The Howe Library was established as Hanover, New Hampshire’s public library in 1900 through a gift from Emily Howe to the newly formed non-profit Howe Library Corporation. Miss Howe dedicated the first Howe Library in her former family home on West Wheelock Street with “a prayer that this library may prove a blessing to this community to the remotest generation.”
The Howe Library Corporation managed the library and its operating budget until 1973 when Hanover residents voted to assume responsibility for the operating budget and the library became a department of the town. At the same time, the library was outgrowing its home on West Wheelock Street and plans began for a new building. Constructed on town land in 1973, this new facility was financed by The Howe Library Corporation with a loan from the town and donations. A large addition was completed in 2005, almost doubling the size.
The Howe Library continues to be a partnership between The Howe Library Corporation and the Town of Hanover. The town continues to manage and fund the day-to-day operations of the library. The corporation undertakes projects beyond the scope of the town’s budget including building renovations, repayment of the loan for the 2005 addition, programs, computer purchases, furniture replacement, and web site development.