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April 3, 2009; #1685

In this issue:


Library Journal’s new national rating of public libraries, the LJ Index of Public Library Service (see, identifies 256 “star” libraries and six of them are in New Mexico. Created by Ray Lyons and Keith Curry Lance and sponsored by Baker & Taylor’s Bibliostat, it rates 7,115 public libraries. The top libraries in each group get five, four, or three Michelin guide-like stars according to four output measures that indicate public service:  circulation per capita, visits per capita, program attendance per capita, and public Internet uses per capita.  The criteria were based on 2006 data collected by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and published in late 2008.  All the libraries that were included in the rating, stars or not, have the opportunity to learn where they can improve service in their communities. 

Here are some of the New Mexico libraries that got “starred.”  

  • 4 stars for Columbus Village Library
  • 5 stars for Eleanor Daggett Memorial Library in Chama  
  • 3 stars for Jemez Pueblo Community Library 
  • 5 stars for Santa Clara Pueblo Community Library 
  • 5 stars for Shuter Library of Angel Fire 
  • 3 stars for Taos Public Library

Not all libraries were included in this study. To be included, a library had to meet the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) definition of a public library, having $10,000 or more in total operating expenditures annually, serve a legal service area population of 1,000 or more residents, and report all of the four service categories:  (circulation, visits, program attendance, and public Internet users.   Volunteer-based libraries were not included because they do not have paid staff, an IMLS definition of a public library.  Libraries were evaluated on each service indicator relative to the performance of other libraries in their peer group. The scoring compares each library’s four indicators to the peer group average for that indicator. 



Send your news or stories that you would like to share with the library community to the HH editor, Robert Upton, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

New library for Placitas.  After years of planning, dreaming, and working to build a library, Placitas Community Library’s new home will become reality.  According to a news release by Rosalie Rayburn in the Albuquerque Journal on March 28, the Sandoval County Commission approved an $894,000 contract with Hart Construction of Albuquerque to build the first phase of what will eventually be a 7,000-square-foot library.  It will be built on land owned by Sandoval County a few hundred yards southwest of the Placitas Fire Station.  Work on the 3,500-square-foot first phase will begin in mid-May and be completed by the end of September. 

Placitas residents, who formed a committee to determine how the library could best serve the community, have put in years of effort and worked to secure the necessary funding.   The facility will include a space where residents can hold community meetings.  The existing library has no such room in its small, cramped space and the need for a community room held a high priority for residents on surveys done by the Placitas Library Building Committee.  Library co-director Rebecca Watson-Boone said that a larger building will give staff more workspace and allow the library to expand programs for adults and children.  Once complete, the library will be operated entirely by volunteers. The county will own the building and accept the volunteer hours as in-kind rent. 

The first construction phase will include infrastructure such as bathrooms and other plumbing needed to serve the entire finished building, with funding provided through federal, state, and private sources. The second phase, which will add more meeting and library space, will cost less.  The library committee still has to secure the roughly $750,000 needed to build the second phase.  Placitas now has a volunteer-run library operating in a 1,100-square-foot converted machine shop on Tierra Madre Road, several miles east of the new library location. 


Red? or something else?   NM NewsPlus, the New Mexico State Library’s site for the stories behind the headlines (see the website at ) had an interesting chili story for April 1 (no foolin’!), called “Red or Green Answered.” 

“Genetic botanist Alfred Rojo and his colleagues from the Vale Verde Genetic Research facility today unveiled a red and green chili created by altering key genes found in Capsicum Sandia, a species of chili which promotes early ripening in half of the chili resulting in a red/green variety. Environmentalist and chili farmers have protested this genetically altered chili as being “Franken-Food” and the risk of possible cross pollination of traditional crops.”-Las Cruces Globe News, “Researchers unveil red and green chili,” April 1, 2009


NM library get free children’s materials.  Each year the American Library Association receives almost 3,000 newly published books, videos, audio books and recordings from publishers for consideration for literary awards, such as the Newbery Medal for children's literature.  After the awards have been given out, the Association for Library Service to Children selects three libraries to receive book collections through the Bookapalooza Program.  This year, Laguna Public Library will be one of the recipients.   Angela Smith, a spokeswoman for the Association for Library Service to Children, said each collection is worth $10,000.


HH notes.  The Hitchhiker is about you and your libraries.  We depend on you to let us know what is going on at your libraries, and what you like or don’t like about the content of the newsletter.  Please help by spreading the word that Hitchhiker is back, and by reminding others to send their email addresses so we can notify them each time a new issue is available.  Send your news and announcements, and also new and corrected email addresses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  




Send event and training announcements for the library community to the HH editor, Robert Upton, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Handmade libros.  Mesa Public Library’s Upstairs Gallery will feature a hand-made book display March 30-April 29, called “Libros: New Mexico Book Arts Guild.”  Handmade, handbound, handprinted, these are not ordinary books:  the books on display include a wide variety of binding techniques, assorted materials and embellishments, flag books, sewn books, accordion books, and books that fold and twist, curl and turn.  From work that is wildly creative to serious and contemplative, the members of LIBROS present an inspiring look at what is called “book arts”.  The books are made both by individuals and others are the LIBROS Collaborative books from 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Some of the works are for sale as indicated by contacting LIBROS directly. 

April is a big month for books: it is a literary and  library month, a month to savor and enjoy books and honor those who create and make them available for everyone. April is National Poetry Month and National Library Week is April 12-18 this year. Celebrate both with beautiful books, imagined and created by the members of Libros: New Mexico Book Arts Guild. 

LIBROS: New Mexico Book Arts Guild is an educational organization  formed to stimulate interest in and encourage development of the book arts through workshops, classes, exhibitions, and lectures on the book and related arts.  The exhibit will be during regular library hours:  Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.;  Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;  Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. 


Special invitation.  Children's book writers know how important librarians are.  The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, New Mexico branch, will be holding their annual conference on April 17-18 and in order to show their appreciation, and foster communication between writers and librarians, would like to invite librarians to attend the conference cocktail party on Friday for the SCBWI member price of $15. 

This event is part of the Handsprings conference for children's writers and illustrators, held at the UNM Continuing Education Conference Center, North Building, in Albuquerque, on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18. The Friday evening event runs 7-9:30 p.m. and will feature light hors d'oeuvres and soft drinks. Enjoy social time, plus get a look at how editors work with the First Pages/Synopsis critique panel. You can also hear about some new children's books with Mini Book Launches, where NM authors and illustrators share their latest books. In addition, children's book illustrators are invited to bring their portfolios for display. 

This is a chance for librarians to get to know children's book writers and illustrators in New Mexico and other states.  Learn what editors look for in children's books, check out the work of talented local illustrators, view the display of books from local authors, and make contacts for visits. 

To sign up, download a registration form from the web site at . The web site also has the full conference schedule, the workshop descriptions and speaker biographies.  If you need a brochure mailed, email the Conference Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or call Lucy at (505) 899-8045. 


Grantsmanship training.  The Grantsmanship Center’s (TGCI) signature Grantsmanship Training Program is coming to Santa Fe, May 4-8.  Hosted by the New Mexico State Library, this intensive five-day, “hands-on” workshop takes you step-by-step through all the stages of writing a grant proposal.  Participants learn the TGCI writing format, team up with classmates to prepare and write a proposal, and investigate funding sources for their individual organizations.  If you choose, you may draft a proposal for your own organization during the workshop.  Participants have the opportunity to use the extensive materials in the State Library’s Foundation Center Cooperating Collection, a vital resource for New Mexicans looking for funding opportunities.  Program tuition of $895 includes a one-year TGCI Membership, which affords follow-up proposal review and access to TGCI’s exclusive funding databases.  The workshop is geared to both novice and advanced grant seekers.  In the past, there has been a good mix of library, government, and nonprofit staff. 

Because TGCI workshops are designed to address the current needs and program activities of each participant, enrollment is limited to 30.  A limited number of half-tuition scholarships are available to organizations with annual budgets of less than $300,000.  To register for the May 4-8 workshop, or to apply for a scholarship, contact the TGCI registrar toll-free at 1-800-421-9512 or enroll online at .  If you have questions about local facilities and arrangements, please contact Linda Harris, Reference Services Manager, New Mexico State Library, at (505) 476-9763 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Send announcements of new personnel, changes, achievements, and retirements in your library to the  HH editor, Robert Upton, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The Peace Corps motto is “Life is calling.  How far will you go?”  On April 30, Louise Hoffmann is retiring from San Juan College.  Life is calling. 

Louise will fulfill a dream that she has harbored for many years by answering the Peace Corps call.  While she was growing up in rural Wisconsin, John F. Kennedy came to speak at her high school.  His call to the young people of the nation, asking them to serve their country, left an indelible impression on her life. 

Now that her children are grown and pursuing their careers, she’s decided that the time has come for her to serve.   She will be teaching English in a Bulgarian high school following a three-month cultural and language immersion training in Bulgaria.  After that time Louise will be assigned a village where she will live for the following two years.  She also expects to work in community libraries and assist elementary school teachers with their English skills. 

Louise has been in education over 40 years.  She has been a teacher and a library director in Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.  In 1997 she moved to New Mexico as a school librarian and became the Director of Library Services at SJC in 1998.  Louise served the New Mexico Library Association as member-at-large, Vice President, and President as well as the New Mexico Consortium of Academic Libraries secretary-treasurer for four years.  Her autobiography, Goulash and Picking Pickles, is available on Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, or from the San Juan College Library. 

To learn more about the Peace Corps go to .  If you would like to stay in touch and hear more about Louise’s Peace Corps adventure please send your email address to her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Have positions to advertise?  Send job announcements to the HH editor, Robert Upton, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . There is no charge for this service to the library community. 


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