Belen board supports library bond

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The Belen Board of Education unanimously voted to pass a resolution in support for the library General Obligation Bond issue "B" on the November ballot.

In the resolution, the board "encourages all residents to vote 'yes' for GO Bond B" on Tuesday, Nov. 6. This $9.7 million bond supports public, school, tribal and academic libraries throughout New Mexico.

From the $3 million allotted for public schools, Belen Consolidated Schools is estimated to receive $40,325 to purchase library materials, such as books and database access.

"The focus is on time-sensitive materials, specifically science, technology, history, geography, social sciences and reference works," said Belen Middle School librarian Stephanie Eagle, in an email.

GO Bond appropriations will provide $1.61 per student on top of $3,000 for each school site. This translates into Belen High School receiving $4,833, Infinity High School receiving $3,128, Belen Middle School receiving $3,961, Central Elementary School receiving $3,454, Dennis Chavez Elementary School receiving $3,603, Gil Sanchez Elementary School receiving $3,474, Henry T. Jaramillo Community School receiving $3,737, La Merced Elementary School receiving $3,933, La Promesa Elementary School receiving $3,386 and Rio Grande Elementary School receiving $3,450.

"This is a bond that will touch each of our students here in the district," Eagle told the board.

The resolution states school libraries are critical for student achievement, inspire literacy, aid students to develop information literacy and provide students with equal opportunities to learn and achieve.

Board member Larry Lindberg called libraries the central nervous center of the schools. He said he voted for the resolution because libraries are key in children's educational and life success.

"When I went out and observed at the schools, the libraries are highly utilized," Lindberg said. "Librarians sit around and read books to younger children."

Board Vice President Adrian Pino said he voted for the resolution because it's important to keep libraries within the community for children and adults.

"We need (libraries) whether you're in first grade or 100 years old. We need to have that in our community," Pino said.

The library acquisitions bond is estimated to cost voters 56 cents annually per $100,000 of their assessed property value, according to the Bonds for Libraries website.


-- Email the author at aortiz@news-bulletin.com.