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Library News

By: David Keeber, Library Director
For: Red Rock News
Date: March 13, 2009

Volunteers at Sedona Public Library

Through fifteen years at Sedona Public Library, many, many volunteers have given their time and talents to ensure that this place provides the very best services to our users.  In fact, the Library has been blessed with so many volunteers, that they work almost 20,000 hours per year, nearly half of our total labor needed to operate the Library.  Often, when I speak with other librarians about our volunteers, they are amazed to learn how extensive our use is of these selfless, talented folks.  Over time, we have become rather like a family, working together, and of course, facing so many of life’s challenges together.  

Last week, the Library lost one of its longest serving volunteers.  Betty Pepper worked with us for twenty years and in that time, applied her skills to numerous areas of Library operations.  She served on the Board of Trustees and was able to bring the perspective of the volunteers and staff to the Board in an unbiased and valuable way that served to bolster any points made by the Director

For the past decade, she worked in the back room examining donation items to determine whether they should be added to the collection, should be used to replace a worn copy, or go to the book sale.  She knew the collection better than almost anyone.  If you donated a book to the Library, invariably Betty handled it and made a determination about it.  She worked with a small group of others in that “department” to handle the nearly two pickup trucks full of books we have averaged each week.

Betty also was a personal friend and counsel to me.  Whenever I had a problem, or was stumped by something, she could always be counted on to offer a clear-eyed perspective whose primary goal was to improve the Library.  That friendship and counsel will be sorely missed.  We have been truly blessed to have the support and efforts of Betty and hundreds of others like her through the entire history of the Sedona Public Library.

If you would like to work at the Library with others who share a passion for this institution, please contact us at 282-7714.  We have immediate needs for people.  If you have computer skills to assist are our Internet station, or want to work in the Children’s room, or if you would enjoy helping at the front desk to check book in and out or to shelve the items (a great way to find out about books beyond your usual area of reading interest), we need you.  If you would like to work in the area of checking our donation books, or if you would like to work among those who are on the selling side of the book sale, we need you.  Or if you are former librarian or researcher, we could use your assistance at the Reference desk.  There are lots of areas in which your time and talents can help the Library, so come on down and apply today.

Another way to assist the Library is to serve on the Board of Trustees.  Right now, the Board is seeking interested people who can help at the administrative level.  Serving as a volunteer offers rewarding work because the Library provides much needed services to our community.  With about ¼ million people walking through our doors this year (yes, that’s 250,000 people in and out of our doors!), we certainly need the help.

Our volunteer coordinator, Karen Greenwood, has an application you can fill out for a regular volunteer position, and there are separate applications available for the Board of Trustees positions.  Please come to the Library and offer your hands and skills so we can continue to provide the very best services to our community.  Thank you.

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.