February 29, 2008; #1658

 In this issue:


 

STATE LIBRARIAN RESPONDS TO BOOKMOBILE CUSTOMERS  

 

“I am writing in response to recent letters we have received at the New Mexico State Library expressing support for our bookmobiles and concern over possible changes to the routes of the bookmobiles because of budget cuts. The short answer is that the State Library has experienced a reduction in the federal funds that pay for, among other things, running the bookmobiles and Books by Mail services. As a result, we are reviewing all the services that we provide, both to bookmobiles customers and to the public libraries in the state, to determine where our resources should to be deployed. However, we have no plans to stop bookmobile services. They will continue to keep their appointed rounds to people without access to local public libraries, carrying on a tradition that began more than a half century ago. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you more about our mission, funding and operations as a way of explaining how we are organizing this review. 

The New Mexico State Library, established in 1929, exists to ensure that all New Mexicans have the information they need, when and how they need it. This is done in two ways: one is to provide direct library services to citizens and the other is to enhance the capacity of public libraries to serve their customers. One example of direct services is the four bookmobiles, whose mandate for over 50 years has been to provide service to people around the state who do not have access to local libraries. Some examples of how the State Library helps public libraries enhance their capacity to serve their customers are: consulting support in areas like computer technology and children’s summer reading programs and paying for the database, Magazines Online, for all libraries in the state. 

The connection between these two means of ensuring that New Mexicans have the information that they need is a direct one. For instance, as new libraries open around the state, the State Library begins to support the new library and, when the library has reached a fully developed status, moves the bookmobile services out of the new library’s service area. In the last 15 years, 30 new public libraries have been established in communities like Abiquiu, Cuba, Mountainair, Cloudcroft, Jemez Pueblo, Mescalero, Clayton, Acoma Pueblo and Sunland Park. We like to think that the bookmobiles may be a motivating influence on towns that decide to start their own library. 

We see great benefits to New Mexicans from these new public libraries. For one thing, we know that the cost of services provided by local libraries is lower than the cost of bookmobile services. We estimate that it took about $41 per customer for the bookmobiles to serve their customers last year, while it took about $6 per customer for the state’s 91 public libraries to serve their customers. This is important in a state like New Mexico with scarce funding sources for library services. We should be using each dollar we have to obtain maximum effect.  

In addition to cost effectiveness, we believe that there are other benefits to a town in having a public library. As a resident of Rio Arriba County for 30 years, I know that the coming of a library to a small town brings many social, community and cultural advantages, as well as library services. One of the most important services public libraries offer to rural communities is the free public Internet access which allows them touseonline distance learning tools, online resources and databases for personal and work-related needs and to gain computer skills and competencies that can translate into better workers and jobs in the area. 

The purpose of our review of the bookmobile services is to ensure that: 1) we are operating the bookmobiles, Books by Mail and all other federally funded programs in the most cost effective manner possible;  2) we continue to follow our long-established mandate of providing bookmobile service only to people who do not have access to fully developed public libraries;  and 3) we are serving all areas that qualify for bookmobile services and Books by Mail. As we continue this review, we will discuss and coordinate all possible adjustments to our bookmobile schedules and stops with those communities that we serve. Thanks to all of you who have expressed your continued support for the bookmobiles.” 

This letter was authored by State Librarian Susan Oberlander. She can be reached for comment at (505) 476-9762 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
 
 

BRIEFINGS

 

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.

 

Technology Enhancement in NM public libraries. The New Mexico State Library is awarding $39,500 in grants to nine New Mexico public libraries to help build capacity and sustainability of technology-based services for the state’s citizens. The program provides grants for libraries to purchase additions, upgrades and replacements to hardware, software, automation systems and support devices that enhance Internet infrastructure, public access computing resources, and library systems. 

“These Technology Enhancement Grants will provide public library access to the Internet to support educational and economic goals and needs of their communities. Through innovative projects such as public library wireless hotspots, digital archiving of community records and oral histories, as well as much needed technology infrastructure support, public libraries will use these funds to sustain and support their communities, “ said New Mexico State Librarian Susan Oberlander. 

The Technology Enhancement Projects include:

 
  • Belen Public Library -- Wireless Hotspot
  • Capitan Public Library -- Color Printing for the Public Computers
  • Clovis-Carver Public Library – Self- Check Out Station
  • Irene S. Sweetkind Public Library – Digital Archive of Town Records
  • Columbus Village Library – Public Access Computers and Printers
  • Cuba Public Library – Public Access Computers and Printers
  • Fort Sumner Public Library -- Audio-visual Equipment to furnish public meeting room
  • Glenwood Community Library -- Automated Library System
  • Los Lunas Community Library – Digital Archive of Genealogical, Photographic and Oral History Records
 

The Technology Enhancement Grants are supported by grant funds from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services under provisions of the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) and administered by the New Mexico State Library, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. The New Mexico State Library is responsible for planning and developing statewide library service, administering federal and state aid to public libraries, and serving the information needs of state government and the citizens of New Mexico. It is located at 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, NM. For more information on the nine Technology Enhancement Grant projects, please contact Geraldine Hutchins, Federal Grants Programs Coordinator, (505) 476-9727, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

LSCA Technology Enhancement Grant peer reviewers. “The State Library would like to thank a group of wonderful people who served as peer reviewers for the LSCA Technology Enhancement Grants. Some of them volunteered and some of them accepted invitations. They all did a terrific job at bringing the unique and valuable perspective that only a librarian in the field can bring to such a process. The peer evaluations were exactly what we hoped they would be and more. Each reviewer raised thoughtful concerns, pointed out positive aspects and offered practical suggestions for the library. Their comments and suggestions about our application and the overall process has already helped us improve this process. This is our first time to offer competitive federal grants. We are using this as a pilot project and based on this experience we hope to establish an ongoing federal grants program for New Mexico public libraries. 

We are excited to offer these grant opportunities to New Mexico pubic libraries. We appreciate the time and commitment that each of the reviewers contributed to make this grant process a success. They include:
 
  • Margaret Baca, Santa Fe Public Library
  • Jim Coates, Glenwood Community Library
  • Leanne Hathcock, Aztec Public Library
  • Cordelia Hooee, Zuni Public Library
  • George Jaramillo, Taos Public Library
  • Tueredia McBride, Lovington Public Library
  • Bae Smith, Santa Fe Public Library
  • Eileen Sullivan, The Public Library (Silver City) 

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.  

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

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.

Libri Grant for children’s books.  The Libri Foundation, in partnership with the New Mexico Library Foundation, wants to give you money for children’s books! The New Mexico Library Foundation will award $350 grants to libraries on a first come, first served basis.  If you can answer “YES” to any of these questions, you may be eligible. 

  •  Is your library a public library, or a school library that serves at the community public library?
  • Do you serve a population of 10,000 people or less?
  • Is your library rural (over 30 miles from Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Roswell, or Santa Fe)?
  • Does your library have a budget less than $150,000 annually?
  • Is your library interested in purchasing up to $1050 in children’s books?
 
Here’s what to do: 
 
 
 
An invitation to breakfast.  Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco, co-authors of Breakfast Santa Fe Style, would like to invite you to breakfast. “When we published [our book] nearly two years ago, many of our librarian friends and colleagues said ‘Why didn't you tell us you were working on this? We would have helped with the research!’” Valerie said when making this offer: “Well, here's your chance!” 
They are writing and editing a new book – Breakfast New Mexico Style – and they need research assistance; are you a current or retired New Mexico librarian, or library staff/board member? They want your help to find great New Mexico breakfast restaurants and write an essay about your favorites. In addition, be prepared to tell about your library, tell about the restaurant's community, and make a book recommendation. 
As part of this book, they want to highlight the great work done in New Mexico's libraries and will donate a portion of the royalties from every book sold to the New Mexico Library Foundation. 
To check out their full call for essays and reviews, follow this link; http://www.breakfastsantafestyle.com/PDF/FebCall.pdf
 
 
 
 
 

PEOPLE NOTES

 
 
Judith Isaacs, Director of the Jemez Springs Public Library, retires at the end of February after 11 years as director. The recent renovation of the Jemez Springs Public Library, which doubles the space, is one of the major accomplishments of her tenure. Others are automating the circulation system (from a library that had no catalog), updating the collection, upgrading the technology and instituting a variety of programs for adults, children and youth. Judith and her husband will continue to live near Jemez Springs, and her retirement plans include pursuing neglected hobbies and devoting more time to writing. Eva Jacobson is the new director. 
 
 
Timothy Skeers, who has been the government documents cataloger at the New Mexico State Library since 2004, will soon be leaving to take a cataloging position at the State Library of Iowa in Des Moines.  He served as acting director of the State Library’s Technical Services Department from October 2006 to October 2007. 
 
 
 
 

JOBS

 
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. 
 
Reference librarian. San Juan College in Farmington is accepting applications for a Reference Librarian. The Reference Librarian reports directly to the Director of Library Services and is responsible for direct reference service and administrative support. Responsibilities include providing reference and electronic database services; participation in collection development; providing bibliographic instruction; coordination of serials collection; and conducting faculty in-service and patron library orientation services. Requires a Master’s degree in Library Science and a minimum of three years library experience. Salary is $40,000-$45,000. Contact San Juan College, Human Resources Office, 4601 College Boulevard, Farmington, NM 87402; (505) 566-3215, FAX (505) 566-3521 or visit the website at www.sanjuancollege.edu/HR for a complete job description.  Closing date is March 7. EOE/AA
 
 
 
Library specialist. Los Alamos County has an opening for a Library Specialist I at the White Rock Branch. This is a regular, half-time position with a salary range from $14.47/hr to $20.26/hr. Closing date is 03/07/08 at 5 p.m. The Library Specialist provides classification/cataloguing of a variety of library materials by collection and by Dewey classification numbers; searches, edits, and transfers Machine Readable (MARC) records to the integrated library system; performs various tasks associated with full library service functions; maintains bibliographic records; assists with serial check-in and maintenance and reference desk duty, as required; participates in special programs or activities, as requested; performs database searches and maintenance, as requested; performs all basic circulation and customer service tasks as required; checks in/out renewal register; updates registrations; processes holds; notifies patrons; performs information processes and overdue notices; deliveries reports; assists with the opening/closing of facility; monitors the study rooms; monitors youth behavior, as required; may be in charge of building on weekends and/or evenings; signs up volunteers and helpers; proofs various documents including schedules, timesheets, edit list; pulls/converts one-week books; processes receipts; monitors and trains staff on assigned topics including audio visual equipment or TTY; searches shelves for status list items; participates actively in collection development; serves on assigned collection development team; reads book reviews of materials for assigned areas of the collection; recommends the addition of materials that will enhance the collection; participates in weeding the collection based on frequency of use and condition; participates in required meetings; attends training sessions; participates in special projects and various committees, as assigned. Requires a high school diploma or GED and two years library-related experience; general knowledge of public library practices; the ability to demonstrate excellent customer service techniques and work independently; remain calm under pressure; prioritize tasks and perform multiple tasks simultaneously; proven public service experience; ability to use fundamentals of personal computers and specialized equipment; attention to details and familiarity with Dewey Decimal Systems, Dynix, Reflection, word processing, internet searches and statistics; ability to follow procedures and effectively handle tasks and duties, load and transport library materials; ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; maintain confidentiality of information, transactions and records; ability to conduct detailed internet searches; work with patrons, share information and plan programs together, as required; ability to train student staff and volunteers to perform organizational tasks, filing or data entry, as required; function as supportive team player; knowledge of applicable regulatory agencies, codes, and standards; ability to lift containers of books and push carts of books; and must possess or be able to obtain a valid New Mexico Class “D” drivers’ license within thirty days of employment and maintain it thereafter. Preferred qualifications include evidence of successful teamwork in a work environment and an interest in and ability to learn new skills, ideas, procedures, etc.  Apply to the Human Resources Division, County of Los Alamos, 2300 Trinity Drive, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544 or call for an application at 505-662-8040. All vacant positions are listed on the website at www.losalamosnm.us  and the job line at 505-662-8039. Application format is available on website. The Los Alamos County Human Resources Division requires that you complete an application with an original signature for each position for which you are applying. The Human Resources Division will not accept your application if it is not complete and will not accept a resume in lieu of an application. The information from your resume will not be used to determine if minimum qualifications are met. All qualifying information must appear on the application. The hiring salary is based upon relevant education and experience at or beyond the minimum qualifications. If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the examination process, notify the Human Resources Division at 505-662-8040 at the time of application. Some documents can be provided in accessible formats. Contact the Human Resources Division at 505-662-8040 if an accessible format is needed. Applications become a public record upon receipt and may be made available for public inspection. The Incorporated County of Los Alamos does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, or veteran status in employment or the provisions of service. Los Alamos County is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 
 
 
 
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