't made the plunge, or are beginner's in need of help.
In the recently published book Virtual Roots 2.0: a Guide to Genealogy and Local History on the World Wide Web, author Thomas Jay Kemp includes a listing of what he considers to be the 13 "most extraordinary websites" for genealogy on the Web. Our library here in Hampton is one of those thirteen due to the thousands of pages of local history and genealogy that we have on our website. We're quite honored to be included in such a list!
Head of Technical Services
THANK YOU HAMPTON!
On behalf of the Lane Memorial Library Board of Trustees, I would like to thank the citizens of Hampton for their strong support of the library during the past few months. Not only did the town's voters pass the warrant article that will allow us to repair our leaky roof and fix our handicapped-accessible entrance, but the community also responded with an outpouring of support when the children's room was flooded in January. So many community members donated time, labor, and books as we worked to clean up the mess and make the children's room useable again, that there is no way we could publicly thank each of them by name. Now that the work is done and the children's room has re-opened, we invite all the citizens of Hampton to stop in and see what community teamwork has accomplished at the Lane Library.