Library History

Alice Woods Branch Library at Ash Creek School:
A Brief History

The Sunizona Branch of Cochise County Library District has been located at Ash Creek
School since the winter of 1979-80. Before that, the branch was located in one room of the
community building owned by Whelan Corp., at the junction of 666 (191) and 181. Mabel
McCoy was the volunteer librarian during much of the 1970’s, and she and Cochise County
Librarian Helen Maul negotiated the arrangement to house the branch at the school when
the branch was asked to vacate the Whelan Building.

The original contract between the School District and Cochise County was signed by both
parties in April, 1980. The School District agreed to provide a portion of its school buildings for a branch library, and Cochise County agreed to provide a branch collection and to supervise and assist the volunteers who would make it possible for the branch to be open to the public.

Mabel McCoy retired shortly after the branch moved to Ash Creek School. For a short
while, Mary Alice Jones was the Head Volunteer. In the early 1980’s, Mary Ann Cornish
took over the daily operation of the branch, and she continued until Alice Woods became
the Branch Coordinator in the spring of 1986.

From the very first, the operation was a joint one. The reference and children’s collection of the school library and the county branch were interfiled on the shelves. The county also provided books for the adults in the community, along with extra shelving, a children’s table and chairs, paperback racks, a typewriter, book trucks, and other equipment and supplies that supplemented what the school provided.

Mrs. Woods served as both the School Librarian and the Branch Coordinator until ill health forced her to retire in the summer of 1994. She passed away on November 21, 1994. In recognition of the contribution she made to the community, both the Ash Creek School Board and the Cochise County Board of Supervisors officially named the library for her. The library moved in February, 1995 to the newly renovated original schoolhouse/auditorium on the Ash Creek campus, and will continue to operate as a joint school/public library under the direction of Martha Lester.

Donna Gaab, Cochise County Librarian
April 1995