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 generous community of Sedona. It was thousands of people, and millions of dollars, that made possible this monumental gift at the end of White Bear Road, and many of these gifts 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, installed in 1994, and we couldn’t think of a better home for her.
Before you enter the building, look at the view to the east. This 4.3 acre plot, replete with views and vegetation, was purchased in 1986 with a $326,400 donation from Ethel Low. The plaque at the entryway honors Ethel, and marks the beginning of an exciting philanthropic journey. Let’s keep walking.
Take a quick look to your left. Nearly 250 gold, silver, and bronze plaques sit behind large copper frames. They display the names of supporters who believed so strongly in this library they paid up to $5,000 to have their names at the building’s entrance. We think of them as the welcoming committee.
When you enter the building, you can’t help but to look up, look out, and be dazzled by 36 solid rock pillars, a few that appear to reach to the sky. Each of these stone towers bears the name(s) of their donors who, literally, support the building to this day with their 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 that are a result of this community’s belief in the importance of a library, but let’s consider a few places that were so important to supporters 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. No matter where you sit, read, study, work, or research, when you’re here at Sedona Public Library, you witness the investments of thousands of people.
One of the largest individual gifts, $100,000, named the Si Birch Community Room. Chances are, there isn’t a reader among you who has not sat in the community room to meet an author, listen to music, attend a meeting, or watch your children play and create.
Speaking of children, the Grandchildren’s Tree is a lovely and shining exhibit of donor support. Some 350 leaves hang from the tree, indicating donors who honor or remember their grandkids in gold, silver, or bronze.
Right next to the dazzling tree, 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.
Finally, let’s go to the Silent Waterfall near the circulation desk. This delightful stained glass wall creates prisms and rainbows in every direction throughout the day. Each of these 32 panes 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.
And who are the artists? The donors? The investors? They might be your neighbor, friend, uncle, or great grandma. 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, and a beautiful one, of this amazing 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 learn your library story.
Thanks, Sedona, for giving this town a library. It’s a good one!
By the way, come by and check out the Grandchildren’s Tree. Only five more leaves to go, and we’ll be ready to start the next branch!
Sedona Public Library is a nonprofit organization. Please consider making a gift at sedonalibrary.org/donate.
Sedona Public Library
Column for December 27, 2019
Written by Anne Marie Mackler, Development Director
Recent chilly mornings indicate that winter is just around the corner, which means it’s time for a new reading experience at the Library’s StoryWalk in Sunset Park. While walking along the half-mile, paved, accessible path, you’ll enjoy a story that’s spread across 18 panels.
A different children’s picture book goes up each season and the title that will delight young and old alike for the next couple of months is “Bear Can’t Sleep,” by Karma Wilson.
Start your walk at the Sunset Drive entrance to the park, just down the stairs that take you from the parking lot into the park. You’ll end up at the Shelby Drive entrance.
Accompanying the pages of the book are tips and “try it” suggestions in both English and Spanish. What a fun way StoryWalk is to develop reading skills and enjoy the outdoors! (StoryWalk is trademarked by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont and developed with the support of Kellogg-Hubbard Library. )
Bear, the cuddly, lovable main character of the Bear books, is most well known for being a good and faithful friend. His favorite foods are berries, fish, and popcorn. His friends say he is an excellent storyteller. When he isn’t sleeping, Bear enjoys playing with his woodland pals. He is also an excellent swimmer, and loves taking a dip on a hot, summer day. Bear lives in the deep, dark woods and he makes his home in a cozy lair.
The Bear books collection includes ten other titles that are perfect read-alouds for beginning readers. What a great gift one of them (or all of them!) would make for a preschooler. Topics of other titles include counting, colors, and loose teeth, and there’s even a holiday book—Bear Stays Up for Christmas.
You can also give the gift that keeps on giving—a Sedona Public Library card! And of course the best gift you can give to children is to read to them.
For a real treat, visit the webpage of the Bear books' author, Karma Wilson. She shares her story and more. She grew up an only child of a single mother in the wilds of North Idaho. Way back then (just past the Stone Age, she says, and somewhat before the era of computers) there was no cable TV, and if there would have been, Karma could not have gotten it. TV reception was limited to three channels, of which one came in with some clarity. Karma did the only sensible thing a lonely little girl could do: she read or played outdoors.
Playing outdoors was fun, but reading was Karma’s “first love,” and, by the age of 11, she was devouring about a novel a day. She was even known to try to read while riding her bike down dirt roads, which she does not recommend, as it is hazardous to the general well-being of the bike, the rider, and, more importantly, the book. Her reading preference was fantasy (C.S. Lewis, Terry Brooks, etc…) and historical fiction (L.M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, etc…). Those preferences have not changed much.
This season give yourself a gift. Take the opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors and also read some books—but probably not while you’re riding your bike!
Best wishes from all of us at Sedona Public Library for a wonderful holiday season. Please remember the Library and all of its free programs, services, and resources when you consider your year-end giving. We’ve made it easy at sedonalibrary.org/donate.
Sedona Public Library
Column for December 20, 2019
Written by: Virginia Volkman, Director
TV critics debate when the current Golden Age of Television began, but they all agree that today’s viewer can enjoy an unprecedented number of high-quality shows. There are so many programs available to watch that the choice can be overwhelming. If you need help selecting a series, consider watching an Emmy winner or nominee. Many of this year’s winners and nominees are available on DVD at the Library.
For example, check out best miniseries winner Chernobyl, an HBO program that dramatizes the 1986 nuclear accident. Find out why Bill Hader, the star of Barry, won best actor in a comedy series, and view the winning performance of actress Jodie Comer in two seasons of Killing Eve. Game of Thrones won best drama, and there are seven seasons to watch, with the final season recently released on DVD. Other nominated or winning series not to be missed are The Handmaid’s Tale, This Is Us, Better Call Saul, The Good Place, Veep, and True Detective.
If you followed this year’s Emmys, you likely noticed how many winners were produced by streaming platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu. For instance, the Amazon shows Fleabag and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel were big winners. While some streaming series are released on DVD, others are not.
If you don’t subscribe to a streaming service, don’t feel left out, because as a Sedona Library patron, you have access to on-demand video for free through Kanopy, the Library’s streaming platform. With a selection of over 30,000 videos, the Kanopy collection includes new releases, independent and international cinema, classic movies, documentaries, educational films, and more.
Library cardholders can access Kanopy on their home computers or with the Kanopy app on mobile devices. To get started using Kanopy, visit sedonalibrary.kanopy.com or kanopy.com , enter your name and email, and create a password. Kanopy will then send you an email—just open it, follow the directions, and start watching.
You can stream up to four movies per month on Kanopy. A counter at the top right of your screen lets you know how many movies remain in the month.
Give Kanopy a try—it's easy and free, and you'll be amazed at the terrific selection of thought-provoking and entertaining films!
And don’t forget that Sedona Library offers a huge collection of all types of DVDs to browse at the Library or online, including classics, movies filmed in Sedona, instructional videos, foreign-language films, and much more. You can now check out 10 DVDs at a time and keep them for 2 weeks—more time to watch your favorite shows.
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are grateful for the support of the Friends of the Sedona Library, the City of Sedona, Yavapai and Coconino Counties, businesses and foundations, and individuals like you. Your tax-deductible donation may be sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336, or can be made online at www.sedonalibrary.org/donate.
Sedona Public Library
Column for December 13, 2019
Written by Elizabeth Cate, Collection Development Librarian
This is an author reading you won’t want to miss! Pam Houston is not only a fabulous writer, but she is a delightful and fun speaker. We are thrilled to be bringing her to Sedona as part of the "Our Earth, Our Habitat, Our Home" author series.
Pam will visit Sedona Public Library on December 10 at 6:30 p.m. for a book talk, slide presentation, and book signing. Currently on a national book tour for her latest book, Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country, Pam is well-known for her story collections, which include Cowboys Are My Weakness, Waltzing the Cat, and A Little More About Me, in addition to her novels Sight Hound and Contents May Have Shifted. Houston has received critical acclaim for her 2019 book, and the Library is honored to bring her to the Verde Valley.
In Deep Creek, Houston describes her life on her ranch in Colorado—how she was, and continues to be, shaped by the land, people, and animals there. Born in Pennsylvania to an actress mother and abusive father, Pam made her way west after college, making her living guiding white-tailed deer and Dall sheep hunts, running rivers and Class 5 rapids, and ski bumming. Deep Creek details her childhood, her adventures, and how, through luck and bravado, she acquired a 120-acre ranch near the headwaters of the Rio Grande with the proceeds of her first book. Deep Creek describes everyday life at the ranch, and how Houston carved out a life to support her spirit and her talents, and discovered that she could be the cowboy of her own story.
“I know,” she said in a press release, “that when I claimed these 120 acres they also claimed me. We are each other’s mutual saviors.”
The LA Times writes of her memoir: “Good writing can make you envious, no matter how foreign the terrain. Other times, you read a good memoir and find yourself wanting to track down the author and become friends. A third kind of book is so insightful and evocative, you shelve it beside other favorite and instructive titles. Deep Creek might just do all three.”
Pam’s stories have been selected for volumes of The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Travel Writing, and her story The Best Girlfriend You Never Had was John Updike’s addition to Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is a regular contributor to O, the Oprah Magazine; Outside; The New York Times; Bark; More; and many other periodicals.
She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA Award for contemporary fiction, the Evil Companions Literary Award, and several teaching awards. Pam teaches in the Low Rez MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is Professor of English at UC Davis, and is co-founder and creative director of the literary nonprofit Writing By Writers.
Deep Creek fits perfectly with the Library’s current literary series, “Our Earth, Our Habitat, Our Home,” which celebrates and investigates the stewardship of our environment and preservation of the beautiful landscape we call home. Houston’s latest book raises concern about the many ways we endanger the natural world’s delicate balance. It is also a striking chronicle of recovery from a childhood marked by her parents’ alcoholism and abuse.
Sedona Public Library is also proud to partner with The Literate Lizard bookstore, which will offer books for sale during the event. Please don’t miss this chance! Join us on Tuesday, December 10, at 6:30 p.m. in the Si Birch Community Room at Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road. Each event in this series is free and open to all ages. For more information call 928-282-7714 or visit sedonalibrary.org.
This project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Sedona Public Library
Column for December 6, 2019
Written by Judy Poe, Assistant Library Director
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.