Yesterday I got on the highway and went for a trip out to the Howe Library in Hanover New Hampshire. I took some photos. Mary White who was my gracious host when I spoke at Marlboro College a few years ago is now the director there. She had been in touch with a former Marlboro student who is now fresh out of library school and looking for work in the area — please hire Tyler (old blog, new blog, twitter), he is a smart, engaging involved person — and was having an informal chat with him and invited me out to see her library and meet Tyler. Apparently Tyler was partially inspired to his professional path by my talk/presence at Marlboro. Neat.
This is one of the things I think we don’t so much talk about in the blog-twitter-facebook world of librarianship — how important mentoring and personal connections are to getting, finding, and keeping work. Mary and I both had some identical pieces of advice for Tyler: join a professional association and try to go to the NHLA conference in May. I remember when I was first in library school and joining WLA and ALA, there were more experienced librarians who took me under their wing and sort of showed me how it was done.
The other thing I took away from my quickie visit was how much of what’s wonderful about the Howe — a library I’ve enjoyed going to since I first moved to the Upper Valley but haven’t been back to in a while — is the attention to detail that Mary and others bring to the place. Sure, the library has a great website that they hired a local company to create. There are TONS of signs in the library, many little nook-like places to sit, nice spaces for people to work in (tech services has windows), many interesting ways to say “thank you” to people for donating money or efforts, a year-round booksale and even a free hour of parking if you need to use the parking garage because the lot is full. Anyone in the area who wants to see a loved and loving library should wander down to the Howe and say hello to Mary.
2 thoughts on “The Howe library in Hanover New Hampshire”
I had no idea that Mary had moved on from Marlboro (shows how out of the loop I am!). Thanks for the update and for pointing to their rather spiffy website. I wish more libraries that didn’t have the technical expertise in-house would consider hiring professionals to build their sites.
I decided what I really wanted to do when I grew up during my Sophomore Summer. I sublet an apartment a block away from the Howe library, and started going there to study. I realized how much I loved books, and how I used to like going to the library, reading for fun. I formed the idea then of trying to become a librarian, so I could stay amongst books forever. I finished my masters, despite living in a city without a library school, and all I’m waiting for to trot it out is for my children to begin school. So thank you, Town of Hanover, for your commitment to libraries! And thank you, Ms. White, for all the good work you do, unseen, to create a welcoming space and a great library.
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