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Embudo Valley Library Receives National Medal from IMLS

National_Medal_IMLSEmbudo Valley Library and Community Center Announced as a 2015 Recipient of Nation’s Highest Museum and Library Honor

National Medal for Museum and Library Service Recognizes Dixon, NM’s Embudo Valley Library’s Exceptional Community Contributions

WASHINGTON (April 21, 2015) – The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced Embudo Valley Library and Community Center of Dixon, New Mexico, as one of 10 recipients of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 21 years, the award has celebrated institutions that present extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service to make a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The award will be presented at an event in Washington, D.C., on May 18.

Embudo Valley Library was founded in 1992 in a rented room with volunteer librarians. Twenty-three years later, the library proudly serves the community in a new, state-of-the-art facility providing public library service, four youth literacy programs, and cultural and economic development opportunities.  The library operates a community center and is home to KLDK-LP FM, an all-volunteer low power FM community radio station. It serves communities from Velarde to Vadito, New Mexico, a population base of roughly 8,500 people.  In 2014, there were 17,507 patron visits to the library.

“These National Medal recipients have demonstrated a genuine understanding of their communities and are committed to addressing community needs,” said Maura Marx, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “IMLS believes museums and libraries are vital community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural and educational opportunities, and economic vitality. The remarkable community contributions these institutions have made are proof positive of this.”

“We are very excited to be honored with this award,” said Felicity Fonseca, executive director of Embudo Valley Library and Community Center. “This award truly speaks to the support we receive from so many volunteers, community members, and other advocates who help us turn our dreams and visions into reality here in our village.”

In addition to Executive Director Fonseca, community member Joseph Lee Estrada, will also travel to Washington and share the impact Embudo Valley Library has had on his life during the May 18 celebration.

Estrada, a tenth grader enrolled in the Penasco High School dual credit high school/college program,  got to know the library as a four-year-old attending the early literacy story time with his mother.  He went on to become an annual star reader in the summer reading program. He now volunteers at the library’s circulation desk and has a show as a volunteer DJ on KLDK 96.5 FM, the library’s low power community radio station.  For Estrada, the library has become a second home for him, and he credits his participation in the summer reading program as leading to his success in school.  “I have been deeply influenced by the library and all that it has offered me,” he says.

The ten National Medal honorees exemplify the nation’s great libraries and museums and demonstrate outstanding impact and quality of programs, services, and partnerships, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. They were selected from thirty finalists that were among institutions from across the country that were nominated for the honor.

After the ceremony, StoryCorps—a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans—will visit Embudo Valley Library to document stories from the community.

For a complete list of 2015 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, please visit

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Embudo Valley Library: 

The Embudo Valley Library and Community Center provides public library service six days a week and literacy programming for adults, families, and children ages 0-18, including a STEM to Read early literacy program, an afterschool program, a summer reading program, and a teen tile mural project. Numerous community events take place in our facilities, including book readings by local authors, archeological talks pertaining to the area, and other workshops.

We are a full public library, a grassroots civic and social service organization, and an economic development partner in our village.  We have a circulating collection of 15,413 books, audio books, and electronic media, offer e-books as part of the New Mexico Library to Go e-book consortium, provide free high-speed internet access on eight patron computers, and offer printing, fax, copy, and notary as well as inter-library loan and reference services.

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