As published in the Sedona Red Rock News
There are a few days left, so don't miss your chance to visit the Library during Library Card Sign-up Month! Every September, Sedona Public Library joins with the American Library Association to promote and provide access to the many free services available at their local library.
A library card is one of the most valuable cards one can hold, and as a Sedona Public Library cardholder, not only can you access all of the services here in Sedona, but you can also access the items available at all 56 libraries in the Yavapai Library Network. That means over 1.2 million items are easily accessible to you via your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Just search for an item in the catalog on our website—sedonalibrary.org—put the item on hold, and have it delivered to your nearest library for pickup.
Unlike in days past, today’s library card also gives you access to thousands of free e-books, audiobooks, and online magazines that you can download from the comfort of your own home.
Do you enjoy watching movies? The Library offers access to Kanopy, a free streaming video service, to all Sedona Library patrons. With a selection of over 30,000 on-demand videos, the Kanopy collection includes new releases, independent and international cinema, classic movies, documentaries, educational films, and more. Cardholders can access Kanopy on their smart TV, home computer, or with the Kanopy app on mobile devices. To get started using Kanopy, visit sedonalibrary.kanopy.com, enter your name and email, and create a password. Kanopy will then send you an email, and all you need to do is open it, follow the easy directions, and enjoy the show. (Be sure to check your “spam” folder if you don’t see the email!) You can stream up to four movies per month.
In honor of Library Card Sign-up Month, we invite you to apply for a card at the main library in West Sedona or at Sedona Public Library in the Village. Getting a card is free and easy at either location. Just stop in with your photo ID and proof of residency, and we will issue your card.
If you have a card but haven’t used it in a while, we encourage you to drop by the circulation desk and update your e-mail address and contact information so that you can receive our monthly e-newsletter, which will tell you about the programs and free services available each month. Did you lose your card? During September we are waiving the $5 replacement card fee. So, if you lost your card, please stop in and get yourself a new one on us!.
For hours and directions, call 928-282-7714 or visit our website at sedonalibrary.org. Call 928-284-1603 for Sedona Public Library in the Village, located in Bell Rock Plaza in the Village of Oak Creek.
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Donations and grants allow us to continue to offer free and innovative services to residents and visitors. Your tax-deductible donation may be sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336, or you may donate online.
Sedona Public Library
Column for September 24, 2021
Written by Teri Ruiz
As published in the Red Rock News
In just two days, the Human Books will speak at Sedona Public Library. Are you open-minded enough to listen? I know that we often think we are open-minded and judgement free. But are we? Think about those times when we encounter someone that puts us a little “on guard,” makes us just a bit uncomfortable, or disagrees with one of our fundamental beliefs? If this has ever happened to you, I invite you to spend Sunday morning at the Sedona Human Library.
We all know stereotypes exist—of course they do! I am often told that I don’t seem like a librarian because, as we all know, librarians are the quiet sort of people, wearing their hair in a tight bun and looking over their bifocals with stern eyes as they put their finger to their lips and say “Shhhhhh!” But are they? Many of the librarians I know are tattooed, have a healthy love of craft brews, do not own bifocals or wear buns, and they are some of the most outgoing, gregarious, and loudest, people I’ve ever met. So how do we change our stereotypical perceptions? How do we shift our thinking?
Sunday’s Sedona Human Library is a perfect place to begin. The Human Library is about dissolving the differences that separate people and discovering a connection with, and an understanding of, the people who are different than we are. In its fifth year, I am willing to bet that this local (yet international) event will surprise you. I also believe it will challenge and delight you, and that you will be glad you attended. I hope you’ll join us.
You, the “Reader” (Listener) of the Human Book, will hear the backstory of someone who has been stereotyped—dismissed, diminished, and distanced—because of the pre-judgements or “stuck” perceptions others hold about them. As our Human Books share their stories, we believe you will become more aware of your own judgements that may have been lurking in your background. Simply by listening with an open mind/heart, it’s very possible that a transformation—an ah-ha! moment may occur, and you will see these humans in a new and more understanding way.
Some past Readers have remarked, “When I sat with the Transman Book, I realized it was difficult to believe that he had been a woman, and my mind blew open as he shared his story about losing custody of a child when he was a woman, and then gaining it back as a man.” Another Reader said, “I always thought that someone who was homeless was desolate, hopeless, and irresponsible until I met the Human Book titled ‘Homeless Preferred.’”
Regarding political beliefs, a past Reader stated, “I had no idea how much hate I had toward a Democrat turned Republican until I heard the Human Book’s story of what she endured from lifelong friends when they publicly shamed her for her political shift. I now have much greater tolerance for political discussions than before, when I used to just shut down and dismiss those in a political party different than my own.”
Interestingly, just as the Readers have grown and changed through their Human Library experiences, the Books often remark that they feel “heard and healed” by these touching events. Many have not yet shared their story publicly and have noted that they truly appreciate the safe environment the Library offered them.
We need this event now like never before. As Readers ask questions to gain understanding of what it was like to live the life the Human Book has lived, the Books discover remarkable things about themselves, and healing happens for both. The conversations are lively and often quite thoughtful. The most common comments we receive on our surveys are along the line of these: “I wish I could have read more Human Books” and “I wish you did this more often!”
Please join us for this event at Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sunday, September 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. While preselection of Books has closed, you are still welcome to join the event by coming to the Rush line. You must arrive by 9:45 a.m. when we will match you, based on availability, with a Human Book. You’ll have the chance to read three books at this free event.
Please visit sedonahumanlibrary.org for more information about all the Human Books and the event. You can also register for the Rush line at sedonahumanlibrary2021.eventbrite.com.
I invite you to change your mind, open your heart, and help transform our community. You’ll be glad you did.
The Sedona Human Library is sponsored by Sedona International City of Peace, Rotary Club of Sedona, the City of Sedona, and Sedona Public Library.
Sedona Public Library
Column for September 17, 2021
Written by Judy Poe, Library Director, Sedona Public Library
As published in the Red Rock News
Most readers have a favorite book. It is the book that you return to over and over through the years. It is the book you always recommend. It has captured your imagination right from the start. Each time you reread it, it offers you both the warm glow of familiarity and something new. The characters and ideas have had a lasting influence on you since the first moment you cracked open the cover. The affection and attachment you have for the book outlasts and outshines all other books.
There are actually two books that hold their place as my Favorite Books. One is fiction and the other nonfiction. Each has profoundly influenced me and each time I reread them I return to the wonder of that first time.
The first is Frank Herbert’s unparalleled science fiction tale, “Dune.” First published in August of 1965, my Dad read it and conversations offered me the gift of my father’s view of the world and his interest in mine.
I was 14 when I first read it and no other book since has captivated me like the story of Paul Atreides who became known as Muad’dib. Truly a lifetime of pleasure from one book! Set in the far distant future where knowledge of ancient Earth is all but lost, it is the story of a space spanning empire that is driven by a mysterious substance known as mélange, commonly called Spice. It is found on only one planet in all the universe, Arrakis, a harsh desert planet also known as Dune.
Spice gives the Spacing Guild the ability to bend space, and that allows interstellar travel because it shrinks time. And yet, it also extends years of life to its users. Paul finds himself straddling the politics of the empire and the culture of the native Fremen, the desert dwellers of Dune. His use of the Spice transforms him, and he becomes not only the Fremen messiah, but he unleashes a firestorm upon the empire that changes everything for thousands of years.
The characters and complex themes of “Dune” have influenced me since the first time I read it. The rich mix of politics, science and mysticism is unparalleled. I have reread it at least every decade, as well as the sequels Herbert and his son wrote. But none of them have been as thoroughly satisfying and captivating as the original book. Each rereading pulls me back into the place, the culture, and the mystery that is Dune.
My nonfiction favorite is an architectural treatise. Written by Christopher Alexander and a cadre of architects, “A Pattern Language” not only influenced how I designed my home 24 years ago, but it also made me look at all spaces from the macro level – city wide – to the micro level –within my own living space – in entirely new ways. It has illuminated for me remarkably humane patterns of living.
Reading the book, I was made aware of how much environment influences us in our daily lives, as much as our daily lives influence the environment through patterns of building, behavior, and our interactions with others. Now, moving around a city or town, or within a house has become a very different experience. I look at everything through this new lens.
Consider the pattern of “sleeping in public.” Given that we spend a quarter to a third of our lives asleep, often the urge to sleep is not just at home at night. We see those who sleep in public as vagrants and suspicious and in so doing, we create a divide between us all. The authors urge that we create spaces that allow sleeping in public which then establishes a social compact between us. It states that when I sleep, I can expect to be unmolested, and when you do the same, you also can expect to be safe. We are then in deeper relationship with one another. Throughout the hundreds of patterns defined in the book, this sense of deep interrelationship between dwellers in cities, neighborhoods, or homes is clarified, encouraged, and celebrated.
Both books, “Dune” and “A Pattern Language,” speak to the depth of interrelationships. Despite being nothing like each other, they have both managed to stimulate this idea within me. They have influenced and colored how I look at the entire world.
But Favorite Books are not to be kept to oneself! Whenever I share my Favorite Books, I also ask what that person’s Favorite Books are. I am then exposed to many remarkable new titles, ideas, and characters, and have gained some insight into the mind of the person recommending them. So, tell me, what is your Favorite Book?
Sedona Public Library
Column for Sept. 10, 2021
Written by David Keeber, President, Friends of the Sedona Library
As published in the Red Rock News
I’m Tom Binnings, one of the new members of the Sedona Public Library’s (SPL) Board of Trustees. I was honored to be asked to serve and feel it is a privilege to do so. I am very selective where I serve in my community as it is easy to be overwhelmed, and there are so many capable people who can serve. One of the key questions I always ask myself is, “How much value can I add and what might I learn?”
SPL’s vision captured my attention, and I decided it would be a great place to serve. This non-profit, community-supported organization is moving ambitiously into the future while adhering to the core values of public libraries, as well as its cherished past in Sedona.
I work in the field of applied economics and focus on public-private partnerships at the intersection of commerce and community. I enjoy the work and it allows me to operate from anywhere with good internet and communications. Since my wife has wanted to retire to this area since she was young, we decided to move to the Village of Oak Creek (VOC) three years ago. I began exploring the opportunities in the area a decade ago and traveled here numerous times before making the move. Every time I visited, I did at least two things – hike/bike and check out the library in west Sedona.
I went to the library to research local history, to peruse the bookshelves, and to just find a quiet spot to sit and work while absorbing the library vibe. Since moving here, I have come to rely more on the library, as well as local hotels, to access reliable higher speed internet. This is especially important when I make presentations around the Rocky Mountains and teach classes internationally.
I began my term on the Board early this summer just as SPL finalized a lease with the Sedona Oak Creek Unified School District to move into the Big Park Community School’s library space. As a VOC/Big Park resident, I couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of having a library with a popular collection and access to the full Yavapai Library Network right in my backyard. I’m sure I’ll be hanging out there quite a bit while tending my garden plot at the Rotary’s community garden, also at the school.
The vision of SPL is to create community through the use of its resources—the physical space, programs, loanable collections, technology, and staff. This is very consistent with the rising social tide in which many organizations (public, private, and non-profit) are creating community. For instance, large retail chains are adding gathering and learning spaces in their stores. Many Starbucks have added workspaces. Many local governments have built pocket parks along sidewalks where locals can gather, and dog parks where dog owners can meet up while their dogs play. Some future-oriented entrepreneurs have gone even further to develop co-housing with shared meals and co-working spaces with social and collaborative sessions.
As a community economist, I am intrigued by this notion and wonder where libraries of the future fit in. I do worry that some of the world’s 350,000 public libraries will not survive unless they adapt to this period of global economic transition substantially driven by social media, faster broadband, big data, and analytics. The emerging world increasingly finds us creating online communities, streaming media to our televisions, and generating individual and group data in many of our daily activities through our smart cars, appliances, phones, etc. The emerging world can put us together with people of similar interests, suggest books and media we might be interested in, and remind us of events we previously noted of interest. Clearly the most adept at maneuvering through this techno environment will be our children and grandchildren.
As an economist, I tend to think in terms of value creation. It’s important for all organizations to create value for their constituents and thereby for society as a whole. The more I talk to people from all walks of life, the more I believe value creation is a fundamental human aspiration. Most people want to give of themselves and in doing so frequently create value. How do we individually create value for our family, close friends, social networks, workplaces, neighborhoods? In other words, what’s our individual contribution to our communities – however we define community?
One thing seems certain—libraries are moving beyond being only transactional loaners of books and movies to becoming relationship-based entities focused on interactive programs and services. In a post-Covid world this merging of transactions with relationships and shared interests is relevant. Denmark libraries serve as a great example of this concept. They incorporate a four-pronged approach into their value creation model: 1) Experience & Inspiration, 2) Discovery & Learning, 3) Creating & Performing, and 4) Engagement & Participation.
I hope you will join me as we work to create the future of SPL and our community. This requires two things: financial support, especially in the VOC/Big Park area where we have made a three-year commitment; and we need your feedback (anonymously if that makes you feel more comfortable). Please be generous to your library. You can start by sharing some thoughts in a 5–10-minute survey. Find it at sedonalibrary.org.
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. To make a tax-deductible donation to the Sedona Public Library in the Village please visit sedonalibrary.org/donate or send your check 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336. Be sure to designate your donation to SPLV!
Sedona Public Library
Column for September 3, 2021
Written by Tom Binnings, Trustee
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.