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 16,000 signed up for the program last summer, but many others attended events at libraries throughout Bernalillo County. A popular summer concert concert series is also funded by this program and in July, three Summer Reading Program-themed family movies were shown at the Kimo.
Every week, a wide variety of Friends-funded arts and craft workshops (from seasonal yarn projects to graphic novels), story times, and movie screenings are offered at the branch libraries.
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. In FY 2018, a total of 16 staff members attended four workshops and conferences, including the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (one staff presenter), the New Mexico Library Association (four presenters), the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia and the New Mexico Genealogical Association, plus 60 staff attended in-house webinars.
In addition to out-of-town events, the Friends funded lunch for Staff Day, which brought together library staff from throughout the the Albuquerque Bernalillo County 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.
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, 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.
In celebration of the Friends 50th anniversary, volunteers and staff from all of the library branches will be invited to the 2019 Friends of the Public Library annual meeting and luncheon at the Museum of Albuquerque. Friends members who are active in the bookshop and book
The Friends also fund occasional needs, such as the $37,000 book van that stops at senior living facilities across the the City and a survey of library users.