Las Vegas, N.M. — New Mexico Highlands University Donnelly Library Director was named New Mexico Academic Librarian of the Year.
The New Mexico Consortium of Academic Libraries (NMCAL) selected Aragón, a Las Vegas native, for the honor.
“Ruben’s past and continued accomplishments as a senior leader in library academia have assisted in strengthening and building stronger academic libraries in New Mexico,” said Melveta Walker, an executive board member for NMCAL. “Ruben is the glue that keeps the NMCAL group together.”
The New Mexico Consortium of Academic Libraries includes 25 public colleges and universities as well as 14 private higher education institutions. The consortiumpresents the unified position of academic libraries on key issues, including funding, and implements projects of mutual benefit such as resource sharing, collection development, and networking.
Aragón has served twice as NMCAL president. Since 2003, he has chaired the consortium’s legislative committee. In this leadership role, Aragón promotes the need for additional funds for the state’s higher education academic libraries to the New Mexico Legislature.
“Through NMCAL, public academic libraries in the state are able to obtain a lot of our electronic information resources through consortium pricing, “Aragón said. “The knowledge and resource sharing among the consortium members is also very valuable.”
Aragón was also appointed recently to the Amigos Library Services Board of Directors. The nonprofit organization is a cooperative of approximately 800 libraries in 22 states. Its mission is to help libraries obtain affordable information technology to facilitate collaboration and resource sharing among members.
Since 2003, Aragón has coordinated bond initiatives for libraries in San Miguel, Mora and Hidalgo Counties.
Aragón has served as Donnelly Library director for 21 years and, prior to that, was associate director. He oversees all library functions such as planning, budgeting, personnel, collections, technology, legislative matters, and more.
“I have an exceptional, well-rounded library staff, some with 20 or more years of service,” Aragón said. “We strive to have top-of-the-line research resources for the university. Our ongoing goal is to help students find the library resources they need for their academic success — whether through traditional collections or technology-based information.”
Aragón said another important goal for Donnelly Library is to provide library resources for the Las Vegas community, distance education students, and lifelong learners.
One important highlight of Aragón’s tenure was overseeing a major expansion of the Donnelly Library building from 1996-1997. In 1987, he led the effort to transition from a traditional card catalogue to an online digital cataloguing system.
“Over the years, we kept pace with rapid technological advances in delivering library services, ” Aragón said. “This was both a challenge and an exciting opportunity.”
Aragón earned his M.S. in library science from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and his B.S. in education with an emphasis in library science from Highlands University.
Donnelly Library is at 802 National Ave. and is online at www.nmhu.edu/library