Friends of the Library

Friends Annual Meeting

On May 16, 2017 the Friends of the Manchester Public Library will hold their Annual Meeting at the Manchester Historical Museum. The meeting will start at 6:30 PM; the speaker will be introduced at approximately 7 PM.

Miriam Weinstein is this year’s speaker. Ms. Weinstein writes about family, friendship, how we navigate time, and how we make meaning in our lives. She will be speaking about her new book, All Set for Black, Thanks: A New Look at Mourning. When Ms.Weinstein’s good friend died unexpectedly, and other losses followed close behind, it led to a year of introspection and black outfits. She gives us the help, and the laughs we need in times of mourning and grief. She explores such topics as how we keep our dead with us even as we learn to let them go; why we should not bring casseroles; how to write the Best Eulogy Ever.

Ms. Weinstein’s book, Yiddish: A Nation of Words won the National Jewish Book award and has been translated into three languages. She has also written, “The Surprising Power of Family Meals: How Eating Together Makes Us Smarter, Stronger, Healthier and Happier“. Ms. Weinstein also writes a blog about grandmothers –

Join us on May 16th at the Manchester Historical Museum for what promises to be an entertaining and informative evening.

Refreshments will be served. This event is open to everyone.

Friends Sponsor Library Plaque


Manchester -by-the-Sea Public Library staff, Trustee emeritus, Alison Anholt-White, and the crew of Cape Ann Sign. The Friends of the Manchester Public Library have generously sponsored this beautiful plaque.

Library Now Accepting Book Donations

The Library can accept 2 bags or boxes of donations at one time, drop off at the Circulation Desk. For larger donations, please call ahead. We will put you in touch with a member of the Friends. We accept books, DVDs, CDs in good condition. No encyclopedias, magazines, or condensed books please.

Book Donations Guidelines

We gratefully accept: fiction, non-fiction, classics, paperbacks in good condition.
We do not accept: magazines, newspapers, condensed books, text books, encyclopedias, moldy or mildew material.
Books may be dropped off at the Circulation Desk during library hours. Do not leave donations outside or in the bookdrop.
Please bring books in a bag or small box, not loose.
The library staff is NOT able to unload your car.
Please call the Library before bringing in more than 2 bags or boxes of books. 978-526-7711.

Manchester Library News' Friends Book Sale  photoset Manchester Library News’ Friends Book Sale photoset

The Friends of the Manchester Library is run entirely by volunteers. The Friends raise money to support the library through membership, memorial gifts, and book sales. All donations are tax deductible. Donations can be made in person at the library or mailed to the Friends, PO Box 652, Manchester, MA 01944.

Membership Fees

Student/Senior: $5.00
Individual: $10.00
Family: $25.00
Sponsor: $50.00
Patron: $100.00
Benefactor: $250.00+

Officers 2016-2017

Joan Wogan:  President
Paul Clark:  Treasurer
Sheila Linehan: Secretary

At Large Members 2016-2017

Rebecca Baun
Louisa Deland
Andrea Fish
Chuck Furlong
Patti Fuerstnau
Janet Kotar
Liz Loomis
Mary Lumsden
Mary Palermo
Cheryl Shnider
Cyndy Tallett

Volunteer Opportunities

Book Sale: sorting books on occasion through year
Book Sale: selling on day of sale
Baking for Friends functions
Executive Board: a two year commitment

Ongoing Programs and Services Sponsored by the Friends

Annual Spring Meeting with Guest Speaker
Summer Book Sale
Ongoing Book Sale: cart located at library entrance
Museum Pass program and Online Reservation Service
Library Programs and Refreshments
Lease of photocopier/printer
Support of Legislative Breakfast
Microfilming the Cricket
Library Holiday Decorations and Staff Gifts


Clock Restoration Fund Drive

The Friends of the Library raised $10,000.00 in 2001 to restore the original, Hotchkiss designed clock. The clock was custom made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company of Connecticut. The clock is powered by hand-wound weights and relies on electricity only for illumination of its face. The restoration was completed by the firm of Mitchell and Bosworth in Concord, New Hampshire.


New Circulation Hall 2006

The Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library has remodeled its Circulation Hall thanks to the generous donation of the late Mary Deland de Beaumont, a resident of Manchester who had been a long-time library volunteer. A design committee representing the Library Trustees, the Friends of the Library and the Library Director helped the architect firm of Adams & Smith (Swampscott, MA) plan the renovation.

The library was designed by Charles F. McKim in 1886 and the circulation hall was originally a Civil War Memorial. Frank Adams and Richard Smith created a modern circulation hall which emphasizes the historic elements of the room, eight marble plaques, Tiffany stained glass window and large Sevres vase. Tucker Library Interiors of Manchester, NH, built the custom desk and bookshelves. The countertop is Vermont mottled purple slate, which blends well with the brick interior of the room. This project is the first major change to the library’s interior since the Children’s Room was added in 1965.

History of the Friends of the Library

The Friends were formed in 1960, led by Frances Ervin.

This is about the same time the library took possession of the entire building.  The Friends’ first purchase was 24 oak chairs for the reference room in 1961.  By 1965 the Friends raised $25,000 to add on the children’s room, the only addition to the McKim building to date.  The Children’s Room was dedicated to Frances Quincy Ervin.

In 1987, the library’s centennial anniversary, the Friends helped the library enter the digital age by raising another $25,000 for Manchester to join the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium, purchase computers, library cards and bar codes, they even gave $7,000 in payroll when the library ran short, and more labor  was needed to complete the conversion to digital records.

The next major contribution by the Friends was in 2001 to save our tower clock.  The Friends raised $10,000 to restore the original, Hotchkiss designed clock. The clock was originally custom made by the Seth Thomas Clock Company of Connecticut. It is powered by hand-wound weights and uses electricity only for illumination of its face. Thanks to the Friends quick response, the historic clock still keeps time.

In 2006 the Friends generously spent $55,000 to renovate the Circulation Hall.  The original 1960’s era furnishings were made for typewriters, card files, and a hand stamp for due dates.  The 21st Century called for computers, online catalogs, and more space for interlibrary loan materials.

Just last year, 2011, the Friends spearheaded the young adult librarian fundraiser by offering a $5,000 matching grant.  Our goal was met and the library was able to fund the YA librarian one more year.  Happily town meeting passed the library budget for FY13, which includes putting the YA librarian on the town payroll.

Now in 2012, with the children’s room needing updating, the Friends have once again stepped up to the plate and they have given $20,000 for the current capital campaign.

These are some of the highlights of what the Friends have done for the library.  It does not even touch the year round support the Friends organization provides.