Sunday, December 7, 2008

Peterborough Town Library 175 in 2008

This is the time of year when the news media and the library media look back over the preceding year and identify the biggest news stories. In the realm of library history, I have to pick the 175th anniversary of the Peterborough Town Library in New Hampshire as the top story. The founding of this library was one of the pivotal moments in the history of public libraries in the United States. To help celebrate this event the library placed several items on their website. These included an introduction, more on the library's history, and a photo album. They were kind enough to give me one of the pins they produced for the occasion. The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript compiled a special section in the Tuesday (April 8) issue of the newspaper about the library, its history, and its staff. Thanks to the paper for providing me with a copy of that special section. Nice job. Although American Libraries and AL Direct made note of this special occasion in the history of public libraries, there was little acknowledgement elsewhere. The Public Library Association missed a bet in not taking greater notice of this public library benchmark. As part of my tribute to the occasion, I developed a philatelic exhibit entitled "The Evolution of the American Public Library". I also put a web page about the Peterborough Town Library on The Library History Buff website.

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