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Gilmanton Year-Round Library Wins Repr

United for Libraries announced Gilmanton Year-Round Library (G.Y.R.L.) in Gilmanton Iron Works, New Hampshire is of is one of ten recipients of United for Libraries' 2013 Neal-Schuman Foundation Grants, successfully passed a warrant article requesting $52,000 from the Town of Gilmanton on March 11, 2014.

Gilmanton Iron Works is an unincorporated hamlet on the eastern outskirts of the small town of Gilmanton in Belknap County, New Hampshire. Residents and the U.S. Post Office spell it “Gilmanton Iron Works,” but the U.S. Geological Survey spells the name differently, “Gilmanton Ironworks.”

Originally, the community was known as Averytown. According to the Town of Gilmanton, Averytown was the site of “an unprofitable iron-mining enterprise.” The downtown area of Gilmanton is called the Corners or Gilmanton Corners.

There is a post office and small grocery store each in the Corners and Gilmanton Iron Works. Gilmanton itself is served by the Gilmanton Corner Library.

At first called Gilmantown, the name stems from the Gilman family, several members of which received land grants in the area. Gilmanton incorporated in 1727 when John Wentworth (1671-1730), Lieutenant Governor of the Province of New Hampshire (1717-1730)[1], signed the charter on May 27, 1727.

In 2013, residents voted down Town Warrant Article #37 for $45,000 to fund the G.Y.R.L. (by 401-322), which was then kept open for the year through fundraising and gifts. The Board of Selectmen had not supported the measure, in effect, by recommending $0.

The Budget Committee had done the same. If the vote failed again, the G.Y.R.L. would have been forced to close.

This year, Town Warrant Article #28 passed 500-483. This time, the Budget Committee had recommended the passage of the measure, while the Board of Selectmen opposed it by not recommending it. The G.Y.R.L.’s association is crafting a plan to make library funding a constant in the town’s budget.

"The Gilmanton Year-Round Library Association Board of Directors is thrilled with the successful vote," says G.Y.R.L. Board President Anne Kirby. "We know we have a lot of work to do to continue to gain support, but keeping the library open was a crucial step!"

Lisa Gosselin is Vice President. Carol Mitchell is Secretary. Fred Buchholz is Treasurer.

Tasha LeRoux Stetson is the Librarian. Pam Jansury is the Children’s Librarian. Jean Henry is the Library Assistant.

According to United for Libraries, “The advocacy team for the library launched a major public education and promotion campaign, educating residents about how important the library’s services are to seniors, teens, children and the community as a whole. After recruiting supporters they followed up with a major ‘vote yes’ campaign.”

In 2014, as part of the Neal-Schuman Grants, United for Libraries will select another ten libraries for training that will help friends of the library groups, library directors, and trustees develop individual blueprints for advocacy campaigns to restore, increase or save threatened library budgets. Applications are being accepted through Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Interested parties can apply online.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association (A.L.A.) that supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and raise funds for libraries. United for Libraries brings together library Trustees, advocates, Friends of the Library groups, and Library Foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century.

One can join United for Libraries or learn more information about it online (United for Libraries website) or by contacting Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or jkalonick [at]

[1] John Wentworth’s descendants included his son, Benning Wentworth (1696-1770), Royal Governor of New Hampshire (1741-1766); and John’s grandson and Benning’s nephew, Sir John Wentworth (1737-1820), Royal Governor of New Hampshire (1767-1775) and Surveyor of the King’s Woods in North America, the last royal governor of the colony, and Royal Governor of Nova Scotia and Surveyor of the King’s Woods in North America (1792-1808). Another important member of this family was our own “Long” John Wentworth (1815-1888), who was born in Sandwich, New Hampshire. He attended schools and academies in Gilmanton, Wolfeboro, and New Hampton, New Hampshire and South Berwick, Maine; became a school teacher for a few years; became a political journalist; and matriculated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1836. That same year, he moved to Chicago, became a law clerk, and began to study law. He rose to prominence as publisher and editor-in-chief, from 1836 to 1861, of the Weekly Chicago Democrat, the city’s first newspaper. In 1861, he was forced to sell out to Joseph Medill (1823-1899), who merged the Democrat with his Chicago Daily Tribune (now the Chicago Tribune). In 1838, he served as aide-de-camp to Thomas Carlin (1789-1852), Governor of Illinois (1838-1942). In 1841, he attended the Law Department of Harvard College (now Harvard Law School, one of Harvard University’s graduate schools) and was admitted to the bar in Illinois. As a Democrat, Long John Wentworth was elected and re-elected to Congress (the 28th through 31st Congresses) from 1843 to 1851. He served as Mayor of Chicago (1857-1863), during which time he was also a delegate to the Illinois State Constitutional Convention of 1861. During his mayoral administrations, he met with success in closing down some of the city’s most notorious gambling resorts. Mostly for political reasons having to do with internal criticism from within local Republican circles, In March of 1861, when Mayor Wentworth appointed a new police board, he dismissed the entire police force, which led to recruitment of new men who wore new uniforms. He was Police Commissioner at the time Colonel Benjamin J. Sweet, commandant of Camp Douglas, foiled a plot by Judge Buckner S. Morris, a former mayor like Wentworth, Confederate agents, and the Sons of Liberty, to break free thousands of Confederate prisoners-of-war at Camp Douglas and burn Chicago, in November of 1864. Long John returned to the U.S. House of Representatives for one term as a Republican in the 39th Congress from 1865 to 1867 and afterwards returned to the practice of law. He was also a large-scale landowner whose 4,700 acres of land became the Chicago Community Areas of Garfield Ridge and Clearing and the suburb of Summit, Illinois (as I have previously noted in profiles of the public libraries in those communities).

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