Letter from the President
The Friends of the Hampsted Public Library
Welcome once again! 2012 happened to be an especially notable year for the Friends of the Hampstead Library as some of you already know, but first venture back in time with me for a moment. It is now the year 1962. John F. Kennedy is president of the United States, and we’ve come away from the brink of a nuclear war. Millions of children are being given the new medical miracle drug, Albert Sabin’s Oral Polio Vaccine, and John Glenn, Jr. becomes the first American to orbit the earth. WOW! The Beatles have invaded, and Chubby Checker has everyone, and I mean everyone doing The Twist! The average cost of a new house is $12,500 and gas is going for 28 cents per gallon. If you happen to attend Harvard, your tuition will be $1,520. What a year! I could go on, and on, but something else has taken place. It is April of 1962, and the Trustees of the Hampstead Public Library are pleased with the formation of a “Friends of the Library” group. This small group of about fifteen is involved in distributing books to the local Rest Home and to shut-ins and makes itself available to assist Librarian, Mrs. Bertha L. Whiteneck when help is needed.
In April, 2012 the “Friends of the Hampstead Library” celebrated its 50th anniversary! This gained us recognition by Governor John Lynch, and the NH State Librarian, Michael York. Times certainly have changed, and each passing year brings more change with different needs to be met. The sole purpose of the Friends of the Library is to support our library by raising funds for the many things the library simply cannot afford beyond its regular operating budget. The Friends have provided funds for so many things the library might otherwise not have, such as the Children’s Summer Reading Program, entertaining and informative monthly programs, and numerous museum passes. All are costly, but available at no charge to library patrons. The list is long and includes new technology such as the Nook, a new outdoor sign for the library, a much needed new refrigerator, a defibrillator, and even the construction of a room within the library to house our very profitable thrift shop, and that’s just within the ‘recent’ past!
Amazingly enough this is all accomplished through modest membership fees and our extremely successful fundraisers such as the Hollyhock Thrift Shop, the ever-popular Holiday House Tour, and our very well attended Auctions.
Please join me in renewing your memberships. Through December 2012 dues for an individual membership are at the 1962 cost of $3 then back up to $5 again. The form can be found in the Friends brochure and mailed to or dropped off at the library. The same form is available at the front desk of the library for those who would like to become new members. I hope we have many! Imagine the ways in which we could enhance our library and make it even more appealing if every family, individual, or business chose to become a member.
Becoming a member and being a member is so very easy. There are NO DEMANDS and volunteering to help with fundraisers is NOT a requirement. Everyone is important in their own way. For those of you who might have a little time and would like to find out if there is something you might enjoy helping with, please email me at email@example.com or inquire at the library and the staff will point you in the right direction! Also, open to all members are our monthly business meetings that take place shortly after our very enjoyable monthly programs. The Friends want and need your input and your ideas. Don’t be shy!
In closing, I would like to thank each and every one of you. Your membership in the Friends has been vital to the success of our library and in providing the many things our community has come to enjoy year after year. We are so fortunate to have a library such as ours, complete with a staff of talented, dedicated individuals and behind the scenes, not wizards with wands but a great group of people who are aptly called “The Friends of the Hampstead Public Library”.
Happy 50th Anniversary
Marcia A. Blaine