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Mesa Public Library will offer a Sunday afternoon of events as part of the downtown Winterfest celebration.
A new exhibition, “The Plazas of New Mexico” will open with a reception at 2:30 p.m. Dec 9., in conjunction with a talk by Chris Wilson of the University of New Mexico, the author of the book of the same title, at 1:30 p.m. in the upstairs meeting rooms of the library.
“The Plazas of New Mexico” documents the 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.
The exhibit, comprised of images from the book, bring to life three urban design traditions, while profiling recent plaza revitalization projects and newly designed community plazas.
“The Plazas of New Mexico” is about the past, for the future. Plaza site plans, elevation drawings, bird’s-eye views, community histories, historic photos and documentary photographs bring to life the history, physical setting and social life of 22 communities.
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, 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 ongoing reurbanization of the U.S. as a central sustainability strategy.
Wilson holds a master’s degree from UNM in art history, specialization in American architectural history and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in philosophy and psychology.
The staff at the Mesa Public Library would like to welcome their new library manager Steven Thomas, with a reception from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the upstairs rotunda of the library.
He and his wife Lisa Caldwell, also a librarian, come to the community from Fayetteville, Ark.
When asked what drew him to Los Alamos, Thomas responded, “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 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!”
Thomas and his wife met in library school and they have worked all over the country from Brooklyn, N.Y. to Charleston, W.V.
Most recently, he was the assistant director of the Washington County Library System in Fayetteville, Ark., an eight-library system.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Arkansas and a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.