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Library News

By: Sheila Hoffmeyer, President
For: Red Rock News
Date: July 10, 2009

Your Sedona Public Library Reports – Part II

This is Part II of the Sedona Public Library annual report.

New Service Enhancements for Users

In addition to the successes in the area of strategic planning discussed last week, we are pleased with the following service initiatives:

#1  Information Assistant.  At a table just inside the front doors is an information table staffed by a volunteer “greeter” to welcome patrons to the Library, offer quick help and direction.   In addition to providing general information on the current programs, events and displays, the Information Assistant is also able to quickly direct patrons to a specific department or staff to get help.  If a greeter isn’t on duty, useful information on how to use the library, including a map of the library, the monthly events calendar, library brochures, and requirements for library cards is displayed. 

#2  Hard Cover Book Sale.  Check out the new book sale area in the foyer outside the Si Birch Community Room. The collection of new or nearly new books is organized by category – mystery and fiction – in alpha order. These books are a real value for patrons seeking hard cover books to own.

#3  Popular Collection.  Right in front of the check out desk are three bookcases containing in-demand fiction, nonfiction and DVDs.  The Popular Collection is available on a first-come, first-served basis to patrons who come to the Library.  You cannot place holds on this material nor can it be renewed.

#4  Patron Self-Printing.  Patron self-printing means users no longer go to a central desk to have a volunteer or library staff member release their printing. Instead the patron goes directly to a print release station and follows the self-printing instructions to retrieve their printing. This system ensures patron privacy while freeing up staff time for other service priorities.

#5  Special Project Computer.  The Library now has a computer that patrons can reserve for online testing, audio book downloads or Photoshop projects.  It has its own printer for patron convenience.  Reservations for $1 per hour can be made at the Reference Desk. 

This year also saw the development of the Intranet to improve communication between and among staff and volunteers. Slated for completion in September, this site will provide all volunteers with information they need to do a better job at SPL and will give us the advantage of having our volunteer cadre feel even more connected to what is happening at the Library.

Programs at the Library have included partnerships with Sustainable Arizona in the form of the April is Water Wise Month and free concerts brought to the library from Chamber Music Sedona.  Equity Arizona collaborated with First Run Features and SPL to bring the award winning documentary “For the Bible Tells Me So.”  Nearly a hundred people turned out for the first Multicultural Poetry Night: the Many Languages of Love on February 18. 

A weekly event that continues to bring people into the Library is the Monday night “Flicker Shack Reruns” at which we offer a film presentation. 

Throughout the year, the Veterans History Project group has continued its interviews most Wednesday mornings.

Thanks to support from Friends of the Library (FOL), the book discussion series begun in the Village of Oak Creek in cooperation with the Arizona Humanites Council continues.

Challenges During the Year

This year has not been without its challenges.  Due to inadequate resources to pursue the activities and lack of staff resources, initiatives in the Strategic Plan were not completed.  Preparation of the FY 2009-2010 budget was particularly lengthy due to the unanticipated funding cut of more than $43,000 from the City of Sedona.  The Board has become very aware of the need to make it an absolute priority to reestablish our value position with the community.

Like many organizations, the Library budget cannot absorb more than a 10% decrease in City funding without it having an impact.  The Board has closely looked at other options to cover this loss of funding but we have no way to replace those funds.  Therefore, we must reduce our expenses.  With great regret, we are faced with reducing our hours of operation in the new fiscal year.  We have carefully analyzed our traffic data and how the library operates in an effort to make a balanced decision.  There are no easy options and any reduction in service hours will have some impact on the community.  The decision of the Board of Trustees is to close on Sunday and reduce hours on Monday by closing at 6 pm.  The new hours will be in effect August 1.

Expectations for the Coming Year

A smooth conversion to new operating software in the coming fiscal year is critical to the ongoing operation of SPL.  We are fortunate that our Director has experienced several conversion processes and can lead us through the planning and training required.

The coming year offers opportunities to redefine how we approach our Strategic Plan.  Efforts will be made to streamline the entire process. 

We can expect to continue to expand our services to the Hispanic community by offering programs to bridge the gap between Latino and Anglo cultures.

Completion of a long-overdue Technology Plan is not only planned, but essential.  Approval of a plan impacts many areas of the Strategic Plan.

Efforts to raise funds for the SPL in the Village require attention.  Funds are needed for current operations and an expanded fund- raising effort is required for SPL to meet the anticipated demand for services in that community.

The formation of the Space Planning Work Group should occur in the next six months.  There are a number of changes to our service model to be considered and as a result, changes to our patterns of use of the building.  We will also look at ways to make the Adult Reading Courtyard more usable.


Fiscal Year 2008-2009 has been one of unprecedented growth for the Library. Greater levels of organization have been developed and we are proud of the library services we provide Sedona and visitors to our community.

Continued efforts on the part of the Director and staff, the Board of Trustees, the Friends of the Library and the volunteers will move us further along on the path of our development.  There is much opportunity to be even more successful as we work collectively to ensure the best service to our community.

Sheila Hoffmeyer
Sheila Hoffmeyer, author of this week's article,
is President of the Board of Trustees 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.