Physiocartography, Author’s Speak & New Databases at Mesa Public Library


Courtesy photo

Bill Gilbert’s Physiocartography exhibit opens Tuesday, Aug. 21  at Mesa Public Library Art Gallery.

Gilbert, Lannan Chair of Land Arts of the American West program at UNM, will show his multimedia works created by walking predetermined grids, using a GPS, and recording his journey.

The exhibit consists of digital prints, photographs, and audio/video. Open during regular library hours. Reception and panel discussion on Saturday, Sept. 15, part of the Next Big Idea festival and ISEA2012 events.

Authors Speak Series presents Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, New Mexico’s Official Centennial Children’s Author at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23 in the Upstairs Rotunda at Mesa Public Library.

“I love and fear words — their potential to uplift or tear down. My father taught me to respect that potential.

Dad, a man of few words, wrote poetry and sketched. My mother made me love stories. She’d sit at the top of the stairs every night and create magic with a book.

It was reader’s theater. If Mommy couldn’t be there, she assigned the reading to whomever she’d deputized to watch us that night.

But no one could do it like her. So much of the writer in me is my parents’ doing. I got really lucky with them.” –Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

It is no surprise that Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is New Mexico’s official Centennial Children’s Author – she really knows how to tell a great story and has received many awards for doing so.

The author of 10 books, from a beginning reader, Ready? Set. Raymond!  to her latest ‘documentary novel’ for young adults and adults, Nelson simply but passionately, and always with a touch of humor, tells tales that engage all ages.

Vaunda Nelson will discuss her award-winning non-fiction book for ages 7-10, Bad News for Outlaws: the Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal — the true story of a former slave turned unique peace officer and hero of the Old West which won the prestigious Coretta Scott King Author Award.

She also will introduce her new book, No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller (Carolrhoda Lab, 2012), which just won the Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Fiction. 

Told from  multiple perspectives, this young adult/adult work is the story of the author’s great uncle and his rise from troubled youth to influential voice in the black community. 

His National Memorial African Bookstore became a destination for writers, artists, scholars, and activists, from the 1940s  until the store’s closing in 1975.

Currently Youth Services Librarian at Rio Rancho Public Library, Vaunda has been a teacher, newspaper reporter, bookseller, school librarian, and has served on the Newbery and Caldecott award committees. 

She holds master’s degrees from The Bread Loaf School of  English at Middlebury College (Vermont), and from the University of Pittsburgh School of Library and Information Science. 

Aside from all of this, she is a wonderfully entertaining speaker for all ages.

About the Coretta Scott King Book Award:

Her other titles include:

  • Mayfield Crossing
  • Beyond Mayfield, 1999, won the Parents’ Choice Gold Award.
  • Juneteenth
  • Almost to Freedom
  • Who Will I Be, Lord?

The Authors Speak Series is a monthly event featuring local and statewide authors speaking about their writing on a variety of subjects such as local and state history, travel, outdoor activities, New Mexico fiction, Native American history and culture, poetry, and more.  

The series is funded by the Friends of Mesa Public Library. The talks are free and begin at 7 p.m., followed by the opportunity to meet the authors and enjoy refreshments.

Some authors may participate with book sales and signings.

Check out these three, great, new databases now available from your library wherever you are online … a whole library online.

All you will need is your library card for access.       

Natural Standard

Provides high quality, evidence-based information on dietary supplements (including herbs, vitamins, and minerals), functional foods, diets, complementary practices (modalities), exercises, and medical conditions. Natural Standard is impartial; not supported by any interest group, professional organization or product manufacturer.

Online Book Clubs

Every weekday morning, members of the Online Book Club will receive an e-mail with a portion from a popular book. The daily e-mail is designed to take five minutes to read, with a new book starting every Monday. There are 12 genres to choose from, including mystery, romance, teen, and sci-fi. Dip into a book and see if it grabs you! Just visit the welcome page and sign up now.

Oxford English Dictionary Online

600,000 words … 3 million quotations … over 1,000 years of English. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world. And now it is accessible online. From home, click onto the Sign In button, and the box to enter your library card number will appear.

For more information, call 662-8253 or email Visit for more details about these events and resources.

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