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Library Team Honored at Annual Meeting

The Trustees of the Keene Public Library held their annual meeting on Tuesday, August 27, 2018.

The meeting started with a recognition of the work of a team of Youth Librarians including Department Head Gail Zachariah and librarians Tracy Snow, Colleen Swider, Jay Fee, and Amy Kramer, who worked together to develop and submit a successful National Leadership Planning Grant awarded by Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Keene Public Library’s proposal” “Little Makers: Library STEM and Maker Activities for Very Young Learners”  will develop STEM and Maker programming for young learners ages two through six and their families and was awarded $244,142.00.

Principal grant investigator Gail Zachariah explained that the project is very timely because librarians across the country are being called upon to offer science learning programs for younger children and often these librarians feel unprepared. Also, “our project includes a stellar advisory group and partners” including Dr. Deborah Black (KSC), Dr. Lisa Brahms, (Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh), Stephanie Chang (Maker Ed), Saroj Ghoting (, Joy Kubarek (PEER Associates), Dr. Lisa Regalla (Bay Area Discovery Museum Center for Childhood Creativity), and Dr. AnnMarie Thomas (University of St. Thomas), Zack Weaver (Bldg 61 at the Boulder Public Library), Rachel Payne (Brooklyn Public Library), Amy Koester (Skokie Public Library), Deb Ganley (Cheshire Children’s Museum). The group will work to help fine-tune the project and oversee the evaluation process as the project evolves.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services supports projects that address significant challenges and opportunities facing the library and archives fields and that have the potential to advance theory and practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, practices, or alliances that will be widely used. The Institute received 113 preliminary proposals. Forty-six projects were invited to submit full proposals and of these 31 projects were awarded $4,947,294.

Board President Nathaniel Stout reported that ” this year has been like no other for the Library Board of Trustees. Perhaps we haven’t moved mountains, but we have begun construction on our library annex, and in so doing, united the greater Keene region by means of an incredibly successful fundraising effort highlighting extraordinary community spirit.”

Library director Nancy Vincent’s report described three major library initiatives: the library expansion, a new library website developed by staff and the City of Keene, and Keene-Link, the catalog software shared by the Keene Public Library and Keene State College. Vincent commended library staff, “which, throughout a trying period of staff transition as well as the noise and disruption resulting from building construction, has remained determined to keep services and programs unimpaired.”

It was also announced that a total of 172,262 visitors entered the building; 249,427 items were borrowed; 15,624 people attended 1,140 library programs, and 2,304 people attended 392 non-library community meetings or events at the library during the fiscal year 2017-2018.

A full annual report and an infographic summary are available on the library website at

The Keene Public Library offers a full calendar of more than free public events throughout the year for people of all ages. For more information about these programs, please contact Gail Zachariah at the library at 603-352-0157 or

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