Library News

Courtyard Opening Draws 400 Marshmallow-loving guests

If you saw adults in town last Sunday with sticky marshmallow on their faces, and wondered where they’d been, you needn’t have looked any further than the new Friends of Sedona Library Fire Circle in Sedona Public Library’s Courtyard. Residents, friends, neighbors, and even a few out-of-town guests toasting the new community space and enjoying giant roasted marshmallows on the gorgeous autumn afternoon.

“Will you be serving marshmallows again?” one patron asked as she left, a bit sticky. If not marshmallows, the Library will surely host plenty of programs and events on this huge outdoor patio designed specifically with the community in mind. 

“What a wonderful addition to our City,” said Mayor-Elect Scott Jablow, looking around in awe at the 10,000 square foot patio. It’s just down the road from the City of Sedona offices, Library Director Judy Poe pointed out. “We hope City employees, as well as neighbors and patrons will use this beautiful place for meetings over coffee or lunch, reading or studying, programs or movies, or just to admire the view.”

More than 400 people attended the event and ribbon cutting on November 13, including special guests former library directors Ginny Volkman and David Keeber who was our M.C. He introduced city council member Jessica Williams and Donna Michaels, Yavapai County Supervisor, who both offered insights and congratulations, and City Manager Karen Osborne, who echoed her soon-to-be-boss’s sentiment.

“My career has been in managing and developing cities,” Osborne began. “This courtyard is a thing that cities do. But Sedona Public Library is a small, private, non-profit, organization with a mission to serve the community. And this accessible Courtyard is proof that when the residents express their needs, this Library listens. Congratulations!”

Such jubilance was shared and not just over the marshmallows, although it was a blast to see adults walking away with a few marshmallows on sticks over their shoulders. Visitors also enjoyed the Library’s award-winning chili and Overdue Brew provided by Sedona Beer Co.

Additionally, everyone enjoyed the music. First up was acoustic guitar by Brian David who noted after his opening set, “I can’t wait to come back and play here again.” We can’t wait either.

David was followed by Silent Treatment, a Cottonwood rock band headed up by the Library Facility Maintenance Manager Jim Thomas. The afternoon grew suddenly cold and windy as they played, but that didn’t scare people away from the fun afternoon. Instead, several people took the opportunity to dance to the great music and stay warm.

In addition to the music, food, and camaraderie, many went on a search for the paver(s) they had purchased. We placed 275 pavers among the literally thousands on the patio, and we heard shouts of glee when someone found theirs. There were also many teary eyes as donors discovered a paver in memory of a loved relative or pet. And, of course, we heard laughter, too, as many of the pavers are funny, including “You are Unique, Just Like Everyone, Else – Margaret Mead.”

We were also asked, “Where’s the map?” There isn’t one, but Library Director Judy Poe urged visitors to walk around and find their paver. “It’s a treasure hunt,” she said. “And we want you to enjoy the patio. You’ll find yours,” she assured everyone.

And she’s right. They’re out there! I promise, in fact, only a couple that were ordered through September are left to be etched, and the opportunity is not over. We will continue to place your pavers over the months to come. Walking around yesterday was inspirational for everyone, and new orders are being processed as I write. Visit our website to order one, or maybe another one! 

This Courtyard could not have happened without the continued support we receive from the community. We are especially grateful to our Courtyard Sponsors including Gordon Reiter, the Carroll Family Charitable Fund, the Friends of the Sedona Library, and DeTar Construction, Inc. Additionally we are grateful to the more than 240 people who have purchased pavers. Thank you!

Just as our City Manager mentioned, we listen to you. Libraries are no longer a place just for books (or marshmallows as it were), but for the community to gather, to meet, to learn, and to share. You told us in a community needs assessment two years ago that you needed outdoor space that you could call your own. This Courtyard is the direct result of what you told us. Yes, we listened, and we can’t wait to see you.

Please visit the Courtyard, and if you can’t find your paver, come on in and ask for me. We’ll walk together to find your paver when there are not more than 400 people on the patio along with food and beverage tables. And if by any chance your paver is not yet etched, it will be, and I owe you a giant marshmallow!

Sedona Public Library is a private non-profit organization with the charter to serve the public. Gifts can be made by cash or check, or online at 

As published in the Red Rock News

Library News Column for Nov 18, 2022 
Written by Anne Marie Mackler, Development Director


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