The Socorro Friends of the Library are looking for a new place to call home for their bookstore.
In 2023 the FOL spent $6,869 on programs supporting library events, with the majority of the money raised from book sales.
“The money all comes from our booming book sales that have been very good since we moved into our new facility over at Zimmerly,” Julie Johnson, former FOL president said. “It makes more money than it ever did before.”
Concern about having to move out of their current location at the Zimmerly School building prompted members to invite Mayor Ravi Bhasker to their meeting last Saturday.
“I know everyone is very interested in what we are planning to do,” said Bhasker, at the meeting.
He proposed an offer of a 2,000 square foot modular building as a permanent location for the Friends of the Library bookstore. He told them that he would like to move the building to the empty property across the parking lot from their current location at Zimmerly. He said that the city would have an architect meet with the group, remodel it to their needs, then help them move in and pay for the utilities.
He said the city would move the municipal court into the space they are currently using and a PreK program is expected to use the space as well. The city is working with the school district to prevent the demolition of buildings and are discussing MOUs in effort to help each other out. Right now, they are trying to figure out where different organizations could be housed.
“Number one, you’re an important volunteer organization for the city, we want to satisfy your needs, but in return we need to be satisfied too,” Bhasker said.
He said that the contract with the use of the Zimmerly building for the Friends of the Library would end in August, but nothing would go into effect until January of 2025.
There was discussion between the members and Bhasker about the possibility of moving the bookstore back into the Finley Gym after it is remodeled in 2025, or even purchasing a building in the plaza to have more of a presence.
“We are all very upset about this,” one member said.
“I understand that, and we are trying to make it as smooth as a transition as we can,” Bhasker said.
In 2023, the Friends of the Library supported the Reading is Fundamental program, summer reading program events in Socorro and Magdalena, family yoga, a book to movie program and a Christmas program. The programs served over 2,500 individuals.