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Library News


By: Pat Whitfield, Board Member
For: Red Rock News
Date: November 20, 2009


The Library – Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches, we have much for which to be thankful despite the discouraging news that bombards us from the media. We are grateful for so many things – friends, family, health, lovely environment, near-perfect climate, and so much more.

As a community, having a beautiful library facility, well stocked with books, periodicals, newspapers, DVDs, computer access, space for community events, staffed by both employees and volunteers ready to serve, we are more fortunate than many communities of our size. The Sedona Public Library is indeed, OUR library. It is not owned by an government entity, but by the citizens of Sedona.

This Thanksgiving, we have asked some of the Library’s staff and volunteers what it is about SPL for which each of them is thankful.

Sheila Hoffmeyer, President of the SPL Board notes, “Every time I walk into the Library, I’m thankful for the many contributions, large and small, that resulted in our building and sustaining such a welcoming, vital community center. Our library is a place where people from all walks of life gather to read, access information through many media, share their passions or just experience a warm welcome. I’m thankful for the energy and dedication of the staff and volunteers who are determined to provide the best service possible to our patrons. What a difference being a volunteer at the Library has meant to my life in Sedona!”

Virginia Volkman, the newly returned to Sedona library director, states, “I’m very thankful for the donations of time and money that make the library the unique institution that it is. Volunteers currently work over 23,000 hours a year to maintain service both at the Main Library and SPL in the Village. That’s the equivalent of 11 full time staff members. Among the jobs they do are checking books in and out, issuing library cards, sorting and selling book donations, assisting patrons with computers, processing interlibrary loan items, organizing magazines and  newspapers, shelving books, mending books, and putting plastic covers on new books. Donations of money have assured that the Library is able to maintain the building and buy new books and other items to check out. For these generous contributions and continued community support, I am truly grateful.”

Charlene Lipka of the Friends of the Library expresses her gratitude for “the cooperation and talent of staff, for the beautiful facility, the new popular collection, the outstanding dedicated volunteers, and for being associated with the Sedona Public Library and Friends of the Library.”

Pam Comello, head of Youth Services, is especially grateful for “the Friends of the Library and all the ways they help our Department to be able to offer all the programming that we are able to offer the community, then also the fabulous book budget we have.”

Pam’s assistant, Daryl Lusher, is “thankful for the freedom to read all the wonderful resources we have in the Youth Department and the strong community support for the Youth Department programming. Also, for the loyal tween and teen volunteers who are so helpful to us.”

Marcela Saldivia-Berglund, Latino Services Director, has a unique perspective. “When I first came to this country in 1989, I was very excited to experience my first traditional Thanksgiving family gathering. For the first time, I tried at my in-laws’ home all the tasty trimmings of a typical East Texas Thanksgiving dinner. Probably some Americans are not aware that Thanksgiving is a particular celebration pertaining solely to the United States.

As a foreigner, I found out that beyond the history behind it, Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays in America that intimately gathers together beloved family members and close friends. I have learned that it is a very special day to be grateful for all the blessings we’ve been granted in life, both material and spiritual. Reflecting on these Thanksgiving meanings, I have a number of things to be grateful for at the Sedona Public Library.

To begin with, I’m thankful for this position at this gorgeous Public Library in the midst of Sedona’s majestic rock landscape. Sedona Public Library functions as a community center and a neutral ground for getting information. Our patrons can enjoy free cultural events, library displays, and a space to gather for any public concerns of area residents.

I’m particularly thankful because working at Sedona Public Library provides me with the opportunity to serve as a cultural bridge between Hispanics and Anglo-Americans, organize events that gather together people of all ethnic backgrounds, and, at the same time, I can disseminate different aspects of Hispanic culture to our community. Another great aspect of working at the Library is the sense of friendship and camaraderie between staff and volunteers. There is always a spirit of sharing and collaboration in the air that makes me grateful to be a part of the wonderful family that is Sedona Public Library.”

So, there you have it. A spirit of gratitude, of thanks, not only from the individuals expressing their thoughts in this column, but from all those engaged with the Sedona Public Library, to our community, the people of Sedona and the surrounding area who help, are served by, and sustain this unique and precious community resource.

Pat Whitfield
Pat Whitfield, author of this week's article,
is a Member 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.

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