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Libraries as Launchpads

New Mexico State Library, Creative Startups & Fab Lab Hub Announce: Libraries as Launchpads, An Economic Initiative


The New Mexico State Library, Creative Startups, a growing international business accelerator based in Santa Fe, Fab Lab Hub, a technology product prototyping provider, and the newly-formed New Mexico State Library Foundation have joined together in an innovative partnership to utilize public libraries as economic development centers for entrepreneurial and business training. Libraries as Launchpads will fast track potential entrepreneurs from idea and concept to action and business formation. The program kicks-off on February 15 at five pilot libraries: Zuni, South Albuquerque, Santa Fe’s Southside branch, Raton and Las Cruces.

Focused on underserved and rural populations throughout New Mexico, Libraries as Launchpads represents a natural progression from the State Library’s nationally-acclaimed NM MakerState Initiative, which brought makerspace technologies to local libraries for STEM learning. Department of Cultural Affairs Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Michael Delello said, “It is now time to utilize libraries as economic development centers, and we are thrilled to partner with Creative Startups and Fab Lab Santa Fe in this effort.” 

Going forward, the partnership plans to offer Libraries as Launchpads at 20 libraries in 2019 and is laying the groundwork for the expansion with this pilot. The team is working with libraries to identify regional entrepreneurship educators, community partners, and maker spaces that can support the project.


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Letters About Literature

New Mexico’s Letters About Literature 2018

Letters About Literature encourages young readers to read a book and write a letter to the author about how the book changed their view of the world. This is the sixth year New Mexico State Library has sponsored the competition.

The entry deadline was January 12, 2018. The New Mexico winners will be announced in April and an awards ceremony will take place in Santa Fe on May 4, 2018.

Readers in grades 4-12 write a personal letter to an author explaining how his or her work shaped their perspective on the world or themselves. Students may write about works of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Entries in Spanish were accepted and will be translated for the New Mexico judges. Letter writers compete at three levels: Level I is grades 4-6; Level II is grades 7-8; and Level III is grades 9-12.

State judges will select the top letter writers in New Mexico, who then advance to the national competition.  One winning letter from each level from each state is entered into the final national competition.

New Mexico State Judges

Level 1 - Veronica N. Gonzales, Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Santa Fe

Norice Lee, Associate Library Director, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, Health Sciences Library, Las Cruces

Ben Wakashige, Retired New Mexico State Librarian, Rio Rancho

Level 2 – Anne Price, Youth Services Manager, Octavia Fellin Public Library, Gallup

Malcolm Alonzo, Library Services Supervisor, South Broadway Library, Albuquerque

Deanne Dekle, Youth Services & Outreach Consultant, New Mexico State Library, Santa Fe

Level 3 - Craig Newbill, Retired Director, New Mexico Humanities Council, Albuquerque

Susan E. Beck, Professor and Head of Access Services, New Mexico State Univerity Library, Las Cruces

Sarah Stark, Author, Santa Fe

For more information about New Mexico’s Letters About Literature contest, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or call Lori Thornton at 505-476-9717.

Letters About Literature is sponsored by the New Mexico State Library, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Letters About Literature is also sponsored by The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.

To read about the Letters About Literature contest at the national level, please click here:

SALSA Consortium Executive Committee Meeting

The Executive Committee of the SALSA Consortium will meet on Tuesday November 28, 2017 at 10:00 in the Conference Room, History and Literary Arts Building, National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 4th Street SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102.  Agenda is available from this link.

MPLA Carl Gaumer award to go to Mike Delello

New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Deputy Secretary Mike Delello is the recipient of the Mountain Plains Library Association’s (MPLA) Carl Gaumer Library Champion Award for his service as Acting State Librarian and continued service to the library community. 

The Carl Gaumer Library Champion Award is to be given to an individual, organization or company whose positive support of the Mountain Plains Library Association is demonstrated by repeated conscientious endeavors towards libraries, library staff, trustees, and professional activities.  Deputy Secretary Delello won the award for his innovative accomplishments and staunch library advocacy while serving as Interim State Librarian during 2014 -2015 and his continued work with libraries state-wide as the Deputy Cabinet Secretary.

During his active tenure as interim State Librarian, Delello visited many public and tribal libraries to talk to the library staff and find out what their needs were. He initiated statewide licensing for New Mexico students and job seekers to the online tutoring service Brainfuse, with both HelpNow for homework assistance and JobNow providing help to those seeking employment providing much needed assistance to overly burdened librarians. Delello was also instrumental in the Maker-State initiative, an Institute for Museum and Library Sciences and nationally recognized program through the innovative maker space pop-up program for libraries. Delello also provided a key partnership between the state museums and public libraries statewide by creating the Department of Cultural Affairs Family Pass, which allows library patrons to check out this pass for free admission to the state’s eight museums and Historic Sites. Delello’s support was instrumental in working with a statewide panel of librarians and stakeholders to produce a statewide assessment of New Mexico’s libraries.

“The New Mexico Library Association congratulates Mike Delello for this award recognizing his ongoing support of all New Mexico’s Public and Tribal Libraries,” stated Lynette Schurdevin, Rio Rancho Library Director and President of the New Mexico Library Association.  “With the Deputy Secretary’s help libraries now offer additional resources for patrons including job research, student homework help, and maker space programs. “

“Mike’s commitment to Libraries Transform New Mexico has given direction to all our state’s libraries to focus on three principal areas to increase library services to our communities by expanding broadband/e-rate services, ensuring sustainable government funding and locating alternative funding sources. “

Delello also served as co-chair of Libraries Transform New Mexico, a conference based upon the assessment. Delello was instrumental in the establishment of the State Library of New Mexico Foundation, and serves as co-chair of the New Mexico Libraries Transform steering committee.

“I am so deeply honored to be receiving this award,” Delello said. “Libraries are more than just book repositories.  They serve as quasi social service agencies assisting patrons with e-government service, digital literacy, and resume development just to name a few.

“I have rarely encountered public servants as dedicated to their communities as public and tribal librarians. I humbly dedicate this award to Wanda Walters and Kristina “Krissie” Carter, staff at the Clovis Library, Clovis, NM, who lost their lives while serving patrons in a tragic shooting this past August.”

The Carl Gaumer Library Champion Award will be presented to Deputy Secretary Delello at noon October 18 at the Hardrock Hotel, Stateline Nevada.

Foundation Center

        Funding Information Network                                                                    

The New Mexico State Library has received a certificate of recognition for 40 years of dedicated service in the Foundation Center Funding Information Network.  Since 1976, the State Library has been helping New Mexican grant seekers find the funders most likely to support them financially.  As a Funding Information Network partner, the State Library provides grant seekers access to the Foundation Directory Online, which is the world's leading grant prospect research resource.  Other Foundation Funding Information Network resources available in the Library to grant seekers are: Foundation Grants for Individuals Online, and Foundation Maps Professional database.

The State Library’s 40 year commitment to assisting grant seekers has made New Mexico a better place.

The Foundation Center Funding Information Network collection, located on the second floor of the New Mexico State Library, is open to the public from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by appointment.  Call 505-476-9702 or Ask-a Librarian.