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Library News

KPL Celebrates All Hallows Read

The brainchild of author Neil Gaiman, All Hallows Read is marking its seventh year with book lovers around the world making lists of their favorite scary titles, creating free spooky downloadable materials, and arranging contests and book swaps.

All Hallows Read is now in its seventh year and the Keene Public Library is doing our part to help make this a holiday tradition. On Saturday, October 15, 2016, of our “skeleton staff” will be at the Monadnock Pumpkin Festival to hand out spooky and other favorite books. We'll also have a table with a bookmark making activity that you can use to keep your place in any book that you are reading.

Looking for a scary read? Stop by the library or visit our online catalog to check out some tales of vampires, werewolves, zombies and other supernatural beings. Get some decorating and party ideas. Find a new paranormal or gothic romance novel. We also have nearly 80 titles by Gaiman; wonderful stories for adults, teens, and children. This could also be a great time to explore classic horror like the works of Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, or Edgar Allan Poe. Stock up in time for Halloween! 

There really is something for every reader. Since, technically, Gaiman’s suggesting you give scary books as gifts consider this an opportunity to give a friend or family member the free gift of an introduction to the library. It’s a great chance to remind a friend or family member the gift that gives them books, computers, and the ability to travel through time and space. And if your friend or family member is not a resident of Keene, you could also give them the gift of a library card, which will provide them with all of the library's resources.

International Games Day@Your Library brings community together to read, learn and play

The Keene Public Library will join over a thousand libraries around the world on November 19, 2016, for the ninth annual celebration of gaming in libraries – International Games Day @ Your Library. Like so many other libraries across the country and around the world, the Keene Public Library will offer special gaming programs and events suitable for the whole family.  

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.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. “Gaming is yet another example of how libraries are becoming more than just educational resources for the communities that they serve. They 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. Library programs such as International Games Day, a weekly Open Play Games Day, and a monthly tabletop games night, 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 So on November 21, we invite everyone to visit the Keene Public Library during International Games Day @ your library. Bring Grandma and Grandpa and the kids and take a new look at what your library has to offer – it just might surprise you. 

International Games Day @ your library is an international initiative supported by the American Library Association, the Australian Library and Information Association, and Nordic Game Day. For more information on International Games Day please visit the International Games Day blog For more information on the events at Keene Public Library, please contact Jay Fee at 603-352-0157.

Keene Public Library To Read For The Record On Oct. 27

Help build children’s vocabulary and be a part of the global movement to close the word gap by joining Keene Public Library and Jumpstart’s Read for the Record on 10.27.16 when children and adults worldwide will take action by participating in the world’s largest shared reading experience. Drop by anytime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for special activities and shared readings of the book "The Bear Ate Your Sandwich" by Julia Sarcone-Roach, a tale of a bear, lost in the city, who happens upon an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, that you will not see the surprise ending coming!

Each year, Jumpstart selects one children’s book as the catalyst for Read for the Record. This year’s campaign book, "The Bear Ate Your Sandwich," written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones, is a humorous tale about a child who finds a new friend in an unexpected place. With vivid illustrations and expressive language, the story is sure to engage children and adults of all ages. Help us break the world reading record (again!) for the most people reading the same book on the same day.

Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart provides language, literacy, and social-emotional programming for preschool children from under-resourced communities and promotes quality early learning for all children. By participating in Jumpstart’s year-long program, children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to lifelong success. Since 1993, Jumpstart has trained 40,000 college students and community volunteers to transform the lives of 87,000 preschool children nationwide.

Keene Library Participates in Nationwide Reading of "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis

National Night of Readings to Commemorate 80th Anniversary of It Can't Happen Here

In 1936, theatres across the country staged the original play simultaneously

On Monday, October 24, the Keene Public Library will hold a free public reading of the new stage adaptation of “It Can’t Happen Here,” based on the 1935 novel written by Sinclair Lewis. In 1936, the novel was adapted into a play and theatres across the country opened productions on the same night. To commemorate the 80th anniversary of those productions, regional theatres, universities, libraries, and communities across the country will read the new adaptation by Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director Tony Taccone and screenwriter Bennett S. Cohen.  Written during the rise of fascism in Europe, Lewis’ darkly satirical “It Can’t Happen Here” follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. Witnessing the new president’s authoritarian tyranny from the sidelines is a liberal, middle-class newspaper editor from Vermont who is caught in the chaos of social upheaval.  “Lewis’ novel reads like it was ripped out of today’s headlines,” says Catherine Behrens, the founder of the Hourglass Readers. “Whether he’s describing Buzz Windrip, the demagogue who wins the presidency based on the promise of making our country great again, or Doremus Jessup, a liberal newspaper editor who simply waits too long to take Windrip seriously, Lewis’ understanding of our political system was precise and far reaching.” 

The new adaptation of Lewis’s classic had its world premiere performance at Berkeley Rep on September 30, 2016. The reading at Keene Public Library will feature the Hourglass Readers and will be directed by Catherine Behrens on Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m.  “Lewis’ novel reads like it was ripped out of today’s headlines,” says Behrens, the founder of the Hourglass Readers. “Whether he’s describing Buzz Windrip, the demagogue who wins the presidency based on the promise of making our country great again, or Doremus Jessup, a liberal newspaper editor who simply waits too long to take Windrip seriously, Lewis’ understanding of our political system was precise and far reaching.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Gail Zachariah at 603-352-0157 or visit Information about the national initiative is available at www.berkeleyrep.or. The Nationwide Reading is made possible thanks to the generous support of Barbara and Rodgin Cohen and Orin Kramer and is presented in cooperation with the Sinclair Lewis Estate.

The Keene Public Library is located at 60 Winter Street, Keene. For further information about programs at the Keene Public Library, visit the library’s website at or call 603-352-0157.


Join the Big Library Read through Oct. 27

The Keene Public Library invites all readers to take part in the Big Library Read program, a worldwide digital Book club through public and school libraries that connects millions of readers across the globe with the same eBook at the same time. For a two-week period beginning October 13, Keene Public Library users will be able to borrow the eBook "This Is Where It Ends" by Marieke Nijkamp (Sourcebooks) from and participate in a worldwide version of a local book club. There will be no waitlists for this popular, powerful and emotional read. Big Library Read is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for eBooks and audiobooks for schools and libraries.

"This Is Where It Ends" is a compelling story of an, unfortunately, all-too-familiar situation: a school shooting. It follows four teens who face what is every student’s worst nightmare: a boy with a gun. Told from the students' perspective, this powerful fictional account is important in its timeliness. At its core, Marieke Nijkamp’s debut young adult novel is a must read, gripping tale from start to finish. 

“Told over 54 minutes, "This Is Where It Ends" is a story of family and vengeance, love and loss,” said author, Marieke Nijkamp. “But to me, above all, it’s a story about how even when a world seems to have stopped turning, when everything has fallen apart, the darkness is never absolute. There is always hope. I hope readers will find hope in This Is Where It Ends too” 

Big Library Read is a free program. To get started reading, all that is needed is a Keene Public Library card. "This Is Where It Ends" can be read on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ phones and tablets, Chromebook™ and Kindle® [U.S. libraries only]. The eBook will be available with no wait lists and will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, so there are never any late fees.

The Big Library Read program is made possible through a partnership between the New Hampshire State Library, 205 public and school libraries in N.H>, OverDrive, and Sourcebooks, publisher of "This Is Where It Ends." The title was selected based on a survey of more than 5,000 readers, students, teachers, and librarians. To borrow the eBook readers can visit

For more information on Big Library Read, including a book discussion guide, visit

Sign-Up For A Storytime At The Keene Public Library

Storytime Blogou can sign up for storytimes on our online calendar of events

          • Preschool Storytime: Tues. at 1:30 p.m. or Wed. at 10:00 a.m.
          • Book Time with Babies and Toddlers:  Thursday or Friday at 10:00 a.m.
        • We do value your feedback. If you've attended storytime at the Keene Public Library recently, please help us plan for by completing a quick online survey.

And if you want to read along at home, you can follow along with preschool storytime by visiting Colleen's Preschool Storytime Blog

Image:  Story hour W.P.A recreation project - Dist. no. 2 / Shari.  Ill[inois] : Federal Art Project, WPA, [between 1936 and 1939]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 

Through Storytimes, we hope to:

blue bullet     Share the best of children's literature and illustrations;

blue bullet     Introduce the library and its services to children and families;

blue bullet     Teach children that the library is a helpful, friendly place where they can find materials to enrich their lives;

blue bullet     Encourage children to become lifelong readers;Toddler Two Times at the Keene Puublic Library

blue bullet     Provide children with group activities and experiences;

blue bullet     Promote language development and provide verbal learning experiences;

blue bullet     Promote reading aloud at home by parents and caregivers.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to use this opportunity to teach children listening and cooperative skills. The library has a few tips that can help make Keene Public Library Storytimes more fun and rewarding.

Book Time with Babies and Toddlers

These programs are for infants through walking and talking toddlers up to the age of 36 months and their parents or caregivers. Each session is full of songs and rhymes, clapping hands and smiling faces.  A great opportunity for Moms, Dads, and Caregivers to meet other children and their families.

Preschool Story Time @ your LibraryPreschool Storytime Fun at KPL

This storytime is for children three to six years of age that have not yet started kindergarten. Each storytime is a 30 to 45-minute celebration of language. Storytime includes several books, songs, poems, and other book-related activities such as crafts and creative dramatics.

These three programs are held in four sessions throughout the year. Registration is ongoing throughout each session. As long as there is room in the program, we will sign up newcomers. Call the library at 603-352-0157 to find out the dates and times for these storytimes. 

Multi-Age Drop-In Story Programs

The library also offers a drop-in storytime each Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. There is no need to register. All you have to do is show up!

Scheduled Storytime Series

You can sign up for storytimes one month before they are scheduled to begin.

WINTER STORYTIMES:  January 8 through Feb. 23, 2018

SPRING STORYTIMES:  March 26 through May 12, 2018                

SUMMER STORYTIMES:  This drop in series begins the week of June 11, 2018                 

FALL STORYTIMES:  Sept. 10 through November 2, 2018

Don't forget, the library has lots of additional special family and youth programs. Check our online calendar for details.

And, you can drop in anytime for stories on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m.

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After 10 years, downloadable books, magazines continue to be popular with N.H. public library patrons

In 2006, 20 public libraries in New Hampshire came together to form the N.H. Downloadable Books Consortium as an economically efficient way of providing audiobooks to patrons.

Ten years later, 205 libraries belong to the consortium, e-books and magazines have been added to the collection, and both the number of titles available and the service’s popularity continue to grow.

In the past 12 months, patrons at libraries belonging to the consortium have checked out e-books 449,423 times and audiobooks 369,187 times. If these materials had been individually purchased by patrons for their own use, the total cost – based on a conservative estimated average price for the materials – would be more than $10 million. The actual purchase price for all materials in the consortium last year was about $267,000.

Throughout the state, patrons are adapting to the wide variety of devices that can utilize this service, downloading 19,856 audio and e-books over the course of the year, an increase of almost 10% over last year. 

The service is popular at the Keene Public Library where there is a total of 3408 registered users of New Hampshire Downloadable Books who downloaded 9,665 electronic books and 10,101 digital audiobooks.

Magazines are new to the service. The collection has grown to more than 60 titles, which have been downloaded across the state 51,210 times in the past 12 months. Keene Public Library patrons downloaded 1,073 magazine titles during the period.

Public libraries participate in the N.H. Downloadable Books Consortium by paying an annual fee. Materials are available for registered library patrons to download to their electronic devices 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To download an item, a patron needs to have an active library card from one of the 205 participating N.H. libraries.

The consortium is managed by members of participating libraries and is facilitated through the N.H. State Library. It is funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act.

“Downloadable books and magazines are an important part of what’s available at libraries throughout New Hampshire,” said Michael York, state librarian and acting commissioner of the N.H. Department of Cultural Resources. “Belonging to the Downloadable Books Consortium allows member libraries to expand what they offer to their patrons at a fraction of the cost it would be to make the purchases on their own.

“It’s yet another way that New Hampshire’s libraries work together to get more ‘bang for the buck’ for our residents.”

The New Hampshire State Library promotes excellence in libraries and library services to all New Hampshire residents, by assisting libraries and the people of New Hampshire with rapid access to library and informational resources through the development and coordination of a statewide library/information system; by meeting the informational needs of New Hampshire’s state, county and municipal governments and its libraries; and by serving as a resource for New Hampshire. For more information, visit

If you need assistance downloading N.H. Downloadable titles to a device, please contact Cary Jardine at the Keene Public Library at 603-757-1838.  

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.

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.

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.