The role of libraries in communities is changing. We are thinking about that at Sedona Public Library, just like people at other libraries all around the country. The books and other media aren’t going away any time soon, but as information becomes more decentralized and electronic, what libraries do will evolve.
An MIT task force considering the future of libraries notes that libraries have always been about “sharing information with their communities, advancing knowledge, and facilitating connection.” Our programming at the Library is targeted to achieve these goals.
I have just joined the library staff to work on programming and outreach. We will review our current program offerings, conduct a survey to get input from the community, and develop new programs. Some of these programs will be developed by the creative and talented staff at the Library, and other programs will be created in partnership with community members and organizations.
Programming at the Library currently takes many forms. We have library programs that are designed and run by our staff, such as Conversational French, which is a relatively new, bimonthly offering created by Kay Bork and Sophia Zarifis-Russell.
Some of our staff programs are special events, and on March 15, I will facilitate a community deliberation on immigration using the National Issues Forums guide “Coming to America: Who Should We Welcome? What Should We Do?” This program is sponsored jointly by the Library and the League of Women Voters of the Greater Verde Valley. Community deliberations offer an opportunity for members of the community to voice their opinions, and to learn about the reasons others have for competing viewpoints.
We also have library programs that are run through volunteer efforts by members of the Sedona community. For example, Robin Harris, a nationally recognized blogger, facilitates the Sedona Writers Salon.
Many nonprofit groups meet regularly at the Library and welcome visitors to their meetings, such as the Sedona Gem and Mineral Club and the Northern Arizona Audubon Society. Nonprofits also have special events that are open to the public. For example, the Democrats of the Red Rocks will bring Nancy MacLean to the Library on Saturday, March 10. MacLean is a Duke University historian and author of the widely acclaimed “Democracy in Chains.”
We also make our space available for commercial projects, such as the upcoming, “Self-Publishing Your Book: Choosing a Path,” presented by Diane Phelps, on Saturday, March 24, from 1 to 4 p.m., at a cost of $40 to participants.
Sedona Public Library
Column for March 9, 2018
Written by Andrea Christelle, Programming and Outreach Manager
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.