UPTON — A tiny building that once
housed the office of one of this town’s early settlers now serves
some of the smallest residents.

The Upton Public Library, perched on a
hill next to the town office, is staffed by volunteer librarian
Laurie Brown. Every Tuesday, she checks through the
stacks of children’s books, looking for just the right one to read to visitors.

On Tuesday, she read an Elmo book to
several children who come from as far away as Magalloway Plantation
for the weekly event. Often, grandchildren of some of the 60 or 70
residents also attend the summer reading time. In addition to having a book read to them, the children also get a sweet snack.
On Tuesday, it was raisin brownies.

Among the Upton children was 3-year-old Charlotte Kasko. Her mother, Cindi Casko, of Upton, is a
member of the town’s Ladies Aid Society and is pleased that her
daughter has a chance to come to the library.

Every Tuesday, from 1 to 2 p.m., Brown
reads to the youngsters, something that started a year ago, soon
after she returned to her hometown from Rumford.

“I’d love to get heat in here so we
could be open in the winter,” Brown said.

The one-room building once served as an
office for Silas Peaslee, a local businessman. The library was moved
from its original location a few hundred yards north on Route 26
next to the former Peaslee Farm, to its present location in about
1930, according to Brown. It was likely built at about the same
time as the former Peaslee farm, which was 1886.

The 1,000 or so books, many of them
first editions housed behind the glass of oak barrister bookcases,
have all been donated over the years. Brown is currently entering
the title of each book into the newly acquired computer donated by
the Errol (N.H.) Public Library.

The town pays for electricity for the
library, and if a major repair is needed. But the ornamental parlor
stove located in the center of the building can no longer be used for
heat because the chimney was removed when a tree fell on the building
a few years ago. Brown hopes to apply to the Stephen and
Tabitha King Foundation for some funding that would help heat the

She volunteers her time because she
loves her hometown and wants to give back however she can, she said. “I would just like some heat,” she

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Volunteer librarian Laurie Brown reads an Elmo book to 3-year-old Charlotte Casko during Tuesday’s summer reading time at the Upton Public Library. It is open 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays in the warm months.

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