The Española Public Library was awarded a $25,000 grant from Santa Fe County to be used at the library’s discretion for furthering its work. The resolution allowing budget authority over the grant was passed Feb. 23 during the Española City Council meeting, unanimously and without discussion.
Library director Sherry Aragon said she plans to use the funds to expand the library’s e-book program, buy more craft supplies and re-stock the aging Western and large print sections.
“We’ve had several calls about e-books, if we do e-books, and currently we don’t,” she said. “But now with the pandemic going on, I think it’s a really good idea to do that right now. We have a lot of readers here in the County and it’s going to not only benefit a lot of the people in the city, but also for Santa Fe County residents.”
The e-books would be administered through a third-party software system, and Aragon is currently looking into several options. Books and other physical materials haven’t been in circulation for almost a year since the pandemic began. To fill the gap, the library offers a free weekly take-home craft kit. People can reserve their supplies by calling the library at 747-6087 and arrange a time to do a curbside pick-up.
“These kits go like, they’re just like wildfire, they just go really quick,” Aragon said. “So we try to have people call in at least weekly to reserve these kits. This grant from Santa Fe County will be able to provide different crafts, not only for the kids, but we do it for the youth and senior citizens of our community.”
The library staff is also assisting people with registering for the vaccine, in conjunction with the city’s Emergency Services Department’s efforts. Residents can call the library with their information to get help with the online registration process.
“There’s a lot of people I know that don’t have computers or don’t have internet access. So we’re trying to help the Department of Health do that,” Aragon said.
The library is also distributing tax return forms for state and federal taxes, which can be picked up by calling the library and arranging a time.
The $25,000 grant was made possible through a 2017 memorandum of understanding between the City of Española and Santa Fe County, where the County agreed to give up to $30,000 per year to the library based on expenses incurred.
Another large portion of the library’s budget comes from a state Taxation and Revenue Department grant in the amount of approximately $30,000. Rio Arriba County last contributed to the library “about five years ago,” according to Aragon, in the amount of $25,000.
“We’re really thankful to Santa Fe County for providing this for us,” she said. “This gives us an opportunity for the Española Public Library to keep moving on and moving forward. It’s always nice to be able to provide a lot of things for the community members. A lot of the time, nobody knows that, a lot of programs that are run through the library are free. There’s nothing that you ever really have to pay for.”
Information about upcoming virtual events and craft kits are available on the library’s Facebook page or the city website. With Dr. Seuss’s birthday coming up this month, Aragon looks forward to assembling Cat in the Hat and Lorax-themed crafts.