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
Elizabeth Pettit, 2nd Vice President
Ryan Cooper, Treasurer
Dean Smith, Library Representative
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 the community.
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 Parsons School of Design. Libraries have been as essential part of her life since she first walked into the one at the corner of Central Avenue and Edith Boulevard.
Elizabeth Pettit is a New Mexico native. She grew up in Carlsbad and after high school spent time in California, Colorado, and Wyoming. Elizabeth, her husband Terry, and their three children settled in Bloomfield, New Mexico in 1990. She earned a B.A. in English at Fort Lewis College, taught English at the middle and high school level, then completed a master’s program in administration at Highlands University. She is now a regional literacy coordinator with a private education foundation, where she is responsible for the support of literacy initiatives in seven school districts/communities in South Central New Mexico.
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.
Bonnee Henry received her undergraduate degree in English, Speech and Drama from Ohio State. She taught high school in Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, and New Mexico. She also received her Master's of Divinity in 2002, after which she participated the a chaplain residency program with Presbyterian Hospital for a year. Bonnee has volunteered with the Friends for 6 years, working in the monthly book sales and helping in the Book Shop. She also volunteers with the NM Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice and tutors adults in English.
Norma Klein has lived in Albuquerque with her husband Bob since 1971. A voracious reader, she has an overabundance of books and still insists on attending the FPL sales. She has a degree in electronics and worked as a technical writer for 33 years, happily retiring in March of 2016. She wrote and presented papers for IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and logistics conferences, edited an award-winning chapter newsletter for SOLE (Society of Logistics Engineers) and served on the SOLE international publications committee. Currently, she is working on six novels simultaneously, all speculative fiction except one.
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.
Sue Norton was born and raised in New Jersey and became a school social worker. While raising her son she became very involved in the American Association of University annual book sale in Freehold, NJ. While retired in South Carolina she became involved in a Friend’s organization that helped their small county library to raise $25,000 a year by running a large bookstore and selling on Amazon. As soon as she moved here she found the Friends and have been pricing used books for almost five years.
Dean Smith started with the Public Library, Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, 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 with The New York Public 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.