About Us

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Meeting Rooms

Portsmouth Free Public Library offers meeting space for a minimal charge for non-profit organizations and for-profits or local businesses. When not being used for Library meetings and programs, meeting room reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. The Michael W. Mello Program Room seats about 50 people. The Portsmouth Room may be used for smaller gatherings of 6 or fewer people. A detailed copy of the fee schedule, rules, procedures and requirements may be viewed below (Meeting_Room_Policy_2017.pdf). A completed and signed application must be returned to the Library Director before a requested date is secured. To request a meeting room, please fill out the form below (Meeting_Room_Application_Form.pdf) and send it to the Library. You will be contacted as soon as it is received.


Volunteers provide much-needed services at our Library. These services vary by the volunteer’s personal interest and our current needs. Volunteer opportunities may involve:
  • Shelving materials;
  • Helping with special events such as book sales, Touch-a-Truck, or the Tasting in Portsmouth;
  • Helping to prepare newsletter mailings;
  • And much more!


Portsmouth Free Public Library is always grateful for support, whether it comes in the form of a financial donation, donation of materials, or donation of time as a volunteer. Thank you for your interest in supporting your Library!
There are many ways you can help support the operations of Portsmouth Free Public Library.

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is the governing body of Portsmouth Free Public Library. It consists of members who are elected from the Portsmouth Free Public Library Association. Membership is open to all residents of the Town of Portsmouth who are eighteen years of age and pay annual dues. The Portsmouth Town Council may appoint two Trustees. The Trustees serve without remuneration of any kind. Non Residents may join the Association but do not have voting rights.

Email Us

Have a question?  Email us!

Mission, Vision and Values

Our Mission

The mission of Portsmouth Free Public Library is to serve as an essential resource that grows with our community, enhances the quality of life of our users, supports lifelong learning, and offers access to information in a variety of ways.


Perform circulation activities in the Adult and Children's Departments
Duties Include:
Operation of library software and online catalog; shelving materials; inter-library loan; assisting patrons with reference, reader advisory and computer questions; keeping shelves and displays in order. May be assigned other duties as needed.
Attached Files: 


Portsmouth Free Public Library grew out of a proposal by the Rev. J. Sturgis Pearce of St. Paul's Episcopal Church to a group of interested Portsmouth residents on March 18, 1897. Earlier, in 1893, some members of the Church had formed a Thursday Evening Club to discuss literary and cultural matters. As the club grew, it became more and more difficult to have meetings of the club at a member's home as had been the custom. And so, at a public meeting of the club in 1897 attended by 55 people, Rev. Pearce proposed the establishment of a public library called the Portsmouth Free Public Library Association. The building site committee was extremely gratified when a member of the Library Association, John L. Borden, donated a parcel of land at the corner of Freeborn Street and East Main Road for the Library building. Plans were drawn up and with a great deal of volunteer help, the Library was built at cost of $2,363. The original officers of the Association chartered in 1897 were Rev. Pearce, Benjamin C. Sherman and Samuel Sanford. The first collection of books came largely from donations, one notable donation being that of 500 volumes by Mr. Charles A. Greene. Additions and renovations in 1931, 1965, 1975, 1990, and 2001 have increased the size of the building to approximately 9,515 square feet serving the Portsmouth community. The Library has one separate meeting room for public use. There are approximately 75,000 items in the Library. The Library is owned and operated by the corporation "The Portsmouth Free Public Library Association".

Library Policies