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Library News

By: Virginia Volkman
For: Red Rock News
Date: June 29, 2012

Successful Year for Sedona Public Library

Sedona Public Library’s 2012 fiscal year ended May 31.  During this time we experienced another year of growth and change.  The library remains relevant by providing new and innovative services and programs. 

We’re proud of the following accomplishments during the year:

  • We introduced new programs for children.  During the summer, Paws to Read brought registered therapy dogs to the library and the program continued throughout the year.  Tuesday story times, regular visits from Sedona Charter School classes, and programs for homeschoolers were added. 
  • We partnered with Rotary Club of Sedona to bring Imagination Library to the community.  The Club’s program was launched at the main library and at our location in the Village, and provides free books to preschoolers.
  • Adult Services Department offered a new service called E-books Explained to guide patrons through the steps to download free e-books and audio books.  This informal drop-in session expanded into weekly e-reader classes during January, February, and March.  We continued to offer basic computer classes and beginning internet classes.
  • In August we installed two additional public access computers at Sedona Public Library in the Village (SPL-V), bringing our total Internet computers there to five.  The result was the elimination of a waiting period for computer users. 
  • We expanded hours of service at SPL-V to stay open on the evenings that Cinema under the Stars is offered and during the Rotating Artist’s Reception.
  • Our LSTA grant application for SPL-V, titled “Connect and Learn @ Your Library,” was approved by the State Library for $8,360.  Laptop computers, a projector, and e-readers will be purchased with the funds.  This equipment will allow us to more easily offer e-reader classes at this location. 
  • Our inaugural e-newsletter was sent out in March to all patrons who had e-mail listings in their records.  The e-newsletter is now sent each month to approximately 7,000 library users.           
  • Sedona i-Talks were presented to a standing-room-only audience .The “i” stands for idea.  The program is a way for people to share their knowledge and passion with an audience eager to learn and discuss new ideas.  This was a cooperative project between the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and the Library.   We hope to continue this venture next year.
  • We established our own YouTube channel.  Featured videos include instructional videos on using library services (like how to borrow e-books from the library using your Kindle).  Original programming began with Sedona i-Talks.
  • We received two Virtual Workforce Workstations through the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.  These computers and printers are part of the AZ Job Center, a program to provide help to job-seekers.  The computers will be installed in FY 2013.
  • Improvements to the building and grounds were made. The driveway and parking lots were resealed.  Electrical improvements were made in order to connect new UPS equipment for added power backup in the server room.
  • Donor tiles that had deteriorated were removed from a wall in the courtyard.  A mural was designed and installed on that wall by library trustee Gary Rubin and four Red Rock High School students.  A new plaque will be created to replace the donor tiles.
  • We started to place RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags on our materials.  Implementing RFID is our first step in bringing quick and easy self-checkout to the Library. (We will also continue to offer assisted checkout, staffed by our friendly and helpful library volunteers.)
  • A Technology Plan was adopted, making recommendations for replacing and enhancing both hardware and software.

Our primary service continues to be that of a traditional library – we check out books, movies and audio books.  In fiscal year 2012 we checked out 230,759 items, up 5% from last year.  The library is not just a place to pick up and check out materials.  People still flock to the library to read the daily newspaper, the latest issue of a magazine, use financial or other reference material, attend a program, or use a computer.   

This year 26% of our computer users were visitors who used our computers for checking e-mail, printing out boarding passes or searching the Internet.   Our children’s computers were used by school children for Internet searches and by preschoolers for the educational games we offer in English and Spanish.

870 programs were offered by the library (up 26% from last year), and attendance at them was 13,580 (up 23% from last year).  The library’s meeting rooms were also used by 30 other non-profit groups on a regular basis, by various commercial groups, and by the City of Sedona.  Display space was also offered to local organizations.

Statistics for SPL in the Village show an increase in all areas.  Our new location in Tequa Marketplace, with almost double the amount of space and more computers, has attracted new people and allowed us to offer additional services.  There has been a 19% increase in traffic, up from 20,508 to 24,410.  Program attendance has increased by 35%, from 782 to 1,056.  Circulation (number of items checked out) went up 15%, from 18,543 to 21,264.

Staff, board members and volunteers continue to bring new ideas to our operation and attract new audiences.  Volunteers contributed 19,000 hours of service to the Library last year. Through the involvement and commitment of our community, Sedona Public Library continues to be a successful private/public collaboration and there’s no indication that this will change in the near future.

Sedona Public Library is a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, supported by donations and grants.  Your tax-deductible donation may be sent to:  Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336.

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