Memorial Library to Reopen Doors Next Wednesday

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The Hampton Union & Rockingham County Gazette

Thursday, November 12, 1931

Lane Memorial Library, which has been closed since Sept. 12, will reopen its doors next Wednesday. Miss Dorothy Annable, of the State Library Commission, will be present on the occasion to explain the working of the new system to the patrons. Miss Annable expects to remain in town two days, and on Thursday afternoon will tell the children how to make use of a public library.

When they began the task of transforming the Hampton Public Library into a modern institution, 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 either 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 time to make other changes that had long been needed. They could not have carried out their plans had it not been for the efficient supervision of Miss Dorothy Annable, of the State Library Commission, who gave several weeks of her time to the work, with no expense to the town except her board.

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 work of pasting cards into seven thousand volumes, rearranging and reclassifying the books, and writing the name of each volume on a separate card. This was a monumental task. The trustees acknowledge with gratitude the great assistance they have received from volunteer helpers, both girls and women, who have given many afternoons to the work, and without whose services it would have been impossible to reopen the library before next Spring. They also appreciate the patience of the public who have been deprived of books while doors of the library have been 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 repainting. The furnace was broken, and required new parts and resetting. Book cases had to be built. They found that the money at their disposal was entirely inadequate. It will be necessary to close the library during the Winter, to delay payment of some bills or for the trustees to advance money out of their own pockets. They do not propose to close the library, and if no other way is found will advance the money to tide the library over until town meeting in March.

Only a beginning has been made. Much remains to be done. With a larger appropriation the library could much better serve the town. More books could be bought. The library building could be kept in better condition. The reading room could be kept open Sunday afternoons in the winter months. The library should receive an appropriation of at least $2000 a year. With this sum at their disposal the trustees could make it one of the best village libraries in the State.

Much to the regret of the trustees, Mr. S. Albert Shaw, the librarian, has tendered his resignation. They could not induce him to change his mind, and so were obliged to acquiesce in his decision. Mr. Shaw has been librarian for nearly fifty years. The trustees wish to bear witness to his deep interest in the library, his faithful services, his unfailing courtesy, and the high moral and literary standards he has kept in mind in the selection of books. Mr. Shaws' reasons for resigning are set forth in the following paragraph:

"The increasing number of patrons, and the growing demands of the teachers and pupils of the schools upon the librarian, greatly increases the work of the latter. This, with the distance from my house to the library, home interests, and increasing years, make it impossible for me to continue to assume the responsibilities and work of the librarian."

Mrs. Margaret S. Noyes has been elected to fill the unexpired term. Mrs. Noyes attended the summer school for librarians at Durham this summer, and has assisted Mr. Shaw and Miss Annable in their work of remodeling the library. The trustees feel that she will receive support from the public and will do her best to keep the library up to modern standards.

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