Dear Library Supporters,
As I write this letter, our Albuquerque and Bernalillo County library communities are just beginning to experience the relaxation of many of the protective restrictions that have governed our actions since March of last year. Our public libraries are starting to add services with the safety of library users and library staff in mind.
We anticipate many of you will enjoy visiting the library for the first time in months, engaging with the staff, and reacquainting yourselves with the books, music, and movie options available for all ages. Enjoy yourselves!
We extend a warm welcome to our new readers to BOOKISH. It is our hope that this monthly newsletter on the people and places that make up The Public Library, Albuquerque and Bernalillo County will continue to entertain and inform.
Your financial support of the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation (APLF) and your votes for public library issues on City, County, and State ballots are deeply appreciated. Thank you for joining APLF in supporting our marvelous library staff as they continue to provide responsive programming and services to our community.
Community Giving. Community Strong.
In Albuquerque, the International District is the most diverse demographic area of the city—you can hear more than 27 languages spoken there. The community currently has limited access to books, computers, or free Internet services. The new library for this district will change all of that and more. The International District Library, being constructed at 7605 Central NE, will be open 7-days a week and will cost approximately $11.9 million, paid for by city, county, and state bond funds.
“I’ve always been connected to libraries... The library is probably one of the most important things in my life. It’s a center for democracy and a community.”
– Rudolfo Anaya, from the Albuquerque Journal, March 15, 2018
The new International District Library will be a place for the community to gather and for children to play with and access materials that ensure readiness to read, expanded vocabularies, and enhanced language skills. Older children will find recreational materials as well as resources to help with homework. Parents will have access to all of the public library system services, which will help enhance their quality of life. Opening late 2021.
3904 Isleta SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105
Many consider the South Valley to be the true soul of Albuquerque. I would have to agree—the drive here always confirms that. Located a quarter mile south of Rio Bravo Blvd. and Isleta Blvd SW, the South Valley Library is at the intersection of Isleta Blvd. and Camino del Valle.
The library itself is part of a community complex that includes the Rio Bravo Senior Center, the South Valley Pool and Splash Pad, the Rio Bravo Skate Park, and several beautiful murals that celebrate the culture of New Mexico and this long-established community.
This community gathering place is a wonderful working example of what Eric Klinenberg describes as “social infrastructure” in his book, Palaces for the People. Klienberg states, “Different kinds of social infrastructure play different roles in the local environment, and support different kinds of social ties.” This South Valley multi-generational community complex supports all ages and social needs.
As I drove into the parking lot, Reanna Fox, Branch Manager for the library, was opening the front doors. Her warm welcome and introductions to staff made me feel right “at home,” and we began by talking about what was unique to the library. An hour and several pages of notes later, I realized there was more happening here than I had ever imagined. What a delight to learn!
Reanna was eager to share the vibrant outreach programming made available during the pandemic by South Valley Library staff to this wonderful community. She shared a bit about each staff member:
A Lifelong Investment for a Life of Returns!
Scott F. Perkins, APLF Board Member
As a young child growing up in Massachusetts, I developed a passion for rock and mineral collecting. My mom and dad would take me to mineral shops and collection spots throughout New England to feed my passion. One point my parents made clear to me was that to understand and learn more about mineral collecting, I would have to read and learn more about the formation and properties of minerals! I thought, okay, so, how do I do that?
We lived in a small town with a public library. I went in and asked about the section on rocks and minerals and took out three or four books on the subject. The world opened for me! This led me to a better understanding of how and why minerals and rocks form, and it really expanded my knowledge of geology and the earth!
A big part of this was a sense of accomplishment in getting my first library card. With it, I could go and explore and check out that perfect book to further my pursuit of knowledge!
In high school, I knew that I wanted to be involved in the field of geology and the earth sciences. I read my way through the local library and then reached out to other facilities, such as the MIT and Harvard University Mineral Collections and their bookstores. On all family trips, we would take a field trip to understand the local geology or hit a collecting area! I had a book in my hand about the area we were going to see so I could better understand its geology. The key to this all was that I gained access to the books through the public library.
We took a trip to Hawaii, which really kicked off an appetite for knowledge on volcanoes. I was really taken by their beauty and power, so I reached out from our local library to the US Geological Survey. Around this time, I became a big fan of Stephen J Gould; I would read his columns in Natural History Magazine and his many books. He really lit a fire in me to understand the history of the earth and life on it.
At the end of high school, I spent time seeing how I could continue this passion and pursued a degree in geotechnical engineering at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM. I found a fantastic school library there that really furthered my passion. My career has kept me involved with the earth and how it works.
Since moving to Albuquerque, I have been a big user of the Albuquerque Public Library and the UNM Library. I have explored new places and theories in science through the books that I have read and appreciated. I can learn so much by just reading, and it has opened new worlds for me. I also find it very calming to pick up a book on many diverse topics and learn to appreciate the world.
It all comes down to having the curiosity and passion for exploring and learning by connecting with a vast pool of knowledge called the library. The potential to me is limitless!
50% Off Sale during the month of June!
WHERE: Main Library Community Room.
WHEN: Tuesday and Friday from 10 to 3 or by appointment. Free admission.
Limited appointments are available on Wednesdays, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. Call (505) 768-5167 to schedule.
Two-hour validated parking available in parking structure kitty-corner from library.
Dear Library Supporters,
I speak for the entire APLF Board of Directors when I say that we are overwhelmed with the positive response to our first Library Giving Day campaign. Because the campaign continued through April 30, we need a bit of additional time to announce the results. However, one thing came through loud and clear: Albuquerque and Bernalillo County residents love their libraries. In addition to generous donations, many shared their gratitude for the fabulous staff and resources available at our public libraries. Here are a few examples:
We also were so pleased with the support of many devoted readers who attended the April 6 “A Word with Writers” event. Kirstin Valdez Quade was an engaging guest, and a wonderful ambassador for the talent nurtured in New Mexico. If you would like a copy of The Five Wounds with a signed bookplate, please contact Bookworks. You might enjoy the Bookworks YouTube page as well.
It’s hard to believe summer is upon us. We have our fingers crossed that it will soon be safe for readers of all ages to return to their libraries and begin exploring all the exciting things they have to offer! If your students need additional support as the school year winds down, please don’t forget the Homework Help resource—live tutors at your fingertips!
Whatever your needs, our libraries have something to offer!
Community Giving. Community Strong.
By Maria Geer
APLF Board Member
Having always lived in Albuquerque, I have found library resources integral to every stage of my education. It started in my little elementary school library, which provided my earliest access to a library long before the San Pedro Library came into my childhood neighborhood.
High school similarly included a library on the campus. Learning to drive at age 15 expanded my access to our city’s libraries—the Ernie Pyle Library was just a short drive from home and a cozy entre to Albuquerque’s library system. The jewel in the crown was old Main, now Special Collections, with its stacks and rather noisy metal platforms.
Starting college at UNM opened a new world of libraries: Fine Arts, Business School, Law School, Medical School, and the jewel in the crown, Zimmerman Library, with its beautiful study room with the long tables and beautiful lamps. Of course, the stacks were amazing, populated as they were by thousands of books and many carrels.
During my time in graduate school, I was privileged to have a carrel where I could work in a quiet space and keep the books I was working with close at hand. Though somewhat dusty, my carrel in the stacks of Zimmerman Library was bright and comfortable. During graduate school, I found it useful to take advantage of some of the other libraries on the campus, usually the Medical School Library, then located in the former Coca-Cola bottling plant, and the Law School Library. Upon completing a master’s degree and starting law school, I was able to get a carrel in the Law School Library, overlooking the golf course at UNM’s North Campus.
Through all of these wonderful libraries, whether at UNM or the City of Albuquerque, the most consistent characteristic was the warmth and amazing breadth of the librarians’ knowledge. Of course, our wonderful librarians were and are always ready and willing to help with obscure and not so obscure research issues. Just today, the librarian for the New Mexico Supreme Court was able to find an item from 1990 that is not widely available; she found the paper item and sent it to us within an hour.
Libraries are not only utilitarian. I derive pleasure in frequenting our wonderful library system. As important as personal use of our libraries may be, the societal good which our libraries provide moves me to contribute.
By Dan Rather
Venerated journalist Dan Rather is a longtime supporter of libraries. His recent book, What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, includes a powerful chapter about libraries as “temples of learning,” where people of all backgrounds can come together to access information. Here are some excerpts from his recent article published In the American Library Associationʼs on-line initiative, ilovelibraries. Full article available here.
Do you have a favorite library memory?
I have many fond memories of the library but my favorite would have to be the day I got my library card. As a young boy, the card was my prized possession. To think that the son of an oil field worker could hold a key to unlock the endless stacks of knowledge that lived within the most spectacular building I had ever seen, was an amazement. It was a special moment that helped define my path in life.
How do you use the library now?
Technology has given us great advances over the years. As we receive wonderful tools like laptops and smartphones, that means “screen time” has skyrocketed. When I want to give my eyes a break and read things “the old fashioned way,” the library has never let me down. There’s nothing quite like setting down and letting the outside world melt away—no pings or electronic beeps, just the sounds of the flip of a page between your fingers and the story unfolding.
However, for those more digitally-inclined, it is important to note that libraries are also great technological centers. Libraries truly provide the best of both worlds: access to equipment when gadgets are needed, and a space away from the noise when quiet study is wanted.
Why are libraries so important in today’s society?
Libraries have a transformative effect on lives of all ages, the communities in which they reside, and the country as a whole. They were, and still are, civic institutions that welcome anyone who wishes to become a more informed and independent citizen. There is no other public resource that so well encapsulates this aspirational notion of democracy.
Through the library, through books, through knowledge, through access to technology, we all can improve to become better, more learned, versions of ourselves and, in turn, be better neighbors to those around us.
The Albuquerque Public Library Foundation supports shopping locally. However, should you shop with Amazon, we are delighted to share that you can now use the Amazon Shopping app on your mobile phone to sign up for AmazonSmile and select “Albuquerque Public Library Foundation” as your favorite charity.
You will make a difference while you shop in the Amazon app, at no extra cost to you. Simply follow the instructions below to activate AmazonSmile in the app and select "Albuquerque Public Library Foundation Inc" as your charity. Amazon will donate a portion of your eligible mobile app purchases to us. Thank you!
How it works:
Community Giving. Community Strong.
Dear Library Supporters,
Wednesday, April 7 is Library Giving Day — a great day to support The Public Library of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County by making a donation during our first Library Giving Day campaign. All unrestricted donations will be matched by a generous donor through the end of April.
2020 and its multiple challenges have illuminated the reality that our public libraries must be there for you when you need them - in person and on-line. Our Library Giving Day campaign underscores the fact that public libraries, small and large, serve as essential public resources for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. The 21st century library is more than books – it’s the staff, the programs, the books, the digital resources and a gathering place for our community to come together.
Beginning in March 2020, the public library not only helped demystify the challenges of the pandemic but also supplied our community with e-books and audiobooks, online databases as well as both useful and entertaining digital resources.
Staff continue to supply curated lists for reading and learning new skills, original online videos to entertain and teach, and so much more. Our libraries currently are open and services, such as computer access, are slowly being reintroduced with COVID-safe practices. This is wonderful news, especially for those with limited or no computer or internet access.
Won’t you join us in this opportunity to double the value of your gift? Click here to donate.
Thanking you in advance-
Community Giving. Community Strong.
Julia Clarke, President, Board of Directors
Albuquerque Public Library Foundation (APLF)
The Friends of The Public Library is excited to announce that beginning Tuesday, March 30, the bookshop has reopened and book sales will resume! For most current information, please check their website at friendsofthepubliclibrary.org. COVID-safe guidelines are followed, so masks and social distancing will be required. Occupancy is limited; new hours are below. They look forward to seeing you soon!
NEW BOOKSHOP HOURS Monday – Friday, 10:30 am – 2:00 pm
BOOK SALES Tuesdays and Fridays, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Wednesdays, by appointment. Call (505) 768-5167 to schedule.
John E. Heidrich, PhD, DVM, APLF Board Member
Libraries are a focal point for my daily work.
I need libraries in my day-to-day work understanding new clinical breakthroughs and as a repository of reference sources for my research work. Over the years, my work has been varied - from vaccine and drug development to development of basic cellular and immunological models to understanding chronic pain and in my professional life as a clinical veterinarian. Libraries safely guard all the published building blocks of information and allow everyone to share the hard work through which scientific information leads to answers for difficult questions. This is important to me.
Libraries fill my imagination and my senses.
Public libraries are now community centers that provide much more than collections of books full of wonderful stories. I cannot recall a time spent in the public libraries during my pre-teen and teen years without recalling the scent inside these wonderful buildings. As a child growing up in Albuquerque, it brings back wonderful memories.
Remembering our weekend adventures as children to the old Main Library on Central and Edith brings a flashback sensation of the hint of the oil protected vigas, and the large wooden chairs mixed with the musty smell of the books. Springtime weekends we walked from the car, through a snowstorm of elm seeds on the sidewalk and the fragrance of yellow flowered Spanish Broom. Saturdays were filled with stories being read to us as we sat on the floor in the children’s room. The best part of the day was the check out, watching the librarian stamp the cards, placing the card in the pocket making those books mine for a few weeks. I was enchanted, walking out with a pile of books under my arm looking forward to secrets buried in the pages.
As teenagers we gathered in the evenings for group study at the Erna Fergusson Library from the first day it was opened. This building had great lighting, clean new tables and a hint of left-over fresh paint. Those few years during high school I was obsessed reading every book at Erna Fergusson I could find about President Lincoln.
My UNM undergraduate studies led me to the huge study hall at Zimmerman that had a different scent, but still the comfort of the large wooden desks with individual lighting. This was one of the best study areas I have ever found in all the different libraries in which I have done reference work. We could be disappointed and not get a seat if we arrived early enough when the desks were fully occupied with other students. Searches for journals and books as I worked my way deeper into the stacks, presented a stronger and stronger musty smell. I recall a hint of aerosolized New Mexico sand from the latest dust storm.
And then there is the wonderful, breathtaking view from the UNM Medical School Library of the Sandia Mountains covered with snow or a teasing thunder shower of the virga. Those views have made the many hours digging into research journals a true gift.
Public libraries simply never have enough funding. I joined the APLF Board to help inform our local and state legislators about the developing needs and to find ways to let the community know about the wonderful services our libraries provide for our entire diverse community. Learning about how committed our city and county librarians and staff are to these goals has not disappointed me. I hope you will support us.
Your Public Library, the New Mexico State Library and the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation are partnering to provide a chance for selected community members to earn a full high school diploma through the Career Online HIgh School. Career Online High School (COHS) is an online high school diploma and career certification program available through the Public Library. This program offers free enrollment to a limited number of qualified adult students.
Who can apply to COHS?
Career Online High School through the Public Library of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County is open to residents of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County who are at least 19 years old, have successfully completed 8th grade, and wish to earn their high school diploma. Applicants who successfully complete an online self-assessment and prerequisite course, followed by an in-person interview, will be considered for enrollment. Program applicants must have a library card in good standing or be willing to apply for a library card.
How will people be selected for the program?
Enrollment is limited and demand is expected to be high. Prospective students must successfully complete an online assessment. Once the self-assessment is completed, prospective students will be contacted by their libraries and if they are eligible will be given a link to a two-week prerequisite course. Those who pass the prerequisite course with a score of 70% or above within a two-week period will then be interviewed in person by their libraries to determine if they will receive a scholarship. Successful completion of the prerequisite course does not guarantee a scholarship will be awarded.
Dear Library Supporters,
Library Giving Day is being celebrated nationally on April 7. This event gives library lovers like you the chance to elevate and support our library system through an unrestricted financial gift to the Foundation.
2020 has posed seemingly endless challenges for our entire community. However, when it has been safe to do so, our public libraries have been a constant presence—offering e-resources online 24/7 and library staff available to answer any and all questions in person, by phone and by email.
Library Giving Day is your opportunity to show appreciation and support for the 18 Public Libraries across Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. By making an unrestricted gift to the Foundation between now and April 30, your gift will be matched by another generous donor.
Another way to show your support to the Foundation is to attend the April 6 virtual “A Word with Writers” presentation by Kirstin Valdez Quade. Ms. Quade will be discussing her newest book The Five Wounds: A Novel. Tickets are available through Bookworks. A hardcover copy of the book is included with each ticket.
Community Giving. Community Strong.
April 6, 2021, 6pm
Bookworks and the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation are pleased to present Kirstin Valdez Quade for A Word with Writers April 6, 2021 at 6 pm. From this award-winning storyteller comes her stunning debut novel about a New Mexican family’s extraordinary year of love and sacrifice. The Five Wounds: A Novel has been selected as one of Oprah Magazineʼs Most Anticipated Books of 2021 and continues to receive pre-publication praise.
Kirstin Valdez Quade is originally from New Mexico. She now lives in New Jersey where she teaches at Princeton University. Her collection of short stories, Night at the Fiestas won the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. Kirstin is the recipient of a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation, the Rome Prize, and the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times, The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. Many of you may remember her appearance at a 2015 “A Word with Writers” event at the KiMo Theatre.
Tickets are available for this ZOOM event through Bookworks. A hardcover copy of this much-anticipated book is included with the purchase of your ticket. Please join us for a memorable gathering.
809 Eastridge Drive NE. Off Tramway @ Eastridge
Since 1987, serving the neighborhoods of Chelwood Hills, Embudo Canyon, Four Hills, Granada HIlls, Singing Arrow and Supper Rock
Walking inside the Lomas Tramway Library, my eye was immediately captivated by Maera Green’s sculpture - Colorful Cloud. Upon entering, you’ll find her ethereal work suspended from a domed ceiling with a round window opening to a gorgeous New Mexico sky. Come discover it yourself! Ms Green’s beautiful work is part of the CABQ Public Arts Collection on display throughout the library, 9 pieces in all. There is much to enjoy here, including the view of our beautiful Sandia Mountains through the east-facing windows. One can well imagine this has been a favorite spot for reading, rest and contemplation for many patrons.
Crystal Sanchez, Branch Manager of Lomas Tramway was eager to share about 2 special programs Lomas Tramway offers their customers. Like all our libraries, library programs are put together by tapping into the talents and interests of both library staff, as well as the users of the library. Crystal and her capable staff are looking forward to the time when programs can be started up again for the enjoyment of all.
When libraries are fully open again, you’ll discover Escape Room Programs for all age groups - Kids, Teens, and Adults. These are similar to what you might find in professional escape room venues, just on a smaller scale. Talented staff member Elegy Sonata creates her own multi-layered puzzle where a mystery or a problem is posed and patrons must find clues and solve puzzles to unlock another clue and solve another puzzle and so on until they solve the entire puzzle. The event is timed and patrons must solve the puzzle before it is too late! Elegy does all the prep work herself including creating the story, puzzles, and lock boxes.
Another well-attended program is the Travel Program and is also unique to the Lomas Tramway Library. Long-time library neighbors, Marsha and Howard Seltzer, have traveled extensively around the globe and share their photographs, personal stories and knowledge of the culture, customs and foods, along with “must-see” places and things. Like all in-person programs, these programs will return when the library is able to safely host both presenters and participants.
In the meantime, Crystal and the library staff have recognized patrons are wanting more and more to learn about and how to use digital materials (eBooks and eAudiobooks). This is wonderful because they can access library material without leaving their home which is perfect for social distancing. Since the pandemic, library staff have been catering to folks needing help downloading and using online applications and wanting to know how to download books to their phones or e-readers. They either call or come in for help, whatever is best for them.
According to Crystal, “We are able to teach our patrons how to utilize new technology. In doing so, we are able to help them adapt to the new environment that Covid has brought to our doorstep.” Adapt, adjust and grow seems to be a common theme for all of us.
Lomas Tramway Library has a total of 8 staff members, including Crystal. Here, she shares a little about each of them.
Cheryl Mugleston – Our children’s librarian has been with the system for over 20 years and always brings joy and excitement to the children and families that come into the library. She loves storytime and she creates a special experience with her beloved puppets Fritz and Zelda who are favorites among Lomas Tramway families.
Sandy Morris – Our circulation supervisor is an expert with Lomas Tramway’s collection and is always striving to make the library look nice, neat and keep things running smoothly. Sandy loves putting together fun programs to keep our community excited about the library. Tim Bustamante – Our Inter-Library Loan expert, TIm works diligently with Main Library staff to get our customers the books they need. He keeps supplies well-stocked to have everything needed to serve our customers.
Elegy Sonata - Elegy is our Escape Room guru. She has created popular Escape Rooms for all ages and brings heaps of creativity and artistic ability.
Jennifer Lee - Is a newer member to Lomas Tramway. Jennifer always knows how to find answers to even the toughest reference questions and is always excited to create new and fun displays that will help our readers find their next favorite book.
Sara Cordova - Sara is another Lomas Tramway newcomer who is extremely creative and excited about creating fun programming. She has written wonderful scripts for our digital puppet shows.
Corey Bowen - Corey is always striving to learn new things and his friendliness is sure to brighten any customer’s day. He brings with him a light-hearted humor that is sure to make anyone he meets smile and laugh.
Each of the 18 libraries within our Albuquerque Bernalillo County Public Library system have something unique to offer. I encourage you to take “a little field trip” to this part of Albuquerque and discover the Lomas Tramway Library for yourself.
I give back because libraries have given so much to me.
Bruce St John, APLF Board Member
When asked why libraries are important to me, I often answer with A Tale of Five Libraries.
I grew up on a small family farm outside Wyoming, Illinois. My mother was my high school English teacher and when a term paper was assigned, all her students were directed to the Wyoming Public Library — a one story, one room library donated by Andrew Carnegie (see photo).
The Seymour Library at Knox College in Galesburg Illinois was next. Home to more than 500,000 volumes plus hundreds of journals, magazines, and newspapers, I spent many hours within this beautifully maintained academic sanctuary.
Most of 1968 was spent researching my doctoral dissertation on Peruvian foreign policy at the biblioteca of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru. Housed in the Torre Tagle Palace in Lima, this magnificent building was completed in 1735 in the Baroque style and has unforgettable wooden balconies.
The Paris Institute of Political Studies, or Sciences Po, is found in the Saint Germain des Prés Quarter on the Left Bank in Paris. It’s a state-of-the-art bibliotheque where I turn to for research on North Africa and Southeast Asia.
The Siam Society in Bangkok, Thailand was established in 1904. This modern library is housed in a compound of teak houses relocated from northern Thailand. For me, it has long been a source of information on all things Southeast Asia, including Buddhism and Buddhist sculptures.
Back to the original question - Why are libraries such an important part of my life? Over the years, these five libraries – and others around the world – have enabled me to pursue a 30-year career with a multinational corporation, living and working in 10 countries. Libraries also allowed me to pursue a parallel career as an author in which I have published 25 books and monographs, 34 chapters in books edited by others, and more than 350 articles and reviews. Libraries matter.
This new series is hosted by Albuquerque Poet Laureate Mary Oishi. Each of Albuquerque’s 18 public libraries will be featured with readings by community poets who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. Library staff will also talk about the history and features of each library.
Ernie Pyle, Lomas Tramway and South Valley Libraries have the first 3 videos in the series. At the page, you will find a listing of wonderful books for kids, teens and adults to inspire poetic inclinations, including links to the library catalog.
Dear Library Supporters,
Librarians work every day to make a difference in our community. The Albuquerque Public Library Foundation is delighted to support the staff as they transform our community by bringing resources, stories, ideas and possibilities to life. Be sure to read the delightful profile of the Ernie Pyle Library in this issue of Bookish. It’s true – wonderful things really do come in small packages.
We just learned that a generous donor is matching all donations to the Library Giving Day campaign, which is on April 7 this year. All gifts, large and small, will be matched! $25 becomes $50. $500 grows to $1,000. Just imagine the possibilities for doing Good!
While spending some time on the library’s website, I found two new offerings of interest to me. One is the Culinary Arts database that looks interesting for home cooks as well as food industry professionals. Also, the U.S. Major Dailies database that provides access to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. I encourage you to explore the library website. There are a multitude of free on-line resources available to you!
We are counting the days until April 6 when Albuquerque native Kirstin Valdez Quade will discuss her newest book The Five Wounds for the next “A Word with Writers,” a virtual event in partnership with Bookworks. Buy your tickets here!
We value our readers and appreciate your continued support for our public libraries.
Supporting our Future Together,
Are you looking for a short in-town drive? Do you have kids or grandkids who love Legos and construction equipment? Head up Central Avenue traveling East. About a block past the Louisana intersection on the north side of Central, you will be able to see the massive crane used to construct the inner steel structure of our magnificent new International District Library. It’s all taking shape.
The construction site is at 7605 Central NE. It’s exciting to see this 21st century library being born. This is the largest investment in this area for almost 50 years. Dean Smith, Director of our Public Library System announced earlier this month to the Library Advisory Board that construction is on time, on budget and due to open late 2021. We can’t wait!
8 short months ago, Mayor Keller hosted the groundbreaking ceremony. The old Caravan East has been taken down and ground scraped bare to begin construction. Show the kids where it started and where things are now. Join us as we watch the future take shape right before our eyes. Stay tuned!
900 Girard Avenue
Surrounded by the neighborhoods of
Victory Hills, Nob Hill, Ridgecrest and parts of the UNM North Campus
Safe. Familiar. Protected. The home at the corner of Girard and Santa Monica was built in 1941 by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Ernie Pyle and his wife, Jerry. Having chosen Albuquerque to settle in after decades of traveling the world together while Ernie worked as roving reporter, they built their small home looking to the future after the end of World War II. Alas, it was not to be. One month before the end of WWII, Ernie was killed by a sniper on the island of le Shima, Japan in May, 1945. Jerry followed him just months later, succumbing to influenza.
It was Ernie and Jerry’s wish that their home become a library for Albuquerque. Erna Fergusson, after whom the Erna Fergusson Library is named, and the Friends of the Public Library helped that wish become a reality in 1948. In 2006, the house was designated a National Historic Landmark. The Ernie Pyle Collection of original documents and papers is available through our Special Collections Library.
Ernie and Jerry would be so proud that their gift to the City of Albuquerque continues. Although the house is an active library, its appearance as a home has been carefully preserved. Both the interior room layout and the landscaping, even the picket fence built by Ernie for Jerry and the grave marker of their dog, Cheetah, have been lovingly preserved.
AND NOW -
Waving to me through the window by her desk, Lizzie Peacock, Site Supervisor, opened the side door to her office, which was at one time the garage and later the guest room with a teeny tiny bathroom. Of course, Lizzie Peacock had a peacock on her mask. With a name like that, I was instantly convinced she could be a character from the pages of Harry Potter. Lizzie loves her library and all those who enter. She speaks of them as family and misses the daily 3:30 pm city bus dropping kids off from school to meet their parents and visit with other neighborhood kids who are home-schooled. She’s looking forward to the future when the kids will return to fill the yard with laughter, shouting and lots of hugs. Remember those?
Well-worn and creaking hardwood floors speak of the 73 years this home has faithfully served the surrounding neighborhoods. It’s a treasure of a house filled with books and love. It’s apparent in every room. Even the closets have floor to ceiling shelves for everything from books to DVDs. There is not an inch of unused space and it is a Home for Book Lovers.
Before the pandemic, many programs were held outside under the sheltering shade of old trees. Lizzie and capable staff will return there to hold music and movement classes along with story time. One special addition to story time at Ernie Pyle is the sign language that Lizzie teaches the children that corresponds to the theme of the week. The “Hello” and “Goodbye” songs are a big hit. Lizzie speaks fondly of the library patrons how” absolutely love this library” and how fiercely attached they are. “It’s a small-town library in the middle of a big city. For me, it’s a perfect fit.”
The staff at Ernie Pyle have developed “grab and go” book bundles for children during the pandemic. A quick in and out with 3 fiction and 1 nonfiction book centered around specific topics, such as feelings, colors, numbers, bears. They don’t have to look, just a quick in and out with a touch of surprise. The library is so tiny and only one or two people at most are allowed in at a time for 15 minutes. Library patrons utilize holds “like nobody’s business. Even the kids put things on hold!”
As I left, a young mother was navigating the red wagon that carried her young son with both legs in a cast after corrective surgery. The little boy laughed when I told him how brave he was. When asked mom how she was you could hear the weary determination in her voice. They had walked to the library and it was their special outing for the day. Walking down the old driveway to my car, I was hailed by a woman leaving the library telling me she was done and did I want to come in. The mother and child were next in line and they happily moved up. There’s just something about a library that brings people together in kindness and generosity of spirit.
Joining Lizzie Peacock are two more vital staff members. Lizzie describes them with great enthusiasm.
Debbie Maestas is the newest addition to our Ernie Pyle Family. She is incredibly positive and friendly,and brings a wealth of library knowledge and creativity to our branch. She especially enjoys working with our emerging readers helping them find just the right books. She has also adapted the Grab & Go theme picture book bundles to fit the needs of our neighborhood and our patrons absolutely love them!
Jen Vossen’s years as shelver and now library assistant here at the Ernie Pyle library have made her an asset to both staff and our patrons, she keeps the library looking beautiful and organized! Extensive knowledge of the collection combined with her energetic and lively demeanor make her the perfect fit and a joy to work with.
I highly recommend making your visit to this historic treasure tucked away in the Victory Hills neighborhood. Small is truly beautiful. Next month, I’ll be visiting the Lomas Tramway Library. I’ve never been there before and I’m excited to discover this part of Albuquerque.Regards, Amy Henne
Palaces For The People by Eric Klinenberg is a love letter to public libraries everywhere. Seen as fundamental and foundational to civic engagement in a democracy, public libraries offer not only shared spaces but shared values of respect, engagement and equal access to all. Public libraries strengthen neighborhoods and support intellectual and economic health.
This month, we share a selection of talks by Eric Klinenberg about his book. The first is from the Toronto Public Library, entitled On Civil Society. The second is from The Gov Lab, entitled Social Structure and Civic Life. We hope you enjoy listening!
And if your interest is piqued, check for book availability here.
What were our most popular checkouts? 2020 was an unusual year for us with multiple closures. Our lists of checkouts for items like print books, CDs, and DVDs were all affected. Here’s the year’s most popular items reflected to the best of our abilities.
Here’s a list of the most popular books, e-books and audio books borrowed from Public Library ABQ-BernCo in 2020. The pandemic has helped turn 2020 into a record year for digital lending through our Public Library system. How many have you read?
Top digital books by genre in 2020:
5 most popular e-books in 2020:
5 most popular audio books in 2020:
Many thanks to Eileen O’Connell, former Branch Manager at Special Collections, now Digital and Material Support Service Manager for our library system, for developing this list.
Palaces for The People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life
Author: Eric Klinenberg
5 copies available through our Library – check the catalog
Should you be thinking about how our country and civil society moves forward in the years ahead, you might consider reading this insightful book. For those of you seeking a solid way forward to heal divisions in our country, it is a must read.
Klinenberg defines social infrastructure as “the physical places and organizations that shape the way people interact.” From neighborhood bodegas, beauty and barber shops, to schools, playgrounds, parks and the public library - ALL are building blocks of public life. He believes “the library is among the most critical forms of social infrastructure we have.”
In the coming months, we will share more of this vision for strengthening the visibility of our public library system and the role the library plays in continuing to bring health to our community.
Eric Klinenberg is the Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the Social Sciences and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He is the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller Modern Romance: an Investigation, and author of the acclaimed books Going Solo, Heat Wave, and Fighting for Air. He has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Wired, and This American Life.
Dear Library Supporters,
Happy New Year! How wonderful to write those words after the many challenges of 2020. I am filled with hope and anticipation as we begin this New Year together.
Ten years ago, a small group of former Library Advisory Board members and one faithful library retiree gathered to take the first steps to form what now is the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation (APLF). Our 501c3 organization launched in April, 2013 with the sole purpose of raising funds to enrich library programs, services and activities throughout our 18 and soon to be 19 libraries with the completion of the International District Library in late 2021.
Our public libraries are a fundamental institution in the social infrastructure of our democracy. I highly recommend reading Eric Klinenberg’s Palaces for the People to more comprehensively understand the role the public library plays in building and strengthening our community. Described by Andrew Carnegie as "palaces for the people," public libraries welcome everyone.
This year, APLF is focusing on raising $150,000 for the Children’s Room at the International District Library. In addition to our end of year Annual Appeal, the Foundation will be participating in the April 7 National Library Giving Day campaign. All funds raised will be targeted to the Children’s Room at International District Library. Your gifts, small and large, will accomplish this.
With your continued support, the future of our public library system will continue evolving and responding to the needs of each neighborhood, our larger community and the customers we serve. Thank you for joining us on this journey!
Kind regards, Julia Clarke
The APLF Board is pleased to welcome Amy Henne as our newest Board Member. Currently finishing her second term on the Library Advisory Board, Amy is deeply committed to strengthening library support in our diverse community. Some of you may remember her from her shop, Lavande Bleu, in Historic Nob Hill where she also served as President of the Nob Hill Business Association.
Along with her entrepreneurial talents, Amy brings a wealth of professional marketing and communications expertise along with experience in state and federal government. Prior to joining the APLF Board, Amy served as President of the Bel Air Neighborhood Association and as a docent for Casa San Ysidro, part of the Albuquerque Museum. Please join us in welcoming her.
San Pedro Library @ corner of San Pedro and Trumbull
International District - Opened 1967
Bounded by Lomas, Gibson, Wyoming & San Mateo
Serving the neighborhoods of Elder Homestead, Fair West, La Mesa, Siesta Hills and South San Pedro. More than 28 languages, including English, are spoken throughout the area.
On a very cold winter morning, Florence Sablan, San Pedro’s Branch Manager, greeted me at the door with her kind, smiling eyes and a warm welcome. I was immediately reminded that a library may begin with a building and a collection, but the soul of a library is found in the people who are inside. Patrons and staff are what give life to the library. The staff at San Pedro keeps the light burning through these difficult times of closures and limited services.
The International District’s neighborhoods are known as some of the most diverse communities in Albuquerque and in New Mexico. From decades-long residents and homeowners to those newest to Albuquerque, customers come from a wide range of economic circumstances and backgrounds.
Problem-solving and personal service continue throughout the pandemic. Library staff often find themselves addressing community needs beyond that of library resources - caring for the needs of each individual. Florence shared this story:
“A customer came in with her two children and was being helped at the front desk when she collapsed. 911 was called. As staff and the older child were caring for the mother, another staff member noticed how distraught the younger child was and gave him a new stuffed bear, recently donated by the Inez Neighborhood Association. 911 soon arrived and all staff were grateful for the positive outcome. The mother called later to thank everyone for the care shown to her and her children.”
The pandemic and resulting library closure highlight the digital divide and the critical role libraries play in serving patrons with limited or no computer or internet access. Library users still need to apply for jobs, housing, birth certificates and other forms of identification and the library is able to help. The team at San Pedro continue to meet each need as best they are able. Customers who need tax forms have been able to get them printed by library staff who have also copied pay stubs to send for unemployment benefits. As Florence says, “We’re not in the business of saying no.”
To Florence and her team, it’s about respect for each person walking through the doors. Here’s what she shared: “I work with intelligent, committed and caring librarians, who often go above and beyond to help our patrons. Our branch is known for friendly and helpful staff. Here’s a little something about each of them."
Abby Hernandez is insanely creative and comes up with the best displays. Bilingual in Spanish, Abby is a huge help and comfort to the Spanish speakers who come to the library.
Leslie Fox patiently helps patrons with tough reference questions and setting up their devices and troubleshooting eBooks.
Lin McNickle wears hats every day. Patrons look for the hat lady for advice about what to read or watch next. The is also known as the lady who sings and plays guitar during story times.
Toni-Lynn Hart applies her years of experience to each customer interaction and her knowledge is invaluable.
As we all move through the continued unknowns of this pandemic, the San Pedro Library will continue to serve and respond to the needs of this dynamic community. Stop in and say hello!
The library system has 15 branches in the City of Albuquerque and 3 in Bernalillo County. Our libraries are visited by more than 2 million people each year.
More than 73,600 children from birth through high school participated in children’s activities in 2017, including the annual Summer Reading Program and Every Child Ready to Read®.
Our libraries provide computer and internet access to visitors so they can participate in the information economy. In 2017, the libraries provided 360,000 hours of computer access in 698,000 individual sessions.
"Fake news” is not news you disagree with. The ability to tell accurate news from fake news is an important skill that you'll use your entire life. This guide will give you valuable insight in telling fact from fiction online, plus a chance to exercise your newfound skills. Remember to always read beyond the headline. What’s the whole story? You'll find more great information at the TEEN ZONE!
Did you know the Library has its very own YouTube account? Come see all your favorite story time videos, STEM activity videos, and more, all in one place! Great resources for parents!