Library News

Sometimes You Just Need a Shovel


Sometimes you need to dig a hole. Sometimes you want to make tamales. Other times, you need to hem your pants, or repair a seam that’s come undone. Sometimes—not very often—you need to replace a faucet. Did you know that replacing a faucet requires a basin wrench? I’m guessing that many of you don’t because let’s be honest—how many times do you actually replace a faucet, if ever? I just replaced a faucet, and that’s when I learned that I needed that special wrench to do it. That meant a trip to the store to purchase the wrench, going home and figuring out how to use it, and then realizing that I most likely won’t need to use that wrench again anytime soon—probably never! So, what does any of that have to do with a library? Everything!  


For years, libraries have been building what they call a “Library of Things.” They started with puzzles and cake pans, but they’ve come a long way since then. We have never really called ours a Library of Things, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been slowly building one. Right now, you can use your library card to check out a ukulele, a computer, a hot spot, or an energy meter that will measure your home’s energy consumption and accurately track your electric bill. But we’ve just scratched the surface! 


Thanks to the hard work of Peggy Chaikin, Jim Gale, and the Northern Arizona Climate Change Alliance (NAZCCA), who put in hundreds of hours of work, you’ll soon be able to check out a shovel, a hammer, and a rake. You’ll be able to mend that tear in your sleeve and hem your pants, and yes, just imagine the BIG batch of tamales you can make because now there’s a tamale pot to make them in. Do you need to replace a faucet? There will be a faucet wrench available, too, because I’m donating mine! In fact, you’ll have your choice of over 230 items—not all just tools—ready to use, for free! 


NAZCCA volunteers have been collecting donated tools, gadgets, and, well, a little bit of everything from your friends and neighbors who have realized that they just don’t need to keep everything they have on hand at all times. They’re willing to share what they have with others. Now, it’s time for you to join in. 


The Sedona Tools Empowering People (STEP) Tool Library will celebrate their grand opening on Wednesday, April 17 at 2 p.m. on the Library Commons. There’ll be tools, of course, but there will also be a ribbon cutting, cake, and refreshments. Cake and tools—what could be better? This is your opportunity to celebrate this grass roots community effort, learn about tool sharing, and get involved. Volunteers will be on hand to explain the process, help you register, and download the app that allows you to check something out. You can also donate something you know that others could use. If you’d like, you can pre-register at to check out items, but why miss the party?  


Best of all, the STEP Library is just the beginning. This collaboration means that you can look forward to future Fix-It classes and workshops, and an ever-expanding collection of tools and gadgets that you’ll no longer have to purchase and store. Just imagine the space you will save while you make a difference in our community! 


Come eat cake, check out that tamale pot, and then find your favorite tamale recipe. Your friends and family can’t wait!  

STEP is a partnership between Northern AZ Climate Change Alliance and your library and is partially funded by the City of Sedona’s small grant program. Contact STEP at  for more information, or see the cover story in the March 29 issue of Sedona Red Rock News. 

Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your gifts supplement the funding and support we receive from the City of Sedona, Coconino and Yavapai County property taxes, and Friends of the Sedona Library. Please visit to make an online gift.

As published by Red Rock News

Library News Column for April 12, 2024  
Written by Judy Poe, Library Director


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