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Let Me Tell You a Story: Celebrating Banned Books Week

September 23rd, 2018 · Books, City Library, Events, Main Branch, Teens, West Branch

Rebecca was a curious 13-year-old girl who grew up in 6 different schools and 7 different towns across the United States. Keeping childhood relationships was hard for her, so she retreated into books when recess seemed too intimidating and after-school too boring. She consumed everything she could get her hands on. She excelled in school when she put her mind to it, but sometimes lessons were too easy, and she got bored there, too.

For all her academic achievements, she somehow missed some basic sex-ed classes. Either a school didn’t offer them at all, or she moved away just before they were supposed to start, or she entered a school after they finished. Her mom taught her about periods, pads, and “becoming a woman,” but she also taught Rebecca that a virgin was a woman who has never been kissed (that’s not true). It was an excruciating afternoon, and something she’d like to never repeat.

Rebecca’s curious nature and thirst for knowledge could have led her to find information from other sources, but something happened after she turned 13 and “became a woman” that made this lack of knowledge a real problem. Something was wrong. Her period didn’t happen on a regular schedule like her mom said it would. Sometimes it would show up after only a week from the last one. Sometimes it would be several months. Was she pregnant? She didn’t know how a woman got pregnant. Was she sick? Did she have cancer? Was she dying?!

She knew she couldn’t ask her mother these questions. It would be too embarrassing. She couldn’t ask her doctor because her mom was always in the room at her yearly physical. She couldn’t ask her friends (the few she had) because that would also be embarrassing, and then they would know something was wrong with her.

The only place Rebecca could think of to find answers was the place where she always found what she was looking for: her local library. So, one day after school when her mom dropped her off for a few hours, she searched the catalog and found The Little Black Book for Girlz: A Book on Healthy Sexuality, by St. Stephen’s Community House. She didn’t know that this book had almost been taken off library shelves because of a concerned parent. A few weeks before, this person had written a letter to the Library Director, calling the book “child abuse,” “lesbian indoctrination,” “full of degenerate sexual desires,” and “full of debatable facts.”

Rebecca didn’t know that libraries all over the United States receive hundreds of challenges like these a year because they are committed to offering books, movies, and other materials that reflect a broad spectrum of human experiences, knowledge, and moral perspectives. All she knew was that this book looked like it could answer her questions, so she checked it out.

Thanks to The Little Black Book for Girlz, Rebecca found stories from other girls like her on all sorts of topics that weren’t taught at school or at home. She found out that irregular periods are one sign of PCOS, an endocrine disorder that affects one in ten women, and that she CAN ask her doctor to speak to her without her mom in the room. She found out that she wasn’t dying or pregnant, and she didn’t have cancer. She found out that birth control might be able to help her, and that it wasn’t just for preventing pregnancy. She also found out what a virgin was.

Libraries are passionate advocates for lifelong learning, and it’s this reason why most attempts at censorship of materials fail, and why every year libraries celebrate Banned Books Week. Celebrate with us this September 23-29 by reading a challenged or banned book today. One of them could help you, like it helped Rebecca.

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Welcoming author Mohsin Hamid

September 21st, 2018 · Book Group, Books, City Library, Events, News


The One Book, One Manchester committee is pleased to announce that our partners at the New Hampshire Institute of Art will be hosting Exit West author Mohsin Hamid on October 2nd, 2018 at 7 pm at French Hall, 148 Concord Street.  Mr. Hamid is the author of Exit West, the book selected for the first annual One Book, One Manchester (#1Book1MHT) citywide reading program. This special event is open to the public. Tickets will be $5 at the door and you can reserve your space in advance at  Please join us for an evening of discussion!

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Summer Reading Success!

September 16th, 2018 · Ages 2-3, Ages 4-5, Ages 6-13, Books, Children, City Library, E-Books, Events, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-12, Grades K-2, Main Branch, News, Newsletter, Summer Reading Program, Teens, Trustees, West Branch

Our “Libraries Rock” summer reading program wrapped up on August 18th. There were 424 children who signed up for the program, reading a total of 3,576 hours. The teen program had 97 registered participants, who read a total of 2,315 hours. We would like to thank the following for helping make our summer reading program a huge success:

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Brookstone Mini-Golf & Driving Range
Butterfly Place
Candia Springs Adventure Park
Cannon Mountain/Flume
Canobie Lake Park
Cactus Jack/T-Bones
Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
Clark’s Trading Post
Conway Scenic Railroad
Currier Museum of Art
Fun Spot
JayGee’s Ice Cream & Fun Center
Launch Trampoline Park
Legend’s Golf & Family Recreation
Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves
Mel’s Funway Park
Mount Washington Valley Children’s Museum
New Hampshire Fisher Cats
Pizza Hut
Polar Caves Park
Puritan Backroom Ice Cream
Santa’s Village
Seacoast Science Center
SEE Science Center
Sky Zone – Manchester
Water Country

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$10 Bag Book Sale slashed to $5!

September 13th, 2018 · Book Sale, City Library, Events, Main Branch

The library staff needs your help!  In preparation for our Children’s Room Renovation Project, we need to clear out the books that are for sale from the Winchell Room! We need all the shelves cleaned off so we can use the room as our “temporary Children’s Room” during renovations.

So, for this Saturday’s book sale, to help us “clear the Winchell Room shelves” we are slashing the price of each bag you fill to $5!!  Hope to see you at the sale!

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$10 Bag Book Sale – September 15, 2018

September 7th, 2018 · Book Sale, Books, City Library, Events, Main Branch, News, Teens, Trustees

Manchester City Library will be holding a $10 Bag Book Sale on September 15th (Saturday), from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  The sale will take place in the Winchell Room, on the lower level of the Main Library on Pine Street.

This will be the sale to stock up for your present and future reading needs.  There will be no January 2019 book sale, since the Childrens’ Room will be undergoing a major renovation.

Just bring empty, average size grocery bags (cloth or paper) and fill them up with the over 10,000 items in the book sale room.  There will be books for all ages and interests, along with audiobook CDs, musical CDs, DVDs, older music scores and some other odds and ends.

Books include Children books, large print books (mostly fiction), mass market paperbacks, mysteries, science fiction, romance, history, biography, cooking, crafts, animals, religion, science, sports, art, literature, social sciences and so much more.

All proceeds go to projects and programs at Manchester City Library.

Please contact Eileen Reddy at or by phone at 624-6550, if you have any questions.

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Introduction to MS Excel 2010

September 6th, 2018 · City Library, Computer Classes, Events, Main Branch

Thursday, September 13th from 2:30-4:00 PM

Learn how to:
Use sorting to display data in a variety of ways
Copy/paste spreadsheets and use tabs to save several spreadsheets in one file
Edit bar charts for use in presentations

Join us for this relaxed, hands-on class. Sign up by calling the Library at 624-6550. Seating is limited so registration is recommended.

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Manchester NH Connect

September 5th, 2018 · Children, City Library, Events, News, Newsletter, NH Room, Research Tip of the Week, Technology, Teens, Trustees

Introducing Manchester Connect! Download the free Manchester, NH Connect mobile app from your app store for quick and easy access to official city resources including airport information, city schedules and agendas, recreational activities, city arts and entertainment schedules and ticketing information and much, much more!

• Check your flight at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
• Check your bus schedule at the Manchester Transit Authority.
• Reserve a Book at the Manchester City Library.
• Report a problem in the city.
• Find a league or facility where you can play your favorite sport.
• Find a monument that honors our heroes.
• Access the Manchester Monarchs, NH Fisher Cats, and Verizon Wireless Arena event schedules.
• Access info on what’s happening in the City this weekend.
• Look for a City job.
• Look up scheduled City Meetings and Agendas.
• Discover a Business Opportunity.
• Discover a new place to explore.
• Communicate with your elected officials.
• And much, much more.

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Recommended reading for Sci-Fi and Fantasy lovers! September 2018

September 5th, 2018 · Books, City Library, Main Branch, Teens, Trustees, West Branch

A list dedicated to End of the World stories!

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. In this post-apocalyptic novel, a father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. They sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food–and each other.

Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut.  Dr Felix Hoenikker, one of the founding ‘fathers’ of the atomic bomb, has left a deadly legacy to the world. For he’s the inventor of ‘ice-nine’, a lethal chemical capable of freezing the entire planet. The search for its whereabouts leads to Hoenikker’s three ecentric children, to a crazed dictator in the Caribbean, to madness. Felix Hoenikker’s Death Wish comes true when his last, fatal gift to humankind brings about the end, that for all of us, is nigh…

Oryx and Crake: a novel, by Margaret Atwood. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride.

Childhood’s End, by Arthur C Clarke. The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city-intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began, but at what cost? With the advent of peace, man ceases to strive for creative greatness, and a malaise settles over the human race. To those who resist, it becomes evident that the Overlords have an agenda of their own. As civilization approaches the crossroads, will the Overlords spell the end for humankind-or the beginning?

Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven.  The gigantic comet had slammed into Earth, forging earthquakes a thousand times too powerful to measure on the Richter scale, tidal waves thousands of feet high. Cities were turned into oceans; oceans turned into steam. It was the beginning of a new Ice Age and the end of civilization. But for the terrified men and women chance had saved, it was also the dawn of a new struggle for survival–a struggle more dangerous and challenging than any they had ever known.

The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham.Bill Masen, bandages over his wounded eyes, misses the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. Removing his bandages the next morning, he finds masses of sightless people wandering the city. He soon meets Josella, another lucky person who has retained her sight, and together they leave the city, aware that the safe, familiar world they knew a mere twenty-four hours before is gone forever.

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Book Discussion Group reads Exit West

September 4th, 2018 · Book Group, Books, City Library, Events, Main Branch

Our Thursday evening book group is reading ‘Exit West’ by Mohsin Hamid. Manchester’s One Book, One City selection follows a young couple who use magic doors to escape an unnamed beset by bombings and militants and get caught up in the modern-day refugee crisis. Everyone is welcome to join our book discussion groups. Our evening book discussion group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 7 PM. Our discussion facilitator is retired librarian Sarah Basbas, and she often brings along a baked treat to share with the group. To locate a copy of Exit West or for other questions about our book discussion groups please call the Information Desk at 624-6550 ext. 3319.

See you at the book discussion!

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