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Established in 1969, the Friends of the Public Library is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that supports the Public Library Albuquerque and Bernalillo County by funding educational and literacy programs, such as the Summer Reading Program, staff development, and community outreach.

Our funding comes from monetary donations, membership dues, and proceeds from the Main Library Bookshop and book sales. Books and other media sold in the Bookshop and at the book sales come from generous donations.


Summer Reading Program

Young readers can lose an entire grade level over the summer. This program offers an engaging way for children and young adults to maintain and improve their reading skills. Learn more about this year’s program.


The library receives $2,000, which is distributed among the branches to spend as they wish. The funds are often used for coffee, tissues, hand sanitizers, and other items useful to library staff and volunteers but not paid for by city or county funding.

AMP Concert Series

Nationally-known musical groups offer free daytime performances at libraries.

Speaker Series at Special Collections

The Friends fund promotional materials for the speaker series held at the Special Collections Library.

Día de los Niños

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. 

Staff Development

The Friends fund fees and travel expenses so library staff may attend conferences. 

Cultural Programming at the Branch Libraries

Every week, a wide variety of arts and craft workshops (from seasonal yarn projects to graphic novels), story times, and movie screenings are offered at libraries.


Angela Mihm, President

Angela moved to Albuquerque in March 2019. Most recently, she lived in Seattle, WA working in a variety of capacities. Her experience includes managing the office and staff of a small law firm, conflict mediation, and working as a small business owner and massage therapist. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago. Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, the public library branch only four blocks from her house quickly became a second home. Angela believes in the transformational power of reading to increase empathy, expand possibilities, and provide knowledge. Plus, it is fun.

Jessica Schwebel, First Vice President

Jessica is originally from Seattle and moved to Albuquerque in 2019, after her boyfriend accepted a position at the University of New Mexico. Since graduating from the University of Southern California, she has worked in marketing as a copywriter and campaign manager—and currently plans product promotions for a technology company. Jessica has always been an avid reader and library lover. She is excited to be part of an organization that helps make books and educational materials available to everyone.

Karen Nordquist, Treasurer
Karen is a longtime Albuquerque resident. She is a Certified Public Accountant with accounting degrees from the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University. Her family has always actively used the library and participated in the summer reading program and concerts. Her family still attends the monthly Friends book sales and goes home with bags of “treasures.” She and her husband, Doug, have supported the Friends for a number of years and have seen firsthand the difference the Friends makes in our libraries and community.

Mary Orgel, Secretary

Mary is a longtime resident of Albuquerque, moving here in 1974 to begin a career in counseling. She has since then received advanced degrees in Cultural Anthropology (University of Massachusetts). The common thread of her professional work and personal interests has been understanding and promoting our sense of community. Her small-town Midwestern upbringing influenced her belief that public libraries are one of our most important sites of community. She sees The Friends of the Public Library as a great resource for creating and protecting a community of readers and books and the many ways they keep us open to diverse worlds and endless possibilities of connection.

Bill Noel, Second Vice President

Bill has been collecting books since elementary school, inspired by his grandfather's personal library of over 4,000 volumes. After earning an engineering degree in Ohio, he moved to Albuquerque in 1983 to work at Sandia National Laboratories and has spent most of his career designing and building spacecraft systems. Bill has been a customer since the annual book sales in The Pit and a Friends volunteer for over 10 years. Bill and his wife, Meralyn, can be found at the Main Library most Friday mornings, doing the initial sort of incoming donations.

Peter Ives, Director At Large

Peter came to Albuquerque from Roswell to attend UNM and graduated in Geography and History. He served in USAF in the UK, and when he returned to Albuquerque, he worked at Zimmerman Library in the government publications and maps department. Peter received an M.S. in Library & Information Science at the University of Illinois and was hired as a librarian in the UNM business and economics collection. After retiring, he has focused on building his own multi-thousand volume library of mostly SW history, roadside history, art, and poetry.

Dean Smith, Director At Large

Dean 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.

Kit Kopec, Director At Large
Kit (he/they) is a recent Albuquerque transplant but a lifelong library lover. He holds an MS in Cultural Foundations of Education from UW Milwaukee. Kit has built skills in data analysis, business process optimization, and publishing operations through work with the American Library Association, Girls Rock! Chicago, the Peggy Lillis Foundation, and Hope House of Milwaukee. Kit deeply values intellectual freedom, mutual aid, and free access to information. You might also find him at art markets around Albuquerque with his spouse, Ann, and their dog, Minnie. 

Jessica Langer, Director At Large
Jessica graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in English Literature. She moved to New Mexico in 2007 and fell in love with the open spaces and blue skies of the desert. She found her calling for working with volunteers when she joined the Animal Humane New Mexico team as a volunteer in 2009 and was hired as Volunteer Coordinator in 2010. She was promoted to Volunteer Manager in 2014, a position she held until her retirement in 2020. As part of the volunteer team, Jessica facilitated streamlining and simplifying the onboarding process for new volunteers and helped to increase retention rates and volunteer satisfaction. In her spare time, she enjoys astonishing people by knowing the lyrics to nearly every 1980s song (and singing along…badly), reading (of course), knitting, and spending time with her husband and their herd of rescue cats. She strongly believes in the power of libraries to promote kindness, empathy, and equality.

Morgan Langer, Director At Large
Morgan grew up in central and northern New Jersey and attended Rutgers University, where she earned a B.A. in Urban Studies and an M.A. in Criminal Justice. In 2007, he moved to Albuquerque and loves living here. He recently retired from a 28-year career in federal law enforcement. He has been a volunteer with the Friends of the Public Library since August 2023. He considers libraries to be an essential institution and strongly believes in their mission.

Jennifer Abbots, Administrative Coordinator
Jennifer began her career in books as a teen page in her hometown library in CT. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing & Women's Studies from the City University of New York and spent over a decade in public relations in the publishing industry, crafting communications for best-selling authors such as Sesame Street star Sonia Manzano and top brands such as How to Train Your Dragon. For most of her adult life, Jennifer lived in the New York City metro-area, and she remains a Brooklynite at heart. Jennifer's father has lived in NM since the 1970s and she spent significant time here as a child, moving to Albuquerque in 2018 to help out her family. She is a strong believer in building communities around shared values and a strong supporter of vegan cheesecake.


Board members provide oversight to ensure that the regular book sales and additional fundraising activities of the Friends are devoted to the Friends' mission to support the library and the public's use of library resources. Meetings are every other month in the evening. If you're interested, email pres@friendsofthepubliclibrary


Explore the Friends' bylaws as well as financial statements and tax documents from the past three years. 



The Friends work closely with The Albuquerque Public Library Foundation and the Library Advisor Board.

See what they're all about! 



Read quarterly updates from the Friends' board with the latest news and events.



PO Box 26657

Albuquerque, NM 87125

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Friends of the Public Library

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