Beyond The Books

Public libraries offer Rim residents and visitors lots to love

Aspen and Khrom Barr and Amber Hennessey listen as a book is read aloud during Story Time at the Payson Public Library. The library, located at 328 N. McLane Road, is hosting an Art-rageous Art Fair for children throughout the month of February.

Photo by Andy Towle. |

Aspen and Khrom Barr and Amber Hennessey listen as a book is read aloud during Story Time at the Payson Public Library. The library, located at 328 N. McLane Road, is hosting an Art-rageous Art Fair for children throughout the month of February.


Books, magazines, a movie or two, maybe even music. We have all enjoyed these kinds of delights at the Payson and Pine public libraries.

But they offer so much more.

All this week at the Payson Public Library there is an Art-rageous Art Fair going on for children. This weekend, at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, there will be a cooking class on pesto, part of a program planned for twice a month through April. The popular Taste of Rim event is at the library Saturday, March 9. Visit the bookstore operated by the Library Friends of Payson and you can add to or unclutter your personal collection of books.

Then there are the research opportunities the library offers. Sit down with Emily Linkey, director, and she will blow your mind with all the resources she can help you tap into on the computers. And if you have trouble with computers, the staff can always help; they even offer a class in computer basics on Tuesdays.

The Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library in Pine is just as impressive with its ongoing programs for children, including young people who are home-schooled; the Polaris Library Systems that it offers on its Web site that shows every book available to readers through the Gila County Library District; its Books on Wheels that provides books to shut-ins and their caregivers; the weekly Wii Gaming time it offers youngsters in kindergarten through the fifth grade; and the bi-monthly movies it has for children (and the young at heart). Called Movie Madness, the next show is planned for 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 27; the library will screen the movie, “Hotel Transylvania.” March movies are “Wreck-It Ralph,” at 1 p.m., Thursday, March 14 and “My Lucky Elephant,” at 1 p.m., Thursday, March 21. The library provides refreshments at the movies and the staff encourages youngsters to bring pillows so they can be comfortable on the floor. Call the library at (928) 476-3678 for more details.

Both Payson and Pine libraries are planning March 2 celebrations for the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The Pine event is from 11 a.m. to noon; in Payson the celebration is from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Art-rageous Art Fair

The Payson Public Library is pulling out all the stops for its 2013 Art-rageous Art Fair over the next few days.

“We want to expose the kids to all the different art opportunities that are out there,” said Katie Sanchez, children’s librarian at the Payson Public Library.

The free events started Saturday, Feb. 16 and continue through Friday, Feb. 22. All the programs are free, but space is limited to about 20 youngsters, so sign up as soon as possible at the Children’s Room of the library, 328 N. McLane Road.

Already offered: Susie Watson and her students from Payson’s Triangle Academy presented a gymnastics exhibition Saturday, Feb. 16; Amy Martell had a program on photography Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Homer Sanders, who has created many of the Longhorn images at Payson High School and other graphic works around town, will have a program on art and drawing for ages 6 to 18 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Payson baker Monica Vaughn will teach “Cake Love” for ages 5 and up from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 21. She will have cupcakes for her class participants to decorate after showing them how to design with the tools of her trade.

Kathy Morgan, who has taught a number of jewelry classes for the library, will offer a program on jewelry making basics for ages 5 to 18 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22. Her students will get to work with beads and other jewelry-making elements and take home at least two projects.

A music basics for ages 5 and up, is planned from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 22. As of yet, no instructor has been named, but Sanchez hopes the students will be introduced to different types of music and instruments.

To learn more, call Sanchez at (928) 474-9260.


Attending the Feb. 9 class at the library, (left to right) Diane Weathersby, Ilone Swenson and Georgia Dicus listen as certified clinical nutritionist Peggy Martin explains ways to modify recipes to reduce the sugar, salt and fat without sacrificing flavor.

Cooking in the books

Cookin’ for Health is the new series of cooking classes offered at the library. Taught by certified clinical nutritionist Peggy Martin, the classes are a part of a wonderful and popular legacy left by retired library director Terry Morris, who over the course of her years with the library taught an array of classes with a variety of themes.

Martin’s first class was Feb. 9 about modifying recipes to reduce the sugar, salt and fat without sacrificing flavor. The classes are at 1 p.m. and last about 90 minutes.

Coming up Feb. 23 is Pesto — It; students (the space means only about eight can participate) will learn about kinds of pesto, its basic preparation and uses. They will create five to six different dishes with pesto, including a quick, simple pasta dish.

The upcoming classes: March 16, creating tasty, healthful make-ahead chutneys, relishes and salsas; March 30, super soups and stocks; April 13, spring greens; and April 27, unique vegetable and fruit side dishes.

“My approach to health has been a holistic approach ... My belief is that what we eat determines our energy level, our overall ability to function in a way that results in a sense of well being ... In my cooking sessions, we pay close attention to the taste, color, aroma and texture of the foods we prepare. I believe that cooking is an art. Cooking has been my passion for years and I love to share my passion with others,” Martin said.

Register for the classes that interest you as soon as possible at the library reference desk.

Martin is no stranger to the Rim Country, in the 1980s she worked at Kohl’s Ranch and was one of the area’s many artists; she later worked with the cable company and Mogollon Advisor/Roundup. She left the area and joined the Peace Corps and then returned about 18 months ago and has helped at Tonto Natural Bridge and is now with a behavior health services organization with whom she has developed a nutrition program to better serve and empower individuals in making healthier lifestyle choices.


Ron Sampson cuts up ingredients to be used in one of the healthful dishes being prepared at the class.

A Taste of Rim Country

The annual A Taste of Rim Country, presented by the Library Friends of Payson, is one of the best parties of the year — every year.

This showcase for both professional and aspiring Rim Country chefs is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, March 9 at the Payson Public Library.

The event is a gala evening to sample the great skills and foods offered in the Rim Country and enjoy a selection of wines or sparkling cider.

Scheduled to participate: members of the Payson High School Culinary Club; the Creekside Steak House; the Mazatzal Bakers from the Mazatzal Hotel and Casino; Barbara from The Randall House; Kathy Bickert of MissFitz 260 Café; Laura of Laura’s Small Café; Gerardo Moceri of Gerardo’s Firewood Café; Kevin Mystrom of Journigan House; Randy Slapnicka and Chris Taylor of the Zane Grey Restaurant at Kohl’s Ranch Lodge; Monica Vaughn of Cake Love (caterer); and Cindi Werlinger from Landmark at the Creek.

Many of these chefs are returning participants and some are new to the event.

During the evening, guests may cast a ballot for their favorite chef. The chef who receives the most votes is named “Best of the Best” and given a trophy, recognizing their official status.

In addition to sampling the delicious food and wine, guests can also bid on a wide selection of silent auction items, ranging from a catered five-course dinner for six to fine art work, jewelry and many other specialty items. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, with half of the proceeds going to a very lucky winner. Fred Carpenter, DJ, will provide music for the evening.

Tickets are $30 per person. All proceeds support the Payson Public Library and its various ongoing programs. Tickets are available for purchase at the Payson Public Library, with half the cost of the ticket being tax deductible. Don’t wait to get your ticket, as they are limited and will not be sold at the door on the evening of the event.

Helping the Library Friends of Payson as sponsors of the 2013 event are Terry Morris and family; Pioneer Title; and Chris Smith.

To learn more, please call the Payson Public Library at (928) 474-9260 or online visit

Research resources wonderful

Need to track down a repair manual for an old appliance? Emily Linkey and her staff at the Payson Public Library can help.

Need to get an idea of what to study for a GED, SAT, etc., even professional licensing tests? The library can get you practice tests. Need to write a letter or another document in a foreign language? Go to the library, the staff can help you access language learner software — there are even some programs that can translate for you.

With the library’s access to a phenomenal number of research materials are at the fingertips of patrons who want to use the computers there. In fact, that same gateway to just about anything you want to know about almost everything can be accessed by home computers too.

Linkey can take you to a Web site that will show you every article written in newspapers, magazines and journals over the last 10 years on a given topic. You can see public records and other government documents. You can sit and learn all about a given craft in the hour patrons can use the computers (they’re on timers, but if there is no waiting, the staff will extend your time).

Naturally all this information is a godsend for students of all ages putting together those reports for midterms and finals. The resources are even broken down to age-appropriate material.

All you have to do is ask.

“We always try to find what people are looking for,” Linkey said.

Computer tutoring

The staff can help patrons navigate both the computers at the library and the ones they have at home. A computer tutoring program is offered at the library from 10 a.m. to noon every Tuesday. So far most of the help has been provided creating and accessing e-mail, said Christine Solymossy, who does most the tutoring. Another frequent request is help getting on the Internet. She said they have been able to handle everyone’s questions and the program might be expanded in the future to provide help to more people. Right now, the library is only seeing a few people at the sessions.


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