As published in the Red Rock News
One of the best things about working at Sedona Public Library is learning people’s library stories. Everyone has one and most rave about getting their first library card; remembering a favorite librarian who helped them hone their love for reading books; favorite books they check out again and again; or moving to a new town and hurrying to find the library. Kay Bork, a reference librarian at Sedona Public Library, is not only an avid reader, but has dedicated her careers to books, language, and service.
“I’ve had two wonderful careers,” Kay explains. “And both have involved intellectual stimulation and helping people.” Kay’s first job was when she was very young, and she was an “Instacart Lady.” She delivered groceries to neighbors and fondly remembers her nickel tips. From there she went on to be a typist at the University of Illinois, and then majored in French and political science at DePauw University with the dream of becoming a Foreign Service Officer.
That plan leaned in a new direction when she was on the Queen Mary en route to Switzerland to study at the University of Geneva and met Ken Bork. She married Ken and taught high school French for 21 years in Granville, Ohio. And then her career took another shift.
She received her Master of Library Science and worked for another 15 years as both a branch manager and then a reference librarian. In 2010, when she and Ken visited Sedona knowing it would be their retirement home, what did Kay do? She began volunteering at the Library and continued volunteering after they relocated here. In 2016 we were glad to bring her on board as a part-time librarian.
Of course, with someone like Kay, the story doesn’t end here. As a librarian, Kay has taught our French conversation and grammar course, and she holds our monthly book discussion group which alternates between fiction, classic fiction, and non-fiction books. Kay is an avid reader and as patrons always want to know what our librarians read, Kay shared that two of her current favorite fiction authors are Maggie O’Ferrell and Barbara Kingsolver. Two non-fiction favorites are Michael Pollan and Isabel Wilkerson.
In fact, Kay and Ken just held a workshop for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes (OLLI): Kay & Ken Consider Non-fiction. They took turns discussing their favorite non-fiction books. “Everyone participated and enjoyed talking about what books they love and why,” Kay explained.
Kay has dedicated her life to service and intellectual stimulation, and if she’s not too busy at our reference or circulation desk, ask her about a book or an author. Chances are she has already read the book, knows the author, or will help you find what you’re looking for in a jiffy. Ask Kay about her reading journal—imagine tracking a life of reading!
We always ask our featured staff members a few other fun questions, and here are Kay’s responses.
Where were you born? “I was born in Champaign, Illinois, and lived there until I went to college.”
What book influenced you the most? “Candide by Voltaire. During the time that I was a French teacher, I read it each year with my seniors, and I never failed to find both wit and wisdom in it, which are still applicable today.”
Are you team dog or team cat? “Neither. My husband is a paleontologist, and we have two cute metal T-Rex silhouettes on our patio. So, I guess you could say that I am Team Dinosaur.”
Have you ever seen a ghost or a UFO? “No, but the day that I do I’ll feel like a real Sedonan.”
We believe Kay is a real Sedonan, and certainly a gem of a librarian. We’re so grateful that her life of reading brought her to Sedona Public Library. Kay and Ken have been generous supporters of the Library for many years, and we couldn’t be more glad to have them in our library family. Thank you!
It's that time of year! You can make twice the difference to your Library when you make an end-of-year gift. Your gifts will be matched, dollar-for dollar, up to $40,000 because of generous library donors like you. Please consider supporting Sedona Public Library when you make your end of year gifts. Visit sedonalibrary.org/donate, or stop by and ask for me, I’m always happy to talk about donating to Sedona Public Library. You can email me at email@example.com. Happy Holidays!
Sedona Public Library
Library News Column for December 16, 2022
Written by Anne Marie Mackler, Development Director
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.