Young readers can lose an entire grade level over the summer. The Summer Reading Program offers an engaging way for children and young adults to maintain and improve their reading skills, while enjoying live performances and earning books and other prizes. Over 17,000 signed up for the program last summer, but many others attended events at libraries throughout Bernalillo County. A popular summer concert series for adults is also funded by this program.
A multicultural celebration of children and literacy, Día de los Niños includes a variety of special events, including storytelling and music. Every child who attends can select a book to take home and keep. Last year, 3500 children attended.
The Friends fund fees and travel expenses so that library staff may attend conferences. Last year, several staff members attended the New Mexico Library Association conference in Ruidoso and the Young Adult Library Services Association conference in Austin. In addition, staff members with a role in the Library’s online system participated in the Innovative Interfaces conference in New Orleans.
In addition to out-of-town events, the Friends funded lunch for Staff Day, which brought together library staff from throughout the ABC Library system for all-day training.
Friends fund promotional materials for the Speakers’ Series held at the Special Collections Library at Central Ave. and Edith Blvd.
Nationally-known musical groups, presented by AMP Concerts, offer free daytime performances at the branch libraries thanks to funding by the Friends.
Each branch receives $2,000 to spend as they wish. The funds are often used for coffee, tissues, hand sanitizers, hand lotion and the like, plus other items useful to library staff and volunteers, but not paid for by city and county funding.
Last year, the Friends funded radio spots, online advertisements and handout materials in support of library bonds. The bonds passed by a wide margin, thanks in part to this broadly-based effort.
This hands-on learning center at Special Collections presents programs on books and publishing. It was founded by the Friends and is now run by the Library. The Friends contribute to its support.
Volunteers and staff from all of the library branches are invited to the Friends for the Public Library annual meeting and luncheon, generally held at the Museum of Albuquerque. Friends members who are active in the bookshop and book sales and/or on the Friends board are also invited to an annual holiday dinner.
Two years ago, the Friends paid for a $37,000 Book Van which makes weekly stops at senior centers and living facilities throughout the City. Other needs, such as patron surveys, have also been funded by the Friends.