Manchester City Library

Manchester, NH's Online Library

Manchester City Library header image 1

Portsmouth then and now

July 23rd, 2014 · Books, City Library, Local History, Main Branch, Teens, West Branch

“What else can I get you my darling girl? How about another piece of cake?” I can still hear my grandmother’s attentive voice. Every summer my younger brother and I would spend two precious weeks at my grandmother’s house in Portsmouth. It was an utter treat to be waited on–a far cry from home where we whined about having to set the table and wipe the dishes every night. To entertain us my grandmother planned little excursions…sometimes we’d take the boat to Star Island for a picnic, or we would walk to the Old North Cemetery, passing through the train yard where my grandfather once worked as a B & M baggage handler. Other times we would tour old houses like the John Paul Jones house or the Rundlet-May house. Or we would walk the narrow streets down to the water to see the tugboats. A walk around Portsmouth then revealed a city in all its un-gentrified glory. The old port area had a shabby quality about it that made it a candidate for federal urban renewal projects. And in a zealous desire to build parking lots and new office buildings many dilapidated but historic buildings were torn down. Fortunately some of the long-neglected houses were moved across town and restored and are now part of the Strawbery Banke museum. You can borrow one of the library’s museum passes to see some of the city’s early architectural history. Or if you want to learn about some of the city’s more colorful characters, download an eBook copy of Portsmouth Women to your device.

Portsmouth nowadays, like any respectable tourist destination, is filled with high end restaurants, bakeries and specialty shops. Charming still, but I sometimes wish I could go back in time, step into Woolworth’s on Congress Street and order a coke at the lunch counter with my grandmother sitting by my side.

Mary Orzechowski

→ No CommentsTags: ·········

“Milestones of Flight”

July 19th, 2014 · Children, City Library, Main Branch, Museum Passes, West Branch

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Forty-five years ago this summer, over 500 million people around the world heard Neil Armstrong utter those immortal words and watched as he became the first person to walk on the moon.  When he, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin returned to earth on July 24, 1969, they had fulfilled President Kennedy’s goal stated eight years later to Congress: “before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”

Everyone watched as they planted an American flag in the lunar surface, but the U.S. is not the only country represented on the moon.  Among other items the astronauts left was a recording of messages from the leaders of 73 countries around the world as well as commemorative medallions bearing the names Yuri Gagarin, the Russian cosmonaut who was the first person to orbit the earth, in 1961; Vladimir Komarov, the first cosmonaut to fly into space more than once, and who died when his capsule crash landed in April 1967; and Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee, the three Apollo 1 astronauts killed when their Command Module caught fire during a trial launch on January 27, 1967.

And in a nod to the history of flight, among the personal mementos that Neil Armstrong carried with him was a piece of propeller from the airplane flown in 1903 by Orville and Wilbur Wright.  That same piece of wood is on display at the Wright Brothers National Museum in Kitty Hawk, NC, while the Apollo 11 Command Module flown in by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins is in the “Milestones of Flight” exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

For more information on the history of flight and New Hampshire astronaut Alan Shepard, take a visit to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord.  And don’t forget that the library has a museum pass for there that you can borrow!

→ No CommentsTags: ········

Tickets on sale now for the Dennis Lehane event!

July 16th, 2014 · 100th Anniversary, City Library, Events, Foundation, Main Branch, West Branch


Mark your calendars for the Manchester City Library Foundation Gala
Fundraiser on September 23, 2014 with Guest Author Dennis Lehane
at the Palace Theater.  Mr. Lehane has written Gone, Baby, Gone, Moonlight Mile, Mystic River, Live by Night, Prayers for Rain, Sacred and Shutter Island.
He is also a writer-producer for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Tickets will be
$29.50 for both lower and upper level seating. A select number of
$100 VIP tickets will also be sold with the opportunity to meet Mr.
Lehane. Gibson’s Bookstore will be selling Mr. Lehane’s books for us and he
will be available to sign them after his presentation. Tickets are on sale now at the Palace Theatre box office!

→ No CommentsTags: ·········

It’s time for Family Fare!

July 13th, 2014 · Ages 0-2, Ages 2-3, Ages 4-5, Ages 6-13, Children, City Library, Events, Family Fare, Grades 3-5, Grades K-2, Main Branch

Our Family Fare series has been sponsored by the community and the Library Trustees for the past 18 years. This series is for families to come and enjoy entertainment for several weeks during the summer. This year’s programs are sure to please all ages. All programs will be held on the Library South Lawn, and in the event of rain will be held in the Library’s Auditorium.

Dan Grady and His Marvelous Marionettes July 17th at 6 PM
Wildlife Encounters – Global Encounters July 24th at 6 PM
Steve Blunt – July 31st at 6:00 PM
Critters ‘N Creatures – August 7th at 6:00PM

We hope that you will plan to join us at our annual Family Fare Series this summer.

→ No CommentsTags:

The Amoskeag Fishways Presents Edison’s Workshop shop

July 10th, 2014 · Ages 4-5, Ages 6-13, Children, City Library, Grades 3-5, West Branch

10447725_10152533943202783_3691763220260384895_nTurn back the clock and explore Thomas Edison’s workshop. Participants will learn about the basics of electricity, then conduct their own experiments in building a light bulb. This program is appropriate for children ages 5 and up, and no registration required. Join us at the West Branch Community Library on July 17th at 3:00 PM for this electrifying event!

→ 1 CommentTags: ········

We’re Going on a Bug Hunt

July 7th, 2014 · Children, City Library, Main Branch


If you like bugs, this is your party.  There will be bug stories, games and a craft.  Be sure to come dressed for outside activities.  Refreshments will be served.  This program is geared for children ages 2-5 years old and registration is required.  Join us on July 14th from 10:00-11:00AM for a fun bug hunt. For more information please call 624-6550 ext. 328



→ 1 CommentTags: ···

A Triple Celebration!

July 5th, 2014 · 100th Anniversary, City Library, Events, Local History, Main Branch, NH Room

We have been celebrating the Centennial of the opening of the library’s Carpenter Memorial Building in 2014. But we also have more to celebrate! 

The Manchester Atheneum was established in 1844 by a group of gentlemen for their own reading pleasure.  Only members of this elite “club” were allowed to read the books and many also contributed books on varying subjects. The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company and other businesses also made monetary donations and the private library flourished.

Mayor Frederick Smyth, in his second inaugural address of 1853, proposed the establishment of a “free’ public library for the city residents.  On September 06, 1854 the Atheneum collection of 2,953 volumes was transferred to the City of Manchester thus the Manchester City Library was born.

 The library continued to grow and was located in the Patten Building on Elm and Stark Streets adjacent to City Hall.  A fire on February 04, 1856 destroyed the library and roughly 550 volumes were saved. The library moved to Hanover Street for a year and would later move to a new building on a lot donated by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company on Franklin Street in 1871 but it would out grow this space.

 Frank P. Carpenter, a wealthy businessman, donated the Carpenter Memorial Building to the City in Memory of his wife, Elenora Blood Carpenter. On November 18, 1914 the library building opened to the residents of Manchester.

 So, the library has three literary reasons to celebrate in 2014:  170 years for the founding of the Manchester Atheneum in 1844, the Manchester City Library established

160 years ago in 1854, and the Centennial anniversary of the Carpenter Memorial Building opened in 1914. 

 As we look forward to the future we can only imagine the library holding is celebration of two- hundred years of public library service in 2054.  

C. N. O’Neil  6/7/2014

→ 1 CommentTags: ········

4th of July!

July 2nd, 2014 · City Library, Events, Main Branch, West Branch


Celebrating Independence Day!
The library will be open on Thursday, July 3rd from 9:30-5:30 PM and closed on July 4th and July 5th. We hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!

→ 1 CommentTags: ······

Get in the World Cup Spirit!

June 30th, 2014 · Books, City Library, Main Branch, West Branch

Are you a soccer fan? If you’re into the World Cup, you might enjoy these new books:

Why Soccer Matters, by Pelé;

Eight World Cups : My Journey Through the Beauty and Dark Side of Soccer, by George Vecsey;

Who Invented the Bicycle Kick? : soccer’s greatest legends and lore, by Paul Simpson.

Or you can browse a list of our other soccer books here. And don’t forget to make some time to get out on the field and play your own game in this great summer weather.


→ 1 CommentTags: ·····

Read the Book Before You Watch the Movie

June 27th, 2014 · Books, City Library, Main Branch, Movies, West Branch

Maze Runner pic

I recently read The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner. It was action-packed and from the first page I was hooked. The main character, Thomas, wakes up in the dark with no memories.  Thomas finds himself living in an area surrounded by a maze with a group of boys, who like Thomas, also have mysteriously lost their memories. Besides trying to figure out who they are and how to get out of the maze, the boys are threatened by deadly monsters that come out at night. The Maze Runner film comes out this September and I can’t wait to see this novel come to life on the big screen.

There are so many other great novels that are being turned into films and I challenge you to read them before you see them.  Here is a list of some to try.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel

Labor Day by Joyce Maynard

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Wild from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

You can find these and more at the Manchester City Library as: books, non-musical sound recordings, audiobooks, and e-books.  Come to the Information Desk and we can help you find them.

→ 1 CommentTags: ·····