Information on:

El Rito Library

182 Placitas Road

Mission Statement

The El Rito Library furthers the aims of education for the public by serving as a portal through which individuals and families may obtain information, and acquire skills and experience for enlightenment, enjoyment and empowerment.


The El Rito Library opened in 1986 in a small room of a late 1930s-era adobe schoolhouse then occupied by Las Clinicas del Norte, a local health center. Andy R. Lopez helped start the Library in 1986 as part of an initiative by the El Rito Betterment Association. A Rio Arriba County Senior Citizen program occupied another room in the building.

After its founding in 1986, the library operated for several years on a volunteer basis, and was open only a few hours a week. Ten years later the library was still located in cramped quarters, but hours had expanded to 20 per week, and the one-person, part-time staff was now paid, thanks to a few essential grants from private foundations.

By the mid 1990s, the yearly operating budget hovered around $20,000, and by 1998, through meeting several stringent requirements, the library was accorded official status as a public library.

In 1999 Las Clinicas del Norte vacated the schoolhouse and occupied a new health center building nearby. this allowed the library to renovate the building and undertake a four-fold expansion in size. A capital-improvement grant from the New Mexico Youth Conservation Corps, supplemental funding from the Los Alamos Foundation, and an outpouring of volunteers and community donations made this possible.

El Rito Library is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media