Library News

Library Wins 2 Rotary Chili Cookoff Awards

Is it me or did September seem to go on FOREVER? It never used to seem like that when I was younger. September back east in New Jersey marked the start of a new school year, a time to see the seasons change, and the weather finally cool off.

In Arizona, September seems to be like August, the sequel. Sure, summer is mostly over…and you’ve had a month to get over the “Well, no more vacations ‘til the turkey arrives,” and “Why is it still so hot?” and “What’s with all the giant bugs, shouldn’t you be gone by now?” But I digress. September has come and gone, and I welcome October and all the hope and promise it brings. 

The first weekend of October was a whirlwind for Sedona Public Library. We hosted a fun and successful Novel Night for Sedona Public Library in the Village on Saturday, October 1, but more on that from our Development Director, Anne Marie Mackler, in a future column. We also participated in the Rotary of Sedona’s Annual Chili Cook-Off on Sunday, October 2, at the Sedona Performing Arts Center, and we finished with a First Place People’s Choice award and a Runner Up Judge’s Choice Award for our now famous Library Chili! My son Fernando and I fed a hungry crowd of chili aficionados, and it was a blast.

When I was in third grade, I was in a spelling bee. The word I had to spell was “Chile,” the country. But in my hunger to win I heard “chili, a favorite food.” And I was wrong. The loss devastated me as I didn’t get the medal. But when the Library walked away with not one, but two medals, I wished I could tell that cherubic-faced boy of yesterday that it’s going to be all right. We finally got our trophy for “chili.”

The Library would like to thank Dr. Jean Barton and the Rotary Club of Sedona for hosting a delicious event; Steve Segner, proprietor of El Portal, for the use of their kitchen for preparing the chili; and Gioia Quisumbing, director of Precious Stones Preschool, for her award-winning white bean and chicken chili recipe.

It was a great afternoon, meeting the community and bonding over a shared love of delicious, tasty, and spicy stews. And that feeling of community and togetherness I hope to carry through this autumnal month. Yes, the big holidays are coming up soon and fast but that doesn’t stop the Library from bringing you engaging programs to enrich your mind, body, and soul. 

Have you perused our Events Calendar lately? Visit and see what we have going on at both branches. Yes, Monday Movie Nights are still going as well as  our monthly book club, Fourth Friday Tech Time, and the return of our Beginner Spanish Class and Advanced Conversational Spanish Class. For those who have asked, yes, Spooktacular is coming back this year, completely in-person. And we’re hoping that the Library’s new courtyard will play a big part in it. Stay tuned!

The weather is getting nice and seasonal travel plans may take you to other parts of our fair state a mere drive away. Why not download a new audiobook using the Libby app for that impromptu road trip. Or if you find yourself dusting off those watercolors, grabbing an easel and painting the beauty that is Sedona, why not check out a Playaway book! It’s like a portable audiobook. No car or radio needed! Recently, a patron told me that having access to audiobooks and playaways has meant so much to her husband’s mental well-being after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. 

The simple things that you and I take for granted can truly mean the world to someone who can’t hold a book but can at least listen to their favorite author or relisten to the classics. A good book can change your life and a library that is invested in serving the community can do just the same. The dog days of summer are slowly but a blip in the rearview mirror and I welcome a cool, productive, and exciting Fall in Sedona. 

Thank you to our patrons for their patience and excitement for the new courtyard and all the positive words of encouragement when they read this column. Those of us who contribute to this Friday conversation appreciate it so much. It fuels us to do more, be more, for you. 

Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit or send your check to Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 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 Oct 7, 2022 
Written by Jan Marc Quisumbing, Program & Marketing Coordinator 


Library News appears each Friday here and in the Red Rock News.