Imagine Your Story: Maricopa County 2020 Summer Reading Program

Homes across the country transformed into classrooms as students left their schools two months before the traditional summer break this year. Now, as the weather warms and the official academic year has come to an end, many worry the impact of the “Summer Slide” — the learning loss experienced while transitioning between school years — may be steeper than normal.

Maricopa County officials are encouraging residents — especially young readers — to continue their at-home learning and reduce the “Summer Slide” by including the County’s annual summer reading program into their summer plans. The online platform encourages reading all summer long, while earning great prizes and participating in fun challenges all from the comfort of home at (English) or (Spanish).

More than 60 libraries across Maricopa County participate in the summer reading program, in which people can log their reading online, complete challenges, and attend virtual performances to win prizes.

“Our summer reading program is not only fun, but it is also one of the County’s major community literacy efforts,” said Cindy Kolaczynski, Maricopa County Library District director and County librarian. “Summer reading keeps literacy and comprehension skills sharp through challenges and experiences that spark excitement about learning and reading.”

This year’s theme is “Imagine Your Story” and encourages readers of all ages to read 20 minutes a day. Participants earn one point per minute for reading physical or electronic books (including graphic novels) or listening to audiobooks. Additional points are earned for attending virtual programs and completing online challenges.

Prizes include a free personal pizza from Peter Piper Pizza, free lemonade from Raising Cane’s, and an Arizona State Park pass. Grand Prize drawings will also take place at each participating library for the chance to win family passes to Legoland Discovery Center/Sea Life Aquarium. Readers who achieve 1,000 points can choose a free book for their home library or can donate it to a local Head Start classroom. Last year, Head Start classrooms in Maricopa County received more than 1,500 books thanks to the generosity of summer readers.

The program runs through Aug. 1. Participating North Valley libraries include Desert Foothills Library, Phoenix Public Library and Scottsdale Public Library.

Desert Foothills Library Continues Curbside Pickup Service

In May, Desert Foothills Library took a prudent, cautious approach to opening the library. While the library itself remains closed, following CDC guidelines in an effort to keep the library community healthy and safe, it began offering curbside pickup of materials.

This service, which began May 18, is available to all library patrons regardless of membership status. Patrons are requested to follow the steps below to request and obtain books, audio books, and DVDs from the Desert Foothills Library Collection. They may request items by using the online library catalog, or by calling the library.

Library staff said, “We’ve got lots of new titles and more on the way!”

To Request Library Materials by Phone:
Place requests for materials by calling the library at 480.488.2286 Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm, and Saturday, 10am–2pm.

To Request Library Materials Online:
Visit and click on “Search our Library Catalog.”
Click log in in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
Log in by entering the patron barcode number, found printed on the back of library cards. Enter password and click log in.
Search for items by title, author or subject, or browse items in the collection by clicking on the “New Titles” lists on the left-hand side of the screen.
Click place request on an item and submit.
Patrons will receive an email when the requested item becomes available for pick-up.

To Pick Up Requested Materials:
Curbside Pickup is available Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm, and Saturday, 10am–2pm. Park in any library parking space.
Materials will be on a table outside the library entrance, in a bag with the patron’s name on it.
All items in the bag will have already been checked out to the patron, with a checkout slip showing the due dates for materials.

To Return Library Materials
Put all library materials in designated drop boxes to the left of the library entrance.
All materials will remain on the patron’s account for three to four days after return, to allow for a quarantine period. This is for the safety of library staff and patrons. Any overdue fees accrued during that period will be waived by staff.

Residents who have questions about this service or any of the digital or virtual services, can visit to learn more, or call the library at 480.488.2286.

Photo: ID 64880522 © Natabene |

40,000 new eBooks and eAudio Titles Added to Desert Foothills Library

Over 40,000 new eBooks and eAudiobook titles are now available to all Desert Foothills Library patrons, thanks to its partnership with the Little Libraries that Could, and newly added, Southwest Valley Library Consortium.

Access to the eBooks and eAudiobooks is simple and easy. All residents need is their Desert Foothills Library card and access to the library’s website, Overdrive App or Libby App. Those who don’t have a library card yet can go to homepage and sign-up! 

The Desert Foothills Library joined this project in 2019 through a Reciprocal Lending Agreement with the Tempe Public Library, Buckeye Public Library System, Yuma County Library District, and the Little Libraries That Could.  

The library says that, in these challenging times, it is working diligently to bring as many resources to the community as it possibly can.

For details on all the digital resources available, visit the library’s Digital Library. Find out more at on Facebook and Instagram.

Nativities of the World Display Planned for November at Desert Foothills Library

CAVE CREEK — Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center will sponsor the eighth annual Nativities of the World fundraiser Saturday, Nov. 30, from 10am to 4pm, and Sunday, Dec. 1, from 11am to 3pm. The nativity scenes, which will be displayed at Desert Foothills Library, will be on loan from local community residents.

More than 350 nativity scenes will be on display at the library, which is located at 38443 North School House Road in Cave Creek. The nativities, created by artists from around the world, will be on loan from local artists, collectors and families. The nativities are made from a vast array of materials — from fine porcelain to craft sticks, rocks, gourds and even banana skins. Some are so large they require their own table while others can fit in the palm of a hand. Admission is free, however the donation of non-perishable food or cash for the food bank will help those less fortunate.

“We hope our neighbors will continue to expand this tradition and benefit the Foothills Food Bank, which serves an ever-increasing population in need,” says Pam DiPietro, executive director of Foothills Food Bank. “Please help us by loaning us your nativity set or sets. We welcome any and all nativities that you wish to share with our community.”

For more information or to display a nativity, contact Karen Pritchard at 480.488.0423 or For information about the library, call 480.488.2286 or visit

Youth & Teens Invited to Explore Desert Foothills Library This Month

The Desert Foothills Library offers a host of programming this month for area children and teens (and adults, too). From craft projects to science exploration, area residents are invited to join in the free programs offered at the library. All events are free, and no registration is needed, except where noted. Here are just a few of the events taking place in November.

Nov. 6: Dancing On Your Toes with Miss Megan
Join Miss Megan from Adaptive Force Performing Arts (AFPA), for a half hour of dancing, making music with rhythm sticks and playing with magical ribbons. AFPA is a North Valley’s dance studio, created with a family-first environment in mind. AFPA welcomes all skill levels from ages two and a half and up. Classes are taught by friendly and knowledgeable faculty, who work tirelessly to provide dance education in a safe, positive and fun atmosphere. Ages 2–6. Call or visit the library online to register.

Nov. 9: Saturday Family Storytime & Craft
Bring the whole family to celebrate the autumn season with stories, songs and a fun craft at this special family storytime.

Nov. 13: Teen Game Day
Gear up for some friendly competition at the library with Mario Kart for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 games like Madden, Call of Duty and Overcooked, just to name a few. Classic board games like Scrabble, Life and Clue will also be on hand. Pizza and snacks will be offered.

Nov. 14: Bubble-ology with Arizona Science Center
Explore the scientific thinking process using bubbles. Observe attributes and actions of bubbles, test unique bubble wands and create gigantic bubbles large enough to fit a child inside. Call or visit the library online to register — registration will be limited to 25 children.

Nov. 19: Full STEAM Ahead! Armpit Fudge
Using their armpit, attendees will use force to mix up ingredients, and create a batch of tasty science. Ages 8 and up. Call or visit the library online to register — registration is limited to 12 children.

Nov. 22: Get Cooking: Teen Bake & Chat
Join library staff in their new kitchen and will test out a couple different recipes, and chat about upcoming teen events. For teens ages 11–18.

Nov. 26: Fall Storytime & Craft
Join library staff to make Thanksgiving themed art. This event will feature stories, crafts, and treats. Call or visit the library online to register.

The library will be closed Nov. 11, in observance of Veteran’s Day, and Nov. 28, for Thanksgiving. Desert Foothills Library is located at 38443 North Schoolhouse Road in Cave Creek. For additional information, call 480.488.2286 or visit


Library Hosts ‘2019 HITH Showcase’ Exhibit & Preview

Artist Sue Hunter stands with “All Tied Up,” which will grace the cover of the 2019 Hidden In The Hills artist directory.

The annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour & Sale (HITH), the signature event of the nonprofit Sonoran Arts League featuring 197 artists in 47 studios throughout the community, is slated for the last two weekends in November — Nov. 22–24, and Nov. 29 – Dec. 1.

Select artists’ work is on view at the Desert Foothills Library through January in the “2019 HITH Showcase” exhibit. A special behind the scenes preview event will be held Thursday, Nov. 7, 12:30-2:30pm at the library. Go behind the scenes and meet some of the participating artists, try out several different art processes and watch a visual slide tour of artists in action in their unique studios in preparation for the event kick off, Nov. 22.

Now in its 23rd year, HITH is a free, community-wide self-guided tour that provides life-long learners and art lovers the opportunity to see and interview artists at work in their private studios. The “2019 Showcase” is a sampling of some of the artwork available during the six-day event. The “Showcase” exhibit is on view until January 23. The Nov. 7 program will highlight the diversity of media and styles of individual artists. Eight to 10 HITH artists will engage with the public in hands-on demonstrations taking them behind the scenes in a preview of this program that falls on the weekend before and after Thanksgiving.

Desert Foothills Library is located at 38443 North Schoolhouse Road in Cave Creek. For additional information, call 480.488.2286 or visit

Learn more about the Sonoran Arts League and the 2019 Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour & Sale by visiting

See more on page 35.

Mayors Proclaim March 2 ‘Dr. Seuss Day’ at the Library

Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch and Carefree Mayor Les Peterson at the Proclamation signing.

‘Storytime’ events to be held throughout the month

Carefree Mayor Les Peterson and Cave Creek Mayor Ernie Bunch signed a joint proclamation declaring Desert Foothills Library’s commitment to children’s literacy and promoting reading in our community in honor of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday.

March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s 115th birthday, and Desert Foothills Library will celebrate throughout March with a full month of Dr. Seuss themed programs. Programs will include the March 2 Birthday Party at 2pm and Saturday morning “storytime” each Saturday March 9–30 at 10:30am. These storytime events will each feature a special guest, such as the Phoenix Herpetological Society, Cave Creek Firefighters, green eggs and ham breakfast with Carefree Mayor Les Peterson, and Mother Goose Reads Dr. Seuss. All events are free and take place at Desert Foothills Library, 38443 North Schoolhouse Road, Cave Creek.

In addition to support of Carefree and Cave Creek mayors, March’s programs are sponsored by Arizona nonprofit First Things First and local family Diana and Richard Deely.

For additional information, call 480.488.2286 or visit

Show Some Love for Your Library in February

Matching grant gift to support youth and teen services

Desert Foothills Library announced February as “I Love My Library Month.” The event was initiated in response to an anonymous matching grant gift to raise up to $15,000 to enhance youth and teen educational services and programs at the library.

With just four weeks to raise these funds, the library is asking for donations from supporters and advocates to help rise to the challenge. Desert Foothills Library is a member-supported library that relies on the generosity of its members, community and local donors for funding. The library provides a variety of quality services and programs to the community, making it a valued Cave Creek institution that serves the entire Desert Foothills area.

Everyone is welcomed to visit the Library during the month of February to discover the vast array of services, programs and resources offered to the community. Library staff invites residents to, “Come in, browse the shelves, check out a book or two, sit down and read or attend an event — fall in love all over again.”

Beyond donating, library supporters can make a difference by sharing their enthusiasm about Desert Foothills Library through social media, on Facebook or Instagram (@dflalib). Everyone is invited to share why they love the library and encourage others to donate during “I Love My Library Month.”

Desert Foothills Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations up to $15,000 will be matched dollar for dollar. Donations are tax deductible.

The library is located at 38443 North Schoolhouse Road in Cave Creek. For additional information, call 480.488.2286 or visit

Carefree Hosts ‘Art In The Garden’ In April

Photo by Vickilyn Hussey

Education and Community Services (ECS), a department of the Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD) will host Art in the Garden Saturday, April 8, 8-11am.

The morning of free family art activities, literary and art contest, art exhibitions and entertainment by local school groups, takes place in partnership with the Kiwanis Club of Carefree at Carefree Desert Gardens.

“We love having the opportunity to brag about all of our ECS programs that are offered to our students and community,” says Gina Durbin, ECS director. “Art in the Garden features the amazing art and literary work of our students and community members. Our community partners are fabulous and so supportive that we want to give them the recognition they deserve at this community event.”

Scully Learning Center, Sonoran Arts League, Desert Awareness Committee, Education & Community Services, Cave Creek Museum, Desert Foothills Library, ECS Kid’s Club and Child’s Play Preschool, ECS Enrichment and Summer Programs, ECS Storytellers and Kiwanis Reads will have activities and informational booths.

Black Mountain Elementary drama, dance and chorus students, Desert Sun Academy Chorus, Sonoran Trails Middle School Chorus, Cactus Shadows High School Jazz Band, Cactus Shadows Improv Dance and Improv Drama groups will perform on stage at the Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion, while the Carefree Kiwanis serve up the “World’s Best” pancakes at their Pancake Breakfast ($5 children; $8 adults).

Arts and crafts, face painting, sand painting, storytelling, live performances by outstanding youth music, dance and theater ensembles, works by Literary and Art Contest Winners, an art exhibition by CCUSD staff and alumni, and local summer program informational displays and sign-up tables are just a few of the many attractions.

“You can participate in art activities with your kids, enjoy breakfast, be entertained with music, dance, theater and storytelling, view award winning artwork, buy artwork by students and local artists to benefit the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center renovation, and learn about summer camps and classes,” according to Elaine Adrian, ECS Art in the Garden Coordinator. “This is a wonderful opportunity for young children and their families.”

Carefree Desert Gardens and Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion are located at 101 Easy Street, Carefree. For more information about ECS Art in the Garden, contact Elaine Adrian at For additional information, visit or

Serving The Community For Sixty-Three Years

Library holds annual fundraising gala

Photo by Katherine Koenig

Photo by Katherine Koenig

The Desert Foothills Library celebrates its 63rd anniversary this year thanks to the loyalty of its donors and volunteers. Working under its mission to “facilitate the sharing of knowledge, ideas and culture by providing personalized and responsive resources, services, social and learning opportunities to the community it serves,” the library is open to everyone, seven days a week and supports the entire Foothills community with culturally enriching programs, educational events and quality services.

Desert Foothills Library is unique in that it is a 501(c)3 non-profit, privately funded public library – the only privately funded library in the state of Arizona. It is also home to Chapter2Books, the largest used book store in the North Valley. With over 15,000 books, as well as CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks, all purchases and donations help support the running of the library.

In order to continue serving its North Valley patrons, the library is gearing up for one of its largest fundraisers of the year, and the entire community is invited. The Ninth Annual Gala “All That Jazz” will be held Saturday, February 11, at 5:30pm. The event will take place at the Library, 38443 North School House Road, in Cave Creek.

This year’s fundraiser includes hosted cocktails, a gourmet dinner and a silent auction, as well as a champagne and wine event. Jo Gemmill, library board member and owner of the English Rose Tea Room, will emcee the event. Festivities will be followed with a performance from celebrated pianist Nicole Pesce and the Rhys Kelso Quartet.

Tickets are $175 per person and are available by contacting Executive Director David Court or Library Manager Terri Engebretson, at 480.488.2286 or by emailing All proceeds benefit the library. For more information, visit the library online at

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