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By: Kathleen Klitzke
For: Red Rock News
Date: November 26
, 2010


Thanksgiving and Gratitude at the Sedona Public Library

For many of us Thanksgiving is synonymous with gratitude.  Still enjoying delicious leftovers with family and friends, I am filled with gratitude for the year 2010 that is rapidly coming to a close.  Quality times with family and making good use of my camera have been highlights of my experience this year.  In addition, I have had the good fortune to become more involved with one of our community’s greatest treasures -- the Sedona Public Library.  “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” – Thornton Wilder.

Charles Dickens once admonished “Reflect upon your blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some.”  Dickens’ words are timeless and his approach still sound.  In researching the subject of gratitude, I spoke with a number of Sedona Public Library patrons, staff, and volunteers to learn what they are most grateful for this holiday season.  This simple question elicited heartfelt and uplifting answers of family, friends, health and a deep appreciation for the many services and information resources provided by the Sedona Public Library. 

I found Leigh from the fantastic Friends of the Library organization at a large comfortable table with friends from the Sit and Stitch group.  Leigh said that she is grateful for the role our library serves as the “heart” of our community.  Leigh spoke about the many community groups that have displays at the library, including the Railroaders, Weavers and Spinners, Sustainable Arizona and a number of garden clubs.  “Everything that happens in the community happens here!”Further, Leigh mentioned the beauty and aesthetically pleasing design of the library.    “Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.”  - Henry Ward Beecher.

Leigh’s Stitcher friends Valene and Susan added that they love the wonderful space the Library provides them to meet, stitch, solve problems (stitching and global) and socialize.  “I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”  - Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel.”  - Author Unknown.   Joseph Wood Krutch said that “Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude.”  If that is the case, the Sit and Stitch group I spoke with is certainly a grateful group! 

Around the corner, I found a few patrons near the fireplace relaxing in comfy chairs and enjoying stacks of books.  One of my favorite Library pastimes!  Stephanie told me that she has been enjoying the Library for eight years, and is most grateful for the Library’s attentive staff as well as the wide variety of events and programs available for Sedona residents and visitors.  “[Gratitude] is not monumental ‘Hallelujah! Praise the Lord’ stuff.  For me, it’s just a constant, steady cadence.  It’s a metronome to my life.” – Deborah Norville.

From the Library Board, Trustee Blair told me that he is very grateful for our Library’s reference section.  Value Line, Consumer Reports, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook are popular resources in the reference section.  Board President Sheila spoke of the vibrant support our Library receives from the community.  “What a joyous kickoff to the holiday season … when over 350 people of all ages attended the Festival of the Wreaths gala!”  “Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.” - Seneca

Board Trustee Anne U. told me that her favorites in the Library collection include cookbooks, mysteries, and quilting books.  The Library has a wonderful collection of cookbooks and food related books; Keeping the Feast: One Couple’s Story of Love, Food, and Healing in Italy  by Paula Butturini is just one of many popular favorites. New mysteries of note include This Body of Death by Elizabeth George, The Sixth Man by David Baldachi, and Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb.  One of the Library’s most popular books on quilting is the Ultimate Quilting Bible: A Complete Reference With Step-By-Step Techniques by Marie Clayton.  Speaking of quilting, the popular quilting display returns to the Library at the end of December. 

Trustee Ann M. mentioned her gratitude for the Library’s audio book collection and the Children’s Library.  The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith, The Confession by John Grisham, and Crossfire by Dick Francis are great audio book choices you may want to check out.  For the young crowd, the Children’s Library is offering Toddler Storytime, Music for Tots, and Stories and Crafts in English/Spanish for ages 3-8.  Stop by the Children’s Room or check the Library Events calendar at http://www.sedonalibrary.org for the current schedule.  “Find the good –and praise it.” – Alex Haley

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart.   Thank you to everyone who participated in this column.  Thank you to all who participate year round in the ongoing success of the Sedona Public Library.  May you and yours be graced with gratitude this holiday season.  See you at the Library!

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.
Kathleen Klitzke is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Sedona Public Library.

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