Library News

There Is a House . . .


Friends of the Sedona Library Anniversary Book Sale! Saturday, June 1 – Saturday, June 8 Storewide 50 Percent Off Happy 7th Anniversary to the Friends Book Store. When you shop their amazing deals you support the Library. It’s a Win-Win! See you at the Book Store. 3270 White Bear Road, adjacent to Sedona Public Library. Just look for the House on White Bear Road.

(To the tune of “The House of the Rising Sun” with thanks to the Animals)

The House on White Bear Road

“There is a house on White Bear Road

it’s called the Friends Book Store

It’s got all the books that you really, really want

and monthly sales galore.

From romance to non-fiction

with lots of DVDs

this bookstore’s got the things you need

and the Wi-Fi’s free.”

With an amazing gift in 1986 from Ethel Low, the Library Board of Trustees purchased the land at the end of White Bear Road. According to the Red Rock News, Low’s gift had one purpose: Create something “of long-lasting benefit to the community . . . that would benefit people of all ages and from every walk of life.” The land where the Library was built had a small house on it. Over the years, that house has served many purposes including housing the Vedic Culture Center where Bhakti yoga classes were offered. But now it has found its truest purpose and the one that is closest to the donor’s dream. It is where the Friends of the Sedona Library opened their used bookstore seven years ago. Happy Anniversary!

According to Donna Hawk, long-time Library and Friends’ advocate, donor, and leader, “The success of the Friends of The Sedona Library’s used bookstore has given the organization the ability to fund more and bigger projects and programs for Sedona Public Library.” The Friends, an independent non-profit organization has the sole mission of providing financial support for the Library. Hawk said, “From the Summer Reading program to new furniture for the Community Room, the Friends contribute in

many essential ways. Kudos to the Book Store volunteers for giving their time and making it a welcoming place to shop.”

There’s something magical about perusing the shelves at the Friends Used Book Store. You can get lost among the stacks with familiar names like Hemingway, Steinbeck, or Kerouac while discovering new ones like Colin Barrett, Elle Machray, or Amy Twigg.

“Since I’m here at least three times a week, I love following the ’life’ of a donated book – from sorting and pricing to deciding where it will ‘live,’ said Susan Vitek, a Book Store volunteer. “Sometimes I think no one will ever buy certain books, but I shelve them anyway, and it’s fun to be proven wrong. One woman was hunting for a special gift for her father’s birthday, and as she opened the book of choice, an old letter floated to the floor. It was from another daughter to her father for his birthday long ago. Our volunteers call these ‘Sedona Moments.’”

Prior to the Book Store’s current home, the Friends worked out of one of the Library’s small back rooms, currently a meeting room lovingly known as the Green Room. In this space, they received and sorted the books for their huge annual book sale in the Community Room. When I first moved to Sedona, almost 10 years ago, I loved going to that sale always on the prowl for Calvin and Hobbes or The Far Side books. Now, in their own house, the Friends’ Book Store has over 30 categories of hardcover and paperback books, music CDs, movies, puzzles, and much more.

According to Ellen White, volunteer manager and longtime Friends board member, “The Book Store formation has been a dream project come to life. It is a joy to work with over 30 friendly volunteers to keep the store organized and stocked with the best and well-conditioned books available. The donations we receive are absolutely fantastic, and they help us raise money to keep Sedona Public Library the best library it can possibly be.”

The Friends was incorporated in 1967, and this non-profit organization has supported the Library vigorously over the years. In fact, in just the last 22 years, the Friends have contributed more than $1.5 million to support and enhance library services. This includes shelving, collection development, furnishings for the children’s room, public computer stations, automated check-out, laptops for the Village Library, other technology, and so much more. Thank you, Friends!

A Book Store fan, Sawyer U., noted this on YELP, “The staff here are phenomenal and the books very diverse! On top of that for a fair price. I went in to get one book and ended up walking out with five.” The Friends Book Store volunteer staff see this type of occurrence often, folks who come in to “just browse” end up walking away with an armful of books for themselves or gifts.

The revenues from selling used books have been a vital part of the Friends’ success. The Book Store’s workforce is all volunteers, and its used book inventory is sourced entirely from donations. Pat, one of the Friends’ volunteers said, “I love being around books, and it gives me a sense of purpose. I love meeting people and talking about books.” This serves as even further proof of Ethel Low’s dream for the community

coming true. People of all ages, and all walks of life, benefitting from books, literacy, community, adventure, and communication. Thank you, Ethel. Thank you, Friends.

Help the Friends celebrate their 7th anniversary and go shopping! Head on over to the house on White Bear Road, from June 1 through June 8, and enjoy a storewide half-price sale – that means all the books and puzzles on display are 50 percent off. The store’s regular prices are already a deal, so a sale like this is not to be missed. Learn more at

Sedona Public Library is also a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your gifts and support, just like the Friends’ contributions, allow us to provide a plethora of services and programs for the community, for free, all year long. Visit to make an online gift today.

As published by Red Rock News

Library News Column for May 31, 2024  
Written by Jan Marc Quisumbing, Scheduling Coordinator


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