Friends of the Keene Public Library

What We Do

The Friends provide financial support for the Library, as well as promote our own literacy programs.

Mr. Gemmell’s Reading With Ribby

The Friends of the Keene Public Library champion reading in elementary school by proudly sponsoring Mr. Gemmell’s Reading with Ribby, a program operated by Keene Swamp Bats.

Established in 2003 by Jon Gemmell, a 4th grade teacher at Fuller School who also was operations manager for the Swamp Bats, Reading with Ribby was designed to encourage, inspire and develop a love of reading for elementary school age children. Upon his death the program was renamed Mr. Gemmell's Reading with Ribby to honor Jon's commitment to the community.

Ribby presents the program by coming to each school with a volunteer friend.  They perform a skit for the students, promoting reading through all the adventures you can go on when you read.

The program takes place at elementary schools in Keene and the Monadnock Region.  Students are challenged to read for 20 minutes 18 distinct times over the course of a 4 to 6 week program as determined by the school.  Students are given a bookmark to track their progress and have it signed by an adult when they finish reading.  Students are not asked to complete a certain number of books feeling it is more important for a student to enjoy reading at their level, in their timeframe, in order to create lifelong readers.

There is a special Reading with Ribby Night at the Alumni Field where students are welcomed to the field with a Parade lead by Ribby at the completion of the program.

Museum Passes

The Friends work with area museums to secure passes for visits at reduced rates.

Choose from the following or ask your librarian at the front desk for a pass to a museum that you would like to visit.

Passes include:

  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts
  • Boston Museum of Science
  • Brattleboro Museum/Art Center
  • Canterbury Shaker Village
  • Cheshire Children's Museum
  • Currier Museum of Art
  • The Eco Tarium
  • Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
  • Fells Historic Estate
  • Hildene
  • Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory
  • Manchester History Museum
  • Mariposa Museum
  • McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
  • Montshire Museum of Science
  • Mount Kearsage Indian Museum
  • New Hampshire Historical Society
  • Strawbery Banke
  • Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS)
  • Worcester Art Museum

The Friends also provide equipment for programming for both adults and children, and support for summer reading programs, crafting of all kinds, summer gardening materials, and maintenance of the popular aquarium in the children's area.