About NHLA

NHLA is committed to networking, professional growth and advocating for the future of New Hampshire libraries. NHLA is a professional association of library personnel, trustees, and library supporters whose purpose is: 

  • To advance the interests of its members through advocacy on library issues and increasing public awareness of library service. 
  • To support the professional development of its members. 
  • To foster communication and encourage the exchange of ideas among its members. 
  • To promote participation in the association and its sections.  


From the President

Dear NHLA Members,

With the American Library Association (ALA) in the news, we know some of you may be getting questions from the public. As you probably know, Amy Lappin is the NHLA representative to ALA, so our past-President, Denise van Zanten and I got together with her to create some talking points that we hope you will find useful.

Established in 1876, the ALA is a non-partisan, non-profit professional organization that supports library and information services. Members consist of libraries, librarians, library workers, library trustees and library supporters. 

The American Library Association:

  • Is not a governing body and has no authority over the funding and governance of New Hampshire Libraries, which are governed by their local board of Library Trustees; 
  • Provides information about best practices to its membership;
  • Serves all demographics and ideologies in our free democratic society;
  • Is governed by a council and executive board elected by the membership, including a representative from the NHLA; 
  • Supports our country's constitutional First Amendment Rights to free speech, thought and opinion;
  • Promotes the Freedom to Read and Library Bill of Rights;
  • Publishes professional publications that many of us use including American Libraries, Information Technology and Libraries, KnowledgeQuest, Public Libraries, Reference and User Services Quarterly, and Young Adult Library Services;
  • Offers discounts for members on publications, workshops, conferences, webinars (professional development); and
  • Creates public relations campaigns that promote library services for all libraries to use.

ALA advocates for federal and state funding for libraries. ALA membership also gives New Hampshire libraries a path to collaborate with libraries and librarians all around the country. This is particularly important when there are issues affecting us all. For example, during COVID-19 shutdowns ALA's Chapter Relations Office provided many opportunities for us all to share and learn about ways to continue good customer services with our patrons and ways to assist our colleagues with the unprecedented challenges of a pandemic.

If a member of your library community has more questions about the role of ALA as it relates to New Hampshire libraries, please do not hesitate to contact me and/or Amy. My email address is president@nhlibrarians.org, and I can be reached by phone at 603-573-6402. 

All my best,

Mindy Atwood, 2023 NHLA President

August 21, 2023


If you need a certificate of attendance, or you are looking for the handouts for the presentation, please go to the 2023 Fall Conference Page.

News and Events

New Co-Chair of the NHLA Advocacy/Legislative Committee

Denise van Zanten, Director of the Manchester City Library will be joining co-chair Christine Friese, Director of the Portsmouth Public Library, to serve on the Committee.  Denise and Christine look forward to working with the library community!


(Updated: September 25, 2023)






NHLA members receive the benefit of NHLA’s advocacy efforts in the state legislature, the Governor’s office, and other areas of state government to assure that New Hampshire’s libraries 1)receive necessary support and resources from the New Hampshire State Library (such as ILL van service and free or reduced charge access to online database subscriptions), and 2) have important local library issues recognized on the state level when necessary. 


NHLA offers its members scholarships and interest-free loans for graduate study as well as mini-grants for professional development. Members also receive reduced registration rates for a variety of professional development opportunities throughout the year, designed to help library staff at all levels keep up with the ever-changing world of information science and maintain the excellence that New Hampshire residents have come to expect from their libraries. 


NHLA members receive regular updates on national and state news and information that affects New Hampshire’s libraries through the NHLA web site, blogs, and other electronic communications from the NHLA sections. 


NHLA members have access to numerous opportunities for networking and involvement through NHLA sections. These opportunities to plan meetings, develop educational programming, evaluate trends, and develop resources for other NHLA members help prepare library staff for leadership roles within their own libraries.