Brief History of the Library

Founded by the Women's Club


The Library is currently housed in the Lucero Center Recreational Complex at 313 N Paseo De Oñate. The Lucero Center is named after former Española City Mayor Richard L. Lucero. The library was established by the Espanola Women's Club. In 1915 Books were placed in the home of Mrs. Margaret Sargent, daughter of Samuel McBride, first Stationmaster in Espanola for the Denver  & Rio Grande Western Railroad. She was paid one dollar a month, for her services as a librarian. She checked books out of her home while working as a telephone operator (the town's switchboard was also located in her home). Originally books were rented for 5 cents each. During the 1920's, the Women's Club installed the library into their clubhouse. The Library remained in the clubhouse for many years. In 1950 a freak storm flooded the clubhouse/library. The building was condemned and abandoned. The City of Espanola had made arrangements for the books that could be salvaged to be moved into a City building. In 1969 the Club moved the book collection to Chimayo. In 1971 The City of Espanola developed plans for a neighborhood facility which would include a 10,000 Square foot library. The New Mexico State Library contributed nearly $100,000 in Health, Education and Welfare funds for the library while other funds came from local fund sources, Housing and Urban Development and the Four Corners Commission

The complex was built in 1972 and was intended to be a temporary 4 year location for the library, until a new one could be built.  The Library has remained in the Lucero for 4o years. Today the collection contains over 43,000 items including DVD’s, audio books on tape and CD’s. In 1988 the library became a depository for New Mexico State documents. In 1996 the library implemented a LAN (Local Area Network) with 5 computers for public use. Today the library provides 11 Internet computers for public use with Internet capabilities. A wireless network became available in May of 2010. Two Early Literacy Stations were added to the children’s room in 2011.

A new library has been the topic of discussion since 1998. A bond issue for a new library was presented to the voters of Española in March of 2010. The General Obligation Bond for a new library was voted down.

In mid 2011, just before his death, C.L Hunter, a prominent business man and former City Councilor encouraged the city to build a new library on property he was willing to sell the City at a reduced cost. The building is a historic Ford dealership located in a highly visible corner. In March of 2012, Governor, Susana Martinez signed a capital Outlay request for $300,000 to be used towards the New Library. Plans are underway to begin searching for an architect to plan and design a New Library for Española.


(The first paragraph was taken from the 1990 Library Policy Manual, probably written by the former Library Director Marilyn Reeves)

May 2012