Magazine Room

Library News

Star Wars Reads Day Celebrated at the Keene Public Library on October 14, 2017

The Keene Public Library invites fans to a special Star Wars event at the library on Saturday, October 14, 2017. The library is located at 60 Winter Street. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Star Wars character.

The sixth annual Star Wars Reads Day will again feature Star Wars fans together in a nationwide multi-publisher initiative. Activities at the Keene Public Library include crafts, and art projects all day long. Families and children are invited to come dressed as favorite Star Wars characters. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., children and families can drop in to learn to code with Scratch and play with the library’s robots, including Cubetto, Sphero, Cubelets, and Dash and Dot. At 2 p.m., attendees can test their skills and join the “Attack of the Locks” Breakout game. The players must help R5-D4 to save the galaxy by solving a series of intricate and interconnected puzzles.

All programs at the Keene Public Library are sponsored by the Friends of the Keene Public Library. Programs are and open to the public. For more information, please contact the library at 603-352-0157.

Read, learn and play during International Games Day @ your library

The Keene Public Library will participate in the eighth annual celebration of gaming in libraries – International Games Day @ Your Library on Saturday, November 4, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Libraries are known as the place to go to share culture in the form of books, music, movies and even technology. But, more and more they are becoming a place to gather as a community for the purpose of playing games.On November 4th, many libraries are planning special programming revolving around celebrating the mutually-reinforcing power of play and learning. Programs at the Keene Public Library will include video game and board game play and a Super Smash Bros. tournament. Teen Services Librarian Jay Fee invites players of all ages to “put your Super Smash Bros skills to the test in this tournament!!” Be in the library’s Auditorium on the Lower Level by 10:30 a.m. to register for the tournament, which begins at 11 a.m. sharp. There will be prizes for the top 3 finishers. The library is located at 60 Winter Street.Gaming is yet another example of how we are fulfilling the desire to learn, play, and yes, read at your library. “Libraries are becoming family destinations, and are continuously offering new formats and innovative programs and services that educate, entertain, and expand interaction with their users,” said Gail Zachariah, Head of Youth and Community Services at the Keene Public Library. “Libraries are also places where users of all ages are welcome to have fun together. Kids can play video games at home but the library is a safe, non-commercial environment. The library even loans video and tabletop games so that families can try and learn new games and benefit from game playing in their homes at their own pace. Library programs such as International Games Day and our weekly tabletop nights allow kids and adults can socialize with friends, play games surrounded by books and supportive librarians. Game playing at the library encourages patrons to interact with diverse peers, share their experience with others, and develop new strategies for gaming and learning.”  You can learn more at The library is located at 60 Winter Street. For more information about International Games Day at the Keene Public Library, gaming and other programs and activities for young people, please call the library at 603-352-0157.   

Get the Smartest Card @ your library®

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and the Keene Public wants to make sure that all children in Keene have the smartest card of all – a library card. This year, the honorary chairs of the month-long celebration are the crime-fighting DC Super Heroes, the Teen Titans. As honorary chairs, DC’s Teen Titans will remind parents, caregivers, and students that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning.

The Teen Titans are a young group of crime fighters who keep the world safe from the clutches of evil. From Starfire’s green energy beams and power of flight to Raven’s telekinetic and psychokinetic abilities, the Teen Titans have the power, courage, and teamwork to rise to any challenges thrown their way.

Public library programming and books for children make a difference in the lives of students. By providing school-age children with engaging programs and amazing collections, students from all backgrounds become excited and enthusiastic readers. 

Throughout the year, students of all ages can turn to the library for materials, programs and knowledgeable library staff that support academic achievement. Students (and parents!) can get help for any kind of academic question in math, science, English, social studies and writing. Librarians and in-person volunteer tutors can help but a Keene Public Library card can connect you to a virtual tutor in English or Spanish between 1 p.m. and midnight daily. The virtual tutors work with students in kindergarten through 12th grade and even AP level class work and intro-level college coursework. Connecting with a virtual tutor is easy. You just need a library card and a computer or mobile device with internet access. To connect click here or on the quick link on the library's homepage.

Today’s libraries aren’t only a place of quiet study, but also creative and engaging community centers where students can collaborate using new technologies, learn how to use a 3D printer or just relax with peers.  Our library offers access to a variety of print and digital resources, including [list online resources that students can access from home with a library card, like e-books, online homework help, online databases, etc.] that can be accessed in person or online.

“Our library provides access and programs for students of all ages,” says Gail Zachariah, Head of Youth and Community Services. “For preschool age children we offer early literacy and lap sit story times to encourage school readiness, for older children and teens we supplement education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs and innovative makerspaces, and for older teens we have information and tools to help prepare for college and mentoring programs. There’s really something for everyone and it’s all free with a library card.”

"A library card has always been the most important school supply of all," says library director Nancy Vincent." Getting a library card is easy. All Keene residents need to do is bring proof of residence to the library. Minors will also need to come with their parent or guardian.

Observed since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month is a time when the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country remind parents that a library card is the most important school supply of all.

For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit the Keene Public Library at 60 Winter Street, call 603-352-0157 or visit

Keene Public Library Observes Banned Books Week

September 24−September 30, 2017

Throughout the country, most children are starting a new academic year. Teachers are sending out their lists of required readings, and parents are beginning to gather books. In some cases, classics like "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Catcher in the Rye," and "To Kill a Mockingbird," may not be included in curriculum or available in the school library due to challenges made by parents or administrators.

Since 1990, the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has recorded more than 10,000 book challenges, including 275 in 2015. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. About three out of four of all challenges are to material in schools or school libraries, and one in four are to material in public libraries. OIF estimates that less than one-quarter of challenges are reported and recorded.

It is thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, and students that most challenges are unsuccessful and reading materials like "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "Slaughterhouse Five," the Harry Potter series, and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Alice series,  remain available.  

The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children.  However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves. For children, decisions about what books to read should be made by the people who know them best—their parents!

In support of the right to choose books freely for ourselves, the ALA and the Keene Public Library are sponsoring Banned Books Week September 24 - September 30, an annual celebration of our right to access books without censorship. This year's observance commemorates the most basic freedom in a democratic society—the freedom to read freely—and encourages us not to take this freedom for granted.

Since its inception in 1982, Banned Books Week has reminded us that while not every book is intended for every reader, each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what to read, listen to or view. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Banned Books Week. To commemorate this landmark anniversary, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom created a timeline of significant banned and challenged books.

The Keene Public Library and thousands of libraries and bookstores across the country will celebrate the freedom to read by participating in special events, exhibits, and read-outs that showcase books that have been banned or threatened.  

The American Booksellers Association, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the ALA; the American Society of Journalists and Authors; the Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores sponsor Banned Books Week. The Library of Congress Center for the Book endorses the observance.

American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people. Now, more than ever, celebrate the freedom to read @ your library! Read an old favorite or a new banned book this week.


The Keene Public Library explores World War I and America

The Keene Public Library has received a World War I and America grant, an initiative of Library of America presented in partnership with the Gilder Lehman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It will be combined with a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities to explore moral and philosophical implications of war during the  “Keene Chautauqua 2017: World War I & America” project.

The project includes film presentations, discussions, musical presentations, and our annual Chautauqua. Some early events include a screening of the film "All Quiet on the Western Front," which will be shown at the library on Wednesday, August 2, 2017,  at 7 p.m.and a discussion led by Professor John Lund on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at the Horatio Colony House Museum, 199 Main St., at 7 p.m.

Should Americans try to make the world safe for democracy? How should a democratic society deal with dissent at home while it is fighting overseas? What does the nation owe to those who fight on its behalf? Is America’s claim to moral leadership abroad impaired by racial injustice at home?” The public is invited to explore these questions and more through the eyes of sociologist, historian, and civil rights activist W.E.B. Dubois and President Woodrow Wilson, portrayed by living history presenters Charles Everett Pace and Dr. Paul Vickery on Friday, August 25 at 6:30 pm at the Keene Public Library.

Traveling, tented “Chautauquas” were a popular form of American adult education in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today’s Chautauquas feature scholars portraying significant historical figures in first-person performances followed by a Q & A period with the character and the scholar. New Hampshire Humanities brought the modern Chautauqua movement to the state in the 1990s, and with grant support from New Hampshire Humanities, Keene Public Library has kept up the tradition, planning and organizing an evening of living history for the public every year since 2006.

For more information please contact Gail Zachariah at

Keene Public Library joins NASA and other organizations in celebrating the celestial event of the century

The Keene Public Library has joined more than 1,000 libraries across the country to participate in the celestial event of the century, the August 21, 2017, Solar Eclipse. During this national event, the shadow of the moon will sweep across the United States in a narrow band from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean in a spectacle that hasn't occurred in decades. In fact, the last total solar eclipse for the United States was nearly 40 years ago. Keene and the rest of the U.S. and North America will see a partial eclipse, with the Moon covering up only part of the Sun. It is aptly named the Great American Eclipse.  

This will be a great opportunity for our community to celebrate science, with fun, hands-on and multimedia activities, culminating in the eclipse event on August 21, 2017.

Keene Public Library will offer a range of public programs to bring the excitement of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to children, teens, and adults. At each program, the library will provide a free pair of safety solar viewing glasses. Glasses will be provided one to a person to those attending an eclipse themed program. On Tuesday, July 25 at 1 p.m.  Keene State College Professor Sarah Mcgregor will offer a program to explain the eclipse to children. On Thursday, August 3 at 6 p.m, Claudio Veliz of the Keene Amateur Astronomers will explain what a solar eclipse is and how you can safely view the Sun. On Thursday, August 10 at 6 p.m., materials and supplies will be provided to make solar pin viewers. On the day of the eclipse, the library and the members of the  Keene Public Library will host a viewing party with activities and solar telescopes for viewing. For a more information about events, visit the library's web calendar at or contact Gail at 603-352-0157.

“We are proud that Keene Public Library will participate in this national program,” said Gail Zachariah, Head of Community Services. “We have partnered with the Keene Amateur Astronomers to help our community prepare for this amazing astronomy event. We think people of all ages and backgrounds will find the solar eclipse to be an experience they will remember the rest of their lives.”

Keene Public Library is located at 60 Winter Street. Our eclipse programs are free and open to the public. Library hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Summer Saturdays.

Keene Public Library has joined the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) and its NASA@ My Library initiative, which are providing resources and STEM activities to libraries across the nation related to the eclipse. Partners include NASA, the American Library Association, and many other organizations. This project was made possible through support from the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Google, and the National Science Foundation.  

Nominations will close Sept. 18 for 2017 I Love My Librarian Award

Library users nationwide have through Monday, Sept. 18 to nominate their favorite librarians for the American Library Association (ALA)’s prestigious 2017 I Love My Librarian Award. Members of the public can nominate library professionals who have transformed lives and communities by visiting The award recognizes the public service of exceptional public, school, college, community college or university librarians in the U.S.

Each year since the award was established in 2008, the ALA has selected up to 10 librarians from a pool of hundreds of nominations. Award winners each receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the I Love My Librarian Award ceremony and reception in New York City on Nov. 30, 2017, hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

In the award’s first nine years, library supporters nationwide submitted more than 17,000 nominations for exceptional librarians. A total of 90 librarians have won the award to date. For more information regarding previous award winners, please visit

Each nominee must be a librarian with a master’s degree from a program accredited by the ALA in library and information studies or hold a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational program accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Nominees must be currently working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university or at an accredited K-12 school.

The I Love My Librarian Award is generously sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York. The New York Public Library and The New York Times are co-sponsors of the award. The ALA administers the award through the ALA’s Public Awareness Office, which promotes the value of libraries and librarians.

About Carnegie Corporation of New York
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library is a free provider of education and information for the people of New York and beyond. With 92 locations—including research and branch libraries—throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, the Library offers free materials, computer access, classes, exhibitions, programming and more to everyone from toddlers to scholars, and has seen record numbers of attendance and circulation in recent years. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at To offer this wide array of free programming, The New York Public Library relies on both public and private funding. Learn more about how to support the Library at

About the American Library Association
The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

Young People’s Writers Workshops to Be Held at Keene Library

The Keene Public Library is pleased to offer a free writing workshop series for young people The series will be held on Mondays starting July 10, 2017, and will be facilitated by Rebecca Woodard, a retired Systems Engineer turned full-time writer/artist who writes under the pen name Betty L'Ursula.

Each week, participants will meet for one and a half hours to develop writing skills in a safe and supportive environment. It will involve planning, discussing, creating and writing in a supportive, safe, fun environment. Special attention will be directed towards setting, plot and character development and techniques for dialogue. Participants will learn how to critique their own work as well as the work of others through peer evaluation. The finished work will be edited, presented and published in an online forum. 

For more information about this or other library programs for young people, please call the Keene Public Library at 603-352-0157 and ask for Gail Zachariah.

Library Announces the End of Summer Reading

We hope everyone had a great summer of reading. Sadly, the program has ended. You will not be able to update your reading through our online program but you can still do so at the library or you can call Gail Zachariah at 603-352-0157 to report reading. You can also email Prizes can be collected through Friday, September 1. Remember that many of our prize coupons must also be redeemed by September 1.

Keene Public Library Offers Fiction Writers’ Workshop Series

All Keene area veteran and first-time prose writers are invited to a series of writing workshops for advice and assistance on Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Randy Koons, a volunteer leading the library’s writers group, encourages aspiring authors to “please ask questions, share their work, and provide insight into the experience.” Short and long form fiction and memoir writers are welcome.

The Keene Library’s Monday Night Writers Group provides a friendly forum for people who like to write. This is a small group of people who share their work and get feedback to improve their writing. Never written anything before and don’t know how to start? This is for you. Are you working on a project you want to publish? This is a group for you. The act of writing may be a solitary experience, so this group lets you share your work with other people interested in writing. The power of the group is that you can get a fresh set of eyes on your work that may help you get through difficulties in your writing.

The group will not meet on Monday, July 3rd. There will be no meeting on July 31. the final meeting will be August 7, 2017. There is no commitment required, although you should register by calling the library at 603-352-0157. Come and check it out and see if it works for you. Each week, two people will read their work, which can be fiction or memoir, and the reading is followed by an open discussion of the work. The group focuses on storytelling rather than grammar, so if you have a story to tell this could be your opportunity to express your creativity.

This is the fourth year Randy Koons has moderated the Library’s Writers Group. He is a professional writer and has published creative short stories. The Writers Group meets Monday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. for six or seven weeks in the winter, summer, and fall. Experienced or novice, all writers are welcome.

 All programs at the Keene Public Library are free and open to the public. The Keene Public Library is located on 60 Winter Street Keene, N.H. for more information, please call (603) 352-0157.