Library News

By: Anne Uruburu, Board President
For: Red Rock News
Date: June 14, 2013

Sedona Library Board Update

Sedona Public Library (SPL) Board of Trustees announces changes to the Library Board. Two Trustees are retiring at the annual meeting on June 18, two Trustees have recently filled vacant positions, and one Trustee continues for an additional three year term. This all-volunteer Board of Trustees is responsible for administering the affairs of this private, non-profit community organization that provides the services of a public library through contracts with local government for operational funding.

The SPL Board is grateful for the volunteer terms of retiring Trustees Annette Star Lustgarten and Sandy Immerso, who have contributed significantly to the future sustainability of the Library in our community.

Annette Star Lustgarten joined the Board in 2010 and participated in many progressive changes.

As past interim President-elect, she sat on the Executive Committee, participating in governing decisions between formal Board meetings. Her legal background was a helpful influence to the Board. She participated in the Budget, Finance and Investment Committees assuring prudent fiscal practices and conservative investing policies. Most significantly, Annette chaired the Fundraising Development Committee, putting in place the cornerstones to assure future preservation and sustainability of SPL. Although competing priorities lead her elsewhere at this time, Annette remains a strong supporter of the Library and the many services it is able to provide to our community.

Sandy Immerso joined the Board in 2009. She was SPL Board Secretary for four years, recording and posting actions of the Board. She supported and promoted the expansion of the English/Spanish programs at the Library. She worked closely with the Latino Services Librarian to enrich offerings for our Hispanic community patrons. Sandy was active on the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon committee, which organized a gala event held each spring to recognize the many wonderful volunteers at SPL. She will continue volunteering at SPL in various capacities.

On behalf of the entire SPL Board, thank you to these two dedicated, wonderful, volunteer Board members for your many contributions to the library’s future welfare.

Two Trustees, Carolyn Daugherty and Cliff Hamilton, were seated earlier this year to fill vacated positions.

Carolyn Daugherty has been an avid reader since childhood. The local library helped provide a healthy escape from the "sameness" of small-town life where she grew up, and books opened up the world to her. Carolyn believes that libraries serve as one of the most important public amenities available to everyone, and they are often at the heart of the community.

As a former college professor whose working life centered on community planning, she feels that her most important contribution to the SPL Board of Trustees is her dedication to helping the Sedona Public Library remain a vibrant, growing asset that will serve all Sedona citizens long into the future.

Cliff Hamilton believes that in this age of information we can never stop learning or we get left behind. Good libraries are about providing learning in all forms, including that which is entertaining, practical, theoretical and technological. Our Sedona Public Library does all of these things really well, mostly free, for everyone who wants them, in all forms of paper, electronic and live delivery.

"In my four years of serving on the City Council, I never once heard anyone complain about the Library,"says Cliff. "There's no other institution in the city I can say that about, which says a lot. Serving on the Library Board is one way to not only help people continue their personal learning but to also give back to this special place we call Sedona."

One thing about our library that he’s begun to even more fully appreciate is the fact that it is so much more than just a library. It is also our community's gathering place, a technology center, refuge for some, a community bulletin board and as close as we get to a true "heart of Sedona."

Cliff and his wife, Katie, have made major use of the Library's resources since they moved here from Oregon 11 years ago. He feels it's an honor to be a Trustee and to serve in helping to sustain and expand this valuable community resource. Cliff anticipates using his background in state government, previous non-profit organizations and business in his Trustee role, since our library interfaces with all sectors. Seeing that the building is well cared for and maintained, operations are on a financially sustainable basis and the Library’s role as a heart of the community continues far into the future are among his goals in serving on the Board.

The SPL Board is also pleased to have the continuing services of Trustee Laura Lawrie for an additional three-year term. Laura originally applied to be a Trustee of SPL in 2009 because she had been a volunteer at SPL and wanted to be more involved in the governing of the Library. She is the daughter of a retired librarian, so her whole life has been spent enjoying and advocating for libraries. Laura is also the mother of two home-schooled children and therefore brings a youthful perspective to the Board. As an active community member, Laura spearheaded SPL’s participation in the Sedona Marathon for the past three years, helping raise funds to support additional services at SPL. She still enjoys a successful career in academic publishing, and that, as well as her interest in and knowledge of technology, will continue to be useful as she serves as Trustee.

As your outgoing President of the Board of Trustees, I sincerely want to thank all current and former Trustees over the past two years for their collaborative and enthusiastic support. Among the Board accomplishments, I am especially thankful that:

  • Art students at Sedona Red Rock High School worked with Gary Rubin, Trustee and artist, to complete the engaging 40 foot mural located in the SPL courtyard.
  • SPL’s computers and handheld reading devices available to patrons are frequently upgraded.
  • SPL’s social media (YouTube, Facebook, and e-newsletter) stays current with Library happenings.
  • The Rotating Artist Program at SPL in the Village continues to bring a variety of beautiful art to our patrons, with local artists’ exhibitions changing every two months.
  • The SPL Building and Grounds "green" program has been active, with energy-efficient lighting replacements, a recycling program, and annual facility inspections to maintain this beautiful, community building.

In addition, my appreciation goes to the Library staff, especially Director Virginia Volkman, for their ongoing commitment to our patrons. They continuously deliver superior service in an atmosphere that encourages lifelong learning.

Thank you to all the SPL volunteers who work on the Library’s behalf. Because of their assistance in every department at the Library, we all receive better service.

And lastly, thank you to all the Friends of the Library (FOL) volunteers. Their popular events, such as the Festival of Wreaths and their semi-annual book sales, raise needed funds for Library operations, collection development, and special programs for patrons.

Anne Uruburu
Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News and is also presented on Sedona Biz.
Anne Uruburu is President of the Board of Trustees of the Sedona Public Library.