At Sedona Public Library, a walk down the aisles and along the stacks may take you into the heart of all the Library offers, but it also provides a glimpse at the generous heart of this community.
You see, the Library was built, in its entirety, by you, the public. It was thousands of people, and millions of dollars, that made possible this monumental gift at the end of White Bear Road, and many are named throughout the building. Let’s go on a giving tour and see what we find.
Upon arriving you can’t help but see the bronze sculpture of Sedona Schnebly. She stands as a figurehead proudly leading this ship of free information, entertainment, and service. She is here as part of the Art in Public Places program, and we couldn’t think of a better home for her.
Before you enter the building, look at the view. This 4.3 acre plot, replete with views and vegetation, was purchased in 1986 with a $326,400 donation, explained on a plaque at the entryway. It’s just the beginning of an exciting philanthropic journey. Let’s keep walking.
Take a quick look to the left of the front doors. Nearly 250 gold, silver, and bronze plaques don the names of supporters who believed so strongly in this Library that they paid up to $5,000 to have their names at the entrance. We think of them as the welcoming committee.
When you enter the building, look up, look out, and be dazzled by 36 solid rock pillars (two that reach the ceiling three stories above). These towers bear the names of their donors who, literally, supported the building with gifts of $10,000 to $30,000.
Next, let’s meander through the stacks and notice the shiny plates on the end caps of shelving units. These signify dozens of supporters who invested in more than a half mile of book shelves, one foot at a time!
We can’t list all of the named areas and rooms, but let’s consider a few places that were so important to supporters that they invested $7,500 to $30,000 for each – the children’s room, the fireplace, the atrium, the Arizona room, the computer area, the business office, and more. No matter where you sit, read, study, work or research, when you’re here at Sedona Public Library, you see the investments of thousands of people.
One of the largest individual gifts, $100,000, named the community room. Chances are, there isn’t a reader among you who has not sat in this large space to enjoy a movie, listen to an author read, or participate in some other community event or program.
Outside the quiet study room you’ll find the Grandchildren’s Tree, a wonderful exhibit of support. Almost 350 gold, silver and bronze leaves hang from the tree indicating donors who invested from $200 to $1000 to honor or remember their grandkids.
Next you’ll find a large colorful plaque listing 324 names representing over $20,000 combined contributions to the tile project, originally located in the courtyard in the northeast corner of the building where you can appreciate the outdoors while you study or talk on the phone.
Finally, let’s go to the Silent Waterfall, a delightful stained glass wall that creates prisms and rainbows in every direction. Each pane denotes donors and patrons who honored or remembered their families and friends with a gift of $2,500. Their light shines out all day long.
Who are the artists behind all this artwork? The donors who gave so generously? You may very well know some of them. Maybe it is your neighbor, friend, uncle or great grandma who can tell you about contributing to the Library.
Ask around, and if you meet someone who has given to the Library, recently or years ago, say ‘thanks’ for making Sedona Public Library a landmark of the region.
Better yet, come by, walk around on your own, or let us know if you’d like a personal tour. We’d love to walk with you, and see who you know, tell you a story or listen to a story you’d like to share.
Thanks, Sedona, for giving this town a Library. It’s a gem!
Sedona Public Library
Column for August 4, 2017
Written by Anne Marie Mackler, Development Director
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.