As published in the Red Rock News
Sedona Public Library is thrilled to announce that we will soon open a branch library in the Village of Oak Creek. Thanks to a new collaboration with the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District, this fall our current service center at Bell Rock Plaza will move to the Big Park School.
On Tuesday, August 10, the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District Governing Board unanimously voted to lease the school library facility in Big Park Community School to Sedona Public Library to use as our satellite branch.
In the Governing Board’s discussion, it was noted by Barbara Trautwein that this was a “perfect use” for this space. Board President Randy Hawley said they he was “glad to work this out, it’s a great collaboration.” We couldn’t agree more.
In fact, Joanna Horton McPherson, Founder and Board Chair of the Sedona Village Foundation and the Sedona Village Learning Center, also located in the Big Park Community School, sees this move as an opportunity for early childhood literacy. “It is essential to have space for kids to have access to intergenerational learning. Our pre-K students will be able to participate in programs, meet authors, and work on their reading skills in new ways and in this open space that brings people together.”
Library services in the Village had a humble beginning nearly 20 years ago when residents placed a cardboard box to return library books in the lobby at Weber’s IGA (now Clark’s Market). From there, Sedona Public Library in the Village, originally called the Village Service Center, opened on West Cortez Drive in December 2005. Dotte Vande Linde was the first Village Library manager, and she is happy to hear this development.
“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 wonderful news,” Dotte said.
When Dotte retired in 2010, Cheryl Yeatts took over as manager of Sedona Public Library in the Village, currently at Bell Rock Plaza. “We look forward to moving this fall,” Cheryl said. “We’ve come a long way, and we are excited about moving to the school library and providing services in our new, larger location."
This is one of several new initiatives at Sedona Public Library according to Judy Poe, Library Director, and she is excited for this important expansion. "We talked to the community about their needs, and we know this move is very important for community building in the Village of Oak Creek. One of the most important jobs for a library is to connect community, and this new branch will do exactly that."
School Board member Barbara Trautwein also mentioned at the August 10 meeting that very recently five different families had mentioned the need for a full library in the Village of Oak Creek. Thanks to Sedona Public Library, that need will be met this fall.
The current lease allows for the Library to expand to a 28-hour a week schedule. The Library will open with a small popular collection and ambitious plans to increase services and programs as quickly as possible.
According to Peter Wolf, a trustee on the Library’s Board and a Village resident, “This is win-win for the larger Sedona area.” Peter is a member of the Village Library Committee, and notes that they have worked hard toward this goal for several months. He continued, “This will mean an addition to our current Village Library budget, but we know the community will come through with support as they have always done.”
In fact, one Village resident has already made her first annual gift of two thousand dollars and promises the same for two more years in support of this project.
Judy Poe is grateful for the show of support. “This has been a vision for many Big Park residents for more than twenty years, and we're proud to deliver. A library is only as great as its community, so we know we'll be able to create a thriving library for all to enjoy!”
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization designated in 1964 to operate a public library in Sedona. We are supported by the City of Sedona, both Yavapai and Coconino Counties, the Friends of the Sedona Library, and hundreds of individuals throughout the region. We are excited to launch this expansion, and we look forward to working with the Big Park community to support this important library initiative.
Sedona Public Library
Column for August 20, 2021
Written by Anne Marie Mackler, Development Director
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.