Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

July 2, 1996

New Mexico Center For The Book Approved

The Library of Congress has approved a proposal for a New Mexico Center for the Book that will be affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The New Mexico State Library in Santa Fe will serve as the host institution.

The official announcement was made on May 6 at "state center idea exchange day" atthe Library of Congress, which was attended by New Mexico State Librarian Karen Watkinsand Desiree Mays, literature coordinator of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), and the New Mexico center's treasurer.

"The New Mexico Center will be statewide and reflect New Mexico's culturally diverse population; our programs will also address New Mexico's relatively high illiteracy rate," Mays stated. "Using libraries and arts councils, we're setting up regional centers throughout the state. Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces are set up, and there's strong interest in Ruidoso and Gallup."

The new center's mission statement emphasizes the promotion of books and the printed word through acknowlegement of New Mexico's "rich past and ever-changing present" as well as the state's "unique blessings of culture, oral tradition, multi-language families, varieties of community life, and our grounding in new technologies, research, and ideas."

The New Mexico Center for the Book is a non-profit organization that will be supported by grants, individual memberships, donations, and in-kind services. The president is Marcie Cate, a former bookstore owner and a member of the board of the Santa Fe Literacy Volunteers. Other officers are: poet and literary publisher Ann Racuya-Robbins, vice- president; writer and editor Ann Paden, secretary; and Marianne O'Shaughnessy, publisher of Red Crane Books, special advisor. Robert Sheldon, literary projects director, WESTAF, served as an advisor in the creation of the center.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy, and libraries. Its program, which is supported mostly by private funds, reaches into every region of the country through a network of 30 affiliated state centers and 121 national educational and civic organizations. For information about the New Mexico Center for the Book, contact Marcie Cate, 3922 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87505, phone (505) 983-1516, fax (505) 983-1391.

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PR 96-94
ISSN 0731-3527

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