According to our library’s Personnel Policy, the library will be closed to observe the Columbus Day holiday on October 12, 2020. New Hampshire doesn’t have a state holiday on the second Monday of October, so some libraries in New Hampshire are open. Columbus Day is a federal holiday, and post offices and banks are closed. Some states and municipalities have in recent years have renamed and refocused the holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day. This isn’t the only time official holidays have been renamed and refocused. Think of Armistice Day becoming Veterans Day, Decoration Day to Memorial Day, and in some places Washington’s Birthday to Presidents Day.
As librarians, we like to encourage lifelong learning, and our library has a number of books offering many perspectives and histories of European exploration and colonization of the Americas and of the history and culture of Indigenous Peoples. We invite you to check them out.
To give readers a local perspective on what kind of information has influenced recent decisions to rename the holiday Indigenous People’s Day, we recommend historian Mary Ellen Lepionka’s essay (with bibliography), “Chocorua Redux: Revisionist History of a Name,” posted on the Chocorua Lake Conservancy’s website.