About

It is the mission of the Effingham Public Library to provide a center for the community that promotes education, leisure and creative pursuits by providing a means to access information and resources.

After schools and churches were established, the yen for learning took a new track. Though farming demanded long hours and woman’s work was never done, folks liked to read…. Newspapers were sought and passed around. In the early 1800’s, inhabitants of Effingham on Lord’s Hill pooled their resources and started a library. Books could be borrowed and were to be returned the first Monday in September, December, March and June. In the 1860s a library was kept in the home of Josiah Dearborn.

Books in these libraries were primarily non-fiction, serious books, which were popular in those years, such as history, essays, commentaries, and the like.

In the town meeting of March, 1893, it was voted to have a town library and $30.00 was raised to start it. The state library had offered to help if some conditions were met and this offer was accepted…. A board of trustees was set up, consisting of twelve members; John L. Demeritt, R.M. Fulton, John M. Drake, James M. Leavitt, John P. Glidden, James M. Champion, J.N. Marston, O.J. Avery, Josephus L. Drake, Cyrus P.Keay, Charles L. Miles, and Francisco Barker…. What was … the recitation room of the Charitable Masonic Institute was papered and painted, fitted with shelves, and adapted for the library.

Dr. Albert N. Gould was the first librarian. He served until his death about 1916…. The library has grown over the years. The report for 1896 showed 761 volumes…. (Today there are over 8,900). With the passage of time the board of trustees has been reduced to three. [Editor’s Note: In 2007 the Board will be comprised of five.]

Source; “Tales of Effingham,”, by Lawrence P. Hall, 1988, Freedom, NH