The library was founded in 1943, just one year after Los Alamos was selected as the site for the Manhattan Project. It was started as a subscription library by 70 couples, each of whom donated $5.00 for the purchase of books, and was located in a small room in the Big House, one of the original buildings of the Boys Ranch School. In 1945 it became a free library when the Army Post Recreational Council handed over financial responsibility to Army Post Special Services. In 1946, the library became the Mesa Library, guided by a Library Committee of five, and in 1951 it became the Mesa Public Library, an independent corporation under contract with the Atomic Energy Commission. At that moment the library had 30,000 volumes and 7,000 registered volumes.
Library Facts & Statistics
· The library is open seven days per week at both locations, excluding holidays.
· Approximately 307,000 people visit the libraries each year.
· The number of registered borrowers is about 16,979. 80% are from the County; 71% of those are from the Town site, 29% are from White Rock. 20% live outside of the County.
· The annual number of reference transactions per year is about 25,000.
· Last year the library circulated 408,140 items.
· 17,535 children participated in library programs last year. 159,256 items were circulated to the community’s youth.
· Both libraries provide free internet access wired and /or wireless, that is used by thousands of visitors every year.
The Mesa Public Library Building
AIA Gold Medal Award winning architect Antoine Predock designed the 48,000 square foot Mesa Public Library building which opened to the public on October 5, 1994. Visitors and students of architecture from all over the world are intrigued by the unusual angles and curves of the structure that affords stunning views of the Jemez Mountains yet provides a comfortable, peaceful atmosphere for library patrons. From the active program space in the downstairs kiva to the upstairs art gallery and meeting rooms, Predock’s design has assured a multifunctional library for visitors of all ages.