FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 20, 2021
The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) awarded an $83,000 grant to the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA) for the New Mexico State Library to purchase a new lower-emissions bookmobile that serves rural communities in the western part of the state.
Rural Bookmobiles visit communities that have limited access to library facilities, broadband internet, educational programming, and children’s activities. The bus provides books, a Wi-Fi hotspot, educational resources, and activity kits. The grant will be used to replace the bookmobile that serves 32 communities in eight counties in western and southwestern New Mexico.
“New Mexico is committed to providing access to library services no matter where you live,” said New Mexico State Librarian Eli Guinee. “The funding from this grant allows our Rural Bookmobile program to continue to ensure that everyone has equal access to our services while protecting and preserving air quality for residents. The State Library thanks the New Mexico Environment Department for this generous funding.”
This project will reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen by 79% and fine particulate matter by 47%. Both of these pollutants can cause respiratory problems, especially in vulnerable populations.
“Our agencies have a shared value in equity,” said NMED Cabinet Secretary James Kenney. “Rural communities that rely on the bookmobile for library services can rest assured that we are also committed to improving air quality for all New Mexicans.”
NMDCA and NMED partnered to use federal funding for this project, saving New Mexico taxpayer dollars.
The federal funding is provided through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant program. The DERA grant program, administered by NMED, helps states replace “dirty diesel” large emission vehicles by offsetting the cost of buying new, cleaner vehicles. So far in 2021, NMED has awarded $400,220 for three projects in New Mexico communities.
NMED and EPA want to provide more funding for cleaner transportation! If you have a project idea, please contact us. Additional information on DERA funding and past projects is available here or by calling 505-476-4300.
About the New Mexico State Library
Established in 1929, the New Mexico State Library is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the guidance of the New Mexico Library Commission. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the New Mexico State Library Foundation through the generous support of donors. 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 statewide summer reading program and tribal library program, and administering state and federal grants to public libraries.