At the Portsmouth Public Library we work daily to serve your informational, educational and entertainment needs. As we plan library services for the citizens of Portsmouth we are looking to provide the best possible:
- Traditional library services
- Services made possible by technological advances in the information age, and
- New and better services not driven by technology, such as our need to gather together to teach, to learn and to have fun.
April of 1881 the Portsmouth City Council passed an ordinance creating a public library.
Looking for a book? Need help with research? Send us an email! We read this email several times each day during business hours and will get back to you as soon as possible.
- Main Number (603) 427-1540
- To renew materials (603) 427-1540
- Reference Desk (603) 766-1720
- Children's Room (603) 766-1740
Steve Butzel, Library Director
Christine Friese, Assistant Director
Michael Huxtable, Supervisor of Reference Services
Susan Laun , Supervisor of Children's Services
Sarah Cornell, Supervisor of Technical Services
Laura Horwood-Benton, Public Programming & Community Relations Librarian
Portsmouth Public Library is a gateway to reading, information, culture, community activities, and self-directed learning. It serves those who want to read, to learn, or to connect with our community and our cultural heritage.
The library's mission is one of sharing and it strengthens the community by fulfilling these roles:
- Popular Materials Library: Provides a wide range of popular materials in various formats for the personal use of people of all ages.
- Reference Library: Responds to the information needs of the community by answering questions, helping people find materials in the Library, and providing connections to informational resources beyond the Library.
- Youth's Door to Learning: Fosters, in children, a love of reading and learning by offering stimulating materials, programs, and services for them, their parents and caregivers.
- Community Activities Center: Provides places for people to meet, interact, organize, study, and enjoy programs of public interest.
- Community Information Center: Makes available past and present community information for those who want to learn about local government, personal and community heritage, and services provided by community agencies and organizations.
The Library accomplishes its mission of sharing by:
- Continually assessing the reading and informational needs of the community.
- Selecting, arranging, lending, or otherwise making available resources and materials of general interest or recurring utility;
- Maintaining a friendly and knowledgeable staff trained to offer professional service; and
- Collaborating and cooperating with other city departments and with educational, cultural, and social organizations in the community.
In April of 1881 the Portsmouth City Council passed an ordinance creating a public library.
The ordinance read in part,
"That to promote intelligence among all classes of the community, a Public Library for the use of all our citizens subject to such rules and regulations as may be deemed necessary and proper for its maintenance and government be and hereby is established."
A Library Board of Trustees was established to carry out that mission and promote library service.
2016 Library Trustees
Ernestine Greenslade, Chairperson
John P. Crist, Vice Chairperson
Stephanie Hausman, Secretary
R. Bruce Boley
Jeffrey Landry, School Board Representative
- Traveling from the North or South, take I-95 to the Market Street exit (Exit 7) toward Portsmouth downtown.
- If you are coming from points south of Portsmouth, turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto Market Street.
- If you are coming from points north of Portsmouth, turn left at the end of the exit ramp onto Market Street, crossing under the highway
- At the fork in the road (Sheraton is in front of you; salt piles are on your left), bear right, in front of the Sheraton, onto Russell Street.
- The Sheraton is now on the left.
- Proceed one block (street ends) and turn right onto Deer Street.
- At the stop light turn left onto Maplewood Avenue. Maplewood changes to Middle Street at the 2nd stop light.
- At the third stop light turn left onto State Street.
- Continue on State Street to the 2nd stop light. Turn right onto Pleasant Street.
- Go past Court Street & the Citizens Bank on the right.
- Just after the parking lot on the right, turn right onto Junkins Avenue.
- Take the first right onto Parrott Avenue.
- Continue on Parrott Avenue, passing on the right Portsmouth District Courthouse, Parrott Avenue Place, Portsmouth Middle School, and a city parking lot.
- The library is the brick building with a tower, just after the city parking lot. There is a big granite sign out front near the street.
Here's a bigger map for the last few turns...
- You can park all along both sides of Parrott Avenue near the library.
- The library parking lot is the lot next to the side of the library, past the city parking lot.
- The city parking lot between the middle school and the library is also available for parking.