Tech library has much to offer

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For 21 years, the Joseph Skeen Library has served New Mexico Tech students and supported the curriculum of the college.

The library is easily accessible with its location on campus and offers students a variety of different resources at their fingertips, director Lisa Beinhoff said.

Tech students have free access to all publications online and an archive about the school. Beinhoff said there has been an increase of 10 percent of students on campus who use the library for study purposes over the last year because some classrooms are no longer available to use for study.

The library, named after U.S. Rep. Joseph Skeen, includes his personal papers and books. On Aug. 19, 2002, the library was dedicated to him. That was the year he retired from the Legislature, having served from 1981 to 2002.

Anyone can sign up for a library card.

“We welcome the community,” Beinhoff said. “We are a public library.”

The Skeen Library is one of the few technical libraries in New Mexico that accepts book donations, Beinhoff said. The library has been in five different locations over the years and didn’t have a name.

“It was just called ‘the Tech library,’” she said.

The library offers e-books for students to download.

“Our students are very technology oriented,” Beinhoff said.

The library also offers several science fiction book series as well as a shelf with scholarly publications of the Journal of Glaciology and The Mountain Geologist.

“Anything that the state produces, we are on the list,” Beinhoff said. “We are on the list for state documents, it’s based on first come, first served.”

The library has three levels: a basement, first floor and second floor. In the basement are maps of New Mexico and the world ,including some historical maps from the time of the crusades.

The library displays the artwork of prominent artists and is home to two large art work pieces from Holly Hughes. In the reading room, there is a large donkey called “The Miner’s Friend” made by Hughes in 1991 which Beinhoff describes as a strange mix of media electronics.

Hughes also has a larger piece, which is a sculpture of Einstein. He stands tall in the middle of the library and was originally made sitting on a bicycle outside on the median in the middle of California, she said. Einstein is made of floppy discs, pens, tennis balls, wire and perlite packing bags for his sneakers. His tie is also made out of a clock.

A collection of New Mexico Tech yearbooks can be found at the front of the facility. Inside the library are a coffee shop that offers students free coffee, a couch for relaxing, a television and puzzles for entertainment.

The library is 53,000 square feet and The second floor has 90,000 books. The library has six rooms for students to study in, and two of the study rooms and the Tripp room can be reserved by the public for a fee, she said.