APLF/Books Revisited
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About APLF

Alamogordo Public Library Foundation, Inc. (APL Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2004 to raise funds for the Alamogordo (New Mexico) Public Library. The City of Alamogordo (with contributions from the County of Otero and the State of New Mexico) pays the regular operating expenses of the Alamogordo library, but in general these sources do not provide any funds for capital projects. The APL Foundation steps in to provide this funding.

Recent donations made to the Alamogordo Public Library include the purchase of computer carrels for $8,275, purchased the library's movie license, refrigerator, framing of (3) Joe Ben Sanders maps, wooden blinds behind the teller wall in the Rhodes Room, book purchases that were out of print for the Centennial collection, book "Life in Otero County" by Rachel Telles and published by Bank '34. Contributed hundreds of dollars to the Children's Summer Reading Program.

In April 2012, the APL Foundation paid to convert the oral history cassette tapes into CD format for the Alamogordo Public Library.

In December 2008, the APL Foundation purchased new signage for the Library's driveway entrance. The new signs were created by Commercial Sign Art in Alamogordo and replaced the older signs that had cracked and corrugated over the years.

Alamogordo Public Library, located at 920 Oregon Avenue in Alamogordo, New Mexico, is open 53 hours a week, from Monday through Saturday. It is a cost-effective operation that provides excellent customer service and immediate access to a collection of over 100,000 items, with a much larger collection available through inter-library loan. There is something for everyone at your library, including substantial collections of Spanish and German books and Southwest history. The library is the repository for the papers of the western writer Eugene Manlove Rhodes. The Children's Library is a particular treasure. It provides programs throughout the year for children of all ages, including teens, and over 1,000 children participate in the Summer Reading Program each year. Library service is free of charge to all residents of Otero County.

The library is a major cultural attraction in Alamogordo. The library receives about 200,000 visitors each year, compared to 450,000 for White Sands National Monument, 200,000 for the New Mexico Museum of Space History and IMAX Theater, and 50,000 for Desert Lakes Golf Course.

Online at the Library Alamogordo Public Library offers free use of internet computers for customers and visitors. There are general-access computers in front of the Reference Desk and filtered-access computers in the Children's Library. In general you are limited to 1 hour per day because demand for these computers is so high. The library can afford more computers, but we don't have space for them. There is no room for them in the library.

The library also offers free wireless (WiFi) internet access for customers and visitors. If you have a laptop computer with wireless capability (most newer laptops have this built-in) you can bring it in and access the internet with no time limits. Ask for the wireless brochure at the Circulation Desk.

The Library has a multi-purpose room that is available for Library group activities and business meetings of Library groups such as Library Board, Friends of the Library, APL Foundation and staff. Organizations and individuals may apply by written application to use the room for educational programs and workshops. All usage must be approved by library staff. Maximum occupancy is 75 when used as one room (approx. 20'x50') or 38 on each side when the sound divider is used.

The multi-purpose room was added to the original library in 1987. It was still in its original state when the APL Foundation fulfilled a grant request from library staff for new flooring in Decmeber 2009. Twenty-two year-old carpeting was removed and new vinyl flooring installed. The Foundation didn't stop there. With some help from the city, the original wall covering was removed, damages repaired and the walls textured. The APL Foundation had the entire room painted, and furnished new wooden cabinets for group storage. This renovation was done at a cost to the Foundation of about $4000.00.

Alamogordo Public Library Foundation, Inc. (APL Foundation), founded in 2004 to raise funds for the Alamogordo Public Library , was created as part of the campaign to get a new library building in Alamogordo. The Foundation raises money both for the new building and for general library purposes. The City of Alamogordo budgets about $750,000 each year for operating the library, but usually does not provide any funds for capital improvements.

Legal status: APL Foundation was:

• incorporated as a New Mexico nonprofit corporation, May 3, 2004

• registered as a charity with the New Mexico Attorney General on August 25, 2004

• granted 501(c)(3) public charity status by the IRS, October 27, 2004 (retroactive to May 3, 2004)

Tax numbers:

• our New Mexico State Corporation Number is 2459923

• our EIN (Federal tax number) is 20-1283200

• our CRS ID (New Mexico tax number) is 03-052957-00-3

Governance and Activities

The APL Foundation is an independent corporation, as is the Alamogordo Public Library Board.

APL Foundation's primary activities to date are:

• adding to the Board and committees

• continuing to provide the ability to accept donations from residents and other sources.

• continuing applying for funding grants (APL Foundation wrote the proposal for a $1 million state grant awarded to City of Alamogordo)

• supporting non-budgeted needs of current library.

• overseeing building funds currently invested/dedicated.

• operating book store @ the white sands mall.

Affiliations:

• APL Foundation is a member of the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce

Why Give To The Alamogordo Public Library Foundation?

The Alamogordo Public Library is a tax-supported institution, but it is not supported as well as it could be. Private giving can make the difference between an adequate and a great community resource.

Our library is funded year-to-year by the City of Alamogordo (with some contributions by county and state government). There is no long-term funding, nor is the annual funding guaranteed. The annual funding provides for operating expenses, salaries, and some new books. Generally speaking there is no government funding for capital projects, new equipment, improvements, or even new bookshelves.

Some city facilities are able to raise operating funds through user fees. For example, the Recreation Center charges user fees, and the golf course charges membership fees and greens fees. Raising money through user fees is really not a possibility for public libraries. The United States has a long tradition of free public libraries, going back at least to 1850. Library services are provided without user fees so that they can reach everyone. The Alamogordo Public Library keeps to that tradition.

Libraries are not just big warehouses full of books. Libraries today are gathering places, and are a public place where people feel safe. People of all different backgrounds and ages come together in public libraries and do not feel threatened by each other. In particular it is a place where teenagers go to study and meet their friends. Teens are heavy library users but tend to be undercounted in library statistics because they don't check out many books. Children feel safe in the library, and parents feel safe letting their children go to the library because they know there is adult supervision and there are always lots of people in the library.

A 2003 study by Fordham University ranks New Mexico last among all 50 states in overall social health. This rating covers a wide variety of factors, including the murder rate, low high-school graduation rates (that is, many dropouts), drunken driving deaths, teenage drug abuse, percentage of children living in poverty, and many more. Many of these factors are related. For example, the high dropout rate means there is a shortage of highly-educated workers, which makes it hard to attract high-paying jobs to the State, and so keeps the poverty rate high. Public libraries certainly cannot fix all these problems by themselves, but they help with education and keeping teens and young adults interested in reading and in learning.

What's Our Plan?

The APL Foundation is raising money for capital improvements in the library in two areas: (1) near-term needs such as bookshelves and computers; (2) a long-term plan to build a new, larger library building.

In the past the library received annual capital outlay money from the city budget to buy equipment, but for the past several years there has been no capital money. Funding for new equipment has also been provided by special-purpose grants, such as from the Gates Foundation for new computers, from New Mexico State Library for a new printer in the audio-visual area, and from Public Service Company of New Mexico for a computer.

In the longer term the library must have a larger building. The present building is already too small to hold everything necessary to serve the community. Based on population projections put out by the University of New Mexico and library estimation methods put out by the state of Wisconsin, we estimate that by the year 2020 we will need 40,000 square feet of library space. Today we have only about 20,000 square feet.

In 2001 the block west of the current building, formerly the location of the IGA grocery store, was donated to the city for the express purpose of placing a 40,000 square foot library on the site.

In 2002 the cost of the new building on the site (not counting the land) was estimated at $6.1 million. The value of the land was estimated at $1.2 million. Alamogordo voters rejected the idea of a new library building, as it would have resulted in increased property taxes. Additional efforts also failed.

Are There Other Sources Of Funding?

In the United States nearly all public library funding is local. Each year the Alamogordo Public Library receives about $700,000 from the city government, $40,000 from the county government, and a small amount from the state government. This budget covers operating expenses, maintenance, and books, but does not provide for new equipment or capital improvements.

There has been a temporary but important increase in state funding. In 2002 and 2004 the voters passed statewide General Obligation (GO) bonds to provide state money for library materials. These bonds cover books and some library equipment. The wireless internet (WiFi) system that was installed in 2005 was paid by the 2002 state GO bond. The upgraded online catalog (Dynix Horizon) that was installed in 2004 was paid partly by the 2002 state GO bond and partly by reallocating money from the annual budget. The state GO bonds were introduced in recognition of the fact that New Mexico libraries don't hold enough items in their collections. This source of funding won't last forever, but while it lasts we have an adequate book budget. Money from the 2004 state GO Bond has to be spent in 2005 and 2006.

Can We Get Money From Big Corporations?

The annual Giving USA survey from the American Association of Fund-Raising Counsel shows that nearly all charitable giving in the US comes from individuals, so our emphasis has to be on individuals. According to the survey about 85% of money donated comes from individuals, 10% comes from foundations, and 5% comes from corporations.

There are a number of charitable foundations that make grants for libraries, including grants for new library buildings, and we are pursuing these. Many of these are challenge grants or matching grants, where the local community must come up with some money first and then the foundation will pitch in. This makes it possible to multiply whatever gifts APL Foundation is able to attract from individuals.

APL Foundation is controlled by a volunteer Board of Directors, consisting of from 5 to 15 elected directors. As of January 2016, the directors and officers are:

• Bill Wolfgram, Chairman

• Flori D. McElderry, Financial Officer

• Mary Beth Cicala-Jacobs, Recording Secretary

• Gerrie Bostick, Corresponding Secretary

• Lorraine Vanoven, member

Why Give to the Public Library?

Alamogordo Public Library is a tax-supported institution, but it is not supported as well as it could be. Private giving can make the difference between an adequate and a great community resource.

Or library is funded year-to-year by the City of Alamogordo (with some contributions by county and state government). There is no long-term funding, nor is the annual funding guaranteed.

Alamogordo Public Library is open 53 hours a week, including Saturdays and Evenings. It is a cost-effective operation that provides excellent customer service and immediate access to a collection of over 100,000 items, with a much larger collection available through inter-library loan. There is something for everyone at your library, including substantial collections of Spanish and German books and Southwest history. The library is the repository for the papers of the western writer Eugene Manlove Rhodes. The Children’s Library is a particular treasure. It provides programs throughout the year for children of all ages, including teens, and over 1,000 children participate in the Summer Reading Program each year. Library service is free of charge to all residents of Otero County