Desert Digests

Desert Digests

Cave Creek’s public libraries offer an oasis of events year-round

By Lauren Wise


As fortresses of history, knowledge and escapes to worlds beyond imagination, libraries have been sanctuaries for both the written word and people for hundreds of years. A library is the heart of a community, often run by volunteers, frequented by people looking to enrich their lives.

Or maybe they’re just looking for some peace and quiet.

Either way, there’s a good chance you haven’t been to a library in quite some time – but it might be time for you to revisit. Albert Einstein once said, “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” And in the town of Cave Creek, there are two unique reading refuges that give a lot of literature, love and learning back to the community.    

Desert Foothills Library was one of the first official places to find a book in the early days, when there were only a few hundred people living in town. The library opened in the mid-1950s, after two local women petitioned Maricopa County for a place to house books; prior to this, books were distributed from a shelf in a local restaurant. Now visitors can peruse the 20,000-square-foot library and take in the spectacular views of the Tonto National Forest from the wraparound patio. There’s Chapter2 Bookstore inside, stocked with over 15,000 books in all genres, and the library is also home to a permanent gallery for the Sonoran Arts League, with an exhibit that changes each season with work by local artists. Tip: Take the short walk just behind and east of the library up Saguaro Ridge; studded with saguaros, the six-acre preserve overlooks downtown Cave Creek and has a trail that leads to Goldwater Memorial Garden.

Desert Broom Library’s exterior was designed to be just as whimsical as all the books it carries within its walls. Built in 2005, the architectural concept represents the symbiotic relationships between a young saguaro and its nurse tree, with the building’s large protective roof providing a microclimate for growth; it blends in seamlessly with the 45-acre wildlife preserve around it. The structure has won several design awards, including a few in the categories of environmental and sustainability excellence, and overall design excellence. The 15,000 square feet houses a vast children’s collection and music collection, and it is very kid-oriented. However, there are quiet rooms for those seeking a bit more isolation.

At either of these libraries, visitors not only can find their next favorite read or audiobook, but a wealth of daily opportunities to better the body, mind, business and soul – most of which are free of charge.

At either, you can look into getting a Culture Pass, which offers library card holders free admission to a range of Phoenix arts destinations, like Arcosanti, Arizona Science Center, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Phoenix Art Museum, the Desert Botanical Garden and more. These passes are available on first come, first serve basis. Both offer weekly scheduled events for babies and children, like art projects and story time with therapy dogs (a Doberman Pinscher named Duke at Desert Foothills, and golden retriever Gracie at Desert Broom). There are also weekly presentations for business owners, book club and cookbook club meetings, yoga, meditation and Tai Chi classes, and crafting. However, each library has events unique to its style: Desert Foothills offers more traditional offerings like weekly “drive-in” classic movie experiences, international film nights and ESL classes, while Desert Broom focuses on art-meets-technology, featuring drop-in watercolor class, self-defense presentations and a Device Advice class that helps you navigate smart devices.

Here are a few of the events happening at the libraries this October.

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