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The Rochester Public Library provides all members of the community with free access to information and materials that can be used to fulfill their educational, intellectual, cultural and recreational needs.  The library is divided into three main departments: Children's Services, Adult Services, and Reference Services.  Each department provides books, videos, CD's, electronic databases, Internet access, assistance in finding the right information or materials, programming, and more.  The library also provides meeting rooms and display space to individuals and organizations who can help the library fulfill its mission of providing access to information.

What are the library's hours?
Monday through Thursday - 9 AM to 8:30 PM
Friday - 9 AM to 5 PM
Saturday - 9 AM to 4PM (Labor Day through Memorial Day)
Closed Sunday

Summer Hours (From Memorial Day through Labor Day):
Monday through Thursday -
9AM to 8:30 PM
Friday -
9AM to 5 PM
Closed Saturday and Sunday

The Library's outer doors are locked 15 minutes prior to closing.

View Scheduled Library Closures

What are the library's phone numbers?
Main Desk: 603-332-1428
Children's Services: 603-335-7549
Reference Desk: 603-335-7550
Fax: 603-335-7582

How do I get, or renew my library card?
You will need a library card to check out items, download materials, or use an internet computer.  To get a library card, OR to renew your card, visit the Main Desk or Children's Desk at the Library.  Bring with you:

A current government issued photo ID AND one (1) of the following documents that shows your current Rochester residential address:
    • Current utility bill with your name and Rochester address
    • Recent postmarked mail addressed to you
    • Current car registration in your name
    • Current lease agreement
    • Current property tax receipt
    • Current Rochester public school ID
By accepting a library card you agree to be responsible for materials checked out and fines incurred, and agree to abide by the Rochester Public Library Rules of Conduct.  You are responsible for:
  • Returning materials borrowed on your card by the due date, or paying the late fees
  • Paying replacement costs for library items that are lost or damaged while checked out to your account
  • Immediately reporting a lost or stolen card.  If you lose your card, you can obtain a replacement card by showing identification and paying a replacement fee.
  • Reporting any change of address or telephone number

Types of cards:
Resident Card: This card is issued to any resident of Rochester, East Rochester, or Gonic over the age of 12.  The patron must bring in a picture ID and proof of address as described above.  Resident Cards need to be renewed every year.  City Employees who do not live in Rochester can bring in their pay stub to get a card.

Children's Card:  Library patrons between the ages of 5 and 12 must have parental approval to open a library account.  A child and their parent/guardian must complete an application form available at the Children's Desk.  Children must be present to be issued a library card. Parents/guardians are responsible for library items borrowed and any fines incurred by the child. 
Parents may use their own cards to borrow materials for children under 5.  Registration in the public schools is considered proof of residency; otherwise we ask to see the parent's driver's license (or other identification)
and proof of address as described above.  Children's cards need to be renewed every year.

Organization Card: A business or organization that owns or rents office space in Rochester is eligible to apply for a Library card.  To apply, the Business Owner or Organization Director shall complete an application in person at a circulation desk in the library.  The owner/director will present personal identification and documentation that the business/organization is located in Rochester.  Documentation may include:
  • Property tax bill
  • Rent receipt
  • Utility bill that includes both the name of the business, the name of the owner, and the street address
The business/organization is issued only one card.  The card may be used by the Business Owner or Organization Director and any approved borrowers indicated by the Business Owner or Organization Director who assumes responsibility for all fines incurred.  Anyone using the card must be prepared to show identification to verify that they are an "Approved Borrower".  The borrower must present the card at checkout. Organization Cards need to be renewed every year.

Non-Resident Cards: These cards provide a household with access to all library services, including children's programs.  The cost is $30.00 for a six-month card or $60.00 for a one-year card.

How long can I keep the books and videos I check out?
Most books, audio books, and music CD's are loaned for three weeks.  Most DVDs and magazines are loaned for one week.  There are a few exceptions, so be sure to ask when checking out materials.  If not returned on time, fines are charged at a rate of 20 cents per item per day overdue, to a maximum of $5 per item, at which point the patron is charged a replacement fee.  Higher fees apply to interlibrary loan materials.
Some common borrowing limits include a maximum of 5 DVDs and 3 children's DVDs, 5 audio books and 3 items on a nonfiction topic at any one time.

Can I renew items I have checked out?
Most items can be renewed one time, unless there is a hold on an item for another patron.  Items can also be
renewed online.

Do you have online resources?
The library's web address is: .  You can access the library catalog to see what is in the library collection, or look to see what you have checked out and when it is due.  You can then renew items, if desired.  You can also find information on our adult and children's programs, get directions to the library, access the EBSCO magazine databases, or access links to other Rochester sites of interest.  You can download ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, legal forms, and stream music and films.  You can also learn a language, and see Chilton automotive manuals online!

What kinds of programming for children do you have?
The two major programs for children are Story Times and the Summer Reading Program. All programs are free to residents.  Non-residents must purchase a non-resident card.
Story Times:  During the school year the Children's Room offers Story Times for children 2-6 years old and Toddler Time for 12-24 month olds.  There are a variety of meeting times during the week, including evenings.  Each Story Time includes several stories, a couple of "finger plays", songs, or games, and ends with a craft.

Summer Reading Program:  This is a non-competitive reading club for children aged 2 and up designed to encourage reading during the summer months.  Children set reading goals and earn prizes as they read toward their goal.  Special activities include storytellers, puppeteers, and craft workshops.  The program ends with an outdoor party for all participants.

Do you have museum passes?
In the Children's Room the library has the following passes:
- Children's Museum of New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Farm Museum

In the Adult Department the library has:
- Strawbery Banke, Portsmouth
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

How do I Borrow Museum Passes from the Library? (Per Pass Details)
You must be a library card holder to borrow a museum pass.  Go to the Children's or Adult Desk to sign up for a particular day.  You can sign up for the current month or the next month.  Maximum family use is once per month per pass.  You cannot check out passes if you owe fines over $5.00. 

Do you have any rooms my organization can use for meetings?
One large meeting room, which holds up to 61 people comfortably, and one smaller meeting room, which holds up to 12 people, are available to non-profit organizations on a limited basis during regular library hours. Groups interested in using the library's meeting rooms need to read the Rochester Public Library Meeting Room Policy and Rules of Use and then fill out a Reservation and Contact Information Form. For more information call the Reference Department at 335-7550 or view the form here.

Do you have public Internet access available?
The library currently provides computers for Rochester Public Library card holders to access the Internet for one hour a day.  Use of the Internet is free, but users must agree to abide by the library's policies.  Users under the age of 18 require a parent's signature on the Internet User Registration Form.  Sign up for Internet use at the Main Desk. Wireless internet access is also available.

I need to type a letter. Do you have a word processor I can use?
Several word processors are available for the public to use.  Call 332-1428 for more information.

I need information on a specific topic.  Can someone help me?
Whether its a health question, a local history question or a difficult school assignment, our staff of trained reference librarians will assist you to the best of their ability.  If the information you are seeking cannot be found in one of our reference books, we will assist you in searching for magazine articles using the library's online databases, or by searching the wide resources available on the Internet.
Are you housebound or short for time?  Call the reference department at 335-7550 and our librarians will try and find the answer for you and either call you back or have material ready and waiting for you to pick up.

I'd like to research my family genealogy.  Where should I start?  Do you have anything at the library?
The Rochester Public Library has many resources for genealogists, both for beginners and for the experienced researcher.  There are general books on how to do research, how to find materials online and how to send for vital records and other information both here in the US and abroad.  The library provides access to Ancestry Plus, one of the largest and best organized online resources for genealogical research.  We also have Rochester city directories going back to the 1890's, the City of Rochester Annual Reports, which included the records of births and deaths from 1892 to 1951, histories of Rochester and many other New Hampshire towns, and collections of bound periodicals from both the DAR and the New England Historical and Genealogical Society.  In addition, thanks to the efforts of one of our volunteers, many of the records in the annual reports and articles in the Rochester Courier are now indexed.

Do you accept gifts?
Please call the Library if you would like to donate material.  Donations must be made without condition as to their use.  Monetary donations and Memorial Donations are welcome.

What if the library doesn't have an item I want?
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) can help you obtain library materials not owned by us, although new books cannot be requested, and may take up to 2 weeks to receive.  We will try to fill requests for audio books and videos, however, not all libraries lend these types of materials. This service is available to any cardholder who has had a card for at least 3 months and has no outstanding fines.  For more information on this service, please call 335-7550 or come into the library and fill out a request form.

Does the library have handicapped access?
Wheelchair access on is provided at both entrances and the elevator accesses all floors

Does the library send accounts to a collection agency?
The library works with a collection agency called Unique Management to ensure the return of overdue library items. Only accounts which owe more than $75 and which have been active within the last 12 months are subject to collections. A fee of $10 is automatically added to any account sent to the collection agency. This fee cannot be waived.

If you have been contacted by Unique Management about an overdue library account, please return any library items that are still in your possession as soon as possible and call 332-1428 to make arrangements to settle your account. Returning the items in good condition may result in lower charges.

You can download a copy of the library's Debt Collection Policy here.

The Rochester Public Library is located at 65 S. Main St. Hours are Monday through Thursday 9:00 A.M. to 8:30 P.M., Friday 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. For additional information, call 603.332.1428. For directions to RPL, click here.