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  Kelley Library

 234 Main Street, Salem New Hampshire 03079

Cell Phone/Tablet Menu

Mon - Tues 9-7
Wed - Fri 9-9
Saturday 9-2


In 1798, fifteen years after the Revolutionary War ended, an act was passed by the state legislature which incorporated the Social Library in Salem.

In 1893, the state of New Hampshire offered one hundred dollars worth of books to any town that would raise one-fourth of that amount and so with a $25 appropriation by the town fathers the Salem Free Public Library was born. The library opened on February 17, 1894. Thirty-six books were circulated that day.

In 1895, the library moved into the old No.1 Schoolhouse next to the Town Hall.

In 1966, a new library was constructed at its present location as a result of a bequest from Arthur Kelley. The opening day circulation figure was 734 books.

In 1978, an addition housing the Children's Room and Reference Department was added.The library director at that time was Edward Reed.

In 1996, the library reached the goal of automation. Under the director, Eleanor Strang, the library joined the GMILCS library consortium. The Dynix-based system includes an online catalog, circulation and cataloging modules and access to ten area library collections.

In 2008, Director Eleanor Strang and Assistant Director Jean Williams both retired after many years of service. Alison Baker was hired as the new director. A new Integraged Library System from Polaris was installed and patrons continue to have access to the collections of 10 libraries. (1,129,506 items!)

2010 started with the addition of Michele Garneau as the new assistant director,replacing Andrew Richmond.

Old library
Old Library inside

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