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MPLA > Publications & Documents > Reports > States > New Mexico > 24 January 2004

New Mexico Board Reports


New Mexico Library Association

Mountain Plains Library Association Report - January 24, 2004
Submitted by Charlene Greenwood, NMLA Representative to MPLA

LEGISLATIVE DAY - The Legislation and Intellectual Freedom Committee of the New Mexico Library Association is planning to hold the annual Library Legislative Day during the regular session of the State Legislature on Wednesday, February 4. This year's effort will be to win support for a $41 million bond package to be included on the 2004 ballot to purchase books and other materials, such as periodicals and electronic databases.

NMLA has organized a statewide group, the Library Bond Task Force, to coordinate efforts to improve libraries of all types that receive public funding. The Library Bond Task Force includes public, school, and academic librarians working together to seek the support of the legislature and the Governor. The last statewide library initiative was the 2002 Library Capital improvement Bond, which passed with the highest positive vote of all state bonds in 2002.

READING ALBUQUERQUE - Albuquerque Mayor Martin J. Chávez and his wife, Margaret, are hosts of a live radio show reading books to children. This program, Reading Albuquerque, is a collaboration that includes the City of Albuquerque, 770 KKOB AM radio, Albuquerque business and community leaders, the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS), and private sector elementary schools. APS and the Albuquerque/Bernalillo Library System have been responsible for selecting and providing the books for the program.

Reading Albuquerque is meant to focus on the importance of literacy. Mayor Chávez and his wife will be joined in the studios of KKOB on the one-hour Sunday evening show by second-graders to read books from the selected reading list for the second grade curriculum. The show airs from 7 - 8 p.m., and features community leaders debuting on the program as celebrity readers with the children. Reading Albuquerque will be broadcast statewide.

RECONSTRUCTED LIBRARY DEDICATION - The newly reconstructed Erna Fergusson Library, a branch of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo Library System, was dedicated on Saturday, November 1, by Mayor Martin J. Chavez, Councilor Sally Mayer, and other community, city and state officials. The 15,500 square foot state-of-the-art library was built on the site of the original building and is open six days a week. At the geographic center of the city, it serves all Albuquerque and Bernalillo County residents as one of seventeen libraries in the system. The original Erna Fergusson Library opened in 1966, and was completely reconstructed and expanded during the last two years.

Library Director Eileen Longsworth described the new Erna Fergusson Library as the "jewel of the library system." The building was designed by Edie Cherry/Jim See Architects and constructed by Newt and Butch's Roofing and Sheet Metal, Inc. The building project cost, excluding library materials is $3.1 million dollars, paid for out of City and State bond funds. The building has over 100,000 library books, audiovisual items and magazines as well as public access Internet computers. The attractive children's area has a "secret door" for young readers into the tall tower in the southwest corner of the building. A community meeting room will be available for library programs and neighborhood events. During November, members of the public were also given the opportunity to sign a special bookplate, and place it in a library book to help celebrate this event and their love of reading.

STATE LIBRARY BUILDING NAMED FOR FORMER GOVERNOR - On December 12, Governor Bill Richardson renamed the building that houses the New Mexico State Library and the New Mexico State Records and Archives the Garrey Carruthers State Library Building. Garrey Carruthers, presently the Dean of the College of Business Administration and Economics at the New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, was governor of New Mexico from 1987 through 1990.