Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Library Tour: Tony Hillerman Branch

When you drive up to Tony Hillerman Library, you can smell roses.  Why, you might ask?  Because the library is itself nestled amidst the rose beds of the Albuquerque Rose Garden.  In fact, library & garden share an entwined history-one might even say they have grown on the same trellis! In 1957, the library (then called Prospect Park) opened; in 1962, the planting of the west section of the Rose Garden began. Since then, the library has been renovated & renamed twice, & the New Rose Garden was opened in 1996.  It's a real Albuquerque beauty spot, &, once you check out your items from the library, you can sit outside on one of the many benches & breathe in the rose scent while you read or relax. On your Summer Reading passport, Hillerman Library has adopted the moniker Rose Island-in homage to the garden but also to their shape, an island (it is on a separate, irregularly shaped block) in the neighborhood.

From the Google Map of the area.
Tony Hillerman Library is located at 8205 Apache NE, located behind the Hoffmantown Shopping Center at the intersection of Wyoming Blvd and Menaul Blvd. on Apache Street NE.-visit the library website for driving directions & bus routes. The library offers many of the ABC Libraries' typical amenities-there are 20 public computers available, 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! Hillerman Library has 2 study rooms for public use, but no community room.

Inside, the library is bright & airy. Expect to find, in the central area by the Information Desk, monthly "Armchair Adventures" displays.  Each month, these displays of fiction & non-fiction will take you to a different country!  The glass display case by the check-out will feature something related to the "Armchair Adventures" display.  Being an Anglophile, I counted myself lucky to be visiting when England was the country on display, & the case featured some lovely teacups. For Summer Reading, visitors will be able to browse the Novel Destinations display as well, with a collection of books about very interesting places. Also in this area, looking towards the children & teen area, you can see some delightful glass art by ChristelĂ©.

Speaking of the children & teen area, you will not want to miss the fun decorations here!  The walls are dotted with many handmade masks (leftover from a past program I believe) & there are cozy places to sit (including these cool cubbies on wheels where you can snuggle with a book & a fuzzy creature) & lots of bright colors.

Of course, while you are at the Tony Hillerman branch, you will not want to miss the displays dedicated to Mr. Hillerman himself!  This branch, which started out as Prospect Park & then in the '80s was renamed the Wyoming Library, became the Tony Hillerman Library in 2008, as this was the library used by the Hillermans who lived nearby on Texas Street. The library's webpage has a tribute page where you can find links to books & information about Tony Hillerman; inside the building, you can browse titles & memorabilia.

Our Summer Reading program, "One World, Many Stories/Un Mundo, Muchas Historias", is right around the corner, & Hillerman Library has a lot of treats in store for you, beginning on Saturday, June 4th, with their kick-off event, Explore the Sun!  This event will include a Special Solar Storytime, observing the sun with telescopes, meeting local solar scientists & astronomers, a chance to make your own sun dial, & more! Another fabulous summer program offering will be the One Planet, Many Puppets: Storytelling with Puppets and Masks, which is a free 7-week workshop for kids & teens 6-16. In this workshop, participants will explore puppetry traditions around the world while constructing puppets, creating characters, and developing scenes to perform.

Hillerman storytime regulars will recognize Vicky (above, with her puppets)!  You won't find her at storytime during Summer Reading, however-instead, she'll be leading the Puppet Workshop! Read more about Vicky's storytimes on her blog, Paper Plate Muse.

But that's not all that's going on at Hillerman Library! Visit the library web page to find out about all of this branch's events, which include the Stitching Club on Tuesdays, the Who Dunnit? Mystery Book Group, a variety of computer classes, & the Read to the Dogs program (monthly on the second Saturday).

If all these fun things to do at the library & hanging out in the Rose Garden are not enough incentive to pay a call on the Tony Hillerman branch, consider some other local attractions: if you need to do a little shopping, both the Hoffmantown Shopping Center & the Wyoming Mall are nearby; for a outdoor fun, there are 3 parks-Hoffman, Taylor, & Cutler-in the vicinity; & if you need a snack, you can't go wrong with Charlie's Front & Back Door, Le Chantilly, & Relish.  If you're an audiophile, don't miss Charley's 33s & CDs, just down Menaul-they have a great selection.

Lastly but certainly not leastly, Hillerman Library may be the only branch in the system that has this handy print magnifier, for those of you who might not want to strain your eyes on teeny tiny print!

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