Special Library Winterfest Afternoon This Sunday

New Library Manager Steven Thomas

The community is invited to join Mesa Public Library 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 for an exhibit opening, author talk and to welcome new Library Manager Steven Thomas.

The afternoon event begins at 1:30 p.m. in the Upstairs Meeting Rooms with Authors Speak guest Chris Wilson.

This talk is followed at 2:30 p.m. with the Plazas of New Mexico Exhibit opening reception in the Upstairs Art Gallery.

A welcome reception caps off the afternoon from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. for new Los Alamos County Library System Manager Steven Thomas in the Upstairs Rotunda.

Mesa Public Library is offering this lively Sunday afternoon of events as part of the downtown Los Alamos Winterfest Celebration.

The brand new exhibition, The Plazas of New Mexico will open in conjunction with a talk by the author of the book of the same title, Chris Wilson of the University of New Mexico. The Plazas of New Mexico documents the rich heritage of New Mexico’s public plazas, and the everyday life and community celebrations that help sustain them.

It traces three distinct design traditions — the Native American center place with kiva and terraced residential blocks, the Hispanic plaza with church and courtyard houses and the Anglo square with courthouse and business blocks. This book and the exhibit comprised of images from the book, bring to life three valuable urban design traditions, while profiling recent plaza revitalization projects and newly-designed community plazas.

The Plazas of New Mexico is about the past but for the future. Plaza site plans, elevation drawings, bird’s-eye views, concise community histories, vivid historic photos and compelling documentary photographs bring to life the history, physical setting, and social life of twenty-two communities.

J. B. Jackson Professor of Cultural Landscape Studies at the UNM School of Architecture and Planning in Albuquerque, and founding director of its Historic Preservation and Regionalism Program, Chris Wilson has written widely on architecture, tourism and the politics of culture in the Southwest, and on cultural landscape studies.

His current focus is on the role of the on-going reurbanization of the U.S. as a central sustainability strategy. Chris Wilson holds an M.A. from UNM in Art History, specialization in American Architectural History and a B.A. from Yale University in Philosophy and Psychology.

Welcome Reception for new Library Manager Steven Thomas

Welcome brand new library manager, Steven Thomas to Los Alamos. Thomas and his wife Lisa Caldwell, also a librarian, come to this community from Fayetteville, Ark.

When asked what drew him to Los Alamos, Thomas responded with great enthusiasm: “I have visited New Mexico many times and when we made a list of top five places we might want to live, this was right at the top of the list. When I saw the job announcement and did a bit of research, I became aware that the Los Alamos County Libraries are impressive for their level of community commitment and engagement, programming, collections, and technology-all on par with libraries with much larger constituencies. The staff members I’ve met are stellar and it is as a team that we hope to continue to foster what is valued most by our patrons. This library system, including both White Rock and Mesa, is really a pillar of  the community. I also look forward to working in the future with all involved to keep this one of the best library systems in the country.”

Thomas reflected on the unique qualities Los Alamos has to offer, “It is a WOW! Both Lisa and I love the arts and New Mexico and this area have outstanding offerings in art, music, film and more. To be part of this stunningly beautiful place, to have access to hiking and scenery, as well as a great job-well, what more could I ask for? We are just thrilled to be here!”

Steven and his wife met in library school and they have worked all over the country from Brooklyn, NY to Charleston, West Virginia. Most recently he was the Assistant Director the Washington County Library System in Fayetteville, Arkansas, an eight library system. He holds a BA in History from the University of Arkansas and a Masters of Library Science from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

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