Hello Red Rock News readers! December 6 marked my first full year at Sedona Public Library as its Program and Marketing Coordinator. However 2022 marked my third year working in what I affectionately call “library land.” It’s no different than when I worked at previous places of employment. Whether it was managing the image assets for various collegiate text books when I worked for Pearson Education in Upper Saddle River, N.J., or the years I spent working for this very newspaper, The Red Rock News, writing movie reviews for The SCENE or working in its production department, designing and updating ads, and helping layout the newspaper. The one common denominator that every job I have ever held had is that I have to have the ability to listen.
Entering this month, December, I appreciate that I now have clearer view of what my role at the library and in the community is: listen. My December start last year was a quiet one as a lot of the community groups that meet monthly at the Library were on their holiday break. This was followed by a busy January as they all returned with gusto! Being given the task of reintroducing in-person programs at the Library was no easy feat, and I completed it gradually.
I’m fond of using the analogy of the neighborhood restaurant switching from Italian to Tex-Mex and having a soft opening. And that’s what January was, we soft opened the return of in-person Youth Services Programs. It was nice, seeing families come in and children running around. February we soft-opened the return of Monday Movie Nights. It’s probably one of my favorite Library programs. People enjoy a cup of free popcorn and watch a movie they maybe didn’t get a chance to see in theaters or rewatch a classic film, for free. I’ve had fun with movie nights, showing a Star Wars movie on May 4th (May the 4th be with you) or a holiday movie in July. I hope you all come out next Monday at 6 p.m. to watch the best Christmas movie EVER starring Bruce Willis as a man trying to get home to his family in Los Angeles for the holidays.
Last January, I was behind the scenes a we organized and set up the annual quilt show we host for the Red Rock Quilters. It was really amazing and beautiful to look at all the intricate designs and materials the quilters use. I didn’t go up on the mechanical lift to hang the quilts last year, but this year I will. Sorry to break it to you, dear readers, but you don’t spend your days reading books if you work at the Library. There’s always something that needs to be done and someone new and interesting to meet.
There’s an ebb and flow to working in a library. As one month of programs ends, we look forward to a new month of possibilities. I learned that on Wednesdays, around noon, the library comes alive with activity as we welcome our neighbors – students from Sedona Charter School who have a half day. It’s been nice seeing teens at the Library. They’vegrown accustomed to our Teen Area, that corner of the library with comfy couches, decorated with toys – they’re mine by the way – and superhero posters, and signs featuring Jim Belushi from Animal House and Bruce Willis from his Moonlighting heyday. What is it with my fascination with Bruce Willis?
The teens come to the library to gather, socialize, play Dungeons and Dragons, and have taken well to our new courtyard. An open space for them to get out all their energy. I also find it rewarding that I see a core group of them in the Teen Area, past the normal pick up time, using the area as a place study and wait for their parents to pick them up.
I’ve come to know a lot of our patrons, and I still feel bad when I can recall the face but not the name. You have us at a disadvantage, we wear nametags! But I welcome every interaction to say “hello” and see how you are doing. I relish practicing my Spanish skills with native speakers and attendees of our Conversational Spanish Class, taught by Jami Rangel, our bilingual outreach librarian.
It’s always interesting to meet the many visitors who come to Sedona and are drawn to the Library, whether to visit the Friends of the Library book store or take a picture with Steve, the Tyranosaurus Rex. I always tell visitors that the building was built in 1994 on the remains of an old pirate ship and point to the large wooden beams in the ceiling. A treat is when the visitors are also fellow library folk from other states. It’s always nice to meet the cousins.
Now that the Library is back to being open later on Wednesdays, closing at 8pm, and our brand new courtyard is now open sunrise to sunset, I’m working on scheduling more programs utilizing both. ‘Tis the Holiday Season and our tree is up, and various community organizations are using our Library for toy and clothing donation drop-off sites. We hope you’ll support them and their good causes. As I write this, the fog has lifted and the sun is shining, welcoming a new day. Thank you for welcoming me into the community and for a rewarding first year at Sedona Public Library.
Please remember Sedona Public Library in your year-end giving. We currently have a dollar-for-dollar matching gift opportunity, up to $40,000! Please make twice the difference in your community when you support your Library. Visit sedonalibrary.org/donate to donate online, or send your check to Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336. If you’re one of the nearly 100 donors who have already made a matching gift? Thank you!
As published Red Rock News
Library News Column for Dec 9, 2022
Written by Jan Marc Quisumbing, Program & Marketing Coordinator