BOSQUE FARMS – The new director of the Bosque Farms public library came to her career a little later than others, but her love of the land has been around for a long time.
After 21 years as a dance teacher, gymnastics trainer, and preschool teacher for Parks and Recreation in Lee County, North Carolina, Toni-Lynn Hart has decided to take a new direction in her life.
“I have always had the greatest respect for the library. I just think they know everything, so I was like, “I’m going to do this,” Hart said. “I went back to school and got a diploma in library science and information technology. “
Needing an internship for his degree and having friends in New Mexico, Hart headed west for an internship at the Albuquerque Academy. There, she heard about the rural bookmobiles at the New Mexico State Library.
“My kids were grown up and I wanted to come back and drive this big bookmobile,” she said.
After five years delivering books to rural New Mexicans, Hart decided it was time to get off the road.
“We were gone like, you know, four nights a week, but it was the most amazing thing in the world,” she said.
After handing over his bookmobile keys, Hart spent 10 years commuting between his Los Lunas home and Albuquerque, working for the Albuquerque Public Library System. She fell into working with Bosque Farms – just minutes from home and was doing well with her insurance and pension benefits.
“It was meant to be. Love it here, ”she said.
Hart says that as a librarian she enjoys creating and delivering programs for all ages in the community.
She started a summer reading program for children, teens and adults,
“I really try to emphasize that it’s not just for kids,” Hart said. “It’s for everyone – ages zero to 110 can register.”
She would like to introduce a genealogy program to the library, as a genealogy enthusiast herself.
Hart is also working to create programs for the elderly and other first-time computer users.
“I bought some laptops so I could teach one-on-one once we can do it safely,” she said. “There is so much that (people) need to be able to do with a computer and they don’t have the knowledge. “
Having a background in dance, Hart said she would like to do more music and movement-centric programs, perhaps incorporating them into a traditional story time.
The library is also improving its Southwest collection and creating a teenage bedroom, she said.
Hart said that one aspect of library services that she really loves is being able to put documents and information into the hands of users who otherwise might not have access to them.
“The Bosque Farms Public Library will use whatever resources we have available to meet the needs of a client’s library,” she said. “If we don’t have the requested item in our system, we will suggest that you get the item through interlibrary loan. If the item was a good addition to our collection, we will purchase the material.
Hart also enjoys seeing the continuity of families return to the library for generations.
“This is also the goal of summer reading programs. It’s not, for me, how many books you read in a summer, ”she said. “It’s because you came to the library, logged into it, used the services and became familiar with it. That’s the whole story. “
Hart also wants to use the library as a place to raise awareness about human trafficking.
“I hear people say ‘when slavery ended’ and I tell myself it’s never over. It’s something more important now than it’s ever been, ”she said.
Hart and a friend from the Navajo Nation create a program called “What Can We Do in the Library?” To help raise awareness of human trafficking and provide resources to victims.
“We can do things like strategically place brochures in the library with resources for people in that situation,” she said. “We can offer information on how to learn the signs of trafficking. “
If a person comes to the library with someone who doesn’t allow them to speak or provide their own information, that’s a red flag, Hart said.
“I can tell them I have to talk to the person because the card is in their name. There are ways to approach it gently because you don’t want the victim to be impacted, ”she said.
The Bosque Farms Public Library is open to customers and is located at 1455 W. Bosque Loop. Call 869-2227 to verify hours.