By Chelle Delaney: QCS Correspondent
Mary Ann Molinas visited the maternity ward at Dr. Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital on March 29. Her mission? To make a delivery. She wanted to make sure newborn baby James got his first hardback book.
That might not be a typical duty for a librarian, but at the Tucumcari Library they like to get their readers early, said Molinas, who has worked for the library 11 years and been its director almost four years.
“I love to make these visits. I get to see the babies, and visit with the mothers,” she said.
Making sure the library grows its readers is just one of many services offered to the Quay County community by the Tucumcari Public Library.
The library has something to offer — from books to programs — for infants to senior citizens, Molinas said. In addition to 29,504 books, there are 871 videos, 1,280 cassettes, 181 compact disks and 74 DVDs for its 3,309 registered patrons.
The library also is home to 12 computers with Internet connections, including one in Spanish, Molinas said.
A program planned soon will teach adults the basics of computers.
“We can have a class of 15 and seven have already signed up without any advertising. We hope to get it started in late April or early May,” Molinas said.
Need to do some office work? Area residents can count on the library — for a small fee — to provide copying machines, facsimile transmission and a notary.
“Genealogy is also popular,” Molinas said. “We get people from everywhere. We also get a lot of requests by mail from people who are looking for obituaries. And, of course, we get a lot of questions about the Tucumcari legend.”
For those researching the family tree, old newspapers and vital statistics are available on microfilm and microfiche machines.
Adults may be checking out their ancestry, the latest mystery or a best seller from the New York Times book list, but children are also a focus for library workers.
Molinas said the library has story times for children (3 1/2 to 5 years old) and crafts. A staff member also reads to children one day a week at the Early Headstart program.
Kindergarten and other classes are also frequent visitors. And during the summer, a six-week program attracts more than 200 youth for reading and crafts, Molinas said.
“The library has a pleasant atmosphere,” said volunteer Carolyn Parks, who often brings her grandson for a visit. “They have attractive displays, notices on the bulletin board … it’s like a little hub for everything that’s going on in the community.”