On Friday, June 3 at 8:30 in the morning, residents of Questa witnessed an impressive sight—a long line of the coolest trucks ever rolling into the Questa Public Library. Thirteen mostly enormous trucks were parked around the perimeter of the parking lot. Each truck had a friendly driver who was ready to answer kids’ questions, lift them into cabs, let them blow the vehicles’ horns, and see what it was like to be in the driver’s seat. The kids visited each truck, got the driver’s initials, and returned their form for a library program button. Favorite trucker awards went to J.C. Mascarenas and his giant green John Deere tractor on its even bigger trailer, and to Tim Clinefelter, the Questa ambulance driver. Many of the truckers had treats to hand out, and Library Director Sharon Nicholson sent more treats up in the bucket truck to be showered down on the kids.
“Trucking into Summer Reading” was the first day of the Questa Public Library’s 2022 summer reading program, with the theme of “Oceans of Possibilities.” Sessions are held on Tuesday and Friday mornings, each featuring a theme related in some way to water and reading, such as fire trucks!. In addition to the truck parade, the library hosted local award-winning children’s author/illustrator Jenny Kostecki Shaw reading her latest book, Papa Brings Me the World. Internationally known illustrator, painter, digital artist, author, and educator Mark Lewis Wagner and his crew, The Rocks, led the kids in chalk drawings. Returning magician Kyle Groves, a favorite from past summers and Denise Gard’s famous border collies, Joey and Kira, performed tricks. Everyone led kids on a fantastical journey of adventure and storytelling.
The summer reading program is the latest in a series of activities and services that are offered to the Questa community and the surrounding area and made possible with the new Carlos R. Cisneros Wing of the Questa Public Library, dedicated last year on June 12. After doubling its space, the library now has room to grow its children’s programming, create a separate space for tweens and teens, and offer computer classes for adults. There is an area for art shows, curated by local artist Peggy Trigg. A new archivist will be hired to preserve local history, and the meeting space has already accommodated community gatherings, most recently featuring New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.
All of this is offered at no cost to the community. While the construction of the library’s addition was made possible through an allocation of $580,000 in the state’s 2019 capital spending bill, most of the interior furnishings and equipment were made possible by grants and other funding obtained by the Friends of the Questa Public Library, a 501(c)3 charitable organization whose sole mission is to support the Questa Public Library both financially and with in-kind services.
A community space is only as good as the community it serves. “We invite everyone to get a library card,” said Nicholson. “If a patron requests a certain book that is not on the shelves, we will obtain it, either by purchase or inter-library loans.”
Volunteers are always welcome. “Even two hours a week watching the front desk, restocking books, or helping with the programs make a big difference,” added Nicholson. “It’s a wonderful chance to meet new people and serve the public. Besides, it’s great fun!”
If you would like more information about how you can become involved with the Questa Public Library, call (575) 586-2023.