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Hitchhiker Notes: The Hitchhiker E-Newsletter from the New Mexico State Library is about you and your libraries. We depend on you to let us know what is going on at your libraries,and your suggestions for making this a better newsletter. Send your news, events, training, job and other announcements for the library community to Deanne Dekle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

January 9, 2009: #2009

In this issue:


The increase in library use as the economy falters has been “hot topic” national news lately.  Even New Mexico’s public libraries have been featured locally in the press – Taos News reports that visitors are crowding the Taos Public Library in unprecedented numbers.   The Press reports that the Las Cruces Branigan Public Library book check-out, newspaper/magazine and computer access has greatly increased.  And The Santa Fe New Mexican describes how visits to the Santa Fe Public Main Library and its two branches are booming. 

Stories are also being shared by other public libraries – for example, Ruidoso Public Library is experiencing a heavy increase in computer use by patrons looking for jobs online and filing unemployment claims.  The Arthur Johnson Memorial Library in Raton has added an extra computer and a half-day of being open, and plans to purchase a fax machine for library patron use.  A library patron compliments Albuquerque’s library branches (specifically, the Erna Fergusson and Taylor branches) saying that although other city agencies are important, the library has been there for her in terms of excellent customer service, free wireless Internet, and responding to her emails usually within 24 hours.   The library has been one of her favorite things about living in Albuquerque.  And in Eldorado, the Vista Grande Public Library reports they’ve seen a marked increase in participation at public programs such as the after-school reading program which is bursting at the seams, movie nights where 50 or more people show up, its 10 computer stations are always occupied, and DVD check-outs have grown more than 18% of total circulation! 

However, according to the Boston Globe, public libraries across the U.S. are concerned that the same financial crisis that is squeezing pocketbooks, pushing people to borrow – not buy books and DVDs -- is gutting state and local budgets as well.  This means that at a time when demand for library services is growing, libraries themselves, which rely on state and local aid, could be facing cuts in 2009. 

Library blogger Edward Bilodeau, at, notes that while “tough economic times are leading to increased use of public libraries, however, the same economic difficulties threaten libraries’ budgets.  Hopefully, governments at all levels will realize that relatively small investments in libraries can lead to a better quality of life for its citizens, providing not just entertainment but information and resources to help people through difficult times.” 

If your public library is instituting new and innovative strategies focusing on doing more with less, please share your ideas!  Send them to Renee Payne, New Mexico State Library, Office of  Marketing & Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call toll-free 800-340-3890. 



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.  

Broadband assessment.  New Mexico public libraries have a new opportunity to work in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve access to high-quality technology services in public libraries all across the United States. 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently launched a nationwide effort to collect detailed information about Internet connections in all public libraries in the United States. This effort, named the Broadband Assessment Project, will help the foundation and its partners raise awareness of the need for high-quality Internet in public libraries and how to meet this need.

The data collected by the Foundation will also help the New Mexico State Library in its collective work to improve support and funding for Internet services in New Mexico’s public libraries. It will provide essential data about the levels of Internet connectivity and the resources devoted to these services state-wide. 

Data collected through the project will inform future Gates Foundation investments to increase and sustain access to broadband Internet in public libraries.  Specifically, the foundation wants to gather information on: (1) basic branch information, the number of Internet subscriptions, who makes the decision regarding subscriptions; (2) the type of Internet connection, the connection speed, the provider and the cost of the connection; and (3) the source of funding.  Finding approaches to increase and sustain public library connectivity and public access to Internet-based library services is critical to New Mexico libraries and the communities served. 

The Foundation engaged a team of third-party researchers, Lieberman Research Worldwide, to conduct the Broadband Assessment Project.  The State Library will contact some libraries directly as well to assist in answering survey questions. 

For any questions about this project, please contact Patricia Moore, Technology Consultant at the State Library, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 800-340-3890.


Newbie meets newbie.  Eleanor Bernau, Continuing Education Coordinator and newest member of the Library Development Bureau at the New Mexico State Library, contributed the following report after a site visit to the Village of Corona Public Library, from her first trip.  Corona is a community with a population of 175 and has a 2,081 square mile school district. 

“During my first full week as Continuing Education (CE) Coordinator at the State Library, Beth Crist, Development Bureau Director;  Patricia Moore, Technology Consultant; and I visited the Village of Corona Public Library, which is a developing library.  The Library has recently moved into new quarters which are part of the Village of Corona’s municipal complex.  The lovely and functional library space is set up with books on the shelves, a circulation desk, public computers, a children’s area and a small kitchen area.  Welcoming us were Betty Ann Bell, librarian, Sarah Stewart Golightly and her young daughter, Faith Hignight, Jeanene Gibbs, Sherrill Bradford, as well as Mayor Bill Hignight and Dave Moss.  This genial group provided us with a tour, introduced us to community members and gave us all around good cheer! 

“Along with the Mayor Hignight, Mr. Moss provides the library with technology expertise.  In addition, both gentlemen are working to set up technology so the whole village has wireless connection capability.  There are also six retired teachers in the area, including Bell, Gibbs, and Bradford, so they continue to add their knowledge and expertise back into the community.  Indeed, Sarah was a student of some of these teachers and, in turn, she is starting a new generation of community involvement by working to develop the library. 

“Being new to the CE position, visiting the Village of Corona Public Library was an enlightening experience.  To see the years of work, the high level of dedication and the degree of selflessness with which this community has worked to achieve a substantial level of library service is no less than amazing.” 


Tony Hillerman honored.  Mayor Martin Chávez announced recently that the Wyoming Branch Library, part of the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System, will from this day forward be known as the Tony Hillerman Library in recognition of the work and life of Tony Hillerman, universally respected author, journalist, storyteller, and father. The Wyoming Library was used by the Hillerman family when they lived nearby on Texas Street. To learn more, visit “A Tribute to Tony Hillerman” at


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.  

Conference call.  The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is accepting applications for the 2009 Native American Library Services Basic Grants and Enhancement Grants.  To give prospective applicants an opportunity to ask the IMLS staff questions pertaining to Native American Library Basic Grant and Enhancement Grant applications, IMLS has also scheduled two audio-conference calls (see below).  For more information, go to or contact Alison Freese, Senior Program Officer at (202) 653-4665 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To participate, please refer to the information below: 

  • Topic: Basic Grants; Monday, January 12;  3 p.m. Eastern Time; Participant Dial-In Number: 1-800-603-9527 Conference ID# 72465301
  • Topic: Enhancement Grants; Monday, March 16;  3 p.m. Eastern Time;  Participant Dial-In Number: 1-800-603-9527 Conference ID# 72466388


Academic OneFile added to Magazines Online databases.  Magazines Online users will be happy to learn that Academic OneFile is being added to the list of databases purchased by the State Library and provided to public, academic, and schools libraries statewide.  Academic OneFile should appear in your Magazines Online database list on January 15. 

Academic OneFile, a Gale product, is a leading academic-level product, containing almost 12,000 journals.  Gale decided to add Academic OneFile to our subscription because of the awareness that academic-level material was lacking in the current database list. 

The addition of Academic OneFile to the other databases, such as General OneFile, General Reference Center Gold, and Business and Company Resource Center will give a much more powerful research tool. 

For information on subscribing to Magazines Online or for other questions, please contact Mark Adams at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  The Academic OneFile title list can be found on the web at


The Big Read.  The Big Read is accepting applications from non-profit organizations to conduct month-long, community-wide reads between September 2009 and June 2010. Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read will receive a grant ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 in financial support to attend the orientation meeting, educational and promotional materials for broad distribution, Organizer’s Guide for developing and managing Big Read activities, inclusion of your organization and activities on The Big Read Web site, and the prestige of participating in a highly visible national initiative. Approximately 400 organizations of varying sizes across the country will be selected for this cycle. 

To download the Guidelines & Application Instructions, go to . The application deadline is February 3. 

To learn more about the Big Read program, the Los Angeles Times recently published a good article which is on the Web at,0,3096469

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest.



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.  

In December, Tracy Strand, librarian at the Torrance County Detention Facility, was named 2008 Employee of the Year by the private 910-bed medium security jail in Estancia. Tracy started working at the Facility in 2001 as a correctional officer and later became a library aide. She is responsible for coordinating and supervising library services and programs for up to five libraries within the jail, depending on the inmate population being served at any given time. There are separate libraries to serve federal inmates, state inmates, female inmates, and inmates facing federal immigration hearings; and another library to house legal reference materials. Additionally, Tracy provides library services to inmates in the segregation units. Tracy is assisted by inmate library assistants whom she trains and manages. Tracy says her role as manager of library programs such as the Fathers as Readers Program, Inside Out Dads, and Career Pathways are especially rewarding. She faces unique challenges with a positive attitude, and provides excellent library services within stringent guidelines and with limited resources.

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