In April of 1881 the Portsmouth City Council passed an ordinance creating a public library.
Since then, the Portsmouth Public Library has served the informational, educational and entertainment needs of the people of Portsmouth as well as visitors. The library and its staff provide services for people of all ages including
- Traditional library services such as books, movies, newspapers and magazines
- Online services including downloadables, research databases
- Spaces in which to gather, learn, dream and explore, including meeting rooms, study rooms, study carrels and more
- Tools to help job hunters, entrepreneurs and students, including computers, wifi, printers, photocopiers, fax machine and scanners
- Programs that entertain and educate and bring community together
Limited Library Services offered during the following hours. Please visit our Current Services page for updates.
Monday – Tuesday:
11 AM – 1 PM and 3 – 7 PM
Wednesday – Thursday:
11 AM – 1 PM and 3 – 5 PM
Saturday: 11 AM – 3 PM
Sunday: 1 – 5 PM
11 AM – 12 PM each day is reserved for seniors and high-risk or immunocompromised library users.
- Traveling from the North or South, take I-95 to the Market Street exit (Exit 7) toward Portsmouth downtown.
- If you are coming from points south of Portsmouth, turn right at the end of the exit ramp onto Market Street.
- If you are coming from points north of Portsmouth, turn left at the end of the exit ramp onto Market Street, crossing under the highway
- At the fork in the road (Sheraton is in front of you; salt piles are on your left), bear right, in front of the Sheraton, onto Russell Street.
- The Sheraton is now on the left.
- Proceed one block (street ends) and turn right onto Deer Street.
- At the stop light turn left onto Maplewood Avenue. Maplewood changes to Middle Street at the 2nd stop light.
- At the third stop light turn left onto State Street.
- Continue on State Street to the 2nd stop light. Turn right onto Pleasant Street.
- Go past Court Street & the Citizens Bank on the right.
- Just after the parking lot on the right, turn right onto Junkins Avenue.
- Take the first right onto Parrott Avenue.
- Continue on Parrott Avenue, passing on the right Portsmouth District Courthouse, Parrott Avenue Place, Portsmouth Middle School, and a city parking lot.
- The library is the brick building with a tower, just after the city parking lot. There is a big granite sign out front near the street.
Here's a bigger map for the last few turns...
- You can park all along both sides of Parrott Avenue near the library.
- The library parking lot is the lot next to the side of the library, past the city parking lot.
- The city parking lot between the middle school and the library is also available for parking.
- From the South, take Coast Bus Route 2 Rochester / Somersworth / Dover / Newington / Portsmouth to the Market Square stop.
- To walk to the library from the bus stop:
- Head southwest on Congress Street/Market Square toward High St
- Turn left onto Fleet St
- Turn right toward Court St
- Turn left toward Court StTurn right onto Court St
- Turn left onto Rogers St
- Turn right onto Parrott Ave
- The library will be on your right .