NMLA members, Public and Tribal Library Directors and friends of New Mexico libraries,
I just returned from this hearing at the Roundhouse. After the Secretary gave an overview of the department’s budget each division of DCA had the opportunity for an advocate to speak on their behalf.
One of our State Library commissioners Elizabeth Martinez was our representative. She did a wonderful job of stressing the importance of the State Library to the libraries throughout the state. She gave each committee member the FY15 “New Mexico libraries by the numbers” (thank you Library Development, LaNelle Haught and the State Printing Office!) and pointed out that over 50% of the state’s population had library cards and that the typical percentage for a state is 25%. She also left them with the quote from Albert Einstein-“ “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”
Finally, when the people in the room were asked who was there to support the State Library, half the room stood up with pins/stickers reading “Support Libraries”.
Our request was not for an increase but simply not to receive any more cuts in FY17.
I want to sincerely thank everyone who came to the hearing to show their support for libraries. We were definitely the largest constituency in the room. I would list everyone by name but dare not, as I do not wish to miss anyone. Please know that I truly appreciate your time and energy traveling to Santa Fe and sitting through a long hearing.
DCA, as will all other state agencies, will also need to testify before the Senate and House Budget/Appropriations Committees once the legislature is back in session.
I will keep you all posted once I know dates and times. Next time we’ll plan lunch or dinner together, on me!