Friends Donate New Sign

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News Around Town

Hampton Union, Friday, December 2, 2010

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online]

HAMPTON -- The Friends of the Lane Memorial Library have a new way to let the public know about upcoming events at the library: a big, bold, sign on the corner of the front lawn.

"It has brought a noticeable change to the town landscape," said Sue Hughes, past president of the Friends.

The sign, with changeable letters and a colorful book motif stretching across the top, was a gift to the library from the Friends. It replaces the much smaller sign that simply identified the building as the Lane Library.

The library has already put the new sign to use, informing the public of various upcoming programs and movies that may have otherwise been missed by patrons, simply because they did not see anything about them.

"That's what we kept saying — we do lots of wonderful things at the library; why don't they know about it?" said Hughes. "We have this sign but nobody sees it. Let's get a sign where everyone can see what's going on."

That opened the book on some serious sign shopping, but the process was not done in haste.

"It took us about a year to really get stuff going," said Hughes. "We talked to a couple of vendors, and had to make decisions. It was important to get the Trustees involved."

The task also called for a required public hearing before town officials.

"We followed that process," said Hughes. "We got no questions; all we got was support from selectmen and Planning Board. They made the process easy."

Ultimately, the Friends enlisted the expertise of Sign of the Times in Exeter, with inspiration provided by the Harvey Mitchell Memorial Library in Epping.

"We really liked the Epping sign," said Hughes. "We wanted something similar but not the same motif, and I think they achieved it."

Since it was presented as a gift, "the library owns this sign; it's theirs now. They have the job of changing it," said Hughes. "We're hoping this will generate a lot more publicity for them."

As for the library staff, there is one word that best describes their thoughts on the new sign.

"Delighted," said Lane Memorial Library Director Amanda Reynolds Cooper. "There's no other way to describe it. There could not be a better thing."

She, too, recalled patrons expressing puzzlement regarding any visible exterior means of publicizing the library and its programs.

"People said, 'You have a sign?' said Reynolds Cooper. "It was so small, and so drab. It's nice to have something there so people can get a glimpse of what's inside if they haven't tried us or haven't been here in a while. It's 110 percent better."

For more information about the Friends of the Lane Memorial Library, visit www.lanelibraryfriends.org. For more about the programs offered for children, young adults and adults, visit the library at 29 Academy Avenue in Hampton. Or, simply drive by and see what's on the sign.

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