Central & Unser LibraryCentral & Unser - Patrick J. Baca Library

 8081 Central NW
Albuquerque, NM 87121
Ann Bentley, Area Manager


The Central and Unser Library is located on Central Ave just west of Unser Blvd, next to the Central Unser Transit Station.


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By Bus

The Central and Unser Transit Center is directly to the north of the library. Routes #54: Bridge/Westgate, #66: Central Avenue, #198: 98th/Dennis Chavez, and #766: Rapid Ride Red Line all serve this location. Plan your trip here.

By Car

Freeway Directions:
Driving on I-40, take the exit NM 345 S onto Unser Blvd. Drive southbound on Unser for approximately 1.25 miles. Turn right onto Central and make an immediate right.

Surface Street Directions:
Drive west on Central Ave. Take the first right just past the intersection of Central and Unser.

The Central and Unser Library has a Community Room that holds a maximum of 100 people and a Children's Activity Room that holds a maximum of 80 people. Policy, rules and required forms for using the meeting rooms may be found at Meeting and Study Rooms as well as a list of meeting rooms at other branches. 

To view availability online, see our online booking form.

Study Rooms

Central and Unser Library has 3 study rooms that will hold a maximum of six people each. The study rooms may be reserved (call 768-4320) up to one week in advance for up to 2 hours per group per day, depending on availability.

Branch Amenities & Services

Computer  43 Public Computers (Windows 10 with Microsoft Office 2019 and Internet access)

WiFi  Free Wireless Internet Access

Printer  Printing Services - 15¢ per page

Fax Machine  Faxing Services - $1.00 per 5 pages

Copier  Copy Machine - 20¢ per page

Meeting Room  Meeting & Study Rooms Available for Public Reservation

Early Literacy  Early Literacy Station

Afterschool Makers. 2nd Tuesday of the month, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Basic Tech Computer & Device Class. Mondays, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.; Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. – noon; Wednesdays, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. By appointment only.

Crafty Club. 1st Monday of the month, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Drop-In Board Games. Sundays, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

ESL Conversation Group. 1st and 3rd Friday of the month, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Journaling Club. 1st Wednesday of the month, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

LEGO Club. 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Let’s Talk Books! – Book Club. 2nd Wednesday of the month, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Music and Movement Hour. 1st and 5th Tuesdays, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Play Time at the Library. 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Public Speaking Assistance. 3rd Saturday of the month, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Special Storytime. 3rd Tuesdays, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Sunday Matinee. Sundays, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Tech Turn Up. Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Virtual Reality Gaming. 3rd Thursday of the month, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Westside Artist Workshop. Wednesdays, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Health Benefits of Journaling. Ongoing. Available at the front desk.

Journaling RPG’s. Ongoing. Available at the front desk.

Central & Unser Library Building History

April 18, 2015: Grand Opening! 

December 2014: The building is on schedule to open in early spring of 2015! This is great news and thanks to the dedication of the construction staff, the architects and the City staff working on this incredible new library building. Construction work is in the final phase and should be complete in a few weeks. Once the building gets approvals on all inspections and receives a Certificate of Occupancy, there will still be a long list of items to be corrected or finished—the ‘punch list.’ That work needs to be complete in this 25,000 square foot building before installation of furniture and shelving can begin. We also continue work on hiring and training the 13 new staff that will be required to open this building.

A public library is a wonderful, multifaceted space where so much happens every day. The Westside Community and everyone working on this project is so proud to be creating such a great public library space for the citizens of Albuquerque! Councilor Ken Sanchez secured the majority of funding from City GO bonds, as well as working with the State and Bernalillo County to provide additional funding to help bring this project to fruition. I also want to recognize again the incredible private contributions that have made construction of this building possible. Donations from the Freedman Trust, the Albuquerque Library Foundation and many other individuals paid for almost 15% of total construction costs. Looking forward to the spring!

Dean Smith, Library Director

July 2014: Construction on the new Central & Unser Library is at the midway point. There has been lots of visible work in the last couple of months as the steel structure went up and the walls started to be framed in. Once the exterior is enclosed, work will begin on all the detailed interior fittings of wiring, plumbing, ductwork, floors, lighting and finishes. The project is still on schedule with an opening in the spring of 2015!

Dean Smith, Library Director

 October 2013: We are about to see work start on a new library to be located at the intersection of Central and Unser. The contractor has been selected and the 13 month project will break ground in early December. Expected opening will be spring of 2015! This will be a state of the art, full service library with plenty of community meeting spaces, study rooms, and computer access, as well as being a comfortable place to browse our collection of books, magazines, music, movies and more.

With the building nearing the start of construction, we are now ready to begin securing funding for the equipment and furnishings of this exciting new library. Stay tuned for more details.

Dean Smith, Library Director

Who Was Patrick J. Baca?

Patrick J. Baca selflessly served the Westside Community and City of Albuquerque throughout his life, promoting family, community and education. Mr. Baca was among the first group of citizens to serve as city councilors after Albuquerque adopted a new charter in 1974 and a mayor/city council form of government. He represented District 1 from 1974 to 1989, and went on to serve as a Bernalillo County commissioner from 1990 to 1994. As a city councilor and county commissioner he was at the forefront of developing essential quality of life projects such as the Albuquerque Open Space Program, the Albuquerque Museum, libraries and zoo. Mr. Baca dedicated his life to educating children as a teacher and principal with the Albuquerque Public Schools. As a school principal, he was known for presenting a book to every child on his or her birthday.

Mr. Baca has been described by his family, friends and colleagues as a “Renaissance Man,” well-read, witty, loving, very serious and a very hard worker. Education was his first and greatest passion, himself attending St. Joseph’s College in Albuquerque on the GI Bill and earning a bachelor of arts degree followed by a master’s degree in history from New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas.

Pat Baca was the recipient of the 1992 Distinguished Alumnus Award from New Mexico Highlands University, he was inducted into the Senior Hall of Fame in 1997, and presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Mexico Recreation and Parks Association in 2013. The Central and Unser Library was dedicated and named for Patrick J. Baca for his significant contributions to literacy, education and the City of Albuquerque.

(Text was taken from City Council Enactment of Naming the Central and Unser Library)

Left Box

English as a Second Language (ESL) Conversation Group

Join us in a judgement-free, group environment where you can practice your conversation and comprehension skills. All English language levels welcome! For ages 15+. Every Friday of the month from 4:30-5:30 p.m. 

Health Benefits of Journaling

Take a minute, grab a journal from the Information Desk, take a breath, and write down or draw your thoughts, inspirations, and ideas for the day. This ongoing self-guided activity will not only benefit your creativity, but your mental well-being as well!



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Activities for Families

Family Storytime: every 1st, 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 10:30-11:15 a.m. 

Play Time at the Library: every 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month from 12:30-1:30 p.m.


Journaling RPGs

Be the hero of your own adventure and try a self-guided rolepalying game available at the Information Desk! We have several to choose from and all you need is a pen, paper and yourself! 

Right Box

Sunday Matinee 

Join us every Sunday at 1:30 p.m. for a movie showing. Films range in rating from G to PG-13. Check the calendar for movie titles. Movies are subject to change without notice. 

Public Speaking Assistance

 Join us every 3rd Saturday of the month at 3pm for help with your public speaking! Do you have a project to present?  Are you having issues with stage fright? Come and practice in the Library, where we can provide an environment of constructive criticism, feedback, and encouraging suggestions. 

Programs & Events

Printable Calendar

Printable Events Calendar