As published in the Red Rock News
If the past year of the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is how much we need social interaction. Community is no longer taken for granted after a year in which we were so isolated. It has been deeply challenging, but things appear to be moving in the direction of a return to whatever the new normal will look like.
Through the years, Sedona Public Library has been a key institution in encouraging and maintaining Sedona’s sense of community. From its remarkable story of being constructed entirely of donated funds, to its nearly unique and successful public/private partnership with the City of Sedona for funding, from services to readers of all ages, to the LatinX community finding services and support, and meeting space made available for anyone who wishes to present, Sedona Public Library has been a cornerstone for the creation of community in our town.
Visitors who stop into the Library comment regularly not only about the beauty of the building, but how staff is so helpful and how the space is so busy and vital. Through the years, it was not unusual for donations to be given by visitors who recognized what a jewel the Library is in the crown of Sedona. And many people who relocate to our town mention that the Library is one of the reasons they chose Sedona over other towns.
Now, as the country moves slowly towards opening and returning to greater interactions with one another, the Sedona Public Library is poised to again serve as one of the town’s most important community centers. Through finding a good book to read, assistance with finding important information, teaching users to be self-sufficient information gatherers, and again serving as a community meeting place for groups large and small, the Library will help Sedonans reconnect and revitalize their sense of community.
A soon-to-be-built outdoor gathering place between the Library building and the Friends Of The Sedona Library bookstore, will offer the opportunity to come together again in safe and exciting ways. And programming that has been put on hold due to the pandemic is beginning to ramp up again. Programs for children and adults will again become the norm.
Starting April 5th, the Library returned to normal open hours and access to the many services will be available to all users. Now is the time, as we come out of our homes and isolation, to return to the Library to enjoy those services and reconnect with friends too long missed. Make the Library a part of your return to normalcy.
Through the years, the Friends Of The Sedona Library have been key supporters of the Library’s efforts to provide the broad range of vital and exciting services for which it has been known. All through the nearly 63 years of the Library’s existence, the Friends have been providing funding for programming, book purchases, and even improvements to the building in the form of furniture and more. It has been a strong partnership as both organizational arms recognize how a community is benefited by expanded Library services.
While you are at it, do stop by the Friends Of The Sedona Library’s bookstore next door to the main Library. After having read everything in your house, you can clear your shelves and then restock them with great titles at remarkably low prices. Every month, there are books of different subjects on sale at even deeper discounts. April will feature Art, Sports, Science, and Travel at half price and May will feature Animals, Anthology/True Crime, Biography, and Business also at half price. We are working on plans for a major sale in June to celebrate our anniversary.
While you are at it, enjoy the lovely improvements to the bookstore landscaping and grounds. Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks has dedicated time and materials for this beautification. They have been working on the gardens, making the walkways safer, and generally spiffing up the place. We are extremely grateful for all they have done.
A sense of belonging is important to us all, as we have learned. Being part of something bigger than our own world is how we remain healthy and happy. Volunteering for organizations we value is hugely important to maintaining our own sense of connection. Sedona Public Library has been one of our city’s longest operating organizations and has created that sense of community consistently.
The ending of the pandemic offers the opportunity to return to the Library and reenergize your own sense of connection. Whether it is simply visiting the Library, or offering your services as a volunteer to either the Library or the Friends, come take concrete steps to cast off the past year and reconnect with others. Director Judy Poe, the staff, and the boards of the Library and the Friends are working hard to prepare for your return! Come see!
Sedona Public Library and the Friends Of The Sedona Library, Inc. are 501c3 nonprofit organizations. You can learn more about supporting these partner organizations by visiting sedonalibrary.org or calling 928-282-7714. Thanks!
Sedona Public Library
Column for April 16, 2021
Written by David Keeber, President, Friends Of The Sedona Library
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.