The Electronic Library

Technology Corner

Volume 18, Number 1, 2000

{From Great Britain}

Portraying The Community

Public libraries can play an important role in shaping and solidifying the way communities see themselves and how they present themselves to the rest of the world. Here are some examples of the ways that some public library Web sites perform this role.

Lane Memorial Library

Hampton, New Hampshire

"The Web site of the Lane Memorial Library (Hampton, New Hampshire -- www.hampton.lib.nh.us) carries the full text of Joseph Dow’s History of the Town of Hampton — Volume 1. Click on “Find Out More about Where We Live”, then on “History and Genealogy" and then on “Learn about Hampton’s History”. Text pages are reached through links in a table of contents listing, or a searchable index and the text includes many links to added explanatory material. Several other books on the history of Hampton are excerpted and serialized on this library Web site. There is also a presentation, with pictures and several articles, on the Hampton Beach Casino, a 100-year old local entertainment center. This library has made an impressive investment in presenting local history on their Web site, an effort that might well be envied and emulated by others. Local tales and legends, such as those on the “witch” Goody Cole and Thorvald’s Rock, are presented in a similar manner. Old maps of the Hampton area are displayed. A sampling of the library’s large collection of historical photos of Hampton and Hampton Beach is also displayed."