July 16, 2019

Shuter Library Says “I Know Jo, Do You?”

By Jo Mixon

Shuter Library of Angel Fire

“Without libraries, what do we have? We have no past and no future.”
Ray Bradbury

This week was all about books. I love books. Hardcover, eBooks, shared books, graphic books, audio books and more books. The Shuter Library of Angel Fire hosted the Chamber Business After Hours Tuesday October 16, and then I was invited to sit down and talk with Library Director Diane Martinez, Library Assistant Kelly Orndorff, and board member Scott Jones, who serves as Treasurer and Vice President of Operations. They were excited to share all the new fun activities and programs going on at Shuter Library.
I found the eBook program and Kindle checkout especially interesting.

They stressed the extensive collection in their Children’s Section, telling me it could even be considered massive for a library this size! And they told me about the Summer Children’s Program, which includes Reading Nights, Game Nights, and several ongoing reading programs. Students are allowed unlimited free use of the computers (while the general public is allowed the first 15 minutes of computer use free of charge).

They went on to tell me about the monthly Book Club which works in collaboration with other New Mexico Libraries to provide an almost unlimited source of titles. This Book Club meets the fourth Wednesday of every month at 6:00 pm. Each of the monthly books for discussion can be checked out or downloaded by members, or members can also purchase the book. When you are on vacation, you can download books from Shuter Library from anywhere in the world!

Shuter Library is a not and has never been a municipally-funded library; it is a private library. It was started one day in 1978 by a group of seven women who were distressed when the Bookmobile missed its regular appointment in Angel Fire. Jeanette Stromberg donated the first $300; and now, 34 years later, the dream of these women is an independent, incorporated, registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization known as Shuter Library of Angel Fire.

Since its onset, Shuter Library has required a strong community base providing thousands of volunteer hours and extensive fund raising efforts to keep their vision alive. But even with the dedication of hundreds of volunteers throughout the years, the library still struggled to keep its doors open; so in 2010 the Board of Directors made a reluctant decision to charge for library services. There are several options for membership. All memberships include access to computers and book checkout privileges. There is also an Angels program for those who want to contribute $200 or more per year. At present there are eleven Angel memberships. Plus there is a newly-formed Underwriters membership for businesses who want to help the library by contributing $1,000 or more per year. Their goal is to have 12 Underwriter memberships, with each membership receiving obvious recognition such as a banner over the building entrance.

Diane has been with the library wearing one hat or another for about five years, but officially became Library Director in 2011. Scott actually joined the library board to write grants but became so submerged in “the little library that could,” he now pours himself passionately into the organization. And although I didn’t meet them, Diane wanted me to mention Shuter Library’s other two library assistants, Janet Matthews and Dawn Metz, along with the rest of the library board (Erich Balzer, Pete Peterson, Glenn Wiederstein, President Kevin Mutz, and Secretary Kathie Westlund).

For further information you may visit Shuter Library at 11 South Angel Fire Road. Call them at 575-377-6755 or visit www.shuterlibrary.net. New Fall hours at the library are 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 10 am to 6:00 pm on Wednesday, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday.

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