How Our Library Serves

In 2019, Newbury Public Library hosted more than 20,000 visits to the library. Newbury has a year-round population of approximately 2,200 and a seasonal population of approximately 6,000. Despite space limitations, our library offers an impressive number of programs and activities, fulfilling their goal to provide free and equally available access to information that supports education and enjoyment for all ages.

In 2020 and 2021, COVID affected the library’s ability to provide the full level of services safely in the space they are in. The physical space has made the COVID response difficult, from the aging HVAC system and ventilation challenges, to the lack of space for adequate distancing of programs and services. Despite the challenges faced, the library came up with innovative ways to meet the community needs, from porch pick-ups, to virtual programing and program bags.

Newbury Year-Round Population Figures

Rising use and population numbers, and evolving community needs — paired with an aging building and the need for significant repairs — our library has become defined more by its limitations than its possibilities. There is a crucial need for meeting spaces, more technology access throughout the building, an area dedicated to our teens and tweens, and a programming room useful for all ages.

Libraries are crucial now more than ever in our society. Our town library is the place where the community comes together for information, technology, education, and programs that are free and equally accessible to everyone. There is technology access, downloadable e-books and audiobooks from Libby and Hoopla, newspapers, DVDs, traditional books, literacy programs for early readers, and well-trained research librarians available to help you, all free to patrons. Further, there are poetry, crafting, writing, and book groups. There are academic, business, and health and genealogy databases not available on the Internet.

A Sample of Our Community Programming

The library hosts over 200 programs in a typical year for adults, children, and teens and in 2019, they had over 2500 people attend the programs. Below is a sampling of some of the many programs they have held:

  • Pie Workshop
  • Abenaki Storytelling
  • First Aid (with Fire Dept.)
  • Search & Rescue talk
  • Needle Felting
  • Story time with Police & Fire
  • Civil War Folk music
  • Kitchen Chemistry for Kids
  • Memoir Workshop
  • Local History lectures
  • Beading
  • Scam Protection
  • Reading Donkeys
  • Astronomy

  • Writer’s Group
  • Dream catchers
  • Junior Chef lessons
  • Yoga story time
  • Wreath Making Workshop
  • LEGO robotics
  • Fairy Jars
  • KEVA and Lego club
  • Exploring Nature
  • Harry Potter Club
  • Paint and Sip
  • Guest Poet Visits
  • Technology Lessons
  • Documentary Screenings
The John Hay Poetry Society meets regularly under the direction of Newbury’s resident poet laureate Dianalee Velie. This group holds regional recognition and attracts attendees from afar.
  • Wildlife programs
  • Puppet programs
  • STEM study
  • American folktales
  • Master Gardening
  • Author visits
  • Cooking classes
  • Herbal workshops
  • Hiking programs
  • Genealogy
  • Meditation and Mindfulness
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