Established in 1969, the Friends for the Public Library is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization supporting the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System.
Our mission is to maintain a charitable and educational organization to support the library, to increase the library's resources, to advocate for the public library, to recycle donated materials, to stimulate use of the library's resources, and to encourage and support educational and literacy programs through the library.
Bylaws (254K PDF) (Acrobat Reader is required to view PDF documents.)
Susan Hurley, President
Tamara Coombs, 1st Vice President
Mary Murnane, 2nd Vice President
Kathy Hoover, Secretary
Ryan Cooper, Treasurer
Dean Smith, Library Representative
Liz Carolus has been a member of the Friends since 2004. For the past five years she has sorted, priced and stocked children’s material. As a citizen and parent, she has served on various advisory boards. A retired teacher and librarian, Liz lived and worked in Michigan, Vietnam, the Philippines, California, Illinois, the Oklahoma panhandle, and New Mexico. She has degrees from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. Her two sons live in Maryland; she was born in tidewater Virginia.
Tamara Coombs moved back to Albuquerque to retire after working in the nonprofit sector. She spent 22 years in New York City directing programs on the arts, planning and design. Tamara has undergraduate degrees in biology and architecture, plus a master’s degree from Parson’s School of Design. She is currently president of Amigos de la Sevilleta, the Friends group for Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. Libraries have been an essential part of her life since she first walked into the one at the corner of Central Avenue and Edith Boulevard.
Ryan Cooper joined the Board as Treasurer in 2015 and is looking forward to serving the community in that role by supporting the Friends’ mission to encourage literacy and education. He has lived in the Albuquerque area since 1997 after his family moved here from New York. He graduated in 2010 from the University of New Mexico and currently works for a local CPA firm in Rio Rancho, supervising staff in both tax and audit departments. Both he and his wife are avid readers, in their free time they enjoy riding motorcycles, snowboarding and playing with their dogs, Cassius and Lola.
Mary Cotruzzola has lived in Albuquerque since 1981. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Carlow University and a Masters of Education from UNM. Mary has lived in Pittsburgh, PA, Detroit, MI, and Cleveland, Ohio. Mary's career has been in secondary education, concentrating on alternative schools. She was assistant principal at New Futures and principal at Freedom High School. Retired, Mary spends her time volunteering at Assistance League of Albuquerque and the New Mexico Children's Grief Center. Libraries have always been a big part of Mary's and of her children's lives.
Kathy Hoover has lived in New Mexico since 1980. She grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and received a B.A. from Beloit College and a M.A. from the College of Santa Fe. A retired history and social studies teacher and counselor at the middle school level in the Albuquerque Public Schools, she has served on the Library Advisory Board for several years and is now on the board of the Albuquerque Public Library Foundation. In Cedar Rapids, IA, Kathy served on the Friends of the Library Board and was president for one term. Until recently, she was a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer. She is a tennis player, avid reader and library user.
Susan Hurley is a past board member, and has helped the Friends with sales, sorting, and pricing. She recently returned to Albuquerque after a four-year absence. Susan was born in the Midwest, but has lived most of her adult life in Montana, San Francisco, and New Mexico. She graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University, and now works as a Solution Architect, helping clients develop custom Learning Management System solutions. As a life-long voracious reader, Susan is proud to help promote learning and reading in thecommunity.
Rene Kimball spent most of her professional career as a newspaperwoman, both as a writer and editor. She was a writer for the El Paso Times, the Idaho Statesman in Boise and the Albuquerque Journal, which she joined in October 1986. She retired from the Journal in November, 2015. She was the environment and natural resources reporter at the Journal for a number of years and spent the last 16 years as arts and entertainment editor, also editing the books page for the last several years she was there. She is a native of the village of Mesilla near Las Cruces and graduated with a journalism and mass communications degree from NMSU.
Christina Miles is a registered architect and in 2005 retired from her firm of Mahlman and Miles, Architects. The firm’s significant projects in Albuquerque include Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum, Los Volcanes Senior Center, the Polar Bear Exhibit at the Bio Park Zoo and Seven Bar Elementary School. After retirement, she was a needs evaluator for the Albuquerque Public Schools Capital Master Plan. She has served on the Library Advisory Board and on the Bio Park Advisory Board. For the last four years, Christina has volunteered one morning per week at the Main Library Branch and before then at South Broadway
Mary Murnane has loved libraries since childhood as a place to go for books. As an adult shetreasures them also as a source of free information and support for democratic principles. Sheworks for Bernalillo County and lives in the near North Valley.
Javier Prada was born and raised in Albuquerque. After his graduation from New Mexico State University, he worked for a large international accounting firm in Dallas. He is a returned PeaceCorps volunteer who proudly served in Honduras as a small business advisor to the community of Comayagua. Currently he works for a local CPA firm providing assurance and advisory services. Javier grew up regularly going to the Juan Tabo Branch Library and greatly values the local library’s place in the community. He is a past Treasurer of the Friends.
Dean Smith started with the Albuquerque Bernalillo Library in 2008 as an Assistant Director and has been Library Director since 2011. Dean got his Master’s in Library Science from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He has worked in branches on The New York City Library, first as a children’s librarian and then as a regional manager of Manhattan’s West Side, and as a Development Librarian at Southwark Council Libraries in London, England.
As the sole employee of the friends since 2001, Melissa Carlisle coordinates the book sales and bookshop, overseeing a team of over 60 volunteers who make it all possible. The daughter of writers, and ardent library users, she learned the importance of libraries at an early age. Ever since her first work-study job at UNM’s Zimmerman Library she has found herself most at home surrounded by books.