Library Program Questionnaire: Albuquerque Public Schools Unified Arts Resource Library Library Program Questionnaire: Albuquerque Public Schools Unified Arts Resource Library

The Unified Arts Resource Library (Albuquerque, NM) is devoted to providing a wide variety of instructional materials to support the art community at Albuquerque Public Schools.

A.R.T. Library Program Questionnaire gathers insights from librarians and publishers within the Program's distribution network to reconsider and reflect on what it means to make art books public today.

  • How would you define the main role the library plays in your community?

The Unified ARTS Resource Library serves as a hub of resources for any educator within the Albuquerque Public Schools district. We offer manipulatives, games, anatomical models, picture books, and globes. We also provide educational materials geared toward teachers. We house materials on topics like justice in education, social-emotional learning, and New Mexico history. The library is operated through our Fine Arts Department, so the library houses fine arts resources as well; we have instruments, music, art prints, and many books on art. Under our Executive Director, Gina Rasinski, the department has been working for years to expand art and music programs to every school in the district. And that is a lot of schools. APS is in the top 40 largest school districts in the country. The resources in this library are helping each new teacher we bring onto the team.

  • How would you define your responsibility as a librarian?

My responsibility is to provide resources. Every educator I help goes on to help countless students. The library catalogue is what’s valuable, I do my best to find the resources people need or find a way to get them.

Image courtesy APS Unified Arts Resource Library, 2024.

  • When was the first time you participated in the A.R.T. Library Program? Do you participate yearly?

I first participated in the program in 2019, when it was labeled the Distribution to Underserved Communities library program. A friend of mine from APS’s Library Services Department reached out and shared the program with me, saying "Here is an opportunity for free art books!” How do you say no to that? I’ve participated most years since.

  • What do art books provide that other books might not? Why is it important for your library to make art books available?

Our library focuses on art resources because half of our attention goes to supporting our fine arts teachers. Art books are expensive and hard to come by. Big school districts like this have particular vendor protocols, so these are not books we would be able to purchase easily on our own. But the more art resources we get into teachers’ hands, the more we get into students’ hands. And art is so, so important to a child’s education. We’ve all heard the statistics on how art improves graduation rates, and in New Mexico we’re looking at high school graduation rates in the lower 70’s.

Image courtesy APS Unified Arts Resource Library, 2024.

Andee Schray, Librarian at the Albuquerque Public Schools Unified ARTS Resource Library (Albuquerque, NM), responded to this questionnaire in 2024.

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