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Library News

By: Virginia Volkman, Library Director
For: Red Rock News
Date: July 17, 2009

Library Director’s Thoughts on Returning to Sedona

I left my position as Director of the Sedona Public Library in August 1985 and arrived in Bucks County, Pennsylvania during the “3-H” season:  hot, hazy and humid.  Every road heading west was a temptation.  I would think:  “If I leave right now how long will it take to drive back to Sedona?”  I longed for the blue sky and cool nights.

It took 24 years, but I’m back.  Who could ever have predicted that I’d land right back in the same job?  I held the position for almost seven years, when the library was located on Jordan Road in Uptown.

My family (husband Nick and two young children, Brett and Sarah) and I lived in the library-owned house on Price Road, just behind the library.  It was a perfect arrangement; I could go home for lunch and while at work I would sometimes catch the home-front action through the window of my office.  Nick’s research as a field biologist took him to Antarctica for months at a time and Sedona’s mild climate was a welcome relief when he returned in February or March. But by the mid-80’s research grants were no longer available, and when he was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School we packed our bags and headed back east.

Leaving Sedona was not easy, and we had every intention of returning to the west after Nick’s graduation.  With children settled in school, though, and many student loans to pay we decided to stay where we were for a little longer.   Northampton Township was a wonderful place to raise our children.  I enjoyed my time as Director of the local library, but was ready for a change.

A phone call from long-time friend Phyllis Lindberg, who is also a long-time Sedona Public Library volunteer, and former employee and Board member, alerted me to the possible opportunity to return to Sedona.  When I was offered the job of Library Director I quickly accepted.

I’ve been back for almost two months and am enjoying some of the same activities I remember from years ago: hiking trails for amazing views, swimming in the Community Pool, watching Flicker Shack movies (now at the library instead of the old movie theater), watching roadrunners wandering through the neighborhood.  The wildlife has become more plentiful.  I’ve been surprised to see a bobcat and javelina in our West Sedona backyard.

I look forward to seeing the Wildflower Display at the library in the spring, one of the highlights each year during my previous stay.  I tagged along to gather flowers as volunteers went to their usual spots to collect the variety of specimens that were then labeled and put on display atop the Easy Book shelving.   I’m eager to see how the display is set up in the new library and I eagerly await seeing the quilts on display – something I’ve only seen in photographs.

Although I was 2500 miles away, I followed the progress of the building project, from the generous donation to buy the land for the library’s new location on White Bear Road, through the many years of fund-raising and finally the completion of the construction in 1994.  Volunteers who contribute their time and the many financial supporters make the library truly unique. The community’s dedication to the library was a strong reason for my desire to return.

I’m grateful to David Keeber, the previous Library Director, and the many people who served on the Board of Trustees for their careful planning and cultivation of a state-of-the-art library.  I work with a dedicated and talented group of paid staff and volunteers who make coming to work a pleasure.

I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.  Helping customers find what they’re looking for is still one of the highlights of being a librarian, and you can find me behind the Reference Desk looking up an answer on the computer or walking the aisles in search of the right book.   While computers with internet access have expanded the role of libraries, we’re still in the information business.  We offer that service on an individual basis for all who walk through the doors of the library.  Stop by and say hello – old friends and new!

Virginia Volkman, author of this week's article,
is Director of the Sedona Public Library.

Library Hours Reduction

Due to a reduction of City of Sedona's funding, Sedona Public Library will be reducing the hours we are open to the public.  The Library is eliminating all Sunday hours and two evening hours on Monday for a total of seven hours.
New hours effective August 1, 2009, are:
Monday               10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday              10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday         10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday             10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday                  10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday              10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday                 Closed      
We regret any inconvenience this may cause our patrons.

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