Relax and enjoy


Library Notes

  • PLEASE NOTE: The blog will be updated a few times a month for more current information on what is going on at the library, please click the facebook link to the left of this post.
  • Triple Book Signing by John Davidson to take place here at the library on August 7, 2014 from 2 - 4pm and again at 6 - 8 pm. The books can be purchased on Amazon for 12.95 each or at the book signing price of 10.00. The books this time around is The Soul's Critical Path, Soul Tribes & Tambos, The left hand of god
  • Raton Science Cafe Meeting on August 14, 2014, at 7 p.m., at the Arthur Johnson Memorial Library. Attend their 82 meeting and learn about a new radio Telescope ALMA. Refreshments will be served at 7 pm
  • Preschool Story Hour is conducted every Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. We read books to the children and there is a project every week. It's never too soon to introduce your children to the library!
  • Schedule a meeting at the library. Call 445-9711 to get on the calendar in advance. The library stays open until 6:00 P.M., Monday - Saturday, except for Thursday, when it stays open until 9:00 P.M.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Library Closed on Monday

The library will be closed on Monday, August 18, 2014 for building maintenance and will be reopening on Tuesday, August 19, 2014. Thank you, AJML Staff

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thank you, Colfax County!

On November 6, during the general election, Colfax County voted 'yes' on GO Bond B for Libraries.  In fact, every county in the state except five voted for this bond issue. 

For years now libraries across the state have depended on the various library bond issues that have been passed.  They have helped keep the level of library service up in public, school and higher education libraries.  In our county, this means that public libraries and school libraries have received extra money to be spent on their collections and computer needs, both of which are crucial to public service and student needs.  As public and educational funds have been harder to come by, GO Bond funds have help fill the gaps.

I am naturally very pleased that the Arthur Johnson Memorial Library will be able to count on these funds once the 2010 GO Bond fund are spent.  Believe me, it's takes a weight off my mind and enables me to plan for the future of this public library with that much more confidence. 

But I am just as pleased for the school libraries in the county.  I know that school libraries in Raton often have ONLY these funds to spend on their collections.  Despite the rumors that books are dead (so libraries must be, too), school libraries and librarians still meet a crucial need in the educational process, and any money that helps them do so is money well spent.

The report I received this morning on a county by county count of the vote on this issue shows that there were 2,581 'yes' votes and 2,313 'no' votes in Colfax County. That was a difference of 268 votes.  It may seem that this is not necessarily impressive - but it is.  In all the years I have worked in this library, Colfax County has never voted 'yes' for a library bond issue.  This is a first, and it tells me and other librarians in this county that the importance of functional libraries is recognized in a way that it never has been before.

Just as interesting is the fact that Colfax County cast 4,894 votes.  The 2011 New Mexico census shows 13,640 as the population.  About 26% of that are juveniles, who cannot vote.  That leaves 10,094 adults of voting age.  If you consider that some of these adults were unable to vote for various reasons, including not being registered to vote, it is quite possible that Colfax County had a 50% turnout of registered voters during this election.  The ideal, of course, is that everyone votes; but the reality is that Colfax County has had much lower voter turnouts than 50% in the past.  This shows public interest in more than just the GO Bond issues, but a real desire on the part of many citizens to particpate in the governing of this county, this state and this country by making decisions with their ability to vote.

So I just want to say, congratulations, Colfax County, on this turnout, and thank you very much for helping keep your libraries in the county funded!

Friday, September 28, 2012

And this year's Centennial Celebrations are:

The State of New Mexico

The Girl Scouts of America

Oreo Cookies

Fenway Park



We're in good company!

Banned Books Week 2012

The yearly Banned Books display is up at the Arthur Johnson Memorial Library.  Books bearing yellow "Caution: Banned Book" labels are set out so that our patrons can see for themselves what has been banned and challenged in other locations, not only in the United States, but throughout the world.

 Before reading was such a universal skill, those who could read and write had the power to control what was copied and for what purpose.  But the invention of the printing press and the increasing ability of the common person to read broke the control of a few over the many.   Education became a reality for people who, in previous times, would have had no opportunity to learn to read.  With this ability came the spreading of many opinions, many beliefs, many facts, many debates.

Unfortunately, this opening up of knowledge, opinion, fiction and fact to humanity did not change human nature.  People really do believe in the power of the written word, and while most of us are willing to allow others their right to choose their own reading material, some are not.  Books are challenged and banned in this country every year.  These challenges and bannings happen mostly to school libraries, although public libraries also face their share of challenges.  Often a person can understand why a parent may not want a child to read certain material. It is harder to understand why a parent would want to keep that material from all other children within their area.  Challenging the propriety of a book in a library anywhere on the basis that it is unsuitable for all children or teens usurps the parental authority of other engaged parents over their own children.  Challenging the propriety of a book for anyone of any age displays an attitude, however well meant, that says, "You are not able to judge for yourself."

People are often surprised that book challenges, bannings and even burnings still happen in the United States.  Regrettable though that is, even more extreme reactions happen across the world.  "The Satanic Verses" by Salman Rushdie (1988) resulted in world wide bannings, rioting and death.  This extreme reaction was based on religious belief.  Of course, religious belief in the United States has resulted in the burning of Harry Potter books by a church in our own state and a church in Greenville, Michigan, as well as Halloween burnings, by invitation only, of what a church in Canton, North Carolina called "Satan's bibles" - those that were not the King James version.  These book burnings in our own country all happened in the new millennium. 

Most often, book challenges and bannings occur from a desire to maintain certain standards, protect the innocent, even help create a (hopefully) Utopian society.  Anxiety and fear about the exposure of everyone from individuals to societies to 'unacceptable' material can manifest themselves through these attempts at censorship. 

Libraries everywhere stand in opposition to moving backward in time to when the few determined what the many were allowed to know. What we choose to read ourselves should be under our own control. 

This community has always displayed a respect for the rights of others to choose their own reading and viewing material.  Perhaps that is, in part, because this library makes no attempt to force anything on anyone. We do not take prisoners. We hold no one hostage.  Our goal, like the goals of public libraries across this nation, is to meet the varied needs and desires of each individual - even if they have been banned somewhere else.