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Nashua Public Library Offers No-Boundary Learning for Everyone

By Kelly Church

In a growing digital age, the Nashua Public Library is a refreshing blend of digital and traditional. The Nashua, NH library is a community resource for people of all ages. Not only does the library offer the typical menu of community programs, but they also offer a group of exceptional librarians and a vast online learning program. Outreach and Community Service Coordinator Carol Eyman believes that public libraries have a duty to provide certain services to the community and the Nashua Public Library far exceeds those responsibilities.

"Most people know that libraries offer books, CDs and movies as well as librarians who can help people find materials and do research," Eyman says. "Today's public libraries also need to provide free digital resources to people who many not be able to afford them, especially the use of public computers with Internet access or Wi-Fi for people to use with their laptops or smart phones."

The Nashua Public Library offers books, e-books, audio books, movies, CDs and museum passes to library cardholders. However, they take their services many steps further by functioning similar to that of a community center. The library offers concerts, lectures, fairs, workshops and even holiday celebrations. It is designed to be a meeting place for families and friends, and a safe environment for people to discover new things.

"Our most popular ongoing events are concerts," Eyman says. "We hold two series each summer: Bach's Lunch concerts indoors on Wednesdays at noon, featuring mostly classical music; and Summer Concerts on the Plaza on Thursday nights at 7."

In the past, the library has hosted events including ComicFest, a how-to festival, a Dr. Who party and a local history fair. Events put on by the library can pull attendance of up to nearly 500 people.

However, even with all the unique programs they offer, the Nashua Public Library has never lost sight of its original purpose: education. With a group of reference librarians that hold master's degrees in library science, free computer classes, study rooms for classmates and programs for youngsters to improve their literacy, the library is vital to the community's education.

"Early literacy is key to success in learning throughout life, so we concentrate heavily on providing resources for babies and children at the Nashua Public Library," Eyman says. "Our staff goes out into the community regularly, attending events, visiting schools and daycare centers, and serving on committees, to make sure that everyone who has or works with children is aware of what the library offers. In elementary schools, we start reaching out to kids when they are in kindergarten, with the goal that they all have a library card by grade three at the latest."

In addition to early childhood education, the library offers many online learning programs for adults. These not-for-credit classes range from personal care and self-help to real estate and finance. This program shows that learning doesn't have to be difficult, expensive or boring. No matter your interest, there's a class for everyone.

The Nashua Public Library's mission statement is, "The Library serves our community by providing access to resources for information, inspiration and enrichment." The library holds true to this statement with its many community programs. The library has no fees, making it a truly enjoyable learning experience for everyone. They welcome the public to come and explore their interests and, maybe, even find a new one.

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