About Us


Alton's first library

was established in 1892 as Alton Free Public Library when the Town agreed to accept $100 worth of books  from the State and appropriate $50 as a prerequisite for accepting the  gift.  The original library was located above the Laban G. Welch  Drugstore across from Monument Square. 

Photo to the Left:   *Monument Square, Alton, New Hampshire. Photo by Ken Gallager, February 15, 2010.Ken Gallager at en.wikipedia - Own work Transferred from en.wikipedia  Public Domain 


In 1914,

 benefactor Oliver John Morrison  Gilman drew up a will donating $10,000 to the town "for the purpose of  purchasing land and the erection of a public library building," to be  released upon the death of his widow.  Gilman died in 1915 and his widow  passed away in 1927.   The monies were kept at interest until an amount  deemed sufficient for construction had accumulated.

By 1950,  the amount had doubled to $20,000.  A portion of land, in the center of  town on Main Street, was donated by Lewis P. Varney, in memory of his  son, Robert, and construction on that property began.   The Town voted  to appropriate $3,000 from the Post-War Fund to enable completion of the  project.   The little brick building at 100 MainStreet was dedicated as and renamed in honor of Gilman, in a ceremony held on November 9, 1951. 

Photo to the Right:  The Gilman Library,   Alton, NH,   painted by Nurnberger , 1992. 


The Gilman Library was expanded

in 1997, to add two spacious wings,  symmetrically on each side of the original building, with the  corresponding enlargement of the basement to include a large meeting  room, kitchenette, restrooms, and a ​wheelchair-accessible elevator.  The renovation was in keeping with the period style of the original building and offers.  both a modern comfort with the cozy warmth of a bygone era,  simultaneously maintaining history while keeping up with technology. 

To the Left:   Gilman Library photo, circa 2013, property of the Gilman Library, Alton, NH 


The Friends of the Gilman Library

Founded in 1980, the Friends have  proven to be a real asset to the library. Being part of this wonderful  group is a great way to be together with old friends, meet new people,  support the library, and give back to the community. If interested, please visit the circulation desk, give us a  call, or send us a quick email.   

Library Staff and Trustees


Holly Brown,  Director
Roza Benoit,  Assistant Director
Sue Gatton, Library Assistant
Leann LaPlante, Library Assistant

Gilman Library Board of Trustees

Betty Jane Meulenbroek, Chair

Karen Petelle, Vice Chair
Kristine Simone, Treasurer
Annette Slipp, Secretary 

Library Board of Trustee Business Meetings

Library Trustee Meetings

Unless otherwise posted,  the Gilman Library Board of Trustees meets on the first Tuesday of each  month at 4:00 pm, in the Agnes Thompson Meeting Room on the lower level  of the library.


Library Policies

Gilman Library Trustee Minutes and Reports

 Click below to be redirected to 

the Town of Alton Department Minutes and Town Reports 

and click the tab "Library Trustees"