As published in the Red Rock News
Hello friends. My name is Teri Ruiz, and I am very proud and incredibly excited to be your new Program & Marketing Coordinator at Sedona Public Library! I will be your point of contact for a variety of fun and creative programs hosted by the Library, and I look forward to hearing from you about how we can be a greater part of your community life.
Are you a member of a community organization that regularly meets at the Library? If so, I’m your contact to schedule your meetings and events. Have a program idea that you’d like to offer at the Library? Give me a call and let’s talk! Does your organization want to partner with the Library on an event or series of programs to enrich and engage our community? I’m all ears!
It’s my job to plan, develop, market, and implement programs, presentations, workshops, and participatory experiences for our community. I’m also here to cultivate relationships with individuals and organizations across Sedona and the Verde Valley in order to gain insights into the needs of those we serve, and make all those wonderful connections that will help us provide educational, entertaining, and enriching programs and events for all our friends and neighbors.
In addition, you’ll see me at the library service desks and in the stacks. I can help answer your questions, update your information, and recommend something to read or watch. I’m always available to chat about your thoughts and ideas, so please, stop in and introduce yourself!
I want to take a moment to introduce myself and share with you some of the exciting plans we have for expanding and improving our programs, services, and presence in our community. We want to place the Library squarely at the heart of our community.
As part of our outreach, we thought it would be nice to re-introduce ourselves to the community. This article is the first in a series that will introduce you to our amazing library team. Each month we will highlight a different member of the library staff, asking a series of fun and enlightening questions—giving you a chance to put a face with a name when you stop in to see us. We will ask them… Where were you born? What was your first job? Are you on Team Dog or Team Cat? Have you ever seen a ghost or a UFO? What book most influenced your life view?
Here is a little about me… Some of you may know me from my work with the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, where I spent the last seven years. Or maybe you have heard my voice on the radio. I am a native of southern California (Hollywood). I was a ballroom dance teacher for Fred Astaire Dance Studios, and I have a cat named Lucy and had a dog named Lupe. So I bat for BOTH teams. I have never seen a ghost, but I worked in a haunted nightclub (the Comedy Store in Hollywood). The book that has most influenced my life view is “Celestine Prophecy,” by James Redfield. So now you know a little about me. I want to know more about YOU! Please come by the Library and say hello. I would love to meet you and find out what the Library can do to be of better service.
Get ready, Sedonans! Coming this Fall, you will be receiving regular calls to action from us about new, interesting, imaginative, cool, and possibly unexpected programs and events. And for anyone reading this article who has not had a chance to visit Sedona Public Library yet—what are you waiting for? Fun fact: Sedona Public Library has a pet dinosaur!
We want to get the word out! We're taking the Library out of the box and putting it into the community. Sedona Public Library is on the move, and we have so many wonderful things just over the horizon. Be sure to watch this space for exciting things to come!
Please remember that Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We gratefully welcome your support and gifts. Please visit our website, sedonalibrary.org/donate. From there you can easily make an online gift. You are invited to come by the Library to make your donation, or just drop your check in the mail to SPL, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336. Your giving is our living, and we want to thank our donors for their ongoing and generous support.
Sedona Public Library
Column for May 28, 2021
Written by Teri Ruiz, Program & Marketing Coordinator
As published in the Red Rock News
Encouraging voluntary reading, especially during the “summer slide,” is an essential step to helping children become better readers. That is why Sedona Public Library (SPL) will once again offer a fun and exciting Summer Reading Program—this year, the theme is Tails and Tales.
All age groups will have achievable reading goals to foster their progress. For children ages 0 to 3, we encourage families to share reading experiences of at least 10 books. Ages 4 to 11 and ages 12 to 18 will have a goal of reading for 1,000 minutes or more. And all participants will be entered into a drawing to win some amazing prizes, including a carload trip to Bearizona, a visit to the Science Vortex of Verde Valley, AZ State Park passes, and many more. A very special thank you to all of our generous prize donors for their support.
Interested? Register online or stop by the Library, and track your reading from June 1 through July 23.
To kick off our Summer Reading Program, the Library and City of Sedona are hosting gifted storyteller and musician Meg Bohrman, of Third Road Theater, on Friday, June 4, at 9 a.m. at Posse Grounds Pavilion. Enjoy the spectacular view while Meg shares the tale of Unanana and the Enormous One-Tusked Elephant, an interactive journey of story and song based on a traditional Zulu tale. This folktale appeals to ages 1 to 101, so bring a blanket and a drink and settle in for an all-ages event. Posse Grounds Pavilion is located at 525 Posse Ground Rd. Please remember to practice social distancing so everyone can have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Another date to save is Friday, July 16. Beginning at 6:45 p.m., come dance among the red rocks for a Dance in the Park event with Sedona Dance Academy at Posse Grounds Pavilion. Sedona Dance Academy owner Jessica Phillips and her group of local dancers will perform and teach a dance to all in attendance. Put on your dancing shoes!
From May through July, SPL and City of Sedona are bringing you Story Time in the Park. Grab a blanket and join Miss Marcia every Thursday morning from 9 to 9:30 at Sunset Park, 655 Sunset Drive. Come enjoy stories, songs, fun, and laughter as we read some of your children’s favorite books aloud. Some of this summer’s story time themes are hats, picnics, swimming, and dinosaurs. Be sure to watch for some tails wagging at story time, because our friends at the Humane Society of Sedona have some special friends that like to listen to tales, too!
At the May 27 Story Time in the Park, we will celebrate the 111th anniversary of the song The Teddy Bear’s Picnic. Bring your teddies and cuddle up for a good read! This story is recommended for ages 4 to 8, but all ages are welcome, of course.
Save time after the story to walk the new StoryWalk, featuring the book Some Bugs, written by Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel. The journey begins at the toddler playground, providing 15 minutes of walking and reading in the great outdoors. As you meander down the paved and accessible path, each page of the book is displayed for you to read silently or out loud, and each story panel includes a fun activity, prompt, or reading tip in both English and Spanish. Skitter along like a little beetle, and when you get to the last page, you will find some beautiful bug art by Sedona youth artists!
Over the summer, we are very happy to continue our bi-weekly Grab & Go Crafts program every other week. Also, tune in for the virtual program “Music Everywhere with Annette,” with Miss Annette’s fabulous videos posted our website. We are offering Monday Maker Mornings on June 14, June 28, and July 12, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Community Room, where kids can explore their creative side and make art with Miss Meghan. This program is best suited to ages 6 to12, and all materials are provided.
Join Miss Maria for Spanish story time, featuring stories, songs, and more, almost every Saturday at 11 a.m. Check our calendar for dates. And don’t forget that the Library offers Tween and Teen Books Clubs twice a month, and we host monthly Connecting Community with Science programs for kids to explore the wonders and excitement of hands-on science! Check our calendar for dates and times.
Sign up for our in-person programs on our website or sedonalibrary.libcal.com. Children under 10 years of age must have an attentive parent/caregiver in the Library at all times.
We look forward to seeing you at the Summer Reading Program events and at the Library. We are committed to being a community-centered library, and we want to get the message out… the Library is for everyone! We hope that you feel welcome and included in your community space. Remember…Sedona Public Library is the heart of the community. We are here to serve you!
Sedona Public Library is an independently run, 501(c)(3), privately owned, debt-free, nonprofit organization providing public services. We receive support from the City of Sedona and the Friends of the Sedona Library, property tax dollars from Yavapai and Coconino Counties, and gifts from businesses, foundations, and individuals like you. Thank you! Visit sedonalibrary.org to learn more.
Sedona Public Library
Column for May 21, 2021
Written by Written by Viviane Kraus, Youth Services Librarian
As published in the Red Rock News
Sedona Public Library is pleased to once again use our beautiful space to exhibit a local artisan’s stunning work. Please join us in welcoming local guitarist and specialty guitar creator Ed Dowling, as we exhibit his guitars through Friday, May 21. Dowling will also perform at the Library on Friday, March 14, at 5 p.m. (masks required).
Ed Dowling began his career as a mechanical engineer and since early 1960 has created an extensive product line of machines and fixtures for clients such as IBM, Motorola, Xerox, and others. Since moving to the Verde Valley in 2002, he has also done machine engineering for shops in Cottonwood and Jerome. Always a musician at heart, Dowling has also played, created, and repaired guitars for most of the last 40 years. He is particularly fond of “resurrecting” guitars that were thought to be un-repairable.
“I have had an almost mystical appreciation for the guitar,” he explains on his website, where he recalls seeing his first one as a child. A tinkerer from early on, Dowling’s fascination for design and sound, along with his own talent, have led him to a life devoted to music. It makes sense that he has combined his skills as an engineer with his musical prowess to make unique, beautiful, and great-sounding instruments. Even more interesting, Dowling’s designs are made completely from metal.
Dowling creates “technophonic” guitars using a variety of metal parts—all his own designs. As Dowling explains it, he truly does appreciate and love guitars made of wood, but wood is adversely affected by heat, moisture, pressure, and age. He has solved that vulnerability by making metal guitars that not only have fabulous sound, but, according to Dowling, “You can hose them down or throw them into a lake” and they remain stable. (However, our librarians do not recommend throwing guitars in the lake.)
Dowling’s guitar creations and masterfully repaired instruments are currently on exhibit at Sedona Public Library on the center stacks. Jim Thomas, a Cottonwood musician, said, “As a 40-year guitarist myself, it is amazing to see what Ed has done with these old guitars. Just maintaining a guitar requires a significant amount of effort, and I can’t imagine the time and labor that must go into refurbishing them. Truly a labor of love.”
Dowling’s socially distanced performance on Friday, March 14, will include his typical repertoire. He explains that he is inspired most by American guitarist and composer John Fahey. “I play extensively in open tunings. I play fingerstyle guitar, acoustic lap steel, bottleneck / slide guitar, five-string banjo, dobro, and mandolin. My styles range from blues to bluegrass, and I also compose for guitar and five-string banjo."
The Library is excited to present this local artisan’s work, both the guitars and the performance. Please join us on Friday, March 14 for this fun performance and be sure to stop by this week to see the guitars on display.
Sedona Public Library is an independently run, 501(c)(3), privately owned, debt-free, nonprofit organization providing public services. We receive support from the City of Sedona and the Friends of the Sedona Library, property tax dollars from Yavapai and Coconino Counties, and gifts from businesses, foundations, and individuals like you. Thank you. Visit sedonalibrary.org to learn more.
Sedona Public Library
Column for May 14, 2021
Written by Anne Marie Mackler, Development Director
As published in the Red Rock News
Curate /ˈkyo orət,ˈkyo oˌrāt /v. [trans.] to select, organize, and look after the items in a collection or exhibition. (The New Oxford American Dictionary)
Libraries have a remarkably storied history. An example of a notable library is the Library of Alexandria, one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. There is the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and the Library of Trinity College in Ireland, both founded hundreds of years ago and still serving patrons today. Of course, there is the remarkable legacy of the Carnegie libraries throughout the United States. Such great collections, such sanctuaries, such temples to learning. Each a product of its own time and place. Each with the purpose of preserving the knowledge of mankind. And each serving to curate collections of important literature of the past—that is, to select, organize, and look after the items in their collections.
Those collections were curated with a clear purpose in mind—for their users to come to know themselves through literature and other forms of information.
Libraries nowadays are equally marvelous places. They not only collect and organize past literature, but they serve as curators of a community’s future. This may seem an odd thing to suggest given that curating has traditionally looked to past works, but indulge me for a moment as I make the case for curating a community’s future.
Great libraries work to reflect and serve their specific users’ needs; for instance, Sedona Public Library has its notable Arizona collection. A local, significant personage may bequeath his/her personal collection of papers and more to a library, such as Edward Abbey’s materials at the University of Arizona. These tend to look back, not forward, though. The point is a library should create its own collection for the purposes of its users. It does so in order for its users to come to know themselves—not just as individuals, but as part of the larger community in which they live.
The challenge for any library is that it cannot collect all the books of the world. It must select. It must curate. As a part of the Yavapai Library Network that includes public, school, college, and special libraries, no one library in the network needs to create a collection that mirrors that of another member library. By sharing items between the members, each library can offer more than a million items to even the smallest community in the network. Each library thereby has the important opportunity to curate materials that serve its specific community.
Sedona is singular. Its beauty is one aspect of its uniqueness. Other aspects include how it is currently faced with numerous challenges. Traffic, growth, population shifts, the environment, business, and other issues present opportunities for the Library to collect information that will serve the community’s needs to address these challenges.
Long-time residents may recall the Sedona Forums that were held each year. Citizens addressed a specific topic through a town hall process, creating a report that outlined the community’s understanding of that topic, its hopes, dreams, likes, and dislikes. These reports served as blueprints for government, business, and citizens to use in building Sedona. Consider the many studies conducted by the City on numerous topics. Love them or hate them, they are valuable resources for Sedonans to use in understanding, planning, and acting.
Studies and reports, though, are only one form of information that the Library can offer. Exhibits, such as the annual quilt show, the weavers’ displays, and photography and art shows, serve as ways for citizens to interact with one another face to face. Programs, including forums, offer another form of information. Children’s, young adult, and LatinX programming, as well as simple social groups meeting at the Library, can be “curated” and “collected” to provide information to assist a community to grow based on knowing itself.
By reflecting its specific community in its collection, a library can serve as a common and accessible resource. The community thereby defines itself and addresses its own particular issues, challenges, and opportunities. In so doing, the library positions itself as a place that is alive, vital, and relevant. It would be easy to see a library that focuses only on the past becoming less and less relevant as people turn their attention elsewhere. Libraries that look solely backwards find themselves becoming lonelier and lonelier places.
Sedona Public Library has for many years strived to serve the whole community with information, materials, exhibits, and resources, as well as offering gathering spaces that have made it one of Sedona’s true community centers. Its vitality is a function of curating a collection that faces both backward and forward. In many ways, the quote by R. David Lankes used by Director Judy Poe in her communications says it all: “Bad libraries build collections; good libraries build services; great libraries build community!”
Sedona Public Library works hard to be a great library by building community. Please visit the Library online at sedonalibrary.org, in west Sedona at 3250 White Bear Road, or in the Village of Oak Creek at Bell Rock Plaza, Ste. 51 A.
Sedona Public Library
Column for May 7, 2021
Written by David Keeber, President, Friends of the Sedona Library
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.