This year Sedona Public Library is celebrating 60 years of serving the community. To commemorate this accomplishment, we’ll be burying a 60th Anniversary Time Capsule on Saturday, October 20, at 11:30 a.m. at the Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona. It will be unearthed on our 100th anniversary, in the year 2058.
The Library’s history is woven into the fabric of Sedona going back over six decades. In 1958 a volunteer group established Sedona’s first library in a donated space with three shelves of donated books and magazines. By 1966, the Library was incorporated as a nonprofit with holdings of 6,230 books. Today the collection includes 61,000 books, and with membership in the Yavapai Library Network, we give patrons access to 1.3 million items, including audio books, movies and e-books.
The Library moved into its first building on Jordan Road in 1969. The land was donated by locals Helen Ecker and Eugenia Wright, who wanted to see the land used to benefit the greatest number of people. They chose the Library, and the building constructed on that land was funded entirely by community donations.
By 1985 the 5,000-square-foot building on Jordan Road was too cramped to meet Sedona’s growing needs, and the library board investigated ways to expand the facility. Sedona resident Ethel M. Low came to the rescue in January 1986 with a donation of $326,000 to buy land for a new and larger library. The Design Group designed the new building on White Bear Road, which was funded entirely by generous individuals in the community and gifts of materials and labor from the local construction industry.
On May 14, 1994, a parade of 500 Sedona citizens formed “Books Across Sedona” to symbolize the move to the new library building in West Sedona. The book-carrying chain moved 5,000 books from the Uptown location. The move was completed during the next three weeks, and the new building opened its doors to the public on June 6.
Today we are celebrating our history and our place in the community. The results of our 60th anniversary “60-themed” writing contest have been announced and we’re so delighted with the winning entries in each age category that they will all go into the Time Capsule.
A library is one of the most common and relied upon places for collecting stories, and as part of our 60th anniversary celebration, we decided to collect a few of our own. Many volunteers, patrons, staff, and visitors have shared their thoughts, memories, and well wishes. There’s still time for you to include your story! These messages will also go into the Time Capsule.
In the last couple of weeks children have been recording their special thoughts on what they currently do at the Library and what they might be doing in the year 2058. These are some of their comments:
Sedona Public Library is important to me because…
In 40 years, when Sedona Public Library is 100 years old, I will be…
Please come by the Library during the next week as we decorate the outside and put memorabilia inside the Time Capsule. And join us on Saturday, October 20 at 11:30, after Saturday Story Time (which starts at 11:00). We’ll have a short parade to the spot where the capsule will be hidden for the next 40 years. Everyone is welcome to see the Covering of the Capsule!
Sedona Public Library
Column for October 12, 2018
Written by Virginia Volkman, Library Director
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.