Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Library Tour: South Valley Branch

The South Valley Library, at 3904 Isleta Boulevard SW, on the corner of Isleta & Camino del Valle, is our next stop. This branch, a distinctive pink building, was built around 1990.  The architects made a real effort to make the building blend in with the community to which it belongs. In a 1993 Albuquerque Journal article titled "Storybook Setting", Steve Brewer said "[t]in roofs & dormer windows give the South Valley Library the look of a New Mexican farmhouse."  In the same article, he basked in the natural light from the windows all around the building & mentioned that the library has "a grassy ampitheater under an arbor like sunshade out back".  A lovely place to spend some time!

South Valley offers many of the ABC Libraries' typical amenities-there are 14 public computers available (including two dedicated Spanish language terminals), a fax service, Fiction to Go (slightly used, recently published fiction titles for sale-$2 for hardbacks and $1 for paperbacks) & materials such as voter registration forms & bus schedules can be picked up here. This branch also offers a Free Magazine Swap! South Valley also has a meeting room & 2 study rooms for public use.


Reflecting the rich diversity of its community, South Valley has a large International Collection, with an emphasis on Spanish materials-including a few spinners of fotonovelas & paperbacks in Spanish. The South Valley Library is also proud to be part of the area's annual El Kookooee celebration. South Valley schoolchildren design models for the figure, which is ceremonially burnt ("to help you burn your fears away", according to El Grito) during the month of October in nearby Rio Bravo Park. The children's models are displayed in the South Valley Library; later, the winning model will be placed in a special case, also at the library. See a picture of last year's El Kookooee on the Weekly Alibi's website.

El Kookooee..Se Quema! Display & models from last year's contest.

Besides El Kookooee artworks, South Valley Library has other interesting displays. Make sure to check out the north side of the building, where you'll find another display case & the library's Freedom Shrine, which includes copies of many famous documents, including Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural address & John F. Kennedy's inaugural address.

The staff at South Valley are really gearing up for this year's Summer Reading Program, "One World, Many Stories/Un Mundo, Muchas Historias"! (Look for the branch on your passport under the name "South Vallandia".) They are planning a series of  World Explorer programs for children age 6-10 to learn about different countries, including Australia, Greece & Brazil, with crafts, food, music & games! Storytime for Preschoolers with Toni-Lynn will be Wednesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. during Summer Reading.  This will be a lively & fun program, featuring music, fingerplays, creative movement, & crafts!  More information on South Valley's upcoming "One World, Many Stories" programs will be forthcoming on their web page.

The flag of South Vallandia.  Their national motto is "Leer es Poder"!

Where can one find the South Valley Library web page? From the ABC Libraries home page, you can click on the link for "Events and Programs/Storytime" (under the heading "Library Services and Programs") to visit the South Valley page, among others. There you can find contact information, hours, directions, featured resources, & information about events at the branch, including their Thursday Night Fiber Fever program!

While visiting the library, you will not be at a loss for things to do in the area! The South Valley Pool & Water Slide is right next door,along with the South Valley Little League Baseball Field & the Rio Bravo Skate Park, not to be confused with Rio Bravo State Park, which is just behind the library. The South Valley Growers' Market, on Saturdays from 8 a.m.- noon, is right across the street at Cristo Del Valle Presbyterian Church. Another must-see in the South Valley area is the Hubbell House at 6029 Isleta Boulevard NW-"a community jewel" located on El Camino Royal that was built in the years following the Civil War. If you get hungry during your visit, there is a paletería, La Michoacana, in the neighborhood; El Mezquite Market (one of 3 in the Albuquerque area at 3765 Isleta Boulevard SW) has a great Mexican deli; & Abuelita's New Mexican Kitchen, at 6083 Isleta Boulevard SW across from CNM, is a staff favorite.

For more on the South Valley area, check out the City of Albuquerque website.  Jeff Hartzer's poem "On The Bus" will also take you on a short, but entertaining, tour!

If you stop by the South Valley Library, don't miss their Staff Recommendations! (I liked What Was Lost, too.)

1 comment:

Jeff Hartzer said...

Thank you for the link to my poem, ON THE BUS, written while I was a teacher at Rio Grande High School. I am always happy to do poetry readings wehihc if you like, can include this poem. Google me or look in phone book for my number (do they still make phone books? and what about those things called, LIBRARIES?).