Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

New Mexico State Library Awarded $50,000 Library Leadership Grant

New Mexico State Library

September 05, 2018


(Santa Fe, New Mexico-) – The New Mexico State Library, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), has been awarded a $50,000 National Leadership Grant for Libraries Program for the project “Libraries Lead: A Creative Economy Initiative” which utilizes public libraries as economic development centers for entrepreneurial and business training. The grant is made possible, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

New Mexico State Library’s grant-winning proposal establishes rural and tribal libraries as anchors and hubs of creative business and economic empowerment -- endeavors both as knowledge centers and connectors between library users, budding entrepreneurs, and business owners. The Libraries as Launchpads* initiative identifies beneficiaries and provides evidence for conditions of success. Building upon successes and lessons from the pilot project, the proposal is well positioned to develop programming and online materials for local implementation as well as a model for national adoption.

Focused on underserved and rural populations throughout New Mexico, Libraries as Launchpads represents a natural progression from the State Library’s nationally-acclaimed NM Maker State Initiative, which brought makerspace technologies to local libraries for STEM learning.

“We are gratified, and frankly thrilled that the Libraries as Launchpads program - utilizing libraries as economic development centers is being recognized and supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services,” Cabinet Secretary Veronica Gonzales. “This validation is significant recognition of the potential this innovative collaboration has to grow business in New Mexico and further establishing local libraries as necessary community anchors.”

For the fiscal year 2018 cycle, IMLS received 113 preliminary proposals requesting nearly $32 million. Among those, IMLS invited 46 to submit full proposals. 31 projects were selected to receive just under $5 million. IMLS’s peer reviewers evaluated all eligible and complete grant applications, assessing the merit of each proposal and its fit with the goals of the grant program and project category. IMLS staff presented this information to the IMLS Director, who then made the final funding decisions.

The funding of this portion of the Libraries as Launchpads project will allow for an analysis of needed entrepreneurial resources, technology suites, and the development of an entrepreneurial online education portal all of which will be available exclusively at libraries. Creative Startups CEO Alice Loy, said, “Working with public libraries throughout the state is ideal because we can reach far more creative entrepreneurs who have the potential to build companies, create jobs. All New Mexico Communities have creative entrepreneurs who need access to highly effective entrepreneurship training workshops and resources which will be available at local libraries.” 

Libraries as Launchpads also represents the inauguration of the newly-formed New Mexico State Library Foundation (NMSLF), which serves as an important funding partner and fiscal agent. Elizabeth Martinez, Foundation President said, “The establishment of NMSLF makes funding and facilitating innovative NMSL projects much easier and as we look to the future of this important program, we welcome private support.” Donations can be made on the Foundation’s website:


*About the Libraries as Launchpads partnership: The New Mexico State Library, (NMSL), Creative Startups, a growing international business accelerator based in Santa Fe, Fab Lab Hub, a technology product prototyping provider, and the New Mexico State Library Foundation joined together in this innovative partnership Libraries as Launchpads help fast track potential entrepreneurs from idea and concept to action and business formation. The program launched in mid-February, 2018 at five pilot libraries: Zuni, South Albuquerque, Santa Fe’s Southside branch, Raton and Las Cruces.

About IMLS:  The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook(link is external) and Twitter(link is external).

About the New Mexico State Library:          Established in 1929, the New Mexico State Library provides services that support public and tribal libraries, delivers direct library services to rural populations, state agencies, the visually impaired and physically disabled, and students and citizens conducting research. The library supports public libraries by providing consulting services, offering training and continuing education opportunities, administering the librarian certification program, coordinating a state-wide summer reading program and tribal library program, and administering state and federal grants to public libraries. Part of the executive branch of state government, the New Mexico State Library is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

The New Mexico State Library is open 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 1209 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, NM 87507-5166, Phone: (505) 476-9700. Events, news releases and images about activities at the State Library and other divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at

About the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs:    Created in 1978 by the New Mexico Legislature, the Department of Cultural Affairs represents New Mexico’s dedication to preserving and celebrating the cultural integrity and diversity of our state. The Department oversees a broad range of New Mexico’s arts and cultural heritage agencies which include 15 divisions representing a variety of programs and services. Among its primary functions is the management of the largest state sponsored museum system in the country. New Mexico’s historic sites and state-run museums are located across the state and include: New Mexico Historic Sites, Statewide; New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe; New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe; Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe; Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe; New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo; New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque; New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, Las Cruces; and the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque. The Department also oversees the New Mexico State Library, Historic Preservation Division, New Mexico Arts, and the Office of Archaeological Studies.  Events, news releases and images about activities in divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at   

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