Capitan Public Library

Capitan Public Library Logo

Basic Information

Established: 1996
Schedule: Tues - Thurs 10am to 6 om; Fri - Sat 10 am to 2 pm; closed Sun - Mon
Address: 101 E. 2nd Street, Capitan, NM 88316
Phone Number: 575-.54-3035
Fax Number: 575-354-3223
Director: Pat Garrett

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Capitan Public Library
Capitan Public Library
Capitan Public Library

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Additional Information

Computer Capabilities:

12 public computers with free internet access - also free wifi

Education Programs: After School Program 1st Friday Adult Lectures
Summer Programs: Summer Reading Program
Membership Details:

New Patrons must provide a picture ID and proof of residence; temporary patrons require a $25 deposit that is refunded when account is clear and patron leaves the area

Library Information:

Capitan Public Library is a 501(c)(3), all volunteer library. The library is part of the New Mexico State Library System and offers full library services.

Library History:

In August of 1996, a group of Capitan citizens decided the community needed a library; thus an idea was born and became a reality. In the beginning the group met on front porch of a home with boxes of donated books. When a building became available, this determined group found the rent money and the library had a new home. The rental was a store front with 1000 square feet of floor space. The library quickly outgrew the space, but money was lacking. More than once, the volunteers paid the utility and phone bills themselves. With resolve, the volunteers incorporated, received tax-exempt status and became a state recognized full-service public library. Numerous fund raisers assisted with operational expenses.

In December 2000, a patron bestowed a generous donation which allowed the Board of Directors to purchase a building to house the library. This property more than doubled the floor space and the
seller was willing to carry the mortgage. In April 2001, after several months of renovation, the library reopened in its new home. With a mortgage and larger utility bills, the volunteers increased fund raising events and began to search for grants. Grants from the Hubbard Foundation and the Libri Foundation allowed the library to automate the collection, provide books for the children's library, and re-roof a portion of the children's library. New Mexico State Library provides grants-in-aid each year and the County of Lincoln and Village of Capitan provide funding as their own budgets allow. General Obligation Bond funding is received when passed by the legislators.

Outgrowing the 2400 square foot building, grants were again researched to allow the Board to add an addition. Funding was received from the Hubbard Foundation, the Daniels Fund, and a Texas foundation (to remain anonymous). The Daniels Fund was a matching grant - the match was met in one month. The Hubbard grant was also a matching grant. It, too, was met quickly. The library received numerous donations from community members, volunteers and interested persons. Ground breaking began in May 2007, and the library opened the new addition in July 2008. This project could
not have been accomplished without the help of some key players. These people donated their skills, expertise, time and talents to complete this project expeditiously. The new addition added another 2400 square feet of space, doubling the area.

Supported primarily by donations, grants and fundraisers, the library operates with a tenuous budget. The County of Lincoln and the Village of Capitan fund the library when they are able. The Village of Capitan leases a building to the library for $1 a year to be used as a resale shop. This library enterprise, The Not 2 Shabby Shop, is run by the Friends Group and has been a success since the day it opened 6 years ago. The proceeds from the resale shop help with the operational expenses of the library. The shop manager oversees the "Community Connection" which assists families and individuals in need.

The library serves a diverse audience of Capitan residents as well as those from Alto, Lincoln, Carrizozo, Nogal, White Oaks and the ranching community and a large number of tourists and visitors. The average monthly patronage is 1076. In 2013, 10,310 items were circulated. With the added space, the library has the capability of holding community meetings as well as library activities (i.e. 1st Friday Adult Lectures, After School Programs, Preschool Reading Hour, and Summer Reading Programs), and provides many services. Among these are several on-line programs including Britannica Online Encyclopedia, A to Z Maps Online, Ancestry Library Edition, and Magazines Online. Another much used service is Interlibrary Loan. Ten public computers with free internet access are available as well as free WiFi. There is a comfortable reading area for adults and a separate children's library with an area for young adults. There is also a large sale book room which brings in $3500 a year.

An all-volunteer staff continues to operate the library 32 hours weekly with an average of 600 volunteer hours monthly.

The Library's catalog has a new look, new conveniences, and new ways to access information. Patrons can access their accounts from any internet capable computer in the library, at home, or anywhere.

Four major fundraisers are held each year - the May Plant and Garden Sale; 4th of July Book, Bake and Hot Dog Sale; October Silent Auction, and the December Holiday Bazaar.

Plan to visit Capitan Public Library - we think you will like what you see!

Exhibits: Local artist exhibits

1st Friday Adult Lectures; After School Program, Summer Reading Program; $5 a bag book sale every 1st Saturday; May Plant & Garden Sale; July Hot Dog, Book and Bake Sale; October Silent Auction; December Holiday Bazaar; Cowboy Santa Parade