County Library Conversations Series Starts Jan. 21

Mesa Public Library in downtown Los Alamos. Courtesy/LAC


Mindfulness and meditation, public health in Northern New Mexico, crafting during COVID and times of crisis, author Ginger Gaffney reading from her book Half Broke, and the film Coded Bias are the upcoming offerings in Library Conversations at Los Alamos County Library System.

All events are 7 p.m. every other Thursday Jan. 21 through March 18 via zoom HERE:

  • Jan. 21: Welcoming a Mindful Future, with Taos area educator Anne-Marie Emanuelli;
  • Feb. 4: Their Heart Is To Serve; Compassionate Conversations about Public Health in Northern NM, oral history collection, in partnership with Embudo Valley Library;
  • Feb. 18: Crafting During COVID and Times of Crisis, led by White Rock Library Associate, cultural anthropologist, and fiber artist Samuel Buelow;
  • March 4: Author Ginger Gaffney reads from her new book Half Broke; and
  • March 18: Screening of film Coded Bias in partnership with NM PBS and the Society for Professional Journalists.

Jan. 21: At 7 p.m., Anne-Marie Emanuelli will kick off the Los Alamos County Library System Library Conversations series for 2021. Emanuelli will explain mindful meditation and its benefits for the uncertain times we are experiencing. She also will lead participants in a self-compassion meditation practice intended to bring care and understanding to ourselves and others.

Feb. 4: At 7 p.m., Los Alamos County Library System will share the oral history collection “Their Heart is To Serve, Compassionate Conversations about Public Health in Northern New Mexico”. “Quiere mas, juzga menos; love more, judge less” is how Gilberto Romero sums up his work in public health in Northern New Mexico over the last 30 years. He, together with 18 other individuals, recorded their experiences as public and community health workers, mothers, grandmothers, health care professionals, doulas and activists in this series, which was produced by Embudo Valley Library, with partners StoryCorps, Barrios Unidos and Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area. 

The interviews capture how a broad spectrum of community members work to improve public, community and individual health, in both their personal and professional lives. The interviews feature heartfelt, honest, and love-filled first-person accounts of coping with addition and supporting recovery in their own families, and how public health workers and health care providers have been able to improve health care access and public health in front line service to rural communities. Interviewees hold out their hopes and visions for structural change in healthcare, witness what has made a difference in their communities, and describe what true community health is.

Feb. 18: At 7 p.m. White Rock Library Associate Samuel Buelow, an avid crafter and cultural anthropologist, will discuss Crafting During COVID and Times of Crisis, how crafts play a role in personal wellbeing, social connection and the economy, and also tie us into historical trends. Bring a project to share that you’ve been working on in recent months.

March 4: LACLS welcomes Velarde author and professional horse trainer Ginger Gaffney, who will read from her memoir Half Broke. Half Broke follows Gaffney’s year-long odyssey to train a herd of neglected horses at an alternative prison ranch in New Mexico. Working with her is a small team of ranch “residents”, men and women each uniquely broken by addiction and incarceration. Gaffney forms a bond with them as profound as the kinship and trust the residents discover among the troubled horses. Through these unforgettable characters—both animal and human—Half Broke tells a new kind of recovery story and speaks to the life-affirming joy of finding a sense of belonging.

Thursday March 18: Library Conversations joins the Indie Lens Pop-up film screening of Coded Bias by Shalini Kantayya. There will be a panel discussion after the screening. This series is organized by New Mexico PBS and the Society for Professional Journalists, Rio Grande Chapter. Coded Bias features the work of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini. Buolamwini discovers that many facial recognition technologies fail more often on darker-skinned faces or the faces of women than others and delves into an investigation of widespread bias in the technology that shapes our lives.