What’s your Arizona story? Or for that matter, what brought you to Sedona? And when you arrived in Sedona, what eventually brought you to Sedona Public Library?
Anne Marie Mackler, the Development Director for Sedona Public Library, says that her Arizona story started in the Midwest, and like the adventurous spirit that she is, her journey led her to the Library. “It is my writing life that brought me to work for non-profits, that and my love of libraries brought me to Sedona Public Library. I have worked or volunteered for more than 30 non-profits over my career and many of them had a literary mission including the Flagstaff Public Library, the Northern Arizona Book Festival, the Border Book Festival, and Mountain School. I have taught writing in several universities, colleges, high schools, grade schools, and community centers. I’ve taught grant writing all over the state.”
Like a well-oiled machine, there are many moving parts at the Library that happen beyond the holds shelf or the reference desk. While I spend my library day managing the event calendar, meeting with potential instructors for future library programs, or giving an impromptu tour of our new courtyard, Anne Marie is making sure our Library can be the best library that it can be for our community.
“The biggest challenge of fundraising for Sedona Public library is that too often folks don’t realize we’re a non-profit organization. Few libraries are. Most are academic, or they belong to a city or a county. But we are an independent, private, organization that serves the public. Our mission, vision, and purpose are so important that we receive regular support from the City of Sedona and both counties we serve, Coconino and Yavapai, as well as from the 55-year-old Friends of the Library group. But for us to provide the level or programs and events that we do, at two libraries, for free, we still need the community to pitch in, and that’s my job, to convince the community to pitch in, and they do, quite often.”
The library is the heart of any community. I’ve said this time and time again and Anne Marie shares my sentiment. “What amazes me most about the Library is that the people who come and go regularly, or even those who stop by only to pick up a book, check out a magazine, or use our computers, really, really love us. I mean really. We might see them for an hour occasionally, or daily for a few days in a row, but they truly love us and believe strongly in the great work that libraries like ours do in the community. They appreciate the meaning we give to the community. Libraries are the glue of the community, and I am glad to be part of supporting and honoring this library with the work that I do. Give me a call, I can tell you more about all the reasons to make a gift.”
Though I first met Anne Marie long before we worked together as a fellow Zumba class attendee, I have come to appreciate her dedication and love for the Library. Let’s get to know Anne Marie Mackler, your Sedona Public Library Development Director.
Team dog or cat? Both, and I just lost my dog, Romeo, of 14 years, and while I miss him dearly and daily, my cat of 14 years, Chantilly (or Fred), who also misses Romeo, hangs in there, kidney disease be damned, as a great friend and companion. Will I get another dog? Maybe. We’ll see.
Have I ever seen a UFO? Yes, and a ghost, a meteor shower, a comet, and 43 turkey vultures yesterday in Cottonwood on Main Street.
My first job? Outside of babysitting, which I began doing when I was nine, my first job was washing my Aunt Helen’s floors, which I did until I was 15. Then, my first job for a business was as the all-around helper at Maria’s Pizzeria in Detroit on Grand River where I learned all aspects of the trade and to this day make a fabulous pizza crust. I worked for the Valentes through high school saving money to backpack through Europe which I did for three months when I graduated.
Where was I born? I’m a Motor City Girl, born and raised. I have strong memories of the 67′ Race Riots as well as the Tigers winning the World Series in ’68. I happily stood around piles of burning leaves we had just raked, and I worked on my best friend’s dad’s strawberry truck in the summer. “Strawberries, three quarts a dollar,” we hollered as we drove through the city streets. I’ve swam in each of the five great lakes and the Detroit River, and I remember when they closed Lake Erie due to pollution. I had tremendous exposure to art, music, and dance, and ironically, my first concert was Chicago!
Book that changed my life? I can absolutely not choose one book that influenced my life for I have been an avid reader since early childhood and come from a family of avid readers. But I can say that two of my favorite poets are Anne Sexton and Joni Mitchell, and two of my favorite authors are Louise Erdrich and Emma Donoghue. I do not read enough non-fiction, and I read too many emails.
My interests and hobbies? I am a lifelong diarist/journaler. I started keeping a diary when I was five years old, and I still write every single day. I am a poet and you can find my work here and there or at pocketpoet.net. I am also a collage artist, and I’d like to say dancer but right now the only dance I’m doing is Zumba, although I spent many years in a studio and performing. I have a B.A. in Spanish Literature and M.A. in Creative Writing Fiction: I’ve written five novels, dozens of short stories, one memoir, and published barely one. Hopefully because I have not tried.
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit sedonalibrary.org/donate, our website or send your check to Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, Arizona 86336. Remember you can direct your gift to the Village Library as well. Thank you!
As published in the Red Rock News
Library News Column for September 30, 2022
Written by Jan Marc Quisumbing, Program & Marketing Coordinator