On my way to speak at the Ruidoso Library on August 27, I stopped in at the Capitan Library to see my old friend Debbie Myers, Assistant Director. She's a volunteer at the library as is everyone else who works there. I also had the opportunity to meet the director, Pat Garrett, several other volunteers, and take a tour the facility.
Inside and out, the library shows the love and commitment of the dozens of citizens who give their time and talent to the small ranching village of some1,400 people located in a lovely valley between the Sacramento and Capitan Mountains in beautiful Lincoln County. The building sits within shouting distance of the town hall where, as the story goes, the trustees turned down the chance to acquire the library for one dollar from the non-profit organization that runs the outfit.
Nobody could tell me why those elected village leaders where unwilling to take stewardship of such a worthy and valuable resource to the community.The only thing I could come up with is that somebody slipped stupid pills into the water pitcher on the evening the trustees voted down the offer.
Even a bunch of half-drunk yahoos could have surely seen the civic value as well as the personal bragging rights for claiming such a valuable prize.The Capitan Chamber of Commerce should have been outraged.
But never mind that--back to the library. It's a charming place with neatly organized stacks, a children's area, a bank of Internet-connected computers, a serene outdoor space suitable for quiet reading or contemplation, comfortable seating, a pleasant checkout and reference counter, an office for staff use, and an unique resale shop, "Not 2 Shabby," where donated items are sold to help fund the operation. Like most libraries, it also sells donated books to raise money, and on the first Saturday of every month you can buy a bag of books for five bucks. Its website puts the Capitan Village website to shame, and they even run a blog. It has a cheery, bright, welcoming feel to it, and operates under abbreviated hours five days a week, Tuesday through Saturday.
The library offers workshops, special reading programs for children, an "Adult Reading Group," and is a community center for literary and cultural events. It is the only true public resource for books in an area that stretches along highway US380 from Carrizozo to Hondo, a distance of over forty miles.
I was so impressed, I sent them a box of books, including a hardback copy of "Death Song" the eleventh book in my Kevin Kerney series which opens in Lincoln County and Capitan.
Would you writers and book lovers out there like to join in? If so, your send books to my friend Debbie Myers, Assistant Director, Capitan Public Library, P.O. Box 1169, Capitan, NM 88316. She would most definitely love to get some more audio books for the collection. Help support the Best Little Library in New Mexico. Thanks.