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Library News

By: David Keeber, Library Director
For: Red Rock News
Date: January 23, 2009

Resources at Sedona Public Library

Every day, when the Sedona Public Library opens its doors there are people waiting to get into the building.  Jokingly, staff refers to this opening crowd as the Internet Bus Passengers because so many of those at the door go directly to the public computers.  But, not everyone does and it always thrills me to see how much in demand the Library is.  Typically, we serve more than 500 people each and every day!

Among the many users of the Library throughout the days are Sedona visitors.  Offering free Internet use provides our community's guests with a ready avenue to communicate with family, print out boarding passes, look up hiking trails, and even check the news of the day.  Without a library card, many simply come in for the Internet without realizing that much of what we offer still is available to them.  They cannot check out books, but there is so much to do here at the Library that the lack of a card is only a small inconvenience.

Whether you are a visitor or a card carrying member of the Library, the Library offers so many services.  Listing them all is nearly impossible in so short a column, but here is a quick overview.

First and foremost, you can get the news of the day by reading our many newspapers and magazines.  With more than 200 subscriptions for adults, teens and children, we offer a lively collection of periodicals that is certain to keep you up to date on news, hobbies, health, social and personal areas of interest.  Having visited many libraries in my travels, Sedona Public Library clearly has a larger collection of titles than many and they all seem to get heavy use.

All of the collection is available to anyone, card-holder or otherwise, for reading in the building.  Our collection development efforts have produced an array of titles that are new, attractive and written to be most useful.  When I say that, I mean that we look for books that are clearly written, have tables of contents and indexes, are well laid out to present the material in an effective and eye catching way, and most importantly, are accurate in their facts.  This work of getting the best books is time consuming and requires much work and we are proud of what we can offer our users.

In addition to written books, we offer many titles in audiovisual format.  Whether it is a book on tape, a book on CD, portable book players, downloadable books, or a VHS tape or DVD, you can pick up a title and listen or watch it on the equipment we offer here in the building.  Sometimes, the best way to "read" a book is with an audiovisual version as the actor/reader of the story can add so much depth. 

Do you have a quick question for which you need an answer?  Our staff at the Reference Desk and our Reference collection can get you to your answer quickly and accurately.  Whether it is a health matter, access to technical information, a quick fact check or simple curiosity to know more on a topic of personal interest, we can use our text materials or online resources to make sure you leave here with your question answered.

Online tools are also available in the form of our databases.  For this, you do need a library card, but if you don't have a card staff can assist with looking up the information you need.  Our collection of databases range from newspapers and magazines online to auto repair data, from tools to help you to find your next favorite book to read to ways you can order that title from anywhere in the country.  One of our databases will assist you with marketing and building your business.  We even offer a wonderful tool for nonprofit organizations and individuals to look up grants. 

It would be a serious oversight for me to not mention our many, many programs here at the Library.  We are now offering nearly 600 events every year, for both children and adults that feature fascinating programs such a chamber music, story times and sign language classes, presentations by community members, forums, classes and much more.  You can find all this listed on our Events Calendar on the Library's website:

As a parent, you have a myriad of ways to encourage your young child to become a reader through our many resources for early learners.  These include online resources, classes, wonderful books and audiovisual materials, a new service called Brain Boxes and even a parenting section.  Our Youth Services department is chock full of great things for you and your child.

Apart from all of the traditional materials in the Library, remember that Sedona Public Library offers a beautiful place to sit, relax, feast your eyes on our many displays and simply meet and greet fellow community members in one of the only neutral cultural spaces in Sedona.  The Library is as much a community center as it is a place for information and entertainment.

So, whether you are a visitor or a home towner, your Library is full of great things to keep you busy, informed, entertained, and growing mentally for many years.  Come visit today!

David Keeber
David Keeber, author of this week's article,
is Director of the Sedona Public Library.

Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News
and is also presented on: Gateway to Sedona and Sedona Biz.