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Hitchhiker Notes: The Hitchhiker E-Newsletter from the New Mexico State Library is about you and your libraries. We depend on you to let us know what is going on at your libraries,and your suggestions for making this a better newsletter. Send your news, events, training, job and other announcements for the library community to Deanne Dekle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

June 25, 2010; #1716

In this issue:


Craig Childs, author of The Secret Knowledge of Water, presented his book to enthusiastic participants in Albuquerque and Eldorado on June 20-21 for the kick-off to “Water Your Mind – Read at your Public Library.”  Childs’ book was chosen as the adult complement to this year’s Summer Reading Program in which New Mexico residents in 15 communities can visit their local library to read and attend programs about critical water issues in the state, as well as join in community conversations and activities.

Through a partnership with the New Mexico State Library and the New Mexico Humanities Council, the 15 participating libraries will offer book discussion programs during the summer and fall of 2010, featuring Childs’s nonfiction book, with conversations about the Humanities Council’s Watershed Consciousness in the Greater Southwest audio project, a traveling exhibit about the Colorado River watershed, and other fun and educational events.

Childs is an author, naturalist, and contributor to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.  In both The Secret Knowledge of Water and his presentations, Childs creates a narrative in which the reader or listener journey with him into desert canyons and across remote expanses, searching for water and its fundamental nature.

“Water Your Mind – Read” gives adult readers the opportunity to join the 2010 annual Summer Reading Program.  Children and young adults in public and military libraries in NM, along with the State Library’s three bookmobiles and Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, are reading and participating in programs planned around the theme of water. Traditionally libraries have offered the Summer Reading Program primarily to children and teens, but today many also offer related events, such as the Water Your Mind – Read program, to adults as well.

The 15 participating libraries represent demographically diverse areas that are representative of the communities statewide: Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System, Aztec Public Library, Columbus Village Library, Edgewood Public Library, Embudo Valley Library and Community Center, Laguna Public Library, Los Alamos County Library System, Magdalena Public Library, Octavia Fellin Public Library in Gallup, P’oe Tsawa Community Library in Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Portales Public Library, Pueblo of Pojoaque Public Library, Ruidoso Public Library, Thomas Branigan Memorial Library in Las Cruces, and Vista Grande Public Library in Eldorado.

Each participating library will encourage adults in their communities to read The Secret Knowledge of Water and offer programs to discuss the book.  This nonfiction work explores the essence of water in the southwest desert, specifically New Mexico.

“This project is an exciting, proactive way to get adults reading as well as engaged as a community to explore critical water issues in local areas and the state,” says State Librarian Susan Oberlander. “We are pleased to partner with the Humanities Council and 15 public libraries to offer this program statewide.”

Craig Newbill, Executive Director of the NM Humanities Council, adds, “The combined Watershed Consciousness project and adult reading program offer a strong and unique base for communities to engage in important conversations about water, our most important limited natural resource.”


Send your news or stories that you would like to share with the library community to the HH editor, Robert Upton, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Library Snapshot Day. The State Library is pleased to share the results from “One Day in the Life of New Mexico Libraries” (also known as Library Snapshot Day). This was a statewide effort conducted this past spring 2010 showing how public, school, and academic libraries have an impact on their communities on a typical day.

Everywhere in New Mexico, libraries are the cornerstones of their communities, places where people come together to visit, learn, and share ideas.  New Mexico’s libraries are busier than ever, with people doing more than just checking out books, but also looking for jobs, using computers, and attending the many programs that our libraries have to offer.  Library Snapshot Day shows just how important libraries are in their communities by spotlighting just one regular day.

The State Library also encourages libraries to use “One Day in the Life” as an advocacy tool to establish and enhance relationships with local government officials, Boards, Friends’ Groups, and other community members to keep them informed of what is going on at their libraries and to educate as many people as possible on importance of local funding for libraries. Download the report from the State Library website as a pdf file.

ALA Library Advocacy Day. Issues of interest to New Mexico libraries are being decided in Washington now.  The American Library Association is sponsoring National Library Advocacy Day on June 29.  The events include a Library Advocacy Day Rally on the Mall and visits to New Mexico legislators by New Mexico librarians.  The librarians who will be in Washington on June 29 are Susan Oberlander, State Librarian; Paulita Aguilar, UNM; Janice Kowemy, Laguna Pueblo; Angelina Manfredi, Los Alamos; Alana McGrattan, Corrales;  Karen McPheeters, Farmington; and Cynthia Shetter, Los Lunas.

You can join the conversation via email.  This is a great opportunity to present your stories and do some bragging about the great things you and your libraries are doing for New Mexicans.  You can also support legislation and issues important to you.  This website has more information .

Here are a few issues that you may want to support:
  • Include School Librarians in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
  • Library Services and Technology Act funding for the states
  • Reform of E-Rate to make it easier to apply
  • Public Access to Federally Funded Research.
Questions?  Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (State Library) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (NMLA Legislation Committee).

Finding answers about medications. Where can you go to find trusted, quality information about drugs/medications?  Barbara Nail-Chiwetalu of the UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center, suggests that a good starting place is the "MedlinePlus Drugs & Supplements" page. MedlinePlus is a web site developed and maintained by medical librarians at the National Library of Medicine.  It was developed specifically to help the general public understand more about prescription and over-the-counter medications they or someone close to them may be taking.

Here's how to use it:  find the drug name in the alphabetical list. You will come to a page that answers questions such as:
  • Why is this medication prescribed?
  • How should this medicine be used?
  • What special precautions or dietary instructions should I follow?
  • What are the potential side effects from taking this medication?
  • What is the brand name of the drug?
For more in-depth information than what is provided in MedlinePlus, you can go to the additional resources listed on the Consumer Health Information Resources for New Mexico Public Libraries web page under Drugs/Medications/Supplements.  All of these resources are freely available to the public.

Another very good resource is your local pharmacist who is the expert in answering questions about drug interactions and more. You may also call the NM Poison and Drug Information Center at 1-800-222-1222, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you should have any additional questions, contact Barbara Nail-Chiwetalu, Distance Services Coordinator, UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ,  (505) 272-0757.

HH notes. The Hitchhiker is about you and your libraries.  We depend on you to let us know what is going on at your libraries, and what you like or don’t like about the content of the newsletter.  Please help by reminding others to send their email addresses so we can notify them each time a new issue is available.  Send your news and announcements, and also new and corrected email addresses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Send event and training announcements for the library community to the HH editor, Robert Upton, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Foundation Center Traveling Collection. In these tough economic times are non-profit organizations in your area searching for additional funding? The New Mexico State Library has a resource to offer that will assist them:  the Foundation Center Traveling Collection.

The Traveling Collection reflects the State Library’s Foundation Center Cooperating Collection. The Center is a non-profit clearinghouse of information on private philanthropy.  Local libraries, organizations and individuals have a first-hand opportunity to develop grant applications using a collection of current editions from the Foundation Center’s core collection plus corporate fundraising reference tools.  There is a bibliography of the titles currently included in the collection on the State Library website. If your library cannot accommodate this number of books, State Library staff will work with you to streamline the collection to fit your needs.  There is foundation and grant-making information available to your library at no cost at the Foundation Center’s web site. The yellow bar toward the top of the page leads you through the web site and on to information for grant writers and grant seekers.

Currently, the collection is back at the State Library and can be requested for six weeks at a time. The State Library pays the postage in both directions. If you are interested in hosting this collection, contact Linda Harris at 505-476-9763 or 800-876-2203 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Online MLIS degrees for Native American students. The San Jose School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) is partnering with the American Indian Library Association (AILA) to launch Circle of Learning – an initiative designed to recruit and support American Indians and Alaska Natives who are interested in earning a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree.

The scholarship program is designed for Native students who want to earn a fully online ALA-accredited MLIS degree.  Scholarship recipients will receive financial assistance and other support, including mentoring, career advisement, field experiences, involvement in professional conferences and workshops, and interaction with Native leaders in the profession.

Because all courses are delivered fully online, students will be able to live anywhere while earning their MLIS degree.  Circle of Learning’s unique blended approach of online curriculum delivery and face-to-face social and professional interactions will help ensure that scholarship recipients receive personalized support and develop a professional network that will benefit them in the years ahead.

The Circle of Learning scholarship program is made possible because of a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums.  IMLS announced the award on June 15, 2010.  View their online announcement.

Details regarding eligibility for scholarships and application materials will be available on the project website by August 3, 2010.   Students will need to be admitted to the School’s MLIS program in order to receive scholarship funding, and the individuals selected to receive scholarships will be eligible to start receiving tuition reimbursement for courses taken during the Spring 2011 semester.  For more information regarding the Circle of Learning project, including application information and deadlines, please visit the project’s website.

For more information about SLIS and how to apply to the School’s fully online MLIS program, visit the website.

Visit the American Indian Library Association to learn more about its initiatives to improve library and information services for American Indians.



Send announcements of new personnel, changes, achievements, and retirements in your library to the HH editor, Robert Upton, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The work of a librarian at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, Molly Molloy, caught the attention of Ana Campoy at The Wall Street Journal in a June 15 article about the librarian’s efforts to maintain a tally of the killings in the drug cartel wars in Juarez, Mexico.  The article reports that there is no official count of the numbers of people killed in Mexico's escalating drug wars – whether the victims are drug traffickers, police, or civilians (a government estimate puts the total at about 22,000 in all of Mexico since late 2006.)  Ms. Molloy tallies the reports from Mexican newspapers and makes her findings available for free to anyone who wants them. Her material is used in news accounts and scholarly studies in the U.S. and beyond.  More than 300 people subscribe to Ms. Molloy's daily news and analysis emails, including congressional staff, U.S. and Mexican human-rights watchdogs, local and international reporters, and border observers from as far away as Norway.

Molloy told The Wall Street Journal that her long-term plan is to build a more comprehensive archive at her university's library documenting the bloody years in Juárez's history.  She hopes future readers will be able to use the news clippings to track longstanding problems she and other scholars believe are contributing to today's violence: the migration of poor workers from Mexico's interior searching for manufacturing jobs; the growth of shanty towns; and more recently, a generation of uneducated youth lured by the gangster lifestyle.

Her interest in Latin America started in the 1980s, when she translated articles into English at a newspaper run by the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.  These days, she is charged with keeping her school's library well-stocked with Latin American Studies titles, and she did research for Murder City, a book by journalist Charles Bowden about the killings in Juárez.

Ben Wakashige, who has held various library positions in New Mexico, has accepted the position at Central New Mexico Community College as the Administrative Director of Libraries and Educational Resources.  He returns to the state from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado where he was Director of the John F. Reed Library  He has been the Director of Miller Library, Western New Mexico State University in Silver City, Director of Libraries at Pacific University in Oregon, and was State Librarian from 1998-2003.

Stacy Zuzga is the new Adult Services Librarian at the Octavia Fellin Public Library in Gallup.  She received her MLS from Wayne State University and most recently was with the Rochester Hills Library, MI.