On Thursday, April 17, the Salt River Tribal Library marked 45 years of serving its patrons in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. The library chose to celebrate the anniversary during National Library Week (April 13-19) with the theme “Lives change @ your library.”
The Salt River Tribal Library opened its doors in April 1969. Over the decades, the library has seen changes in not only the types of materials it carries, but also library technology, the building’s location and, of course, its librarians. The current staff of the Salt River Tribal Library are librarian Leigh Thomas, library assistants Nejo Salazar and Pat Donahower, and secretary Myrna Selestewa.
The evening kicked off with opening remarks by SRPMIC President Diane Enos. “It’s good to be here on this really special occasion. It’s a really nice thing to know that we’ve had the library here in the Community for [so many] years,” said Enos. “I have two boys, and through reading it has enabled me to look at things from their perspective. Through reading, we’re taken to places that other people have experienced and [see] other’s viewpoints of the world.”
Using as an example the novel Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, Enos explained how, through reading, she has been all over the world, even time-traveling to a place called Green Town, Illinois, in 1928, where that novel is set. Through the magic of books, Enos said, she and the other kids from the book went on different adventures. “[We were scared by] a magician or a witch, and at night we’d all play kick the can. On some days, we’d all run down to the corner drugstore and eat ice cream. No matter what book we read, we too are able to travel the world and experience many different things.
“It’s truly amazing, if you think about it. I would encourage children to explore the magic of reading.”
After Enos spoke, librarian Leigh Thomas shared her insights about the library’s history and current importance to the Community, thanking everyone in attendance. Throughout these years, the librarians and staff have had the pleasure of watching patrons who visited the library as children grow up and bring their own children to the library.
During the celebration, children played in an inflatable bounce house while adults enjoyed conversation in the library parking lot. Inside the library, families could find bookmarks, book lights, T-shirts and more. Dinner and cake was also served.
The Salt River Tribal Library collection includes more than 13,000 books and periodicals, as well as audio books and CDs, plus computers available for public use. The library is located at 1880 N. Longmore Road and is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, call (480) 362-2557.