This installment in our NH Library Profiles series was contributed by Deborah Longo, Library Director at the Somersworth Public Library, Somersworth, NH.
|Somersworth Public Library, 2015|
Somersworth community leaders founded the Manufacturers & Village Library in 1841 to further the education of the 1,500 factory girls working for the Great Falls Manufacturing Company. The first printed catalog listed 1,627 books acquired after five years. By 1887, the library’s directors had leased the second floor of the newly built Chandler Building, moving the library from the mill’s counting house during a time when town and mill relations soured. The library remained in the Chandler Building for 78 years. But in 1899, the library’s name changed when the Manufacturers & Village Library became the newly established and tax-supported Somersworth Public Library.
By the mid-1960s, the Chandler Building was slated for demolition with the wave of urban renewal sweeping New England. A new site was found on Main Street and the new library held their open house in December 1969. Recent renovations have included air conditioning, carpeting, as well as new furniture provided by the Friends of the Library. New entrances and landscaping have given the library a wonderful facelift to fit in with the City’s multi-million dollar downtown renovation project completed this summer.
Currently the Somersworth Public Library houses a vibrant collection of over 43,000 books, movies, magazines and audiobooks to meet the needs of our community. The library belongs to the NH Downloadable Book Service to bring eBooks, audiobooks and magazines directly to our patrons’ electronic devices. Other services include book discussions, public computers, 24/7 WiFi, and museum passes. The dedicated staff assists each person who enters the library with care, personal attention and professional service, using all resources available both locally and state-wide, To learn more about the Somersworth Public Library, visit our city website at http://www.somersworth.com/departments-services/library and our online catalog at http://somersworth.nhais.bywatersolutions.com/