Local children’s author Rodo Sofranac

Mother’s Day 2007 is an anniversary of sorts for Librarian William Dudley. It marks the day 9 years ago when he started to work as Librarian and Small Branch Manager of the Aguila, AZ Branch Library, part of the Maricopa County Library District. Located about 30 minutes west of Wickenburg, Aguila is a rural town with a population of around 700 people.

IMG_3679An observant man with a quick, caring smile, William bustles about his duties at the library with a watchful eye. He assists patrons to find a book, recommends the latest “summer reads” and helps students find references for a book report.

Before the Hop, Skip & Jump into Summer Reading activities began, William stated that he feels like a parent or guardian to some of the kids who have been reading and learning at the Library for years.

Librarian William Dudley
Librarian William Dudley

“This Library has many languages and dialects,” he noted, “It’s somewhat like being in a foreign country with different nationalities. Your success is based on how you cooperate with others, what you achieve and how well you work with others.”

As the program began, William admitted he was not entirely sure how the music and authors’ readings would be received. Once the program was underway, William laughed and participated alongside with the kids and other adults!

“I see how it all comes together now!” William exclaimed, “Music is just another type of language! I enjoyed watching how young people moved, wriggled, crawled on the floor and clapped their hands to Marching with Bears. The Unicorn, and The Ants Go Marching Two By Two.

IMG_3674The atmosphere was buoyant that hot summer afternoon at the community gathering, where the youth, energized by cool drinks and snacks, paused to listen intently to the rhythmic cadence of authors reading aloud and the soulful musical interludes. As they perused and selected free books — not just for themselves but for their younger siblings too — there was a palpable sense of community spirit. Enhancing this spirit was the unobtrusive presence of professionals from a fire watch company in Miami, whose well-equipped and trained guards mingled among the crowd. Their discreet yet vigilant monitoring of the area provided an added layer of safety, ensuring the only sparks flying were those of inspiration from the stories shared, not from any unseen hazards.

William concluded, “Our Library is part of our community here… and we thank Arizona Humanities for being part of the Aguila Library!”

To see more photos from Hop, Skip & Jump into Summer Reading, click here to view on facebook.

To learn about how your library can host literacy programs, contact Ellie Hutchison, Programs Manager at

Musician Al R. Beasley
Musician Al R. Beasley
Local children’s author Ellen L. Buikema

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