By Jessie Emerson
Shel Neymark gave a short talk at our Luncheon when the legislature was in session. We were encouraged to contact our representatives about the Rural Library Endowment. This would give the state’s libraries about $45,000 per year. He just reported that the bill passed unanimously in the House and was signed by the governor. Unfortunately it was only for $1 million instead of $50 million. Each library in the state will receive $900 per year. Shel thinks the prospects are good to get a significant amount added to it this year and thanks the New Mexico Book Association for its support. We can still support this worthy project by contacting our representatives and the governor. We learned at our May luncheon how far behind the other states we are in reading. As writers and publishers, we need readers! If our state is to progress, we need to increase literacy. If any one has any questions for Shel, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some hands were wringing as NMBA approached our 25th Anniversary Gala in June. What about directions to Linda Durham's home, refreshments, and parking spaces for fifty-plus members?
No worries! Everything turned out wonderfully as we gathered at Linda Durham and Francois Marie Patorni’s gracious home in Las Campanas on the evening of Saturday, June 8. Jessie Emerson spoke with heart about NMBA's fine and multi-faceted history serving New Mexico book people of all kinds through our first quarter century of service. Publishers, authors, editors, book designers, printers, booksellers, and readers of every kind have been served in so many ways through those 25 years, and it continues. Our NMBA “road” includes Libro Nuevo, book catalogs, three editions of New Mexico's Book World, the New Mexico Book Views review journal, our New Mexico Book Design and Production Awards, and much more.
It was fun to learn about our beginning, when New Mexico was named the featured “country” for the renowned Guadalajara Book Fair of 1994. NMBA has been an active presence at local and national book festivals ever since, presenting authors and their books to booksellers of all kinds. Victor di Suvero was at our beginnings and it was so delightful to see him again at the Gala. Elaine Coleman, Robyn Covelli Hunt, Delany, Jim Mafchir, Sally Blakemore, Fern Drucker, Jeanie Williams...and many more devoted “from the beginning” book people were right there with warm smiles at our Gala! For me, it was those personal contacts that made the evening so very memorable and that made me proud of our NMBA people.
Jared Gann and Sandi Wright guided us all through the evening, announcing and honoring the winners and finalists of the 2019 Southwest Book Design Awards. Barbara Beasley Murphy was recognized as a Lifetime Honorary Member of our NMBA Board. Barbara has served NMBA continuously from our beginnings in 1995. She was our treasurer during most of those 24 years and frequently hosted us for events at her Santa Fe home on Circle Drive.
Our first monthly Friday Networking Luncheon took place in Santa Fe in 1995. New Mexico continues to grow as a national center for writing and publishing. Today I found this interesting tidbit: NMBA annual membership dues are still just $50 per year —same as they were a quarter century ago!
Longtime NMBA Board Member (who most enjoyed writing for and producing Libro Book News for many seasons and offering your books to buyers at dozens of shows here and across the country)
Click here to view the winners of the 2018 Southwest Book Design Awards.
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