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History of the Rio Rancho Public Libraries
Library's First Books
In 1963, Rio Rancho was home to about five families. Melba Palmer, one of the pioneers, gathered a small collection of books consisting of gifts from the Santa Fe State Library and donations from the community.

Earliest Locations
In the early 1970s, Esther Bone, Professor Emeritus in Library Administration from Kent State University, along with Perce Williams, started the first community library in Rio Rancho. The city gave them a few shelves in the recreation center at Grande and 19th and later at the city auditorium on Sabana Grande. The collection contained mostly paperback books and the staff was made up of volunteers.

In 1975, the Rio Rancho Community Library Association first met and the library moved into a small building in Haynes Park that AMREP leased to it for one dollar a year. Esther Bone wrote a proposal and received a small state grant to organize and enlarge the library. When the city incorporated in 1981, the community library became a public library annexed by the city, and it moved into City Hall.

Our First Librarian
With incorporation, the Friends of the Library of Rio Rancho group was established as the library's nonprofit fund raising arm and the city hired Esther Bone as its first paid librarian. She died in 1982, and the City Council renamed the library the Esther Bone Memorial Library in her honor. In 1992, Toni Beatty, the Library Director from 1986 to 2008, oversaw the building of a new 12,250 square-foot building on Pinetree Road, just off Southern Boulevard, and the Esther Bone Memorial Library moved into its first independent home.

A New Library
By the early 2000s, the library was rapidly outgrowing its space and demand from the growing population was straining library resources. Planning and fundraising for a new main library began under Toni Beatty's ongoing leadership. A $5.5 million construction bond referendum was passed in 2004, and with that, along with many generous private and corporate donations, the Loma Colorado Main Library was built. The Esther Bone Memorial Library closed in October 2006 for a complete refurbishing. It reopened in February 2008. William Cicola was the Library Director from 2008 to 2013.

Facility Features
Opening in December 2006, the 32,000 square-foot facility included the following amenities:
  • Auditorium
  • Café area
  • Conference room
  • Local history room
  • More extensive children and adult areas
  • Separate teen room
  • State-of-the-art computer services

Certifications, Awards & Partnerships
The building had Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and received architectural awards for excellence in design. Loma Colorado Main Library is a close neighbor of the Rio Rancho High School, the Rio Rancho Aquatic Center, and the growing Loma, Colorado, residential community.