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READS Award of Excellence

READS Award of Excellence 2016                 

People often think that librarians read all day. Perhaps in a perfect world! The truth is, we do a lot more. I believe all librarians are heroes: every librarian is a hero to someone, whether a harried parent, a student with a project due tomorrow, or a job seeker. Librarians serve the public in many ways.

So what makes these nominees special?  They all go above and beyond, in small ways and large, for individuals, for communities, and for the wider world. Our friends and colleagues are nominated for sharing more of themselves, for doing always a little bit more for each person, for their libraries, and for this splendid profession we all love.

This year’s nominated librarians:

  • Taught guitar and tie-dying; Promoted library services
  • Demonstrated egg decorating; Engaged patrons in lifelong learning
  • Offered crafting classes; Wrote grants, edited newsletters
  • Organized scam-awareness and foot clinics for seniors
  • Trekked through blizzards to conduct book discussions – literally!
  • Developed delivery programs for the homebound
  • Created programs to connect tech-savvy teens and tech-support seekers
  • Initiated services that directly improved lives, and shared that knowledge
  • Connected with and improved ever-widening circles of lives with energy, creativity and generous spirits

These are just a few of the actual accomplishments of our 5 Award nominees for 2016. Please join me in congratulating these outstanding achievers:

  • Schuyler Selden Kingston Community Library,  Kingston
  • Carolyn Crocker Lebanon Public Libraries,  Lebanon
  • Nancy Norwalk Philip Read Memorial Library,   Plainfield
  • Karen Frey                       Nesmith Library,   Windham
  • Karen Ryan                     Wiggin Memorial Library,   Stratham

I’d like to thank all the people who took the time to write these thoughtful and very impressive letters to nominate such talented and dedicated librarians.

Our winner this year was selected for outstanding contributions to the advancement of library services. In addition to many regular and “Superhero” supervisory duties, this individual has created and managed programs that benefit seniors, homebound patrons, and teen patrons, and succeeded in connecting teens who can share their technical expertise with seniors in need of tech assistance. The winner also established and promoted a “Books on the Run” program to provide services to the homebound, and often shares that knowledge and experience with library peers, resulting in improved services not only in the local community but also in the wider library community.

Hats off to our 2016 READS Award of Excellence winner:

Karen Frey from Nesmith Library in Windham.  Congratulations, Karen!

2016: READS acting Past President, Myra Emmons (right) presents the READS Award of Excellence to recipient, Karen Frey (left), Circulation Coordinator and Outreach Coordinator at the Nesmith Library. Karen accepted her award at the READS Fall Conference which took place at the Hooksett Public Library.

Save the Date: ACRL-NEC Annual Conference ~ May 12, 2017


The Association of College and Research Libraries, New England Chapter (ACRL/NEC ) invites you to attend the 2017 Annual Conference, Reframing Librarianship in the 21st Century, being held Friday, May 12, 2017 at the University of Vermont Conference Center in Burlington, VT.

It is an era of reinvention for college and research libraries. Whether we work in cataloging and metadata, scholarly communication, archives, public services, instruction, or another area of librarianship, we have all heard a rhetoric of crisis, transformation, and rapid change applied to our work. The challenges we face have provided an opportunity to refocus on the foundations of our profession: our purpose and our areas of expertise. In reflecting on and redefining our work and ourselves, we are reframing librarianship for the 21st Century.
Link to website:

Passive/Active Ideas for Teens

teen-room-picmonkey-2014Katie Spofford of the Wadleigh Memorial Library in Milford has sent along the ideas she shared at the Fall conference.  So if you were unable to attend or just want to jog your memory, click below for all the details.

Active & Passive Programming Ideas

NELA Conference Early Bird Registration — Special Invite

amy-einsteinRegister by September 16th to be eligible for EARLY BIRD PRICING & to attend a special breakout session with Keynote Speaker Amy Eisenstein – “How to Start or Grow Your individual Giving Program” from 11:00am – 12:00pm on Sunday, October 16th!  Pre-registration is REQUIRED for this sessions.

This session is designed for executive directors and development staff who want to raise significantly more money for their organizations by making the leap into individual/major gift fundraising, but haven’t had the courage or know-how to get started.

Complete Program Schedule Available*

Decide which days of conference you will be attending by viewing our preliminary program schedule.

Hotel Information
To ensure a hotel reservation, make sure to book early!  Visit our personalized hotel website to book your room today!  Or view hotel information at a glance on our conference website.  You can also call and ask for the NELA conference group rate, 978-777-2500.

Please note that the hotel’s indoor water park Coco Key will be CLOSED on Monday AND Tuesday.

We look forward to seeing you in October!

*Schedule and speakers are subject to change.


Mary Danko, 2016 Conference Chair
Megan Bishop, NELA Events & Communications Coordinator




Derry Public Library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Class of 2016

The Derry Public Library recently held its first graduation ceremony for children who completed the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program by the end of August 2016. Considering the program launched in October, finishing in this short amount of time is quite the feat! Eight children finished within less than a year and the Children’s Department wanted to celebrate this special achievement with the children and their families. We plan to have a yearly celebration for all of the children who finish prior to the end of August, so that the graduation ceremony coincides with the start of the school year. That way, children who are beginning Kindergarten can receive their certificate prior to (or at least quite near) their first day!

With such a small group this year, we decided to have a short ceremony where each child was presented with an achievement certificate, a small literacy-related gift, a coupon for a free ice cream cone, and a sense of pride in their reading future. We designed a set of alphabet cards that we printed on cardstock and laminated. Each child was given a set of these, some Play-Doh, and a card with instructions on how to use the cards with Play-Doh to encourage playing with letters. Children can roll the Play-Doh into logs and then trace the letters to create words, giving a nice tactile experience with the alphabet! We also laminated each child’s die cut crayon that was used to mark their progress on our Milestone Wall. After removing their crayons, we made a “Class of 2016” sign with all of their names on to hang under the 1000 Milestone Marker. The families were very thankful for our efforts!


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Flume Voting Form

The online voting form for the Flume is now on the Flume page. Just click on Book Awards and you will find it.

READS-To-Go and KitKeeper

READS is very excited to announce a new service designed to facilitate our popular READS-To-Go book club kit lending service. The new service is called KitKeeper and it is a product of Plymouth Rocket, the well-known Massachusetts online calendar vendor.

KitKeeper will allow NH Librarians to view kit availability, place kit requests, and manage the tracking of kits online. The easy-to-use service will improve communication and cooperation by libraries to create a seamless lending experience.

For more information visit READS-To-Go’s blog.


Your Top Program Idea for Spring Conf. 2017, Go…

8/31/2016 Update:

You’ve given us some great ideas to incorporate into next spring’s conference, but we want more! Specifically, we’d love to provide you with programs on innovative and fresh perspectives on the topics of youth services, adult services, space planning, ignite sessions, and community outreach/ partnerships. Please share your ideas with us by September 30th at

Contact me at the email below with any questions you may have.

We’re looking for program proposals, and Ignite Session entries for NHLA’s 2017 Spring Conference! Submission deadline is September 30th!

Libraries are experiencing a sea change in operations and innovations as ships navigating the rough seas of information. “In the nonstop tsunami of global information, librarians provide us with floaties and teach us to swim.” -Linton Weeks

We’re looking forward to gathering together again this coming Spring to learn from and network with our library friends and colleagues, so that we can continue to learn and grow from each other.

The conference will be held on May 4-5, 2017 at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, NH

Thank you,
Pamela Johnson-Spurlock, 2017 Conference Co-Chair


Proposal forms can be found at

Fall Conference registration is now open!

Click on the story-time owl for conference information!

Click on the story-time owl for conference information!

Please join us at the Beane Center in Laconia on Thursday, October 27th for our annual fall conference, sponsored by Children’s Librarians of New Hampshire (CHILIS-NH).

This year, we’ll focus on protecting our youngest patrons with expert advice from local law enforcement and the New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. We’ll wrap up the day with a variety of ideas from seasoned professionals for taking your story times up a notch.

As always, we’ll conduct a business meeting, elect new officers, have raffles and delicious food, and ample opportunity for networking and sharing our successes and challenges.

See you soon! ~your CHILIS-NH Board

New England Assessment in Action Symposium

ACRL/New England Chapter and the Massachusetts Library System present:

The New England Assessment in Action Symposium
Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 9am-3:30pm
Assumption College, Worcester, MA

One of the biggest challenges for academic libraries is how to measure impact and communicate value to campus leadership and accreditors. Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success is an initiative undertaken by the Association of College and Research Libraries in order to help academic librarians build their skills in carrying out data-driven assessment projects.

Join us for this program to hear from your New England colleagues who participated in AiA, and learn how the academic library community might build on its success at the national and regional level.

The program will include:

  • Keynote address by Irene Herold, 2016-17 ACRL President
  • Panel of AiA participants who will share their experience with the program
  • Poster presentations on action research projects conducted by AiA teams from 17 New England institutions
  • Roundtable discussions on challenges and opportunities in developing and sustaining library research projects

View the full program, including speaker information, poster abstracts, and resources:

$40 Members of ACRL/NEC and MLS
(NOTE: MLS membership is institutional, not individual. If you work in MA, be sure to check the MLS directory to find out if your library is a member.)
$50 Nonmembers

Register online