A traveling Smithsonian exhibition has made a stop in Rio Rancho.

“The Way We Worked,” an exhibition created by the National Archives and adapted for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, is on display now at Loma Colorado Library. The exhibition looks at how work is a central element in American culture by exploring the changes to the work force and work environments over the past 150 years. It features five free-standing exhibition structures, with photographs, text panels and object cases, three video monitors, one audio component, a cellphone-based tour and one outdoor banner.

Loma Colorado was also chosen to host a Smithsonian exhibition in 2021.

“The City of Rio Rancho is thrilled to host the Smithsonian’s travelling The Way we Worked exhibition at the Loma Colorado Public Library,” Library and Information Services Department Director Jason Shoup said. “The Smithsonian awards these museum-quality exhibitions to a limited number of libraries every year, and it is a real honor for our community to have been chosen as a host site for the second time in a row following the Americans and the Holocaust in 2021.”

According to a release from the city of Rio Rancho’s Library and Services Division, “The diversity of the American workforce is one of its strengths, providing an opportunity to explore how people of all races and ethnicities identified commonalities and worked to knock down barriers in the professional world. The exhibition shows how we identify with work — as individuals and as communities.”

The exhibition will be on display at the library during regular business hours until April 8. The will also be six special events during the exhibition.


  • 2 p.m. Jan. 28: “A Celebration of Women in Technology” – Join three honorees of the Women in Tech awards as they discuss the way they work in technology
  • 2 p.m. Feb. 11: “Unions in America, State of the Union” by N. Lichtenstein book discussion – Join moderator Martha Burk, Ph.D., for a discussion
  • 2 p.m. Feb. 18: “New Mexico Railroad Workers” – Join historian Fred Friedman for an overview of New Mexico railroads and workers
  • 10 a.m. March 18: “Storming Caesar’s Palace” New Mexico PBS Indie Lens PopUp advance screening and discussion
  • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 25: “What Do I Want to be When I Grow Up? Career Fair” – meet teachers, firefighters, doctors, veterinarians and more
  • 6 p.m. April 6: “1912: A Musical Snapshot of America in the Year New Mexico Became a State” – Jane Voss and Hoyle Osborne take attendees back to 1912 New Mexico to close out the exhibition.

The library is also offering guided group tours of the exhibition and is seeking to hear stories or advice about work from the public. Those stories will be collected and shared with the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.