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Library News

Keene Library Hosts Cardboard Challenge on October 1

The Keene Public Library invites families to join the worldwide celebration of creativity and ingenuity known as the “Global Cardboard Challenge.” On Saturday, October 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., school age children will exercise their imagination and create and design objects with cardboard. Kids will be challenged to see what they can build out of cardboard, recycled materials, and imagination. The event is free and materials are provided, but feel free to bring supplies from home as well. Adult supervision is required for children under the age of ten. The Keene Public library is located at 60 Winter Street. The Challenge will be held on the library’s lower level. 

Global Cardboard Challenge, now in its fifth year, focuses on child creativity and is inspired by the short film, “Caine’s Arcade.”  ‘Caine’s Arcade’ tells the story of a chance encounter between filmmaker Nirvan Mullick and Caine Monroy, a 9-year-old boy who spent his summer vacation building an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad’s East Los Angeles auto parts shop. The resulting 11-minute film has been widely cited as one of the most inspirational stories of 2012 and helped launch the Imagination Foundation with a mission to celebrate creativity the role communities can play in fostering it. 

Last year’s Global Cardboard Challenge had over 125,000 participants from 46 countries including Chile, Hungary, Kenya, Indonesia and Pakistan. Kids designed and built arcade games, gadgets, castles, robots, rocket ships - anything they could dream up. They practiced collaboration and creative problem solving, and learned about math, engineering, design thinking, sustainability, social entrepreneurship and more along the way. For more information, visit

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

The Hampstead Stage Company Performs Frankenstein on Oct. 1

Hampstead Stage Company’s original adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein will be performed in Keene Public Library’s Heberton Hall located at 60 Winter Street on Saturday, October 1 at 3 p.m. The performance is free and it is suggested for adults, teens, and families with children at least nine years of age. The production explores Victor Frankenstein’s maddening journey of creation and failure, with just two actors playing multiple characters. Dr. Frankenstein, delirious from chasing his creation across the world, recounts his tragic past as a warning to humanity. This dark tale comes to life with a spark, revealing the truth behind Dr. Frankenstein’s creation and the irreversible horrors that unfold quickly after. This production of Frankenstein is “alive” and certain to leave you with chills, pondering the question: “Who really is the monster?”

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

Insightful Exhibit! of Tactile & High Contrast Art on Display at Library through Sept. 7

A special exhibit featuring highly tactile, high contrast work from the League of N.H. Craftsmen and the N.H. Association for the Blind will be on display at the Keene Public Library through Thursday, September 7, 2016. The exhibit can be seen in the library 's Youth Department on the second floor. To celebrate the exhibit, the library will hold a special intergenerational story and activity time on Thursday, August 25 at 11 a.m. During the program, which will feature a braille storytime and art activity, some of the creators of the artwork will be here. Sighted and visually impaired visitors are especially encouraged to interact with the work through touch. Each piece has a unique texture and accompanying description in both printed Braille descriptive text will be provided for visually impaired visitors.

The League of N.H. Craftsmen is a non-profit, craft education organization. Its mission is to encourage, nurture, and promote the creation, use, and preservation of fine contemporary and traditional craft through the inspiration and education of artists and the broader community. The N.H. Association for the Blind works to advance the independence of persons who are blind and visually impaired. The Association helps people with vision loss continue to live safely and independently -- at home, at work, and in their community.

The library is located at 60 Winter Street. For more information, please call Gail Zachariah at 603-352-0157.

Indie Author Day @ the Keene Public Library

The Keene Public Library is pleased to announce that it will be participating in the first annual Indie Author Day on Saturday, October 8, 2016. This event, which will be hosted by libraries across the country, is designed to bring local writing communities together in their libraries to participate in author panels, book readings and signings, workshops, presentations, and more. The event starts at 10:30 a.m. with introductions. Panels and presentations will take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There will be time to meet and great local indie authors throughout the day. Then, at 2 p.m. EST, everyone will join a digital gathering featuring Q&A with writers, agents, and industry leaders that will bring together the larger indie community.

As independent publishing becomes ever more popular, many authors still struggle to find an audience. Indie Author Day will offer an opportunity for local authors to make connections with readers in their own community and learn more about how to navigate the fast-changing world of self-publishing.

The Keene Public Library is currently looking for local authors who are interested in participating in the day’s events. Writers of all genres and of works for all age groups are welcome to join us. Participation is not limited to Keene residents; members of surrounding communities are more than welcome to take part. Anyone interested in participating should contact the library by calling (603) 603-352-0157 or emailing

Keene Public Library Announces Chautauqua Programs

This year, the Keene Public Library, the Horatio Colony House Museum, and the New Hampshire Humanities Council will present the annual Keene Chautauqua. The event will take place in Keene Public Library’s Heberton Hall on Thursday, September 15 at 6:00 p.m. with pre-show music and presentations by Marvin Jefferson as Paul Robeson and Gwendolyn Briley-Strand as Wilma Rudolph at 6:30 p.m. The two presentations will deal with the complex relationship between race and sport in America and how some gifted individuals achieved success on the playing field despite difficult living conditions and economic circumstances.  After each presentation, audience members can ask questions to the historical character and the researcher/performer. 

Paul Robeson, son of a former slave, was one of the most well-known African-Americans of the 20th century. He was a renaissance man: a social activist, singer, scholar, actor, All-American athlete at Rutgers, intellectual, lawyer, linguist, humanist and advocate for international peace. Marvin Jefferson, who will bring Robeson to life on the Heberton Hall stage. Previously, he portrayed Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Keene Chautauqua in 2015. He has  portrayed Robeson in Ohio, New Jersey, and Maryland. 

Actress Gwendolyn Briley-Strand will portray Wilma Rudolph who won three gold medals in track and field during the 1960 Summer Olympics, making her the first American female to do so. She is regarded as a civil and women's rights pioneer. Briley-Strand has portrayed Rudolph with the Maryland Humanities Council.

Although many people have sat in the Chautauqua audience in Keene, they may not know of the important Chautauqua tradition. Former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt is believed to have said “was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is "the most American thing in America". Chautauquas were highly popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, bringing the most timely educational lectures and programs to small towns throughout America. The first Chautauqua was held at Lake Chautauqua in western New York in 1874. In 1878, the New York Chautauqua initiated our country’s first book club. Chautauquas were immensely popular for many years. Reborn as a public humanities program in 1976, today’s Chautauquas feature scholars portraying significant historical figures in first-person performances followed by a question and answer period with the character and then a question and answer with the scholar. 

Those who would like to study up before the big event are invited to participate in book discussions at the Horatio Colony House Museum located at 199 Main Street. On Wednesday, August 10 at 7 p.m., Paul Robeson’s book “Here I Stand” will be discussed. The book was originally written in 1958 and is not an autobiography but an explanation by Robeson to the charges brought against him when he was blacklisted for his outspoken activism. On Wednesday, August 24, the book “(Re) Presenting Wilma Rudolph” will be discussed. The author Rita Liberti won the 2016 North American Society for Sport History Book Award for the work, which tells the story of Wilma Rudolph and explores race, class and gender issues. Parking is at the rear of St. Bernard's Church adjacent to the museum. Both books will be available from the Keene Public Library but it will not be necessary to have read the books to attend a discussion.

The Keene Chautauqua is planned and presented by the Keene Public Library with grant funding from the New Hampshire Humanities Council.  The Chautauqua is free and open to the public. For more information contact Gail Zachariah at 603-352-0157 or

OverDrive Has a New Look!

On Monday, July 25, 2016, the New Hampshire Downloadable Books Consortium (OverDrive) is rolling out its redesigned website. Same great content with a whole new look! Click here for an overview of some of the major changes. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Cary Jardine, Digital Services Librarian, at 603-757-1838.

Keene Library Holds Teen Library Lock-in

The Keene Public Library is pleased to announce their participation in the Nationwide Teen Library Lock-in on Friday, July 29, 2016. Keene teens, along with teens throughout the nation, will come together and enjoy a night they will not soon forget. The event at the Keene Public Library starts at 6 p.m. All youth ages 11 through 19 are welcome! A parent consent form is required for participation; Forms are available here and at the library.

Libraries across the U.S.A. will meet virtually, play, and have a blast on July 29. The lock-in is in its 6th year with libraries as far away as Alaska participating. During the evening, there will be online visits from well-known authors, contests, popular crafts, and multi-player games. Contests include a photo scavenger hunt, a Minute To Win It competition, a Minecraft tournament, and a Breakout Box challenge. Authors participating in the virtual discussions include Wendy Higgins, Kristen Simmons, Kara Thomas, and Miranda Kenneally.

Please remember that participants will not be allowed to stay if they do not have a signed consent form with them. Food will be served, so please indicated food allergies on the consent form.

All library programs are free and open to the public. For more information library programs, please call Gail Zachariah at 603-352-0157.

Keene Library Celebrates Harry Potter

The Keene Public Library is pleased to announce a special Harry Potter party to be held at the library located at 60 Winter St. on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 6 p.m. Come explore the magical world of Harry Potter and celebrate the newest book, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” with crafts, trivia, readings, and science experiments. The book will be published on July 31 as a play and is the eighth story in the Harry Potter Series. It picks up 19 years after the end of  “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”  We find Harry working for the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three children.  The plot centers on Harry’s children, particularly his youngest son Albus. In addition to Harry, Ron, Hermione,  and Ginny, Draco and his son, Scorpius appear in the play. Written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” will also be presented as a play in London’s West End.

All library programs are free and open to the public. For more information library programs, please call Gail Zachariah at 603-352-0157.

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

The Keene Public Library is pleased to offer a free eight-session writing workshop series for young people entering fifth through eight grades. The series will be held Monday, July 25-28, 2016 and August 1-4, 2016. The camp is for young people, whether they like Spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman or Rey. Participants who will be in the 5th through the 8th grade next fall will meet for two hours each afternoon to develop writing skills in a safe and supportive environment and will create a superhero, as well as learn and practice elements of writing such as character development, setting, plot, and conflict. The camp is sponsored by the National Writing Project in New Hampshire. 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.

Keene Library Hosts Maker Camp for Young People Thursdays through August 11

There are three more Maker Camps this summer: Thursday, August 4 and August 11 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Keene Public Library, 60 Winter Street.

Kids are natural builders, explorers, and makers and these special programs on Thursdays are a great opportunity for young people to try new projects and develop new skills. 

In the style of the popular “maker movement,” Maker Camp will inspire kids to play around with typical maker “stuff” such as tools and constructions, get their hands dirty making projects, fix some things, break some things and have a blast doing it. On August 4th, young makers 8 years-of-age and older will tinker with mechanical wonders and paper circuits. Skills learned will include mechanical physics, woodworking, construction, basic electronics, and sensors. On August 11th, young makers will create awesome electronic instruments with crazy sounds, and then write some music! Skills learned will include circuit bending, synthesizers, programming, electronics, and music.  

The Keene Public Library was selected to participate in the Maker Camp program by parent company Maker Media, which serves the growing community of makers who bring a do-it-yourself mindset to technology.

These workshop opportunities are part of the library’s Summer of Making. The Keene Public Library is proud to be one of the 42 Maker Corps Host Sites. Maker Corp is a professional development program that combines online training with hands-on practice to create and provide maker education programming within youth-serving organizations. The Maker Corps program was created by the Maker Ed as a national commitment to connect makers to community-serving institutions and to expand the capabilities of local community education institutions helping them to implement new maker-oriented activities. For more information about the library’s involvement with Maker Corps, please call Gail Zachariah at 603-352-0157.