The fourth library remodel in 2008 joined the existing library building with the former village office building.
Students participating in the Land of Enchantment Book Club brought their lunches to Jemez Valley School Library on Tuesdays and learned about books while they ate. In one session, fourth graders kneaded dough to make hardtack, like the Revolutionary War soldiers ate in the book, They Called Her Molly Pitcher. School librarian Mildred Peck and Deborah Williams, Children’s Program Coordinator for the Jemez Springs Public Library, coordinated the weekly program.
Readers who finished at least three books from the list then voted for their favorite, and their votes were added to those from around the state to choose the Land of Enchantment Book of the Year. For more information on the ongoing Land of Enchantment Book Award Program, go to http://www.loebookaward.com.
Excerpts from a column by Jim Belshaw in the Albuquerque Journal, Oct. 10, 2005
I like the way that, three years ago, Morris had a grand idea about getting three literary Masters of the Universe together in Jemez Springs to talk about what they do. For free.
He thought it would be a good way to benefit the library.
The way I heard the story this past weekend, Morris offered up his idea and everyone said, ‘Sure, Morris. You go ahead and do that. Let us know when you get it lined up.’
So he did. . . .
Now I can have just a moment to talk about Morris Taylor, who is now 80, and who lives in Jemez Springs in the company of smart, thoughtful people who may spend their days in a small place but don’t entertain small ideas.
Three years ago, Morris wondered aloud if he could get N. Scott Momaday, Rudolfo Anaya and Tony Hillerman to come to the Jemez Springs [sic] High School on their own dime for the Jemez Springs Tricultural Symposium.
So he called them and asked. All three said they’d do it, and people came from all over the country to hear them.
Belshaw was one of the 2005 symposium speakers.
From Jemez Thunder, October 1, 2003
The authors’ symposia that have been offered to residents of the Jemez Valley by the Friends of the Library for the past three years are incredibly exciting. It is stimulating, mind-expanding, marvelous beyond words to listen to well-known authors discuss their work, their philosophy, and their ultimate goals.
Every year I come away thinking “How can something this exotic be offered – at no charge, even – in this small community? How do we persuade authors of the stature of John Nichols (The Milagro Beanfield War) or Demetria Martinez (who got into trouble with the U.S. Government back in the ‘80s for her political views) and Rina Swentzell, well-known writer, potter and weaver from Santa Clara Pueblo, to take the time and make the effort to visit our small spot on the planet?”
We may not always agree with their views, and we may not understand or appreciate everything they write, but we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to lively dialogue and to interact through “question and answer” with noteworthy contemporary literary figures. Our very own N. Scott Momaday, who is a prize-winning novelist, poet, artist, literary critic and PBS commentator, is an excellent moderator. What a wonderful new auditorium the high school enjoys in which to display such talent also!
My awe at our good fortune expands to wonder why on Earth the high school teachers do not encourage their students to attend these august affairs with the logical inducement of extra credit. Indeed, how many teachers attend? (I spotted Rudolfo Anaya and his wife in the audience; but he, alas, doesn’t exactly count as a local educator).
The same lack of support from the school teachers, principals and committee members is true for the Jemez Valley Concert Association’s presentations. On Saturday evening Oct. 4, the Albuquerque Boy Choirs will be in concert at the Presbyterian Church. The cost is a minimal $5 for adults and $2.50 for children. What golden opportunities are offered to the public, and especially to our youth, to hear and watch a variety of excellent musicians of all sorts bring to our community something a little different from pop, rap, and rock and roll! There are at least four or five concerts every year, and so many people don’t bother to explore the possibilities, or encourage their youngsters to try something different and “educational.”
I write to urge everyone to at least give these cultural events a try just once. I can almost guarantee your first visit won’t be your last.
Across the nation, libraries participate in Community Read, an annual event in which everyone in a town or community are encouraged to read the same book and then participate in discussions about the book and author. In 1996, Rudolfo Anaya, famed New Mexico author (and part-time Jemez Springs resident), was featured at our library.
Transcribed from Jemez Thunder, Feb. 15, 1995
As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Village of Jemez Springs, the library is sponsoring a “community read” event featuring the work of local resident N. Scott Momaday. We are focusing on two of his books that describe the Jemez Valley: House Made of Dawn and The Names.
Scott will appear at the library from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27, to read from these books and discuss his writing. The idea of a “community read” is that as many people as possible read the same book. In this case, if reading two books sounds a bit much, we urge everyone to read at least a sampling. The library has ordered extra copies.
House Made of Dawn, which won the Pulitzer Price in 1969, tell the story of a young man from Jemez Pueblo, home from World War II and caught between two worlds: one his father’s, the other of industrial America. The Names is Scott’s memoir of growing up in Jemez Pueblo.
Scott was born in 1934 in Lawton, OK, Kiowa country in southwestern Oklahoma. He spent his childhood in several different Southwestern communities (Gallup, Shiprock, Tuba City, Chinle, San Carlos, Hobbs) where he was in close contact with Navajo and San Carlos Apache, as well as Hispanic and Anglo Children. When Momaday was 12, his parents took teaching jobs at Jemez Pueblo. After studying at a Virginia military academy, Scott attended the University of New Mexico (B.A. in political science), the University of Virginia (briefly to study law), and Stanford (M.A. and Ph.D. in English). Scott is a poet, novelist, playwright, storyteller, artist, and a professor of English and American literature. He created the Buffalo Trust, a non-profit foundation for the preservation, protection and return of their cultural heritage to Native peoples, especially children.