At the June 20, 2017 Sedona Public Library (SPL) Board of Trustees annual meeting, the 2017–2018 Board was formally seated. As a private, non-profit corporation that provides public library services through contracts with local government, the volunteer Board of Trustees is responsible for administering the affairs of the Library.
Five current members of the Board are retiring and we would like to thank those individuals who have contributed so much time and energy to the Library. David Simmer (outgoing President), Abbie Denton-Lander (outgoing Treasurer), Harvey Bershader, John Crawford, and Michael Yarbrough are departing this year to pursue new opportunities and challenges and to continue their service to their communities. Their contributions will be missed.
Joel DeTar is the incoming Board President. Joel joined the Library Board in September 2015. Joel is a well-known and respected contributor to this community. He established the very successful DeTar Construction Company and has been actively involved with local non-profits including the Sedona Community Foundation, and the Sedona 30. He has participated in various other fund-raising activities to benefit the local schools and the Veterans Service Park. We are pleased to have Joel as President of our organization and look forward to his strong leadership.
The following members who are continuing their service on the Board this year have been elected to fill the other officer positions: Past President Pat Jansen, Treasurer Roger Shlonsky, and Secretary Wendy Edwards,
Two individuals joined the Board in mid-2016, Charles Curtis and Gwen Ortmeyer. Charles spent over 30 years in the software engineering industry and then retired and moved, with his wife, to Sedona in 2014. He is applying his technical management and teamwork experience to Board activities. Gwen also joined the Board in October 2016. Gwen recently moved to Sedona and brings her marketing, strategy and financial management expertise to the SPL Board. Both Charles and Gwen have become valuable members of the Board.
For the fiscal year 2017–2018, the Board is pleased to welcome three new members, Mary Kay DePoe, Sheila Hoffmeyer and Lynn Zonakis.
Mary Kay DePoe has been a resident of Sedona since 1970 and brings an in-depth knowledge of the history and development of Sedona to the Board. She has been employed by Northern Arizona Council of Governments and has served as the Sedona Headstart Director since 2009. Her primary interests include strengthening the local education community and advocating for children and the Hispanic community. Mary Kay’s experience and interest will help sharpen the Board focus in these areas.
Sheila Hoffmeyer is a well-known presence at the SPL. She served on the Board from 2007 through 2012 and was elected President 2008–2011. She has continued to volunteer at SPL as a check-in/check-out assistant. Sheila has extensive expertise is in marketing, communications and public relations. She currently serves on the Board of the Humane Society of Sedona and is secretary of her homeowners association. Her wide-ranging experience and willingness to return to the Board will certainly help strengthen the organization.
Lynn Zonakis recently retired from Delta Air Lines where she served as a Managing Director Health Strategy & Resources. In retirement she continues healthcare consulting with employers and other health industry companies and groups. She has a passion for libraries and has become an active volunteer at SPL in the Village. Her analytical, organizational, project management skills will be very useful as the Board tackles the many challenges SPL will face in the next few years.
The Board thanks our past and current Board members and welcomes our new Trustees. We look forward to an exciting and productive year at the Sedona Public Library.
Sedona Public Library is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, supported by donations and grants. Your tax-deductible donation may be sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336.
Sedona Public Library
Column for June 30, 2017
Written by Pat Jansen, Past-President, Sedona Public Library Board of Trustees
With the year half over, media outlets are announcing their picks for the best books of 2017 so far. Their selections are helpful whether you need ideas for your summer reading list or are curious about titles that could become the next award winners. The following books appear on several “best-of 2017” lists and are thus safe bets for a good read:
Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid. Described as “one of the most bittersweet love stories in modern memory,” this novel by a British-Pakistani author addresses the global refugee crisis through the tale of a couple fleeing civil war in an unnamed Muslim country by escaping through a magic portal. In its review of “Exit West,” the New York Times states the book is “poised to become one of this year’s most significant literary works.”
Anything Is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout. “Anything Is Possible” is a collection of stories focusing on peripheral characters from Strout’s previous novel, “My Name Is Lucy Barton.” Though the book’s characters endure a variety of hardships, in the end they manage to find redemption and solace. NPR describes Strout’s new work as a “welcome literary salve for these anxiety-inducing times.”
Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders. This unusual first novel by short-story master Saunders is set in the cemetery that Abraham Lincoln visits to mourn his young son, who died of typhoid. The graveyard is inhabited by ghosts, who are caught between the worlds of the living and the dead and who become the book’s narrators.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by David Grann. The new book by the author of “The Lost City of Z” revisits a largely forgotten series of murders that happened in the 1920s to members of the Osage Indian tribe. The victims were targeted for their ownership of oil-rich land in Oklahoma, and when investigators were sent to look into the crimes, they were killed as well. Eventually, the murders were solved by a team of FBI agents assembled by the agency’s new director, J. Edgar Hoover, but in his fascinating true-crime thriller, Grann brings new evidence to light.
The Bright Hour, by Nina Riggs. This insightful and moving memoir was written by a woman who was diagnosed with terminal cancer in her late thirties, and it has been compared by many critics to “When Breath Becomes Air.” Riggs was a direct descendent of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and she quotes him often in her book, which examines how to live a meaningful life when time is running out.
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari. A follow-up to Harari’s celebrated bestseller “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind,” “Homo Deus” focuses on what the future of our species might look like. Harari speculates that technological advancements will result in engineered humans with godlike attributes—but he warns that if only the superrich can afford these evolutionary improvements, a dystopian society will arise.
You can find these titles in the Library’s catalog by going to www.sedonalibrary.org and clicking the My Account or Search Catalog button. Most of the books are available in several formats. Please call or email the reference desk if you need assistance locating a book or placing a hold.
Sedona Public Library, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, receives support from individuals, the City of Sedona, Coconino and Yavapai Counties, and Friends of Sedona Library. Your tax-deductible donations can be sent to Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336, or made online at sedonalibrary.org or on Facebook.
Sedona Public Library
Column for June 23, 2017
Written by Elizabeth Cate, Collection Development Librarian
A national conversation about aging well and living fully when you have limited time was launched with the publication of “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” by Atul Gawande.
Sedona Public Library is pleased to partner with Accord Hospice of Sedona and the Rotary Club of Sedona to host a free, community screening of “Being Mortal,” a documentary based on the book, on Friday, June 30, at 10 a.m. in the Library’s Si Birch Community Room. After the screening, audience members can participate in a guided conversation on what the next steps are in identifying and communicating your wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.
The film aired nationally on the PBS program Frontline in February of 2015 and follows Dr. Atul Gawande as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters who are facing terminal illness. When Dr. Gawande’s own father got cancer, his search for answers about how best to care for the dying became a personal quest.
Gawande is a surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1998 and has written three other New York Times bestsellers: “Complications,” “Better,” and “The Checklist Manifesto.” He is the winner of two National Magazine Awards, AcademyHealth’s Impact Award for highest research impact on healthcare, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Award for writing about science.
For links to magazine articles, interviews, and other information visit http://atulgawande.com. The book, ‘Being Mortal,” is described this way on Gawande’s website: “Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should.
Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced. Nursing homes, devoted above all to safety, battle with residents over the food they are allowed to eat and the choices they are allowed to make. Doctors, uncomfortable discussing patients’ anxieties about death, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them. And families go along with all of it.
In his bestselling books, Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, has fearlessly revealed the struggles of his profession. Now he examines its ultimate limitations and failures – in his own practices as well as others’ – as life draws to a close. And he discovers how we can do better. He follows a hospice nurse on her rounds, a geriatrician in his clinic, and reformers turning nursing homes upside down. He finds people who show us how to have the hard conversations and how to ensure we never sacrifice what people really care about.”
The free screening of “Being Mortal” is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harmon Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America. For more information call Susan Turner, Director of Accord Hospice of Sedona, at 928-278-4134.
Sedona Public Library
Column for June 16, 2017
Written by Virginia Volkman, Library Director
There is a deluge of information thrust on consumers in print, on television, online, and in social media. Making informed choices about your media selections is more important than ever. With more content to absorb than free time, how do you make sure you are getting the most relevant, authoritative, and truthful information? It’s likely you have encountered a wide range in quality of online information. Not all blogs, articles, and websites are created equal. Just because you found it on the web in black and white, does not make the statement true.
Here are a few simple guidelines to follow. The next time your friend shares information via email or Facebook, stop and think before you pass it along to others. Get curious and ask questions about the subject to uncover the facts. Avoid immediately re-posting or sharing. If you need help, ask a librarian. Be patient—you may not find the answers right away.
Consider the source of the information. Follow up on the “About Us” page of the website or take a look at the mission and vision. Is the author’s name listed? Without an author or organization taking credit, verifying their credentials and areas of expertise is difficult. If an author is provided, what makes them a qualified expert on this subject? Look for links documenting their professional affiliations and other writing credits. Consider a Google search to get background and biographical information. Next, compare their conclusions to those of related websites or services. Do similar sources examine this subject? Lack of coverage can be a clue something is awry.
Read past the headlines. If the subsequent information does not support the story, this may be click bait: a misleading or outrageous headline designed to produce an emotional response to promote traffic. What you may not know is that advertisers can generate revenue with every click. In general, consider carefully before sharing, because you could be spreading misleading information and inadvertently raising revenue for a dubious online business. Check out Tim Wu’s new book “The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads” for an in-depth exploration of online advertising trends.
Even some authentic news sites have been known to utilize attention-grabbing headlines to draw readers in for the purposes of increasing traffic. Similarly, advertisements can disguise themselves as legitimate news articles by adopting similar formatting and an adjacent position. Look for the small print indicating “advertisement” or “sponsored content”. Also, be wary of unusual formatting such as awkward layouts, misspellings, grammatical issues, and photos that show signs of manipulation. These are all hallmarks of scams, hoaxes, and other fraudulent online schemes.
Overall, avoid assumptions. On the surface, an email or post may appear legitimate, but how can you be sure? It is helpful to know yourself, and examine your biases. Being mindful of your own preconceptions will decrease your chances of being manipulated by half-truths or false information published by less reliable sources.
If you are looking for information on a specific subject, start at the Library’s research databases instead of a web search engine. Library databases have already done half the work of evaluating information for you so that you do not have to. Here are a few you may find useful: World Book Online, Academic OneFile, Science in Context, InfoTrac Newsstand, Global Issues in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context, and Student Resources in Context.
World Book Online is an excellent resource for general questions about people, places, and things, with a variety of age-specific interfaces. Also, Academic OneFile offers peer-reviewed articles on a broad spectrum of topics. While similar to Google, this search interface offers information with greater reliability.
To explore questions about science and technology, get accurate answers with Science in Context. Are you interested in current events? Stay abreast by searching the newspaper archives in InfoTrac Newsstand. Would you like to explore the historical and contemporary conditions that impact our world today? Try out Global Issues in Context. Similarly, you can delve into the pros and cons of any social or political issue with Opposing Viewpoints in Context.
Additionally, teens working on a school project, in need of good resources, might appreciate Student Resources in Context. We know their teachers will. Although accessed online, information found in a library database has been evaluated for reliability and accuracy as compared to many websites. You can access our databases and research tools at www.sedonalibrary.org by going to “Resources” and then “Tools and Databases.”
Critical thinking skills are the most useful asset in distinguishing truthful, accurate, and unbiased information sources from false or misleading articles and scams frequently found online. The Library offers many tools to help you separate fact from fiction. In our shifting and expanding information landscape, the need to carefully vet our sources is vital. While the friendly librarians at Sedona Library are trained to navigate and evaluate information, the responsibility ultimately falls to all of us to practice good information hygiene.
Sedona Public Library
Column for June 9, 2017
Written by Andrea Lhotka, Public Services Librarian
With over 300,000 new books published every year in the United States alone, how do you decide which ones to read? Just because a book appears on a bestseller list does not guarantee that it will be an outstanding read or quality literature. When selecting a book, you might consider a title that has been awarded a literary prize. Here are some of the most well-known awards, along with examples of past winners. (Complete lists of winners can be found on the websites of each award organization.)
Get started on your award-winning reading journey now. Join us for the book discussion of The Underground Railroad on Friday, June 9, at 10:30 a.m. in the Quiet Study at Sedona Public Library. This # 1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award in 2016. Seating is limited; reserve your space by contacting Cheryl Yeatts at 928-284-1603 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, partially supported by the City of Sedona and Yavapai and Coconino Counties. We also require donations and grants to fund our operations. Your tax-deductible donation may be sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336.
Sedona Public Library
Column for June 2, 2017
Written by Cheryl Yeatts, Manager, Sedona Public Library in the Village
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on Sedona Biz.