The Goffstown Public Library has been awarded $28,080 in funding through the Institute for Museum and Library Services’ “Grants to States” program. The grant program is part of the American Rescue Act Plan of 2021 and is being facilitated by the New Hampshire State Library.

We will use this grant award to purchase mobile shelving for the children’s and the second-floor south rooms. This new shelving will give library staff the ability to rearrange space for programs and events while providing additional shelving capacity.

The grant funds will help the library address challenging space needs in our 112-year-old building that is over capacity. The goal is for more flexible space and shelving options to address some of the demands of a 21st century library.

"We are so grateful to be awarded these ARPA funds and look forward to having the ability to transform our floorplan. During the pandemic we learned we must have the potential to pivot quickly and efficiently, and this grant will help us accomplish that in our historic building."

Spaces to Receive Mobile Shelving - "Before" Pictures:

Library Children's Room 2021

Children's Room

Library Second Floor North Room

Second Floor North Room

Part of the New Hampshire Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the New Hampshire State Library promotes excellence in libraries and library services to all New Hampshire residents, by assisting libraries and the people of New Hampshire with rapid access to library and informational resources through the development and coordination of a statewide library/information system; by meeting the informational needs of New Hampshire’s state, county and municipal governments and its libraries; and by serving as a resource for New Hampshire. For more information, visit

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.

Institute of Museum and Library Services and NH State Library logos

Looking for a good read? Our staff always have something to suggest … read on!

Dianne's Favorites of the Year

As the calendar winds down, our Director, Dianne Hathaway always selects her favorite book of the year. In 2021 she read just under 60 books, still off her pre-COVID pace. She had many favorites (see below), and after weeks of pondering, the one that rose to the top is The Guncle by Steven Rowley!

  • A Measure of Belonging: Writers of Color on the New American South by Cinelle Barnes

  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

  • The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories by Caroline Kim

  • West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge

  • Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

  • The Guncle by Steven Rowley

  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw

  • Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light by Hellen Ellis

  • The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

  • Call Me Esteban by Lejla Kalamujic

  • The Shell Collector: Stories by Anthony Doerr

Introducing Pick of the Week Short Videos

New in 2021! Brought to you by Goffstown TV and our staff – “Librarian’s Pick of the Week” short videos. Catch each episode on YouTube and see what titles are on our minds.

These short videos also air on local access Comcast Community Ch. 16 (Goffstown).

Staff Picks

Staff Picks are a year-round display at the Library that you can browse when you visit our online catalog, too. Scroll down to Staff Reads whenever you visit

For Further Reading

Sharing stories important to us means sharing a part of ourselves. Books reach across boundaries and build connections between readers. Censorship, on the other hand, creates barriers.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 156 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2020. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

Purple and Green BBW logo

Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.

Celebrate the right to read. The Goffstown Public Library supports your Constitutional right to access the information you want and hopes you will exercise that right by reading a challenged book. Visit the Library to interact with this week’s banned book displays, check out a book, or participate in one of the special activities on the calendar.

Banned Books Week is an annual week-long event celebrating the freedom to read, highlighting the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community – librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types – in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020 on YouTube

Celebrate Banned Books Week September 26 - October 2

Some people find the name “Banned Books Week” confounding. Banned Books Week doesn’t promote banning books, rather, it was created to alert readers everywhere that literary repression is still happening. Banned Books Week tips a hat to the continued vigilance and advocacy through which the number of challenged books far exceeds the number of books which are actually banned.

The origins of Banned Books Week lie in the 1982 Supreme Court ( 4-3) ruling in Island Trees School District v. Pico. The Court determined that the removal of books from a school library by a school board (in response to complaints about objectionable content) violated students’ first amendment rights by impinging on their freedom to read. The Court’s majority established libraries as places of “voluntary inquiry,” places which embrace the idea that there are no ideas so dangerous that they cannot be discussed or read about, even if many people find them unorthodox, unconventional, or distasteful. Protective covenants established in the Island Trees decision reverberated throughout public libraries, publishing, bookselling and journalism. Candid dialogue between professionals in all of these fields led to the establishment of the coalition which created Banned Books Week. Their website is

Authors whose work has been challenged comprise a Who’s Who of the literary world while also making strange bedfellows; only in censorship would you find Stephen King, Harper Lee, L. Ron Hubbard, Toni Morrison, J.D. Salinger, Shakespeare, Danielle Steel and William Faulkner keeping company. Since the 1990s, The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom compiles an annual list of titles which have been most frequently challenged and/or banned ( These lists can be a reflection of imminent social sea change; eight of this year’s top ten banned and challenged titles feature LGBTQIA+ content. The ever-increasing popularity of e-books begs the question of whether censorship will become harder to defend against in future; while digital materials cannot be hidden, defaced or burned, it only takes destructive technological know-how, a software update or a power outage to render them inaccessible.

Word cloud of reasons books have been challenged.

For those further interested in Banned Books Week, we suggest two informative videos on YouTube : Ask Me Anything About Censorship with Kristin Pekoll, geared towards adult public library patrons, and Banned Books 101, aimed at students in grades 6-12. As always, you can get more information at the Goffstown Public Library, or contact Director Dianne Hathaway directly through

The American Library Association has been tracking challenges since 1990, for more information, visit

In an effort to ensure that the Goffstown Public Library is able to remain open and to protect the health of all visitors and staff the Library Board of Trustees has voted to require masks while inside the library building. We decided to reinstate the mask requirement due to the inability to properly distance while in the building, the transmissibility of Delta and other COVID variants, and the rising infection rates in New Hampshire. Parking lot pick up will remain an option to allow everyone that does not wish to enter the building while masks are required access to books and materials. The Library Board of Trustees will continue to monitor the information available to us. We thank you for your cooperation.

Effective 08/23/2021, visitors will be required to wear masks while inside the library.

Authorized by a unanimous vote of the Library Board of Trustees on 08/18/2021.

The Goffstown Public Library has received $2,979 in grant funding thanks to federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the New Hampshire State Library. The grant funds received will support our efforts to increase access to services and resources.

Using these grant funds, we’ve purchased two, ten-foot by twenty-foot canopies to provide shade and comfort for outdoor programs and events. We have scheduled many outdoor events for all ages as part of our annual Summer Experience to allow for more access to events. In addition, we purchased tables, a battery-operated microphone and speaker for story times, outdoor games, and other necessities to make our outdoor space an extension of our library building.

Outdoor space in use during Story Time event July 2021
Outdoor space in use during Story Time event July 2021.

Grant funds will also support the library’s hoopla streaming service, by providing additional content. hoopla is a platform available to our cardholders and offers thousands of e-books, e-audiobooks, comics, movies, and television programs. Those interested in accessing or learning more about the digital services should call and speak with a librarian at 603-497-2102, email, or check out our page at

To learn more about ARPA funding, visit

One canopy on the lawn