As published in the Sedona Red Rock News
On a perfect early November morning, with lovely golden sunshine filtering through the yellow and orange leaves on the treed school yard, nearly 200 people joined us in front of Big Park Community School to celebrate the new Sedona Public Library in the Village.
Dotte Vande Linde, the original Village Librarian, cut the ribbon at this Grand Opening ceremony for the new expanded library space on West Saddlehorn Road in the Big Park Community School on Thursday, November 4. From a mere box in Weber’s Grocery Store where the library collected return books 20 years ago, to a full-fledged library branch in the old school library, Dotte heralded the Library coming full circle.
“I never thought all those years ago when we were picking up the book returns at Weber’s that someday we could establish a branch in the Village of Oak Creek. What a wonderful day,” Dotte said.
Dotte’s eyes were both gleeful and grateful as she walked through the beautiful space for the first time. With autumn light streaming in through the three-story high windows, she looked around and exclaimed, “It’s just so pretty.”
All felt right in the new Library when several visitors from Sedona Winds watched as lots of children from the Sedona Village Learning Center paraded in with new children’s books for the Library’s collection. The kids lounged about with the stuffies and pillows in the Children’s Area, and they enjoyed cookies and treats as much as the elders did.
The new Library has not only quadrupled its space from the previous service center at Bell Rock Plaza where it’s been for five years, but it has added multiple new programs and services.
In addition to eight more hours of service each week, the space provides three small meeting rooms; two furnished outdoor patios; Friends of the Sedona Library book sale; Tech Tuesdays; Story Time; art displays; a substantial and evolving adult and children’s collection; and 4000 square feet of space to hang out, meet with friends, read, study, and more.
The traditional services will continue including holds pick up; public computers; a tech station with charging tables, fax, and printer; and WiFi throughout the Library will be available by Thanksgiving.
Judy Poe, Library Director, beamed with pride as she talked to dozens of patrons and supporters on Thursday. “This is the first of many new initiatives for Sedona Public Library, and it is a perfect example of what’s in store,” Judy told everyone.
You can read all about The Next Chapter, the Library’s blueprint for improvement, on our website. In the special edition of our bi-annual magazine Check It Out, we review what we learned in our recent Community Needs Assessment, and what we’re planning to do to help make Sedona an even better community. This new branch Library is, according to Judy, “Just the beginning.”
The relocation, and the event, could not have happened without the generous support from numerous donors, volunteers, Friends, staff, and our Board of Trustees.
Thank you to our speakers: Dan Gallagher, President of the Library’s Board of Trustees; Camille Cox, President of the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council; David Keeber, Gardener Extraordinaire and President of the Friends of the Sedona Library; and Corey Christians, Yavapai County Librarian.
Special thanks go out to several local businesses for providing food, beverage, and more for the Grand Opening: Element Sedona, Firecreek Coffee Company, Oak Creek Espresso, Village Ace Hardware, Sedona Golf Resort, Miley’s Café, Red Rock Café, Holiday Inn Express Sedona, Snap Fitness, PJ’s Village Pub, Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock, Sedona Village Partnership, and the Rotary Club of Sedona Village.
And, of course, there was art! Thanks to Bev Copen for the beautiful, donated artwork from her personal collection. All the pieces hanging in the Library are for sale to benefit local charities. Beautiful music for the event was provided by Bill Barns. Thanks, Bill!
Thanks for furnishings for the new space go out to Lynn Sullivan and Marge and James Pape, as well as the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley. Very special thanks to Don and Jan Groves. A big nod to everyone with a truck or car or muscles that helped make the move happen by loading up furniture, boxes, and books and transporting the library goods from one place to the next.
By the end of our first day of business more than 300 people had come by to celebrate, visit, see the space, get a library card, or pick up a book and browse the collection. Please come by 25 W. Saddlehorn Road, and enjoy the new library digs and collection! Library hours in the Village are Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
We have installed a secure book drop in front of the Library where you can drop off your returns. So much better than a cardboard box!
Sedona Public Library is a 501c3 non-profit organization, and we always appreciate your generous support. Your gifts can be designated for the new Sedona Public Library in the Village. Visit sedonalibrary.org/donate. Thanks!
Sedona Public Library
Column for November 12, 2021
Written by Anne Marie Mackler, Development Director
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.