Friday, September 10, 2021

Posted By on Fri, Sep 10, 2021 at 4:07 PM

Join Arizona Public Media and the Pima County Public Library in celebration of the rich Mexican-American and Latinx cultural heritage of Southern Arizona during Mes de la Cultura! Enjoy a virtual celebration of Mexican-American and LatinX art, music, and dance with performances by Mariachi Estrellas de Tucson, Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos, and Ballet Folklórico Tapatío.

Register here.

You’ll get a first look at Arizona Illustrated’s story about Carlos Valenzuela, a Chicano tile artist, and his work across Tucson’s south side. Plus, you’ll get an inside view of the Pima County Public Library’s Frank De La Cruz Borderlands collection!

After the show, performers will be sharing more about the rich cultural history of these art, music and dance forms, share some of their own experiences performing, and answering YOUR questions during a live Q&A. We hope you’ll join the conversation!

This event is sponsored by Arizona Public Media, and the Library's Welcome to America and Nuestras Raíces teams.

About the Performers

Mariachi Estrellas de Tucson is a youth mariachi group from Tucson. With performers ranging in age from 10 to 17 years old, the group has participated in the Tucson International Mariachi Conference in Tucson, Arizona, and the Rosarito International Mariachi Conference in Rosarito, Baja California, México.

Mariachi Los Changuitos Feos (LCF)
 is widely regarded as the first youth mariachi group and the first seed of the growing youth mariachi movement in the United States. The group includes twelve high-school aged musicians under the direction of Salvador Gallegos. Founded in 1964, LCF now carries a five-decade legacy of musicianship and dedication.

Ballet Folklórico Tapatío (BFT)
 is a non-profit folkloric dance group established in 1997 under the direction of Jose Luis Baca and Marissa Gallegos. This group is based in South Tucson, and has over 150 members. They have performed throughout the United States, Mexico and Colombia, and are recognized as one of the finest folkloric programs in the nation.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 2:30 PM

Courtesy of BWS Architects and Thomas Reich

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, the Pima County Public Library officially opened the W. Anne Gibson-Esmond Station Library on the far southeast side of Tucson at 10931 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way. Due to COVID, there is no public entry at this time, but the library is offering curbside pickup. Books can be reserved online or via Infoline at (520) 791-4010.

The W. Anne Gibson-Esmond Station Library is the 27th library in the PCPL system, and is intended to primarily serve those living in the greater Vail area, such as Corona de Tucson and Rita Ranch.

The 8,000 square-foot library was designed by BWS Architects and was named after Anne Gibson, who served on the Vail School District Governing Board from 1999 to 2010 and has long advocated bringing a library to the greater Vail area. Construction on the library began in late January 2020.

"Southeast residents have been waiting a long time for a library," said Mary McKinney, library manager. "I am happy and excited that the community can finally begin to use their new library. I feel fortunate that I will be there when it happens.”

Curbside pickup at the W. Anne Gibson-Esmond Station Library is available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about PCPL's curbside pickup program, click here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Posted By on Tue, Feb 2, 2021 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY PCPL
Courtesy PCPL

Twice a year, the Pima County Public Library selects a local writer in residence to teach writing workshops and hold office hours for the community. For the upcoming spring semester, PCPL has selected Gregory McNamee, a local writer, photographer and journalist who has released multiple books on the culture and history of Arizona.

McNamee’s selection marks the 11th writer in residence since PCPL started the program in 2016. The residence is open to authors of any genre, and previous writers in residence include Alice Hatcher, J.M. Hayes, Janni Lee Simner, Susan Cummins Miller and Tucson Weekly's Margaret Regan.

Due to COVID, the writer in residence office hours will be conducted over Zoom in 30-minute blocks. McNamee will offer these one-on-one consultations every Tuesday from 9 to 11 a.m. and Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. But there will be no sessions offered on Thursday, Feb. 11.

During his tenure, McNamee will also host three virtual workshops:

"I'm fond of the program because it embodies so much of the library's mission," said Holly Schaffer, PCPL community relations manager. "It allows the community to learn about writing in different styles and genres. It really demystifies the process of writing."

The Writer in Residence Program is funded by the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Posted By on Tue, Jan 5, 2021 at 3:57 PM

click to enlarge COURTESY HOTEL MCCOY
Courtesy Hotel McCoy
Hotel McCoy, Tucson’s own “art hotel,” is continuing its goal of supporting local creators with the announcement of Barrio Books — a brick and mortar bookstore now open in the hotel. Barrio Books, which opened Saturday, Jan. 2, aims to promote cultural representation for all ages with books in English and Spanish.

The bookstore was founded by Syrena Arevalo-Trujillo, a University of Arizona alum who noticed a lack of representation for children of color in literature while teaching at a local charter school.

Arevalo-Trujillo was looking to open a bookstore at the same time Hotel McCoy, 720 W. Silverlake Road, was developing a “community support program for entrepreneurs who were seeking opportunities to start a storefront business.”

Barrio Books dedicates 15% of their shelf space to Indigenous authors and authors of color. They carry new and used books, including local authors, and have a book trade-in program. Hotel McCoy guests will receive 10% off Barrio Books purchases.

Hotel McCoy, which opened in 2018, showcases Tucson’s art and culture by having local artists design the hotel’s rooms and lobbies. In addition, they offer local food, beer and more.

For more information, visit and

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2020 at 2:58 PM

Pete Hamill, a journalist, novelist, essayist, editor and educator, died today at age 85. Hamill was a longtime New York City columnist whose byline appeared in the Daily News, New York Post, Village Voice, Newsday and many others. His novels include Forever and Snow in August. He was NYC through and through.

Hamill penned the introduction to Tucson author Tom Miller's collection of essays and articles Revenge of the Saguaro. The Weekly is reprinting it with the kind permission of Miller in Hamell's honor.

Tom Miller found his way west from Washhington, D.C. during the late 1960s, that time in America when revolt was in the air along with a demand for renewal, both fueled by the music of rebellion. Young Americans were saying a collective No to the war in Vietnam. Parents were rejected, the suburbs were rejected, racism was rejected.

But that immense No also contained a very large Yes. The young, Miller among them, were trying very hard to make something new—that is, to establish values and social codes that were more humane, more open, more free. They talked about new ways of living. They started communes. They talked about the land. Some of it was foolish, much of it was adolescent, but a lot of it was touching and real.

The Yes played itself out in the American West. The East came to symbolize decay: physical decay, the collapse of industry and cities, the end of the immigrant myth. The migration into open places was an American migration, with millions of Americans leaving one version of the country and going to another. Tom Miller embraced the borderlands of the Southwest, as if sensing that his own subject matter lay in the buried templates of that beautiful, empty region that had once been Mexico.

He started writing for alternative newspapers, the many weeklies that grew up in the era in homage to—or imitation of—New York’s Village Voice. Those newspapers defined themselves by attitude and tone. They made no pretensions to an impossible objectivity; that was a time, after all, for choosing sides. But they intensely covered those subjects that got scant (or clumsy, or baffled) coverage in the mainstream press: the anti-war movement, drugs, racism, feminism, music, and the people who lived on the margins of the so-called American dream.

Miller was somewhat different; he embraced the subject matter without adopting the furious tone. He was too good a reporter and too fair a man to fall easily into glib ideological ranting, substituting rhetoric for seeing. He loved the Southwest because of what it was, instead of what it was not. But he wasn’t a booster out of the chamber of commerce either. He loved the border towns, from which Mexico had never departed, and celebrated their disorder and danger and tawdriness. He loved the austere pleasures of life in the desert. He loved places like Bisbee, the site of so many heartbreaking nights in the struggle to establish unions. And he wrote about those places with affection for the people who shared his own visions.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Jun 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM

A message from Pima County Public Library's Kindred Team...

Our team, like so many of you, is sickened, saddened, heartbroken, and angry at the senseless loss of life in the Black community.

Our team's mission is a focused on. To reach, support, and celebrate the Black community. It is also our mission and calling to educate and share information with our community, Black or otherwise.

We invite you to take a look at these book lists, spread knowledge, hold each other accountable, and love one another.

tweet this
I Am Not Okay
Celebrating Black Excellence
The History of the Black Community in Tucson
Read Black Love 2020
20+ Books of Lesser Known African-American Achievements
African-Americans Who Served and Defended Their County - The United States of America
Black History on Audio

Also, we invite you to Read Black!

Join us on Saturday, June 27 from 1 to 3 pm, for a quarterly round-robin style book discussion on a theme in order to further the conversation on Black literature, history, and culture. Come with book titles in order to share your excitement with curious, like-minded readers, and leave with a list of more to try!

In June, celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month by reading the works of Black authors across the gender and sexuality spectrum. Read a classic by James Baldwin, or a searing work of memoir and poetry. Read YA or romance. The works of queer Black folks can make meaningful and purposeful impacts upon all readers. Would you like some reading suggestions? Check out this list!

Please note that this is a virtual event that will be held via Zoom. Please register in order to receive a link and password shortly before the meeting.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Posted By on Tue, May 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Pima County Public Library has some great news to share!

  • If you have overdue fines on your account, they'll be cleared on July 1, 2020.
  • We're introducing auto-renew! This means we will automatically renew your items, unless there is a hold on them (sorry, you've got to return these items by the due date). Items will be auto-renewed up to 4 times! We will continue to send you email updates about auto-renewals and due dates.
You are still responsible for returning your items...

Friday, May 22, 2020

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2020 at 1:06 PM

Good news, book lovers, the Pima County Public Library is switching to an auto-renew system this summer that will automatically renew your checkout instead of instituting a late fee.

The new program, which begins July 1, will allow for up to four auto-renewals on library items, unless an item is on hold for another member. The library will also send email reminders, and members are still responsible for returning their items.

Overdue fines on accounts will also be cleared July 1.

"We are grateful to the Pima County Board of Supervisors for approving this change,” said library director Amber Mathewson, in a statement. “We want everyone to use and feel welcome in the Library, regardless of any fines they've incurred. This is just one of the ways we can support our community, and we look forward to welcoming back many customers who may have stepped away from the library for a while.”

Any fees for collections, interlibrary loans or other services will remain on member accounts, though the fees can often be paid in increments. Items overdue by 30 days will be considered lost and billable unless it is later returned.

According to the library, any bills over $50 will be sent to a collection agency, and an additional $10 fee will be added to the account.

For more information, and to find library location, go online to

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Courtesy Pima County Public Library
On Monday, May 18, Pima County Public Libraries will reopen with limited services, including book pickup, computer use on a first-come, first-served basis, and printing, copying and fax services. The new open hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There will still be precautions for coronavirus, including taking guests' temperatures before they enter the building, wearing face masks and maintaining six feet of physical distance. The library will also allow only a limited number of people in at a time, and guests will most likely have to wait in line to get in.

PCPL reminds the public that rules and precautions may be different from library to library due to building configurations, staffing and available resources. All PCPL locations will open on May 18, except for the Dusenberry-River Library and El Rio Library, which will open at a yet unannounced future date.

PCPL has also extended all due dates to July 1, so guests don’t have to worry about overdue fines. All returns must be placed in the book chute, and staff cannot take items from guests. They will be setting items aside for three days before checking them in.

For more information, visit

Monday, April 20, 2020

Posted By on Mon, Apr 20, 2020 at 4:56 PM

click to enlarge United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Health and Public Policy Director Christina Cutshaw and her son pose with Oyama Elementary School Library Assistant Raquel Islava and Principal Tammy Christopherson. - UNITED WAY PHOTO
United Way photo
United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona Health and Public Policy Director Christina Cutshaw and her son pose with Oyama Elementary School Library Assistant Raquel Islava and Principal Tammy Christopherson.
Parents picking up homework for their young children at 14 schools across Tucson were recently handed a dozen brand new books to help get through the summer slump.

The literary surprise was the most recent installment of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s My Summer Library Program.

United Way Worldwide is an international nonprofit organization that works with community organizations, government agencies, educational institutions and charitable individuals to provide aid for community members in need.

That work is accomplished through a variety of partnerships and programs, including the summer library launched in Tucson ten years ago.

“Kids tend to lose a lot of their reading ability over the summer when they don’t have anybody reading to them,” said LaVonne Douville, executive vice president of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “This simple intervention can really help kids be ready when they start school in the fall.”

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