Friends of the Keene Public Library

About Us


The Friends of the Keene Public Library was founded on September 15, 1982 by a group of interested supporters who loved the library. Their objective was to promote its use and encourage others to support its role in the community. Its first executive committee was chaired by president Shirley Hanna and the organization has been led by eleven more presidents to date since. Membership in the organization has grown over the years and currently numbers over 150.

The Friends serve as trustees for the Katharine Heberton Trust, established upon her death to benefit the library. In 2003, the Friends helped to purchase the adjacent former Masonic Temple building using income from the bequest money. The acquisition of the property afforded more space for library programming and community events.

Most recently, the Friends partnered with the Library Trustees and the City of Keene to raise funds to renovate the additional property and physically connect it to the library building. This project was completed and the grand opening was held in August of 2019.

In the past five years the Friends have provided the following in financial support for the Library, plus an additional $ 334,680 for the library growth and renovation project.

FKPL Officers and Board of Directors

Jan Manwaring

Kendall Lane
Vice Chair

Marilyn Gemmell

Jill Cielinski

Paul Ledell
Heberton Funds


Claire Coey
Jack Coey
Kathryn Harper
Sally Rinehart

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018
Adult & Youth Programming $25,181 $19,936 $19,650 $18,996 $18,682
Collection Development, New Equipment & Materials, Service Contracts $26,683 $32,198 $33,144 $30,951 $27,292
  $51,864 $52,134 $52,794 $49,947 $45,974

Operating Policy

The purpose of the Friends of the Keene Public Library is to maintain an association of persons interested in supporting the Keene Public Library, to focus the public attention on the library, to encourage the use of the library’s resources and services, to provide financial support of the library through fund raising and through gifts, endowments and bequests, to support and cooperate with the library in developing services and facilities for the community, and to support expanded literacy within the community.

To achieve the above purposes, the Friends shall be organized into an independent 501(c)3 voluntary corporation with appropriate officers, directors, and members. The Board of directors shall maintain committees as necessary to carry out its functions.

The members of the Friends shall be those persons who have made a financial contribution to the Friends and shall be entitled to vote for officers and directors.

The programming of the Friends shall be directed toward fund raising on behalf of the Keene Public Library, developing expanded membership of the Friends, and promoting expanded literacy within the community.

The Friends shall support “Reading with Ribby”, the annual book sale, the Museum Pass program and other similar efforts to achieve its purposes.