Sue Strasia—Community Hero
The Sandoval County Commission has instituted a “Community Hero” award to recognize citizens who take extraordinary measures to improve the quality of life in Sandoval County. On November 6, the Sandoval County Commission presented the “Community Hero” medal to Placitas resident Sue Strasia, in recognition of her efforts in establishing the Placitas Community Library.
There had been small, volunteer-run libraries in Placitas before, the last one housed at the Placitas Elementary School. These libraries all closed some time ago leaving residents to search out libraries in neighboring communities.
In 2003, Sue wrote a number of articles for the Signpost, inviting Placitas residents to join together to create a library here in our own community. It took many articles, phone calls, people and meetings, but the new Library was incorporated in 2003. Since Placitas is an unincorporated area of Sandoval County there was no money and no site for a library. Through the efforts and donations of a number of residents, the Placitas Community Library opened in May, 2004, with donated books, hand-me down shelves, and a lot of volunteer elbow grease.
While setting up the Library, Sue and others were also meeting with the Sandoval County Commission, Legislators from our State of New Mexico and Federal Government representatives to find funds to build a new facility for Placitas. Sue accepted the “Hero” award on behalf of all the volunteers who worked so hard those first years to get the fledgling Library going. She also recognized the efforts and support of then Sandoval County Commissioner Bill Sapien, who worked with residents, local businessman Tom Ashe, and the Commission to set aside the four acres of land the Placitas Community Library now occupies. The Library has a wonderful Library Director but still relies on over eighty volunteers to provide adult and children’s programs. Library patrons can take advantage of computer access, an ever-expanding variety of books and media materials, as well as utilize and enjoy a space for community meetings, history, and art exhibits. The Placitas Community Library has truly become what Sue and all those volunteers back then envisioned—una placita para todos—a gathering place for all.