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Library News

The PuppeTree presents: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at Keene Public Library

On Sunday November 1,  PuppeTree Puppets of Vt. will visit the Keene Public Library to present a family performance of Sleepy Hollow at 4 p.m. in the Kay Fox Meeting Room on the Lower Level. The library will be closed, so although families are invited to the show, they will not be able to visit other areas of the library before or after the performance. The library is located at 60 Winter Street.

The PuppeTree’s production of this classic tale is done with shadow puppets and will be performed by professional puppeteers who will operate more than 100 shadow puppets designed by Artistic Director, Ann Legunn. Legunn has over forty years’ experience in professional theater and puppetry and has a long list of theater and television credits. Neal Meglathery, of the Parish Player’s and the Montshire Minute, will narrate the story in Washington Irving’s words. At the end of the show, the performers will remove the shadow screens and demonstrate how the shadow puppets are operated, providing a “backstage” view of the production.

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

Free Concert by Guitar Soloist at Keene Public Library

Peter Biedermann Performs Thursday Oct. 15, 2015

The Keene Public Library is pleased to announce a free guitar performance at the Keene Public Library’s Heberton Hall, Thursday October 15, 2015 at 7 p.m.. Peter Biedermann is an instrumental guitarist based in Green Valley, AZ that has been composing and performing for over 35 years and will be appearing for the first time at the Keene Public Library. While his music covers a number of genres in various disciplines, the sounds you will hear on the evening of Thursday, October 15th will be entirely original. The music will be performed on a variety of 6 and 12 string guitars in unique tunings combined with subtle ambient electronics. The architecture of the music is melodic and rhythmic; combining compositional structure and improvisation that embraces the influences of the last 50+ years of finger style acoustic guitar playing. Fans of artists such as Davey Graham, John Fahey, Alex de Grassi, Leo Kottke, Ralph Towner and Michael Hedges will enjoy this music.

CD's will be for sale after the performance. Please go to for more information.

This program, sponsored by The Friends of the Keene Public Library, is free and open to the public. 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.

Keene Public Library Holds Family Dance on Friday November 6

On Friday November 6 at 6:30 p.m., the Keene Public Library will hold a free family dance for dancers of all ages and abilities. The dance is part of a series of dances held the first Friday of the month from October through May at the Keene Public Library’s Heberton Hall (formerly the Masonic Building). Adina Gordon of Burlington, Vt. will be the featured caller. Gordon has called contra, English, and squares both old and new in 37 US states, three Canadian provinces, and Israel.

Keene Public Library Family Dances include traditional contras, squares and circle dances of New England as well as singing squares, play-party games from around the world, and modern contras. The evening ends at 8:30 p.m. and includes live music and free refreshments.

Dances are held October through May. A schedule is available on the library's website and in the library. For more information about the family dance series or other public programs at the Keene Public Library, please call the library at 352-0157.

Keene Public Library celebrates Teen Read Week™ with the theme Turn Dreams into Reality @ your library!

The Keene Public Library will celebrate Teen Read Week (October 18-24, 2015) with special events and programs aimed at encouraging teens around the area to read for the fun of it. Thousands of libraries, schools and bookstores across the country will hold similar events centered on this year’s theme, Get Away @ your library.

Teen Read Week is a time to celebrate reading for fun while encouraging teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms —books, magazines, e-books, audiobooks and more! It is also a great opportunity to encourage teens to become regular library users.

In recent years, many families have had to adapt to make do with less as a result of the economy. Teen Read Week is a great opportunity for teens and their families to learn about all the free services and resources the library offers. The library also offers a safe and supervised space for adolescents to engage in creative, educational activities with caring adults and mentors. 

Moreover, according to Teen Librarian Brantley Palmer, strong reading skills are more critical than ever because they translate into better performance at school and better preparedness for careers. This is why it is important to take advantage of Teen Read Week and show teens that reading is a fun and relaxing activity they can do for free.  

The Keene Public Library invites teens, parents and other concerned community members to participate in special programs and events during Teen Read Week such as an Open Hack Night and 3D Printer Demo on Monday, October 19 at 7 p.m., an After-School Maker Camp on Wednesday, October 21 at 3:30 p.m., an Open Play Gaming session on Thursday, October 22 at 3:30 p.m. and a Strategy Game Night on Thursday, October 22 at 6:30 p.m.

Parents of teens are also encouraged to celebrate Teen Read Week at home. The Keene Public Library offers these ideas:

• Set aside time each day for the family to read,

• Give books or magazine subscriptions to your teen as a gift or reward,

• Share your favorite book with your teen,

• Go online with your teen to learn about new books or authors by visiting, or use YALSA’s free Teen Book Finder app for Android and iOS,

• Host a book discussion group,

• Build an in-home library (thrift stores, yard sales, and the Friends of the Keene Public Library's Fall Book Sale held Oct. 23-25 offer an inexpensive way to do that),

• Listen to audiobooks on trips,

• Create a cozy reading corner somewhere in your home,

• Use meal time to talk about books that you’re reading,

• Parents and caregivers can be role models by making time to read, too,

• Incorporate reading into teen chores, such as reading a recipe when cooking, reading instructions for how-to projects, reading sales fliers to develop a shopping list, and more.

Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. It is held annually during the third week of October. For more information, visit


Keene Public Library Offers Writers’ Workshop Series

Library Resumes Monday Night Writers’ Group  

All Keene area veteran and first-time 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.” All short and long form fiction writers are welcome. The group led by Koons runs through Monday Nov. 9, 2015. On Monday Oct. 12, the library will be closed and the group will not meet. All programs at the Keene Public Library are free and open to the public. The Keene Public Library is located at 60 Winter St. 

Keene Library Holds After-Hours Halloween Horror Movie and Game Marathon for Teens

The Keene Public Library is pleased to announce a special Halloween event for teens on Friday October 30, 2015 when teens and young people at least 11 years-of-age and older are invited to enjoy some spooky horror films and games in the basement of the Keene Public Library after hours.  Please note that this event is held after hours and teens under the age of 18 will need to have a permission slip signed by a parent or legal guardian. Permission slips can be picked up at the Youth Desk on the 2nd floor of the library located at 60 Winter Street,

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

Celebrate Batman Day at the Keene Public Library

The Keene Public Library invites fans to Batman Day at the library on Saturday Sept. 26 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Stop by to watch some films and TV episodes, make crafts featuring your favorite caped crusader, and check out our awesome graphic novel collection. The library is located at 60 Winter Street. First appearing in the comic book Detective Comics #27, which hit newsstands on March 30, 1939, featuring artwork by Bob Kane and a script by Bill Finger, Batman emerged from the shadows to become the world’s most popular Super Hero and dominate all media.  In feature films, TV shows, radio, video games, publishing and merchandise, this most human of Super Heroes has battled some of fiction’s greatest villains using his intellect, cunning and an arsenal of gadgets to further his quest for justice.

The Keene Public Library is located at 60 Winter St. All programs are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the library at 603-352-0157.


Celebrate your freedom to read

Read a Banned Book

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 Mocking Bird," 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 513 in 2008. 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. For a list of the most challenged books in 2014 and information about why they were challenged,  check out this infographic.

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 27-October 3, 2015, 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. 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.

Star Wars Reads Day and the Global Cardboard Challenge Return to the Library

Library Hosts Star Wars Reads Day and Cardboard Challenge Activities on Oct. 10

The Keene Public Library invites fans to a special event at the library on Saturday, October 10 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The library is located at 60 Winter Street. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Star Wars character.  

The fourth annual Star Wars Reads Day will again feature Star Wars fans together in a nationwide multi-publisher initiative. Last year, events took place all over the world, and this year Star Wars Reads Day is expected to grow even bigger as fans gear up for the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December. “Star Wars Read Day comes at an exciting time," says Carol Roeder, Director of Publishing at Lucasfilm. "Reading and Star Wars have gone hand-in-hand since 1976, when the novelization of the original Star Wars movie was released. Over the years, many fans have discovered the joy in reading through Star Wars books, and we hope to continue encouraging more people to read."

Activities at the Keene Public Library include crafts, and art projects. We'll also watch some Star Wars related movies and enjoy Star Wars theme refreshments. And, if you're interested, you can head

Activities at the Keene Public Library include crafts, and art projects. We'll also watch some Star Wars related movies and enjoy Star Wars theme refreshments. And, if you're interested, you can head next door to the Kay Fox Room to build Star Wars items from cardboard as part of the Global Cardboard Challenge. There will also be Star Wars themed refreshments available to enjoy!! 

This year, the Keene Public Library is participating in the Global Cardboard Challenge, which also occurs on Saturday October 10. The Challenge will take place in the Kay Fox Room from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. “We combined Star Wars Read Day with the Cardboard Challenge and we are hosting a space related event and we be encouraging kids and families to build space vehicles out of cardboard” says Gail Zachariah, Head of Youth and Community Services at the Keene Public Library.  The Global Cardboard Challenge, now in its fourth 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 and open to the public. For more information, please contact 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. Snoopy is Honorary Chair for Library Card Sign-up Month 2015! Snoopy, the world-famous beagle has been known as The Flying Ace, The Masked Marvel, Man’s Best Friend, and the Literary Ace, among other personas. The Keene Public Library has created a special display in the Youth Department in Snoopy's honor. Throughout the month, we will encourage visitors to voice support for cats or dogs.

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. Our main event for Library Card Sign-up Month will take place on Saturday September 19 at 2 p.m. when Bad Kitty visits the library for a library card celebration.

Throughout the yeear, 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 storytimes 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