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Looking Back at 16 Years of Accomplishments - Dean Smith (Posted: 06/06/2024)

Dean Smith

As you can imagine, the days leading up to Library Director Dean Smith’s retirement were busy ones. We asked that he share his reflections on all that has happened over the past 16 years.

What jumps out to you as you think about your time in Albuquerque?

Librarians have a tendency only to look forward. There’s always just so much to do that there is little time to look back and think about what has happened and what we have accomplished. It is overwhelming when we look at the very long list of accomplishments we all share. And it is a very satisfying exercise.

What are the highlights?

First of all, we survived a worldwide pandemic and continued to provide continuous and uninterrupted services online. Though limited and reduced, we also managed to provide in-person services for all but three months of that time.

  • Additionally, we convinced the New Mexico State Library to purchase online tutoring for the whole state;
  • we took our annual staff training from a half-day event to a full-day event;
  • we completed major renovations at seven libraries—primarily top to bottom and
  • we completed many smaller projects, replacing roofs, parking lots, landscaping and HVAC systems.

When the parking lot at the San Pedro Library was replaced 10 years ago, I found myself saying, “That is a beautiful parking lot.” Not something I ever thought I would say.

Along the way, we added three much-needed Community Rooms for programs and meetings at the Juan Tabo, Taylor Ranch and Tony Hillerman Libraries.

And, of course, we added two new libraries: the Central & Unser Patrick J. Baca Library and the International District Library.

Library sign

And I cannot forget that we created the truly, most outstanding Library sign in the world.

We also updated our logo and moved to a new Integrated Library System, which is a big deal for librarians. We created a career ladder for our paraprofessionals and created positions called Library Community Services Coordinators to help with the increasing social service needs.

What was the greatest challenge?

Probably the most frustrating thing I’ve learned is how hard it is to spend money. Between the red tape of government purchasing and the bureaucracy of the system itself, getting projects off the ground is almost always a challenge.

What did you enjoy the most?

The most satisfying thing is working with all the people—the customers, elected officials, colleagues and supporters—all of whom love their libraries and want to make them even better.

You probably noticed that I have used “we” in most of this cataloging of accomplishments. This is not the royal we but is really an acknowledgment that none of these accomplishments are achieved by one person. It took a team to get them done.

All of us working together makes the Public Library possible!

Dean Smith

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Hampton Sides, A Word with Writers (Posted: 04/02/2024)

Hampton Sides

April 10, 2024 at 7pm

Have you bought your ticket to the next A Word with Writers event with Hampton Sides? Did you know that when you buy a ticket, you’re also donating money to the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation?

It’s all thanks to Bookworks Albuquerque.

Bookworks is among our most supportive organizations. We are thrilled to partner with them to bring you special events that benefit both the community and APLF.

Click here for more information or to buy tickets.

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The 4th Annual Library Giving Time Campaign April 1-15, 2024 (Posted: 04/02/2024)

Donations are eligible to be matched by The Albuquerque Public Library Foundation (APLF) Board of Directors. Your generosity can make magic happen: $5 becomes $10, $25 becomes $50, $50 becomes $100.

Donations will go to fund programs and services not covered by our library’s operating budget. As reflected in these pictures, they include music, Literacy Kits, Read to the Dogs, Event Guides, STEM, STEAM, and more

Children in Library
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Roberta Price - Why I Give (Posted: 04/02/2024)

Roberta Price

I’ve been interested in the concept of community and in love with the written word for most of my life. Joining the Albuquerque Library Foundation Board and supporting the foundation’s mission is a “no brainer.”

I’m talking about the big picture here, not the many wonderful programs and services our libraries offer, described by other board members’ statements, on our website, and in our newsletters. Today there are fewer opportunities than ever for people of all ages and from all walks of life to come together physically and experience commonality. The public libraries in our city are one of the last places we can enter and become part of and take part in our Albuquerque community --and many intellectual communities--for free. There’s much discussion nowadays about the loneliness and isolation people feel – our libraries are a small, vital antidote to this in our city.

I benefited from the usual communities that fortunate children can join. Like many other board members, I brought home the most books allowed on childhood trips to the library. Books took me to different worlds; in my East Coast library, built by Andrew Carnegie, I found Laura Ingalls Wilder and the American West. (Maybe that’s one reason I’m here in New Mexico.)

At college a beautiful Perpendicular Gothic style library was the heart of the campus. It had a grand entrance hall containing a fireplace you could almost stand in with a huge Art Deco tapestry above it. There were large, cushioned seats grouped around the fireplace, where fires crackled during winter. In the turbulent Sixties, when I walked into that soft silence, I found both respite and knowledge. It was another world, where the community of students over the last century and more had drifted between the shelves and held books I had in my hands

My interest and membership in community goes beyond academia. In graduate school I got a grant to photograph communes in the Southwest and traveled around in 1969 and 1970 with my Pentax Spotmatic. I lived in an artists’ community in the Seventies (it had a library!). I attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa Institute in the year we started its poetry library. Later, when I joined the vibrant law school community here, the UNM Law Library was the center of life. I learned how to take short naps face down on a book and joined the siblinghood of the law. As a lawyer, I worked on voting rights cases protecting a crucial component of citizens’ rights. For years, I represented a pueblo in its efforts to protect its sacred symbol from commercial use and ownership by those not part of that Native American community. When I got a grant to write about the countercultural communities I’d photographed decades before, Zimmerman Library provided the silence and the research material I needed. Still later, I spent several years each September on the New Mexico State Fair Portrait project. At our booth, we photographed fairgoers in one of the last remaining places New Mexicans of all ethnicities, walks of life, and economic backgrounds come together to have fun. My photo archive is now part of the Beinecke Library at Yale’s Western Americana Collection.

I’ve described libraries as spaces I inhabited, but occupying each of them also were exceptionally patient and selfless people, always ready to answer questions and help at just the right moment. People who were and are committed to a deep sense of community and public welfare.

So, to me (and really, it seems to me, to anyone who really thinks about it), the fact that the library staff and Albuquerque Public Libraries are essential parts of our community is another “no brainer.” I’m happy to support them, to try to make them and our community stronger.

Juan Luis Borges said, “I have always imagined Paradise to be a kind of library.” My view of the hereafter isn’t exactly the same; still, my Paradise would contain a great library. In the meantime, I’m glad to give back and be part of the Foundation’s efforts to support these essential building blocks of our community here on earth.

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APLF Receives GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency (Posted: 04/02/2024)

The Platinum Seal of Transparency is the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, a respected source of nonprofit information.

As we enter our tenth year of service to the Albuquerque community, we wish to make it easy for donors and potential donors learn about APLF’s impact and financial information.

By clicking on the Platinum badge, you will be taken to the Candid website. Candid is the umbrella organization that includes GuideStar, the Foundation Directory and additional resources for non-profits.

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On Behalf of the Board (Posted: 02/07/2024)

Eryka MacKenzie

Eryka MacKenzie

Eryka MacKenzie
President, APLF Board of Directors

After 10+ years of servant leadership, Julia Clarke has moved into the President Emeritus role at the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation. The Foundation and the library system can’t thank her enough for her leadership and knowledge. Luckily, she will be continue to be a part of the Foundation in a more supportive role.

Thank you, Julia, for all you have done and all you continue to do for the support of libraries.

I, Eryka MacKenzie, as the incoming President would like to introduce myself and let you know that I am here to serve both the Foundation and the libraries. You can learn more about why I believe in supporting libraries. I am looking forward to an exciting 2024. We are planning multiple opportunities to engage with the community, improve our technology, and, of course, support the libraries in all ways possible. It should be an exciting year.

One new initiative we began in 2023 is the creation of videos to engage with library supporters on social media. If you aren’t yet following us on your social media platforms, be sure to follow us on both Facebook and Instagram. For extra enticement, here is a short video that we had lots of fun creating.

Thank you for all you do to support the Albuquerque and Bernalillo County Libraries. We couldn’t do the work without you.

Community Giving. Community Strong.

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World Travel Programs - by Howard Seltzer (Posted: 02/07/2024)

Howard Seltzer

Howard Seltzer

Lomas Tramway Library - 2nd Saturday of the month @ 2 pm

Join us on our trip to PERU on February 10th at 2 pm at Lomas Tramway Library, followed by one of our trips to RUSSIA on March 9th. Our World Travel Programs are always on the second Saturday of the month at 2 pm.

Hope to see you there - Howard

My wife Marsha and I developed a passion for travel very early in our marriage, which was unusual because neither of us grew up in an era or a family that emphasized travel. In the early days we concentrated on domestic travel here in the Southwest, mostly driving, and then expanded to places like Sanibel Island, Cannon Beach, and Hawaii. In 1974, what was then the University of Albuquerque, sponsored a flight out of Albuquerque – the first-ever charter flight from Albuquerque to Spain and Morocco and we were hooked. That was it, the beginning.

We have been doing the World Travel Programs at the Lomas Tramway Library for several years with the outstanding support of staff person, Sandy Morris. Sandy produces all the flyers and brochures, and I couldn’t do it without her. We took a break for COVID but once again gather on the second Saturday of each month at 2:00 pm. I would be delighted to have you join me as I share the pictures and background information on places we have visited. I always welcome comments and memories from the attendees. Let’s get together for some fun “armchair” travel without the hassle of jet lag!


Elephants on the Serengeti as seen from a hot air balloon in the morning sun.


Floating over the a massive herd of wildebeests on the Serengeti. As far as the eye could see.

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Eileen O’Connell, Manager, Digital & Material Support Services (Posted: 02/07/2024)

Eileen O’Connell

Eileen O’Connell

Eileen O’Connell is one of the jewels in our library system crown. She laughingly revealed her informal title to as “Empress of the Database.” We met when she managed the Special Collections Library at the corner of Central and Edith. Her enthusiasm for the library was as contagious then as it is now.

Eileen currently supervises a talented staff of seven including four in Material Support Services and three in Digital Services. She became a customer of the San Pedro Library at age six, a page at age sixteen and later became Manager of the San Pedro Library. She knows our libraries from the inside out.

“Everything that taxpayer dollars buy, it’s my job to make sure you can find it and use it.” It’s a big job when you consider there are more than 300,000 active users of the library system and over 900,000 physical assets, including books, audiobooks, DVDs, etc. And not everyone searches for the same thing in the same way. Eileen and her staff enjoy solving the puzzles of different search approaches that take into account misspellings, missing words and any number of issues most of us never consider. We just expect the right answer to show up when we want it. And it usually does, much to their credit.

“A great part of the job is being able to bring so much to our customers that can enrich their lives.” At the same time, customers might not consider that not everything is available in every format. Eileen smiled patiently, responding, “If it doesn’t exist, we can’t buy it.”

In closing I asked her if there was anything she would like to say to our BOOKISH readers and she didn’t hesitate. “If you use our libraries in person, bring a friend who has been away from the library for a while. Libraries need to be here.” And libraries need you. Thank you, Eileen, for your stewardship.

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Library Thank You Notes (Posted: 02/07/2024)

Thank you

Because libraries serve so many people for so many reasons, we continue to share these notes with you. It is a real boost when patrons share their thoughts and let staff know what they appreciate most.

Written to the San Pedro Library:

  • Thank you for sharing these masks with us, this library does so much to inform the community about cultures and diversity. These masks are stunning. Wow, I can’t believe people wear these. (Masks from the Vejigante Exhibit January - February 2024)
  • It is so colorful here in this library. I always feel so welcome.
  • I took your YouTube class. Thank you for offering these. I learned a lot from the course.

Received at the Cherry Hills Library:

  • I’m writing to thank you for inspiring me and my family to take a trip together to Zion National Park. Last summer, you had a national parks book display near the front of the library. My 3 year old son and I looked at it and picked up a travel book on Zion National Park. We were so excited looking through the photos and reading about all there is to see that we booked a room at the lodge in October. We used the book to plan out our visit and checked the book out again in October to bring with us on our trip. We had the BEST family trip to Zion, all thanks to you inspiring us!
  • Thank you for letting me check out so many books!
  • Thank you for being an awesome library.
  • Thank you for the library.

Shared by the Central & Unser Library - Patrick J. Baca Library Staff:

  • I had a young man flag me down at the computers yesterday. He was very excited to learn that he had access to LinkedIn Learning with his library card. He was looking forward to getting several certifications completed using the program to improve his career aspirations.
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2023 CABQ Glowing Employee Award (Posted: 12/06/2023)

Florence Sabian

Florence is shown here - smiling along with other CABQ award winners.

Florence Sablan, Manager of the International District Library, was selected by Mayor Tim Keller as the 2023 CABQ Glowing Employee Award for Arts & Culture. The annual Glowing Employee Award recognizes and celebrates hard work, dedication, and innovative accomplishments.

“This recognition is so well deserved. Florence has worked so hard to build the team, operations, programs, and a spirit of service at the International District Library. Her hard work and dedication are reflected in how well this new, beautiful library runs and serves our community.“
Shelle Sanchez, CABQ Director, Arts & Culture

A library patron shares why the International District Library is special to him:

“A very sincere patron approached me today to help assist him in locating some library materials. After we found what he was looking for, he expressed deep gratitude for the International District Library. He shared that our branch is one he frequents often to find peace and solace. He said for us to expect seeing him as a regular because he loves being here among such courteous staff in such a harmonious environment.”

Congratulations to Florence and the staff of the International District Library.

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Mark Your Calendar for A Word with Writers - Michael Cunningham (Posted: 12/06/2023)

Michael Cunningham

Tuesday, January 9 @ 7 pm
Downtown Main Library Auditorium

In partnership with APLF, BOOKWORKS is delighted to announce that Michael Cunningham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours, will join us for a reading and signing of his lyrical and stunning new novel, Day—his first in a decade.

Join us on Tuesday, January 9th, at the Downtown Main Library Auditorium. Doors are open at 6 pm, and the event begins at 7 pm. We’ll enjoy a reading from Mr. Cunningham’s new novel, followed by an audience Q&A and a signing.

Tickets are available now on the Bookworks website and in-store at 4022 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Albuquerque.

Excerpted from GOODREADS:

Three years. Three days. One family, forever changed.

"As the world changes around them, a family weathers the storms of growing up, growing older, falling in and out of love, losing the things that are most precious—and learning to go on—from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hours.

"From the brilliant mind of Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham, Day is a searing, exquisitely crafted meditation on love and loss and the struggles and limitations of family life—how to live together and apart.”

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Library Patrons Share Their Library Love (Posted: 12/06/2023)

Library Love

Central and Unser Library

We received a card from the New Mexico Satsang Society:

"We appreciate that the staff is accommodating and the library as a whole feels bright and welcoming. We express our gratitude to you all, and the City of Albuquerque, for providing an excellent venue."

Rudolfo Anaya / North Valley Library

“I can’t tell you how much I love the library.”

“To Rudolfo Anaya Staff—while this is not my regular library, I greatly appreciate your kind and efficient service! - Rio Rancho patron

“I love that you have the First in a Series Display. Keep it Up!”

"Thank you to all the library staff that have been very helpful to me while doing my online master’s program. Because of you I have been passing all my classes. Again, thank you so much!"

Tony Hillerman Library

“I love the Staff Favorites. I always find a good one there. I have to compliment you on the Staff Favorites display. There’s always good stuff on there and I find something new each time I come in.”

Libraries serve so many people for many reasons. It is a real boost when patrons share their thoughts and let staff know what they appreciate most.

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San Pedro Library Mural Dedication (Posted: 12/06/2023)

San Pedro Library Mural San Pedro Library Mural San Pedro Library Mural San Pedro Library Mural

On Saturday, November 4th, community members gathered as New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (NMPGV) unveiled its 14th mural outside the San Pedro Public Library at 5600 Trumbull SE. The mural program, initiated in 2016, provides a platform for young artists and students to address the impact of gun violence in their communities.

NMPGV joined with Estevan Montaño, the San Pedro Branch Library manager, to develop the mural. Artist Warren Montoya developed and executed the project. What sets this mural apart is its integration of augmented reality. Scanning a QR code brings the mural to life with a recording of Albuquerque’s second Poet Laureate, Jessica Helen Lopez, reciting a spoken-word piece on gun violence.

The dedication began with a meditation by the Reverend Natalie Skogerboe, the Director and Co-President of New Mexicans Against Gun Violence. The program included a moving presentation by student advocate Janae Martinez.

Many local and state dignitaries were also in attendance - including Dean Smith, the Director of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Public Library system; Alexander Uballez, the United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico; and Josh Boone, Chief Deputy District Attorney for Bernalillo County.

Take some time out of your day to discover the new mural and listen to Jessica Helen Lopez’s spoken-word piece.

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Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Library Bonds (Posted: 12/06/2023)

Thank you! In the recent November 7th election, 75% of voters approved a total of $16 million in library, museum, and cultural facilities bonds. Thank you for your continuing support.

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Get Ready for the Solar Eclipse (Posted: 10/04/2023)

Solar eclipse

An annular solar eclipse will be visible to millions of people in the Western Hemisphere. Library events are planned to raise awareness and to celebrate this exciting event.

Programs range from a “DIY Solar Eclipse Viewer,” to chalk art, and creating a pinhole viewer. Both the Tony Hillerman Library and the Main Library will be hosting Solar Eclipse Viewing parties the morning of October 14.

Sunoculars will be used to ensure safe viewing of the eclipse. Information and location details about eclipse events will be posted at all Library branches. Please find opportunities available at your library under Special Events beginning Saturday, October 7th. Join the fun!

The Albuquerque Public Library Foundation is proud to sponsor these programs for the community.

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Experience Improved Online Library Services (Posted: 10/04/2023)

What’s new?

  • A brand new home page
  • A brand new catalog with improved search capabilities
  • An improved My Account where you can manage everything library in one place
  • Coming soon, a library app!
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Do you have Questions About the Library’s New Catalog? (Posted: 10/04/2023)

Many of your questions may be answered in this video.

What’s next?

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Aldo Leopold Writing Contest (Posted: 10/04/2023)

Leopold writing program

The Albuquerque Public Library Foundation is pleased to partner with the Leopold Writing Program.

This organization conducts an annual essay contest for students in grades 6-12. It is an opportunity for New Mexico students to engage with critical questions about environmental ethics in an essay contest with cash prizes. Open to all students enrolled in grades 6-12 in public, private, and home schools in New Mexico.

Additional information may be found here.

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Community Baby Shower (Posted: 10/04/2023)

Baby shower

For new or expecting moms and dads

Saturday, October 21 | 1 pm – 3 pm
International District Library

Come and be a part of our community information fair dedicated to the well-being of young families! Explore a wealth of resources from health, social service, and cultural agencies, all aimed at supporting the health and happiness of your family.

Expect delightful gifts, exciting giveaways, delicious refreshments, and a few more delightful surprises!

And yes, feel free to bring your little ones along.

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Colson Whitehead Brought us to Our Feet (Posted: 08/02/2023)

Colson Whitehead on stage
Colson Whitehead at the Kimo
Colson Whitehead books

How exciting to be back at the KiMo Theater and to enjoy such an outstanding presentation by Hakim Bellamy and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Colson Whitehead.

There was a short monsoon rain just before the doors opened, but it didn’t diminish the anticipation and enthusiasm of the nearly sold out audience.

As this was the first "A Word With Writers" in-person event since 2019, there many waves and hellos to friends and colleagues across the aisles of the theater.

Mr. Bellamy’s well-prepared questions were met with Mr. Whitehead’s thoughtful and authentic responses much to the delight of the audience.

The audience’s rousing standing ovation at the end of this notable event was an uplifting moment.

Autographed copies of Mr Whitehead’s recently published novel, Crook Manifesto - the second book in his Harlem trilogy, were ready for ticket holders as they came in the doors.

APLF is grateful to Bookworks for bringing this program to Albuquerque and for their partnership with the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation.

We also wish to thank the many volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly behind the scenes. Well done!

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Albuquerque is Reading (Posted: 08/02/2023)

Abq is reading
Event guide

Youth Services Coordinator, Debbie Hassi, reports that the 2023 Summer Reading Program is a huge success!

Over 14,000 participated, a significant increase over the 2020, 2021, and 2022 summers. The special programs offered through the summer have attracted nearly 10,000 people of all ages and interests! It’s clear that library staff are on track in identifying the interests and desires of library users.

The Summer Reading Program is an example of the public library’s support of lifelong learning and family connection. The Friends of the Public Library, Dion’s, The Albuquerque Isotopes, the ABQ BioPark, Eastern New Mexico University, AMP Concerts, Guitar New Mexico, the New Mexico State Library and the Albuquerque Journal all contributed to the success of this wonderful summer tradition.

Be sure to check out the September 2023 Event Guide (coming in late August) that will list activities and services available throughout the 19 libraries in our library system.

There’s fun at the Library all year round!

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Why I Give - Kay Rhoads, APLF Board Member (Posted: 08/02/2023)

Kay Rhoads

"Why should I learn to read?" asked the first grader quite seriously. As a volunteer reading tutor, I quickly answered how life would be so much harder if he didn’t.

We talked about job and educational obstacles and how every part of life is impacted by the written word. Fortunately, he was convinced it would be worth the effort to learn. After struggling for such a long time, he began discovering books in the school library he wanted to read. What was easy for me was really hard for him. I can’t remember not reading or being read to.

I have so many memories associated with reading - climbing a backyard tree to read and reading under the covers at bedtime. Receiving books as gifts was always a joy. In the library, I liked the Dewey decimal system and the drawers of the card catalog.

Later in life, it was joining book clubs, learning how to download books to my Kindle and researching my graduate thesis. All are powerful experiences that continue to reinforce my love of books and love of learning.

  • Libraries are sources of great wisdom and are safe spaces in our 21st century world.
  • Libraries are filled with books that entice, amuse, entertain and teach. Those books can be unsettling and provocative as well as comforting and familiar.
  • Libraries provide access that is equal, fair and open to all. It begins with a free library card.
  • A literate society has been a powerful sign of civilization since ancient times.

Reading is central to who I am and what I know. Libraries are where the books are - thankfully. All this is why I give.

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Another Successful Community Baby Shower (Posted: 06/12/2023)

Each year APLF sponsors 2 Community Baby Showers for new parents and their families in the spring & fall. Our spring Baby Shower was held this year in the Community Room at the International District Library. Big sisters and brothers joined their parents at this happy and hopeful community event. There were gifts, giveaways and other fun surprises, along with refreshments.

This free community information fair features representatives from health, social service and cultural agencies that focus on the health and well-being of young families. Over 150 people attended, making this our largest baby shower yet!

Baby shower Baby shower Baby shower
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Experience Our Soon-to-be Upgraded Library System! (Posted: 06/12/2023)

APLF logo

The Public Library, Albuquerque and Bernalillo County will soon unveil a significant upgrade to the online system. Read full press release here.

This enhanced system will provide better communication, including text messaging and improved search capabilities. The library’s new website will simplify access to the library’s wide range of resources.

There will be a period of limited service from June 19-21. Most online services will be unavailable during this time. However, eBooks, eAudiobooks, eVideos, and eMagazines can be downloaded through Libby and Hoopla for offline use. Customers will be able to check out materials at library locations.

Please contact your library with questions.

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The Public Library’s Summer Reading Program, All Together Now, is Here (Posted: 06/12/2023)

All Together Now

June 3 - July 29, 2023

We’re looking forward to welcoming readers of all ages at all our branches this summer. Click here for complete information.

What is Summer Reading?

A free 8-week program at branches of the Public Library that encourages babies, children, tweens, teens and adults to read (or be read to!) throughout the summer. Sign up and pick up a Reading Log at any of our Library branches or signup online.

Set your own reading goals and read whatever you like at your own pace wherever you’re most comfortable. Babies, Children, Tweens & Teens: once a week, bring your reading log to any of our Public Library Branch locations, show us your progress, and you’ll earn a weekly prize! Adults will earn chances at weekly prizes at each check-in visit.

All participants who turn in their completed reading logs up until the end of the Summer Reading Program will be entered into grand prize drawings for their age group held at each branch.

Why is Summer Reading important?

Studies have shown that children who read during the summer are more able to maintain their reading skills and that children who see their parents read, or who read with their parents, generally score higher on standardized tests.

Reading is important for everyone in the community, regardless of age, and reading is a skill that grows with practice throughout a lifetime. It’s free, easy to do because you read whatever you like at your own pace, and it’s a fun, easy, zero-risk way of showing your support for the Public Library and its services.

The Summer Reading Program is generously sponsored every year by Friends of the Public Library.

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Bookworks Relaunches A Word With Writers (Posted: 04/27/2023)

Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead in Conversation with Hakim Bellamy

When: Thursday, July 27, 2023
Where: KiMo Theatre
Cost: $34 – $39

Bookworks and the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation welcome multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Colson Whitehead, on tour for Crook Manifesto. Mr. Whitehead will be in conversation with Hakim Bellamy, inaugural Albuquerque Poet Laureate.

Each ticket includes a signed hardcover of Crook Manifesto and a donation to the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation.

Please join us for this thought-provoking evening to benefit APLF.

Buy tickets

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On Behalf of the Board (Posted: 04/12/2023)

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke
President, APLF Board of Directors

As always, our heartfelt thanks to the donors who made 2023 Library Giving Time such a success. One by one, we see small and large donors continue to join us in strengthening our Public Library system throughout Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. Thank you for being part of our growing community!

We appreciate all the support you have shown throughout our 2023 Library Giving campaign. Every click, like and comment on social media, every subscriber to our newsletter, every single donation makes a real difference. We truly could not do this without you.

Community Giving. Community Strong.

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Taylor Ranch Library & Ken Sanchez Community Room (Posted: 04/12/2023)

Taylor Ranch Library

Near the intersection of Montano and Unser, you will find our beautiful Taylor Ranch Library sitting at the top of the hill. Placed on the edges of the Petroglyph National Monument, this library is truly a neighborhood gem.

Taylor Ranch Library

The park area where this neighborhood library is located provides expansive outdoor space for sledding at first sign of a good snow, play areas for children and a dog park for canines and their "people." Park benches are plentiful for walkers.

Taylor Ranch Library

Opened in November 1989, the Taylor Ranch Library is located in the middle of the Santa Fe Village neighborhood in the Taylor Ranch area.

Taylor Ranch Library

The interior view east to the mountains is panoramic. The sense of peace and nature from the outside continues to the open and welcoming interior.

Taylor Ranch Library

The Delores Hartley bequest to APLF provided the funds to furnish the Ken Sanchez Community Room. Infants, toddlers and their grandparents, parents and caregivers come together in this gloriously colourful space.

Taylor Ranch Library

The Ken Sanchez Community Room was dedicated in 2022 after many years of planning and securing funding. It is used by community members, local schools and neighborhood organisations.

Taylor Ranch Library

Children are welcomed here at every turn. Kelly Brocklehurst, Children’s Librarian at the Taylor Ranch and library staff have a devoted following of young and old alike for storytime and other activities such as crafts, music and movement, journaling and book clubs.

Taylor Ranch Library

The Community Room opens to a beautiful shaded patio where the Summer Reading Program is held. There have been up to 200 participants for the Summer Reading Program.

Taylor Ranch Library

Many Taylor Ranch patrons first experienced the library when they themselves attended children’s storytime. Those children grew up and now bring their own children to storytime, too. Sweet and inspiring stories are shared of library adventures that span three and four generations.

Lilly Byres-Richardson

Lilly Byres-Richardson, Branch Manager of Taylor Ranch, has nothing but praise for her "extremely dedicated staff who are devoted to their jobs and to the community. We work really hard to have the answer to questions be YES!"

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On Behalf of the Board (Posted: 03/14/2023)

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke
President, APLF Board of Directors

Dear Library Supporters,

We are pleased to announce the 3rd annual Spring Library Giving campaign March 17-27. This year’s theme is Spring for the Library - Come grow with us!

APLF is a 501c-3 non-profit organization, run by a volunteer Board of working and retired professionals.

APLF steps in where there is a need and there are no public funds to meet those needs — as we are able. Support from our donors goes to fund new and continuing programs & services; along with facility upgrades and initiatives not covered by our tax dollars.

Books are just the beginning! Come join us.
Donations received by March 27 are eligible to matched by the APLF Board.

Community Giving. Community Strong.

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On Behalf of the Board (Posted: 02/09/2023)

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke
President, APLF Board of Directors

Dear Library Supporters,

Like many of you, my thoughts turn to spring this time of year. I am ready to see the budding leaves, the crocus blooms, and, yes, even a weed or two. Spring’s promise of growth brings me joy, and as I think about our public libraries, the potential for individual growth comes to mind.


This potential manifests in different ways at different stages of life. Many of the programs sponsored by APLF help children develop new skills and identify new interests, story times nurture our newest readers, and the Library Event Guides grow attendance and awareness of programs and services that may be new to you.

Your donations support many of the efforts that occur in the one place where everyone is welcome and everyone belongs—our public libraries. Thank you.

Community Giving. Community Strong.

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Poets in the Library: Hidden Treasures in Every Neighborhood (Posted: 02/09/2023)

One Albuquerque, One Hundred Poets

Albuquerque’s vibrant community of poets gathered at the International District Library on December 17, 2022, to celebrate the publication of One Albuquerque, One Hundred Poets; Poets in the Library Anthology. Mayor Keller and Dr. Shelle Sanchez joined the festivities. Here are just a few of the poets who read. Photo acknowledgements to Jeff Hartzer.

Albuquerque’s fifth poet laureate, Mary Oishi, created the “Poets in the Libraries” (link) series in 2020 and 2021.

“Albuquerque has hidden treasures in every neighborhood,” Oishi wrote. Happily, quite a few of those treasures were discovered, including a truck driver, a paramedic, musicians, those who started writing in their later years, and those only ever shared with their family and close friends.”

One Albuquerque, One Hundred Poets
One Albuquerque, One Hundred Poets
One Albuquerque, One Hundred Poets

Several poets in the series performed and published for the first time, thanks to this series.

“Poets in the Libraries” was implemented with the help of staff throughout the library system. Library Engagement Coordinator, Mary Sue Houser, oversaw the project.

The team invited Albuquerque poets to read at seventeen of the city’s public libraries. The only public library not represented in the anthology is the International District Library, which was under construction during the pandemic.

Poets read virtually from home, outside, or at the city’s public libraries. The readings were recorded and produced as part of GOVTV’s “Poets in the Libraries” series on YOU TUBE, which also includes a visual tour and the history of each library.

View the videos here!

The "Poets in the Libraries" anthology showcases the work from the series and Albuquerque’s vibrant—and ever-growing—poetry scene.

The book features 100 poems, a map of the public libraries, an introduction by Oishi, and a bio for each poet, along with their home library.

Poetry is divided into sections, including poems on Albuquerque and New Mexico, nature and the environment, animals, relationships, grief and loss, healing, and empowerment.

The book lifts up our community poets, our city libraries, the poet laureate program, books and publishing, and public and private reading time.

One Albuquerque, One Hundred Poets is available at local bookstores or via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Bookshop.

You will also find this anthology available to check out at Albuquerque public libraries.

Each book purchased benefits the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation, co-publisher of the anthology.

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Free subscription to NYT from NM State Library! (Posted: 02/09/2023)

The New Mexico State Library is making 2 high-profile digital resources available FOR FREE to NM state residents!

All libraries across New Mexico will now provide visitors with FREE ACCESS to a New York Times digital subscription, which includes access to both its cooking and games sections, along with The Palace Project e-book library. Both e-books and audiobooks are available through the service, and the material encompasses all reader levels in both Spanish and English.

“All of this is part of the New Mexico State Library’s commitment to improve access to entertaining and educational materials,” said Kate Alderete, deputy state librarian.

Albuquerque and Bernalillo County residents can access the New York Times for free from the public library’s website by clicking here OR clicking on Research, then eResources & Databases, and clicking on New York Times At Home. Then, simply click Redeem, and sign into your NY Times account or create a new account. This code will give you access to the Times for 24 hours, and can be reused.

The Palace Project is accessible through an app on your tablet or smart phone. Just download the app, choose New Mexico State Library when you are asked to "find your library", create a Palace Project library card, and start borrowing! If you have any problems with the app, just give the NM State Library reference desk a call at 505-476-9702.

Click here to read the entire Journal article. Permission granted by The Albuquerque Journal to link.

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CABQ Public Arts & the International District Library (Posted: 02/09/2023)

Reyes Padilla

Reyes Padilla is the artist selected in 2022 for the City of Albuquerque Public Arts Program. When completed, Padilla’s work will be installed inside the expansive windows of the new International District Library located at 7601 Central Ave NE.

For ten days, Padilla will study with international designers at Franz Mayer of Munich, Germany. Founded in 1847, Franz Mayer of Munich is a glass art company that transforms artwork into some of the most brilliant glass designs in the world. The company specializes in developing and producing international projects, spanning traditional to avant-garde artworks and techniques.

“The concept for this project was to really emphasize the amount of communities that make up the International District,” Padilla says. “There’s so much diversity there.” Padilla says when the project is installed, visitors will be able to see it from outside the library.

“You’ll have to enter the library to experience it to its fullest,” he says. “With the different equipment and materials, this project will be unlike anything we’ve seen here in New Mexico. It will be a great representation of the community.”

The Public Library has numerous pieces of public art installed across our library system—you can find a complete listing of all locations here.

Click here to read the complete article. Permission granted by The Albuquerque Journal to link.

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Why I Give - Julia Clarke, President, APLF Board of Directors (Posted: 02/09/2023)

Julia Clarke

Public libraries have always been a part of my life. Like most of you, my parents shared the wonders of the library when I was a small child.

Imagine my excitement when Frances Horwich of “Miss Frances and the Ding Dong School” came to “my” branch of the public library. I was hooked!

My career trajectory in academic and public libraries provided a front-row seat to learn that the public library is valued as a welcoming and helpful resource in one’s life journey as well as a place of comfort and often joy.

Allow me to share some observations of those who benefit from the daily work of the library staff and volunteers. It is those individuals who ensure that public libraries make a positive difference in the life of our community—growing their potential and enhancing their quality of life.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the room when we opened a note from a patron of the Special Collections Library. She wrote to thank the staff for taking the time to teach her how to set up an email account and apply for a job. She got the job, and her note said it all: “Thanks to the staff, I can pay rent and buy food.”

A customer who was left with one arm after surgery came to the library before attending any special events or even lunch with her friends. We combed her hair, made sure her dress was fastened correctly, put on her jewelry, and ensured that things were “just right.” In turn, she taught us how to make a cake with one hand and a few other tricks she’d learned along the way—a true win/win.

Over the years, I saw the tattoos on the arms of the Holocaust survivors, observed the grief of families impacted by horrific crimes, and witnessed miraculous recoveries. The library was always there for them.

On occasion, families stopped at the library on the way home from the hospital to get a library card for the newest addition to the family. And we all rejoiced when we learned of successful science fair projects. Sadness or joy—the public library was among the places they wanted to be.

I loved every minute of working in public libraries—even the pet show that failed to meet all expectations. Of course, the program was my idea. Little did I know that adults and children would arrive with mules, exotic birds, reptiles, and the more usual dogs, cats, and gerbils.

All was going well, and almost every pet was awarded the perfect ribbon: Biggest Ears, Longest Snake, etc. A darling white dog in a “sailor-style collar” was next, and I awarded him the “Most Nautical” prize. The 70+-year-old owner was not amused and hit me over the head with her purse. I laugh every time I think about it!

Our public libraries are treasures and mean something different to each person who walks through the doors. For many, the public library is a constant and is treasured throughout their lives.

Yes, our community members check out and read books, access databases, and otherwise enrich their lives. However, it is their interaction with the staff and the confidence in knowing that the public library will provide the help that is needed that makes the difference.

I thank all who contribute, support, and strengthen this beloved institution that is, quite simply, an essential part of our lives. This is why I give.

@ Your Library!

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