Manchester City Library

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Christmas in Manchester

December 20th, 2014 · Books, City Library, Local History, Main Branch, NH Room, West Branch


Only a few decades ago Christmas in Manchester was a celebration from the day after Thanksgiving until January 06, or “Little Christmas” as it was known on the West Side. Snow never deterred anyone and seemed to make the season magical.

The lights on Elm Street were turned on at dusk on the Friday following Thanksgiving and drew a crowd of onlookers for this magnificent sight.

The stores were open every night and the shoppers who roamed Elm Street met their friends to window shop, then go to The Puritan, Mayflower, Verani’s, Pizza by Charles, Woolworth’s or Newberry dining on hot chocolate or the teenager’s favorite, French fries smothered in ketchup and a coke.

One could walk from Pariseau, Sears, and the Beauregard Sisters down to the Bell Shops, Hills, Lynch’s, McQuades, Machinists, and everyone’s favorite Leavitt’s. Purchase a skirt at Pariseau’s Basement and a matching blouse at Lynch’s or fabric at Machinist’s. If you couldn’t find the right gift the helpful clerks would offer suggestions and often offer to order the correct size and right color you just couldn’t do without. There was even a clerk or two for every department. Not all of them were needed for security purposes. They were there to help the customers.

Everyone tried every perfume imaginable and in the end still purchased their grandmother’s favorite soap to be used or kept as a sachet in her dresser drawer. Grandmothers were all alike! Carroll Cut Rate stocked nice gift packages at reasonable prices and everyone you met knew when you had shopped there!

This ritual went on for days.

Christmas cards were purchased with careful consideration and The Card Shop on Amherst Street was a busy place. If you wanted a good book you went to Goodman’s Bookstore or the Book Nook. Both stores also sold cards and stationary or note paper (no decorated computer paper back then!) and better grade “fountain pens”.

Santa had so many helpers. The children would often visit each one and receive a candy cane going home with a handful to decorate their tree. You wonder how they could keep track of what they asked for and how Santa didn’t return to the North Pole with a headache. It was a fun time!

And don’t forget Fanny Farmer, Van Otis, or the Puritan Candy Shop. They were always featuring a Holiday special and when purchased never seemed to last until the holiday.

Looking for a parking space was never a problem and there were no parking garages. The city buses were available to everywhere in Manchester running every hour during the daytime and evenings when the stores were open.

Manchester was once a magical and friendly place to live and even more magical when turned into a Winter Wonderland. Too bad you can’t go home again.

C. O’Neil 11/20/2014

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New Fiction Coming Soon!

December 17th, 2014 · Books, City Library, Main Branch, News, Newsletter, West Branch


Oh the weather outside is frightful-but reading a new book is delightful!

Place your holds now for these upcoming titles!
• Dogwood Hill by Sherryl Woods
• The Assassination Option by W.E.B. Griffin
• In Plain Sight by Fern Michaels
• Private Vegas by James Patterson
• Breaking Creed by Alex Kava
• Cane and Abe by James Grippando
• First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen
• Insatiable Appetites by Stuart Woods
• Die Again by Tess Gerritsen
• The Body Snatchers Affair Marcia Muller
• Twelve Days by Alex Berenson
• Motive by Jonathan Kellerman
• Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb
• A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
• Crash & Burn Lisa Gardner
and more….

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Children’s Gingerbread Houses

December 14th, 2014 · Ages 0-2, Ages 2-3, Ages 4-5, Ages 6-13, Children, City Library, Events, Main Branch


Begin a holiday tradition anew by building a house that even Hansel and Gretel would be tempted to eat! On Tuesday, December 16th at 3:30 pm in the Winchell Room we will be making gingerbread houses. We provide the supplies-you provide your artistic talents! This program is just right for children in grades K-2. Since space is limited please register, please call the Children’s Room at 624-6550 ext. 328.

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Winter Movies

December 13th, 2014 · City Library, Events, Main Branch, Movies

New Picture

Here is our “afternoon at the movies”  line up for the winter season!

December 3rd Heaven is For Real PG, 100 min.
December 10th Birdcage R, 117 min.
December 17th National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation PG13, 97 min.
December 24th Library closes at 1:30
December 31st Library closes at 1:30
January 7th Amazing Spider-Man 2 PG13, 142 min.
January 14th Selma, Lord Selma TV-PG, 120 min.
January 21st King Kong (1933) NR, 100 min.
January 28th Muppets Most Wanted PG, 107 min.
February 4th Cesar Chavez PG13, 101 min.
February 11th Simon Birch PG, 115 min.
February 18th Captain America – The Winter Soldier PG13, 136 min.
February 25th Adventures of Milo & Otis G, 76 min.

All movies are in the library auditorium and start at 1 PM. Closed captioning is available on request. For more information please call Ruth at 624-6500 at Ext. 306.

See you at the movies!

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Holidays Around the World

December 10th, 2014 · Ages 0-2, Ages 2-3, Ages 4-5, Children, City Library, Grades 3-5, Grades K-2, Main Branch


Have you ever wondered how other countries celebrate the holidays?  Drop in on Saturday, December 13th from 10:00 to noon as we explore holiday traditions and customs from several different countries through crafts and foods.  Children in preschool to grade 5 are invited to join.  Refreshments will be served.  For more information, please call the children’s room at 603-624-6550 ext. 328.

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Reading with Mabel has been postponed due to weather!

December 7th, 2014 · Children, City Library, Events, Main Branch


We have some “paws”-itively great news! Reading Education Assistance for Dogs is coming to Manchester City Library. They will meet in a corner of the children’s room and have a chance to read to Mabel, a cuddly Corgi who loves books as much as you do.   Bring your favorite book, or choose one of ours. What could be more fun? All reading levels welcome.

Mabel will be visiting the Main Branch on December 18th at 3:30.

Call us at the children’s room at 624-6550 ext 328 fir more information.

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Winter Newsletter

December 6th, 2014 · 100th Anniversary, Book Group, Book Sale, Books, Children, City Library, Computer Classes, Events, Main Branch, Movies, News, Newsletter, NH Room, Teens, Trustees, West Branch


The winter issue of the Manchester City Library’s newsletter, “MCL Notes” is here! Catch up on what’s been happening at the libraries—there is plenty to read about! Get the scoop on the programs we have planned from now through February.

December 2014/January/February 2015 – Vol. 9, No. 3

We welcome you to sign up to receive this quarterly newsletter by email.

Happy holidays!

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Cocoa and Crafts for Kids

December 4th, 2014 · Ages 4-5, Ages 6-13, Children, City Library, Events, West Branch


Get started on your holiday list.  Make a gift for a loved one or a seasonal decoration.  Join in the spirit with music and festivities galore.  So put on your holiday sweaters and plan to join us on the evening of December 10th at 7:00 PM for some holiday fun. Registration is required so please call the West Branch at 624-6560 to register.  This program is geared for children ages 5-12.

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Children’s storytime at West cancelled Thursday, 12/4

December 2nd, 2014 · Ages 2-3, Ages 4-5, Children, Events, Uncategorized, West Branch

We apologize for the short notice. Story times will return to the West branch the following Thursday, 12/11.

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Escape From Camp 14

December 2nd, 2014 · Book Group, Books, City Library, Events, Main Branch


This is the true story of  Shin Dong-Hyuk, the only person born and raised in a North Korean prison camp to escape to the West.  In Escape from Camp 14, acclaimed journalist Blaine Harden tells the story of Shin Dong-Hyuk and through the lens of Shin’s life unlocks the secrets of the world’s most repressive totalitarian state. Shin knew nothing of civilized existence-he saw his mother as a competitor for food, guards raised him to be a snitch, and he witnessed the execution of his own family. Through Harden’s harrowing narrative of Shin’s life and remarkable escape, he offers an unequaled inside account of one of the world’s darkest nations and a riveting tale of endurance, courage, and survival. Join us Thursday evening, December 11th at 7:00 PM.  There will be cookies made by the incomparable baker, Ms. Sarah, to sweeten the evening, so don’t let this book scare you off.  For more information, contact Sarah at 624-6560

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