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Friends of Libraries and Literacy, Rio Rancho, Inc. is an all-volunteer, public 501(c)(3) non-profit charity incorporated in 1982. The Friends support libraries and fund literacy programs for children, teens and adults in Sandoval County, New Mexico using money raised through the sale of community-donated books and media at the Friend Shop.

FriendShop Too! Grand Opening

High Desert Pipes and Drums at the Martha Liebert Public Library in Bernalillo

Sponsored by the Friends, the High Desert Pipes and Drums gave a rousing performance of traditional Scottish tunes at the Martha Liebert Public Library in Bernalillo NM. The only American group to win a first prize at a Scottish competition, the members also answered questions about playing the bagpipes and the history of bagpipes in Scotland.

After the performance, the audience was invited to the grand opening of the FriendShop Too! bookstore which is just down the hall from the performance rooms on the second floor of the Martha Liebert Public Library in Bernalillo.

The FriendShop Too! has carefully selected books donated by the community

The FriendShop Too! has paperback and hardback fiction for adults, teens and children. There is also a non-fiction section with history, cookbooks, home & garden, biography and more. Most adult and teen books are $2 or $3 and children’s books start at 50¢. It is on the second floor of the Martha Liebert Public Library. Purchases are cash only.

Coronado Expedition Talk

Richard and Shirley Flint talked about their new book A Most Splendid Company in a free-to-the-public presentation on the Coronado Expedition. The talk at the Martha Liebert Public Library was sponsored by the Friends.

The expedition was enormous with hundreds of Spaniards and thousands of local people. Among many surprising revelations, the Flints discovered in Spanish archives that the goal of the expedition was not to find the legendary ‘City of Gold’ but instead to find a trade route to ‘nearby’ China!

2022 Quilt Raffle Winner

For the second year in a row, the Thimbleweeds Quilters of Rio Rancho donated a hand-made quilt to the Friends to raffle. When it was hung in the Friend Shop, the quilt gathered 189 raffle entries. All proceeds from the raffle will be used to support childhood literacy in Rio Rancho.

Raffle winner Micheline holds the quilt she won.
Micheline, a regular FriendShop customer, was the lucky raffle winner in a random drawing from 189 entries

Winter Wonderland at Colinas del Norte School

Earlier in 2021, the Thimbleweeds Quilt Group of Rio Rancho donated a quilt that was raffled at the FriendShop and drew 204 entries. The money from the raffle, along with matching funds from the Friends, allowed the Colinas del Norte Elementary School in Rio Rancho to purchase and give a new book to each child at the Winter Wonderland celebration.

In addition to the new book, each family received a coupon for a free children’s book of their choosing at the FriendShop. An estimated 300 children attended.

Photos courtesy of Angie Adams. “Do the Snowflake Shake” says Frosty!

Holiday Party with Harpist Julianne Rivera

As part of the holiday celebration at the Martha Liebert Public Library in Bernalillo, harpist Julianne Rivera performed seasonal music for all ages, talked about playing the harp and answered questions from the audience.

The Friends sponsored the performance so it could be free to the public.

Photo courtesy of Danielle Threadgill, MLPL

Books for Abrazos

Abrazos Family Support Services provides services to children from new-born to 3 years old who have a developmental disability/delay or are at-risk of either. Abrazos therapists use books to help children improve their speaking skills, listening skills, and develop a foundation for literacy..

Abrazos was recently approved to provide ABA Therapy to children diagnosed with autism-spectrum disorder. Enterprise Holding Company and the Friends worked together to fund the purchase of over 200 books to be used for their Autism Therapy and Early Intervention Therapy Programs.

Youngsters using new books to learn.
Youngsters enjoying new books. Photos courtesy of Amy Berman, Abrazos Development Director.

Classical Guitar Concert

The concert by virtuoso classical guitarist Omar Villanueva at the Martha Liebert Public Library in Bernalillo brought many people into the library in mid November.

Villanueva, New Mexico’s unsurpassed master of the classical guitar, performed masterworks from the Baroque Period and onward.

The Friends sponsored the performance so it could be free to the public.

Photo courtesy of Danielle Threadgill, MLPL

First Annual Famous Author Talk

The Friends sponsored Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s talk on Literacy and Freedom at the Martha Libert Public Library in Bernalillo.

Vaunda spoke about the importance of bookstores in a community and how they make literacy relevant to their community. A book signing and refreshments were available after her talk.

Vaunda Nelson Signed Books after Her Talk

Books for Summer Reading

Shining Stars School had a summer-reading program for 3 and 4 year olds. Each week the children studied a different author. At the end of each week, each took home a free book by that author. The take-home books were purchased with funds from the Friends of Libraries and Literacy and were a big hit.

Children reading their free take-home books purchased by the Friends.
Students and parents were so excited, they sat down on the benches at the school and started reading.
Photos courtesy of Kim Johns, Principal

Little Free Libraries

Friends’ volunteers continue to support Little Free Libraries. We’re now up to six: one at A Park Above, four at Shining Stars School, and one at ReadWest. They are refilled once or twice a week through out the year with free books and magazines that have been donated to the Friends.

Young boy looking at books in Little Free Library.
Free books and magazines for children and adults at the Little Free Library.

2021 Quilt Raffle Winner

The winning ticket for the quilt donated by the Thimbleweeds Quilt Group of Rio Rancho was pulled in a random drawing from 204 entries. Nona Lane, a long-time volunteer who works on alternate Saturdays at the FriendShop bookstore, had the winning ticket. A total of $346 was collected and will be used to support childhood literacy in Rio Rancho.

Raffle quilt winner Nona Lane
Nona Lane, winner of the raffle quilt donated by Thimbleweeds Quilt Group of Rio Rancho

FriendShop Location

Located on the north side of the Target/Albertsons center off NM 528 (Pat d’Arco Highway), the FriendShop is at 4300 Ridgecrest Drive #J/K, Rio Rancho NM.

Contact Us

We welcome your inquiries!

  • Phone: 505-892-READ (7323).
  • Mail: Friends of Libraries and Literacy, Rio Rancho, Inc. / P.O. Box 15143 / Rio Rancho, NM 87174.
  • Email: Send email to info at-sign folrr dot org Please include your name and, if you would like a call back, a phone number