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Details of Special Events at the Library

Hampstead Spring Read
Many events throughout April

Secret Garden Illustration

Each year, the Hampstead Public Library encourages the community to come together by reading and celebrating one book with a Spring Read. This year’s featured book is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. After such a challenging winter, it seems only fitting to celebrate nature’s renewal, gardens, and life.

The Secret Garden is a timeless classic about two spoiled and sickly children who are transformed by their blossoming friendship and their efforts to care for a mysterious garden. The strong characters and distinctive setting create a charming tale, which has captivated young readers for over 100 years and remains a favorite of adults.

During the month of April, the Library will have several events related to the book’s themes, including: an April 1 presentation about author Frances Hodgson Burnett’s life, April 13 UNH professor Cheryl Smith gives us Tips for Growing Healthy Garden Plants, April 16 we’ll discuss the book, April 18 we’ll show the movie, April 27 families can come plant with Patty, April 28 we’ll celebrate gardening with the Hampstead Garden Club, and on April 30 we’ll have a poetry party in the Storybook Garden. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Spring Read and events please call the library, 603-329-6411, email, or visit the library website

FREE Mock ACT test
Saturday March 28 from 9am to 1:30pm; Results Mar 31 at 6pm
More and more colleges are taking ACT scores into account when considering applicants. The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject tests in English, Mathematics, Reading and Science. High school students should consider familiarizing themselves with this test. 

The Library is teaming up with Sylvan to offer a free mock ACT at the library on Saturday, March 28 from 9am to 1:30pm.  Advance registration is required. Call the library 603-329-6411 or email You do not have to be a Hampstead resident to participate.

Results will be available by March 31. Come to the Library for the results, and some test taking tips from 6- 8pm.


Not So Elementary, My Dear Watson: Popularity of Sherlock Holmes
Monday March 30 at 7pm

The recent spate of Sherlock Holmes television shows, movies and literary adaptations indicate the Great Detective is alive and well in the 21stcentury.

Holmes is the most portrayed literary character of all time, with over 230 film versions alone in several different languages. Over the past century, Sherlockians created societies like the Baker Street Irregulars, wrote articles sussing out the "sources” of Doyle’s works, and, most recently, developed an entire online world of Holmesian fan fiction. Sherlock Holmes is now a multi-million dollar industry.

Why is Sherlock Holmes so popular?Ann McClellan’s presentation explores the origins of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective and tracks his incarnations in literature, film, advertising, and modern media in order to crack the case of the most popular detective.

Ann McClellan PhD is a professor at Plymouth State University. She is a specialist in nineteenth and twentieth century British literature.

 This program is sponsored by the New Hampshire Humanities Council.

New Non-Fiction Book Group
Wed. April 1 1at 1pm and Thursday April 9 at 6:30 pm

Our new book group for readers of non-fiction continues to read Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff in March. You’ll have two choices of meeting times for discussion: Wed. April 1 at 1pm and Thursday April 9 at 6:30 pm.

For more information click over to our book groups' page, or call Deb Hiett at 603/329-6411.


The Life of author Frances Hodgson Burnett
Wednesday April 1 at 7pm

Northern Essex Community College professor, Melissa Juchniewicz gives a presentation about Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of  "The Secret Garden.” We’ll explore how Burnett’s life informed her writing. Was her lifestyle as lavish as some of her characters? How did her marriages affect her writing? Did Burnett find comfort and strength in gardens as her young characters did?

Enrich your reading experience by finding out more about Burnett’s interesting life. This program is sponsored by the NECC Speakers’ Bureau.

Program for Adults with Developmental Disabilities: Spring Read
Tuesday April 7 at 9AM

Spring is finally here! In honor of The Secret Garden, the Hampstead Public Library Spring Read 2015 book, we will offer a garden themed craft for adults with disabilities at our monthly program.

We will decorate flowerpots and then plant some seeds. Take them home, add sun and water as needed, and watch your plant grow.

This series of events for adults with disabilities occurs on the first Tuesday morning of each month. Questions: contact Patty at 329-6411 or email

"BYOD" - Bring Your Own Device Tech Tutoring Session
Wednesday April 8 from 4-5:30PM

The Library is having an open Tech Tutoring session so bring your own device (laptop, tablet, smart phone, etc.) or borrow one of the library’s devices. Bring your questions and we’ll do our best to provide the answers.

We will also have a list of helpful websites, and have helpful books available to check out.

For more information, contact Tech Librarian Kate Thomas at 603-329-6411 or


Paws to Read to Johnny Claude
Monday April 13 at 4pm

If your child is a reluctant reader who hates to read aloud or a future acting star who loves to dramatize a book or a creative writer who makes up stories, Johnny Claude is the right audience for them. He’s a beautiful big black standard poodle who is also a certified therapy dog and he loves to listen to kids read or tell stories or act out a book. He and his person, Gretchen, will be at the library to listen to kids do their thing. He’s a wonderful audience because he’s totally non-judgmental and won’t correct pronunciation or anything else. 

Please sign up your child at the front desk or call the library at 329-6411 to set up a fifteen minute session with Johnny Claude the Listener Dog. He visits the second Monday of each month.

Tips for Growing Healthy Garden Plants
Monday April 13 at 7pm

Have you ever looked at your tomato plants and wondered what is causing the spots on the leaves, or why the fruit has black rotted areas? Maybe you are familiar with powdery mildew but just aren’t sure what is the best management for it.

This informative session with Cheryl Smith, New Hampshire’s "Plant Doctor” will provide answers to these questions and more. She’ll discuss common problems on vegetables, perennials, and woody ornamentals, and how to prevent them.

This program is suitable for new and experienced gardeners alike. The event is sponsored by the UNH Speakers’ Bureau.

Family Program: Make Your Own Miniature Garden
Monday April 27 at 2pm

Spring is in the air and parents and kids may find inspiration in gardens. Come to the Library and make your own miniature garden to take home.

The Library will provide all supplies and there is no need to sign up for this event. Come have spring vacation fun!

Movie Matinee: The Secret Garden
Saturday April 18 at 12pm

This 1993 remake is a rendition of the classic Frances Hodgson

Burnett novel about a young girl who discovers an abandoned garden on her uncle's large Victorian country estate, as well as an invalid cousin she did not realize she had. With the help of a local boy, the girl sets out to restore the garden and, once it is blooming again, she discovers it has magical powers.

Celebrate Gardening with the Hampstead Garden Club
Tuesday April 28 at 7pm

The Secret Garden reveals how a garden can bring hope and joy into your life. The Hampstead Garden Club helps us celebrate gardening with this special event. Come meet the Club members. See a slideshow of their wonderful gardens. Experience the Storybook Garden at the Library.

A Garden Club representative will give a talk about preparing your garden for spring, and will demonstrate how to properly divide plants to better control growth. The Garden Club members are volunteers who help beautify Hampstead. It is through the Club’s efforts that the Library has the Storybook Garden plus plantings in front of the building. The Garden Club maintains several other gardens for the Town of Hampstead. Please join us as we celebrate gardening; a fitting objective after this challenging winter.

Poetry Garden Party
Thursday April 30 at 1pm

April is National Poetry Month. Celebrate the Poetry of Nature and Gardens with us as we read a selection of poems. We encourage you to bring your favorite poem(s) to share, whether you wrote it yourself or it was written by a favorite poet.

Perhaps you will even be inspired to create an ode to spring during the event. Weather permitting we will take our poetry party to the Storybook Garden behind the Library. We will also have a few refreshments for your enjoyment.