Who are Friends of the Columbus Library?
The Friends of the Columbus Library organization is a separate entity from the library, and is made up of caring, involved people who support a strong public library that will the benefit the community. Friends enrich the library in many ways.

  • Support unique cultural opportunities by participating in local events, such as the Cabalgata in March.
  • Familiarize the public with library services and resources.
  • Raise funds toward purchase of library needs outside budget limitations.
  • Sponsor activities such as Summer Reading Program & Art Shows
  • Encourage participation in support of the library in all aspects.
  • We sponsor programs and cultural activities to encourage involvement in the community through the library.
  • Our efforts also enhance the library by donating important technology or by funding programs that would otherwise be unavailable due to budgetary restrictions of the library.

The Village library is the heart-of-the-village.  We are essential to the community, for many we are a technological lifeline, and for others a gathering place.  We are a place to see friends (perhaps make new ones), catch up on news, ask for help, and be inspired.  We are essential to the Village Library.  Please join us today in becoming a Friend.

President: Rachel Campbell

Rachel found her way to Columbus New Mexico while on vacation. She fell in love with Columbus and the wonderful people that call this cozy village home.  It quickly became clear to her that the village library was the central hub or heartbeat of the town. Rachel has spent much of her life doing non-profit work with United Way, Post foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and many other non-profit organizations.  So becoming part of the Friends of the library was the best way for her to have impact on a place where her three children love to spend most of their time. Columbus is a border community and the village library is more than just your average library. It’s also the local internet café, the after school program and the local video rental place. She feels honored to be a part of making sure that the library can continue to provide all the services and more in the future.

Treasure: Mary Strange

I’ve long said that I believe libraries have saved my life.  I stand by that.  I think of what my life might have been if I’d never discovered libraries … so pale.  With libraries – the world… the universe, is mine to explore, to revel in …  FOR FREE!  I remain, sixty-some years later, delighted and enduringly enchanted, challenged, enlightened etc.   I love libraries.

On first coming to Columbus (1991) I asked after the library and became a volunteer (my M.O. wherever I lived).  It was fairly pitiful, primarily paperbacks and those primarily westerns and romances – with the odd, donated other bits and some ancient encyclopedias.  Nothing wrong with that, just less than representative of the richness of most libraries.  It was a time of change though; a new (historic) building was coming available.  A bar was shutting down – some tension around that of course.  Having a library as “the heart” of the Village – rather than the bar – was a big, positive shift.

Early days were fraught… still, now, after many ups and downs, changes and shifts – we are a small, vibrant, center-of-the-community….surviving! library.  Hooray.  I love our library.

Columbus has been my base for nearly 30 years now.  I have come and gone (the call of family) and am just recently back after a decade in the Pacific Northwest.  Before I left last time I was volunteering at the library 20 hours a week.  I even took an exam, that was then available, and gained a certificate from the state of NM – that authorized me for the job of Librarian anywhere in NM.  This was because there were so few degreed librarians in NM.  But, I didn’t want to take a job somewhere else, just to support The Village of Columbus Library as I was able.

I saw kids, who didn’t have access to the internet other than the library, become facile with internet and find themselves the first in their families to attend college – because they could get the application forms and get help understanding them – at the library.  Many other stories – but those kids remain my favorite.

If we didn’t have a library or if it were diminished, the hole created would be huge, relative to the community.  That is my reason for joining FOCL and agreeing to become treasurer.  I am happy to be here and working for the health and furtherance of the library.

Secretary: Lyn Am Endt

I held a variety of jobs over the years. 
Secretary to a hospital Administrator and the Purchasing agent at the same hospital. Production Supervisor in manufacturing, then Plant manager for a time for a pharmaceutical closures company. Massage therapist. 
I married and have two beautiful, creative daughters.  Both married good men. For a quite a few years I helped take care of my two wonderful grandchildren. One of the best things that I have ever done. 

I have always enjoyed reading and arts and crafts. This library is very much a social center for residents in the area. Local artists display art throughout the year. It makes one feel good just to come here, so I want to support the library, and through that the community.

Art Director: Ravelle Flores

I’ve been living in Columbus on and off since 2002 with my parents and have volunteered many times here at the library for the experience and to meet people. One day I came in to use the computers and noticed the art on the walls had not changed in the past 15 years. I asked Maria Ehlers, the librarian, “who is in charge of the artwork on the walls?” “No one at the moment”, she said, and then I asked if I could help out and give the library a face lift. A big yes later and I started coming up with some ideas for the library to clean it up and new artwork for the walls. After that I took all the artwork down and we started having art shows with local artists, new art every 3 months, and a gallery opening night with drinks and snacks. Gathering friends and family together for these events became something I looked forward to. I really enjoy being part of the library and the community here because in my opinion this town needs art and more local events. I love art and I’m a mixed media artist and it makes me feel good by giving my time to these shows. I’m giving back to the community, my home, that’s why I am enthusiastic about being a part of FOTL.

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