Happy 181st Birthday, PTL!

PTLFrontViewToday is the 181st birthday of the Peterborough Town Library. Even Garrison Keillor marks the event on today’s Writer’s Almanac, from American Public Media. Click here to have a look and listen!

From today’s broadcast:

On this date in 1833, the world’s oldest taxpayer-supported public library was founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The money for the Peterborough Public Library came from the State Literary Fund, tax money collected from the sale of capital stock for the purpose of paying for a state university. There wasn’t enough money in the fund to fulfill its original purpose, so a Unitarian minister named Abiel Abbot proposed that some of the money be used to purchase books that could be lent to townspeople free of charge. Reverend Abbot’s idea fell on fertile ground in the New England of the 1830s: temperance, anti-slavery, and education reform were only a few of the utopian social movements that were beginning to gather steam at that time. As Emerson wrote, “The modern mind believed that the nation existed for the individual, for the guardianship and education of every man.”

This was not Reverend Abbot’s first library; he had already established a Juvenile Library and a “social library,” supported by paid membership, in Peterborough. In 1849, as a result of Abbot’s innovation, the New Hampshire State Legislature became the first in the nation to pass a law giving towns the right to raise money to establish their own public libraries.

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Meet the new Library Director: Corinne Chronopoulos

CorinneWhat'sMyVisionWeb

Corinne talks about her vision for the library.

Corinne Chronopoulos came to the Peterborough Town Library on Monday morning to speak to community members about her new position as Library Director. It was a busy morning for her.

Corinne started her day by meeting with library staff for 45 minutes, and then with board members of the Friends of the Library for 20 minutes. At 10:30 a.m., she walked into the downstairs meeting hall to meet the public. Nearly 60 people were there to welcome her and hear what she had to say.

Corinne spoke about the Trustees’ top objectives for her as new director:

  • Increase community collaboration between the library and multiple groups;
  • Improve marketing and visibility of library services;
  • Determine technology needs and direction;
  • Work with 1833 Society on renovation plans
Ronnie McIntire, 1833 Society vice chair and former library trustee, was part of the director search group.

Corinne chats with Ronnie McIntire, 1833 Society vice chair and former library trustee, and the search group.

“Collaborative” is how Corinne describes her style. She likes to start fresh and think BIG.  She told the group: “Small libraries can be excellent.”

Corrine feels strongly that the public library should be at the heart of the community. “As Library Director, my focus will be on actively participating in various committees, organizations and representing the Library as a partner in the community.”

Programs will be big part of her development work. “Programs are a great way to promote life-long learning and library services to everyday patrons, and also to residents who may not have a library card – but hopefully will leave with one!”

Jane LaPointe, Sue Martin and Tina Kriebel, all affiliated in some way with the Library and the 1833 Society, were on hand to meet the new director.

Jane LaPointe, Sue Martin and Tina Kriebel, all affiliated with the Library and the 1833 Society, were on hand to meet the new director.

Currently director of the Pelham Library, Corinne also serves as vice president of the Reference and Adult Services section of the N.H. Library Association. She has a Master’s degree in library science from Simmons Graduate School of Information and Library Science, and a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of New Hampshire.

“Corinne has shown an affinity for community collaboration and merging library services with the latest technology,” says Marcia Patten, chair of the Library Trustees. “I was gratified by the turnout today. It indicates community interest and support in our new library director.”

Corinne will start her new position in mid-June. Michael Price, the library’s current director, is retiring after 13 years of service.

Check out coverage of our new director in local and statewide newspapers, including an article in the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, “Pelham recruiting new library director.”

Ledger Transcript 3/25/2014

Union Leader 3/25/2014

Lawrence Eagle Tribune 3/25/2014

Ledger Transcript 3/21/2014

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“Public libraries are worth fighting for, and this book is my way of fighting…”

The Public LibraryA New Yorker blog item about photographer Robert Dawson’s new book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay, features the Peterborough Town Library’s beautiful historical facade. In the book’s introduction, Dawson writes, “Public libraries are worth fighting for, and this book is my way of fighting.”

Take a look at the blog piece, Slide Show: American Public Libraries Great and Small posted by Rachel Arons…

Take a look at the book which is to be released in April 2014…

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Corinne Chronopoulos is named new director of the Peterborough Town Library

Corinne ChronopoulosThe public is invited to stop by the Peterborough Town Library Monday morning, March 24 at 10:30 a.m. to meet Corinne Chronopoulos, the new director of the Peterborough Town Library. The Board of Trustees made the announcement today. Chronopoulos, who lives in Wilton, will begin work in mid-June.

“The board is very pleased to welcome Corinne. We will introduce her to the public on Monday, March 24 in the large library meeting room, beginning at 10:30 a.m.,” said Marcia Patten, trustees chair. Chronopoulos is scheduled to speak and answer questions from the public. Coffee and pastry will be available.

Chronopoulos succeeds Michael Price, who will be retiring in June after 14 years on the job in Peterborough and a total of 30 years as a library director.

“The new library director is starting at an exciting time for the Town Library. As we look toward a new or renovated building, we also envision a library with more diverse digital services. Corinne has a passion for innovative library services and has been highly successful in community outreach. She will be a great ambassador for the library,” Patten said.

Chronopoulos said, “I am honored to accept the position. I am especially excited to work with the talented library staff, to learn from them, and to respond to patron needs the best we can with our current building, as well as planning for future improvements and expansion.”

Currently, Chronopoulos is director of Pelham Public Library, where she also has served as adult services librarian. Previously, she provided reference services at Fidelity Center for Applied Technology, Boston.

She is vice president of the Reference and Adult Services section of the N.H. Library Association. She has a Master’s degree in library science from Simmons Graduate School of Information and Library Science, and a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of New Hampshire.

A New Hampshire native, Chronopoulos grew up in Hudson.

“Peterborough is a special town. I have been coming here regularly to participate in community events for years,” said Chronopoulos, who plans to move to Peterborough with her family later this year. Her husband, Charlie Chronopoulos, is an active freelance musician. The couple has a son, Counsel, 2.

Patten said the Library Director Search Group conducted a search that attracted 49 resumes from across the country. Members of the search group, in addition to Patten, were trustee Ron Bowman and alternate trustee Deb Caplan, former trustee Ronnie McIntire and Town Administrator Pam Brenner. Both Caplan and Brenner have wide experience in recruitment, Patten said.

Other trustees are Randy Brown, Frank Karlicek and David Weir, who is chair of the 1833 Society, the organization responsible for planning and funding a new or renovated library.

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New Report from Pew Center Delves Deeply into Library Engagement in America

The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project newly released report, “From Distant Admirers to Library Lovers–and Beyond” examines the spectrum of Americans’ relationships with public libraries. This is a first-of-its-kind report that taps into broader issues around the relationship between technology, libraries, and information resources in the U.S.

According to the Pew’s Internet & American Life Project update email, respondents were sorted into groups based on the results of a special statistical analysis of their engagement with public libraries, such as their library use and their views about libraries’ roles in their communities. Among the major findings:

  • Public library users and proponents are not a niche group: 30% of Americans are highly engaged with public libraries, and an additional 39% fall into medium engagement categories.
  • Americans’ library habits do not exist in a vacuum: People’s connection—or lack of connection—with public libraries is part of their broader information and social landscape. As a rule, people who have extensive economic, social, technological, and cultural resources are also more likely to use and value libraries as part of those networks. Many of those who are less engaged with public libraries tend to have lower levels of technology use, fewer ties to their neighbors, lower feelings of personal efficacy, and less engagement with other cultural activities.
  • Life stage and special circumstances are linked to increased library use and higher engagement with information: Deeper connections with public libraries are often associated with key life moments such as having a child, seeking a job, being a student, and going through a situation in which research and data can help inform a decision. Similarly, quieter times of life, such as retirement, or less momentous periods, such as when people’s jobs are stable, might prompt less frequent information searches and library visits.

You can read the full report online here.

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Check out these great DVDs, added to the Library collection in the past few weeks.

DallasBuyersClubSome intriguing DVDs have been added to our collection recently, including two 2014 Academy-Award nominees – Captain Phillips and Dallas Buyers Club – and three BBC favorites – Downton Abbey, Cranford and  A Touch of Frost.

  • Blood Simple
  • Caesar Must Die
  • Captain PhillipsCaptain Phillips
  • The Counselor
  • Cranford
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Downton Abbey (Season 4)
  • Enough Said
  • The Family
  • Oka!Cranford
  • Pierre Etaix
  • Saving General Yang
  • Smarter Brains
  • The Spectacular Now
  • A Touch of Frost (Seasons 4-14)
  • Twenty Feet from Stardom
  • Welcome to the MachineEnoughSaid
  • Yoga for Your Week

Reminder: only five CDs may be checked out from the Library at a time!

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