The modern library has become more than a place to read and borrow books! For this National Library Week, chatted with the Manchester City Library and Hooksett Library about the work they are doing to support the communities they serve.  

The Manchester City Library has been around 1913. The mission statement has changed over the years but today’s mission is that “the Manchester City Library shall strive to provide quality services and materials to meet the cultural, educational and informational needs of our diverse and changing community”.   

The Manchester City Library serves as a key place for people to access information. Often individuals who have fallen through the cracks end up at the library looking for support, information, and access to technology. There are a vast variety of people who have unique needs. Having someone to help find resources and help with tasks is helpful.  The library is a hub of the community, a convenient place for folks to find resources. People assume Google has all the answers, but some people struggle to find the answers and librarians can help fill this gap 

Many people understand that libraries are moving forward with services. Libraries are now offering streaming services as well as providing the public with support on how to navigate the internet.  Additionally, they provide the public with internet access, photocopiers, phone chargers, and more.

The Manchester City Library has partnered with multiple organizations in order to connect people to the many services within the community. The Assistant Director attends Makin’ It Happen’s Substance User Disorder Collaborative and Director works with Homeless Director and Welfare Director as well as many others. The library’s Book Mobile also attended this summer’s Wellness on Wheels (WOW) event and will be there again this Summer.  Health Education is important to be able to provide to the library’s patrons. Additionally, library staff receive training through the city on the best ways to serve the public 

One of the biggest roles the library plays is in prevention! Education, children’s programs, and child development are a large part of the services offered by the library  The library plays a key role in creating protective factors in early childhood. Reading books to a child is one of the most important things you can do to help a child’s development. The Book Mobile comes to community neighborhoods with children’s and Young Adult books and serves a wide variety of families.  

Anyone who lives, works, or studies in Manchester can get a library card. There are resources for non-members as well, including access to computers. The library aims to treat all they serve to treat equity and dignity.  

At the Hooksett Library, they serve residents and others with an array of services including books, movies, and an items library which includes a mobile hotspot, metal detector, and more! There are public desktop computers that anyone can use with a guest pass. Programs are offered for individuals of all ages and many community organizations do health-related programming.  

In the Adult Reading Room, there are health and wellness books, strength training and exercising, living with Alzheimer’s, anti-anxiety workbooks, books on autism, addiction, and books on pregnancy. In the children’s room, there are books on parenting. Cooking and gardening books are some of the most popular books the public take out.  

The library provides families with young children with Lego kits that help support child wellbeing through play. Legos are expensive and Lego lending provides a wonderful way for all families to be able to enjoy Legos. The library is a Family Place Library. Family Place builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement, and supportive communities play a critical role in a young child’s growth and development. The overall goal of Family Place Libraries is to develop and institutionalize a family-friendly environment by transforming libraries into community centers for literacy, early childhood development, parent education and engagement, family support, and community information.  The Hooksett Library offers a weekly Little Movers program and Stories and Stretches for parents and their children.  

For adults, they have held COVID-19 vaccine clinics. Additionally, on the first and third Friday Granite VNA does a foot clinic and general health checks for adults 65 and older with a suggested donation of $10 

These are two examples of the amazing work of libraries in our communities! We would like to thank the Manchester City Library and Hooksett Library as well as all the other libraries in our region for their support of the community and dedication to health and wellness!!!