As published in the Red Rock News
Here it is…the last Library News of 2021. What an interesting year it has been! While it’s common to reflect on all that we have accomplished—what books we’ve read, what events we’ve attended, what improvements we’ve made—instead I’d like to make note of the many, many people it takes to make our library the amazing place—the amazing community—that it is.
There would, of course, be no successful library without the staff. At Sedona Public Library and Sedona Public Library in the Village, we are fortunate to have an amazing group of people to make our libraries the welcoming and wonderful places they are. They are here to answer your questions, recommend a movie or book, help you with your technology issues, introduce you to a new idea, have a conversation, or develop a program to educate or entertain you. They keep the new books arriving, the newspapers in order, and the interesting displays stocked. They keep the budget balanced, the technology working, and the events happening. They are the “doers”, and they personify SPL’s values of Excellent Service, Community, Curiosity, Intellectual Freedom, and Accountability.
And then there are our Volunteers. What would we do without them? They keep our shelves in order so you (and we!) can find what you’re looking for. Each morning they search the shelves for the holds that have been placed, print the slips, and re-shelve them for you to pick up. They check in your returns, put them on carts, and reshelve everything back into order. They help you with checkouts, always have a kind word, and love to talk about their favorite authors and series! They give their time because they value our community, and we absolutely value them.
Our Library Board (volunteers one and all) oversees policy decisions, represents your interests, and makes plans for the Library’s future. They donate their time and money because they love the library and believe in our mission, to “create community by fostering lifelong learning and building connections,” and “open a door to the world through empowering information, inspiring ideas, and engaging experiences.” They put up with me!
But these are not all it takes to keep our library open. Where would we be without the Friends of the Sedona Library, another all-volunteer organization that operates the best bookstore in Sedona and supports us with generous yearly funding? Volunteers at the Friends Bookstore accept and sort donations, organize, display, and sell an incredible selection of books, audiobooks, DVDs, and music CDs. They support us with their friendship and their funds, and we love partnering with them on programs and events. We wouldn’t survive without them!
Who else does it take to make our library the amazing place it is? It takes you. Some libraries call you their “patrons,” or “customers,” or “users,” but in my mind, you are our “community.” You are the people we see—sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, sometimes every three weeks when your books or library materials are due. We see you when you attend a meeting for your HOA or another community group at the Library. We see you at Library programs. And we see you at the grocery store, at community events, or on the trails. Even if you don’t currently use the library, we see you when we’re out and about. But we want to see you at the Library, and we hope that we see you soon. We hope to design programs and events that bring you in to meet us, meet your neighbors, and make connections that grow your circle of friends and widen the community you know. Because that’s what I believe libraries are about. They’re about building connections.
The Library is a place where we connect people to information, neighbors to neighbors, and turn ideas into reality. I’m sure you’ve heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child. I believe it takes a community to build a library, and a library to build a community. The librarians, staff, volunteers, library board, and Friends of the Library, are all here, both in the Library and out, looking forward to meeting you. Together we can be inspired to learn, engage, dream, create, be entertained, and work toward solutions to some of the problems that come with living in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
So now, at the end of 2021, let’s look forward to a brand-new year of possibilities. Let’s look forward to a 2022 of gathering with old friends, meeting new friends, and joining others in our community for fun, problem-solving, and friendship. Let’s look forward to meeting at the Library!
Sedona Public Library
Column for 12/31/21
Written by Judy Poe, Library Director, Sedona Public Library
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.