The director of the Oro Valley Public Library expects nearly 5,000 people to attend this year's Oro Valley Book Festival. There are 3,000 attendees in 2009.
"This year we're having 35 authors at the festival in order to give them more time to meet and greet the public," said Jane Q. Peterson, library director. "Each author will get an hour-and-a-half to talk with people and sign books."
The Friends of the Oro Valley Library festival, running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Oro Valley Public Library, 1305 W. Naranja Drive, also will feature four hour-long presentations:
• 9:30 a.m., Scott Calhoun, local gardening specialist, lecturer and author of Chasing Wildflowers.
• 11:30 a.m., Marilyn Heins and David Fitzsimmons, author and illustrator, respectively, of the children's book, Two Arizona Black Birds.
• Linda Kranz, children's and young adult author of Only One You and Let's Rock, Rock Painting for Kids.
• Chris O'Dell, author of Miss O'Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights With the Beatles, Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Women They Loved.
Peterson said the library is partnering with Barnes & Noble, which will provide the books for authors to sell, as well as the Oro Valley Police Department on traffic control and parking. Because the library parking lot can't handle the expected number of vehicles, a free shuttle will be operated from the Naranja Townsite.
Also at the festival, the Oro Valley Historical Society is promoting its projects and local author Barbara Marriott. The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance will present Excellence by Design, Gail Munden's book commemorating Oro Valley's commitment to public art. Exhibitors will display projects and crafts they've made from books they've checked out from the library.
Heins, a Tucson pediatrician who served on the University of Arizona's College of Medicine faculty, published Two Arizona Black Birds, written by her late husband Milton Lipson.
"He loved nature and working with animals, and his wonderful powers of observation helped him in writing the book," Heins said. "I tried to get the book published, but without illustrations, publishers wouldn't accept it. I knew Dave Fitzsimmons through the newspaper where I wrote a column, and he agreed to illustrate the book."
Heins noted the book is about two blackbirds with different habits that learn about eating from each other. "The social message in the book is that people can learn from each other, too," Heinz noted.
Kranz, a Flagstaff resident, started painting rocks to give as gifts to friends and family when she lived in Tucson. The practice led to her first book, Let's Rock, Rock Painting for Kids. Later, she found a rock that resembled a fish and in 2006 published Only One You, a book about a fish family where the fish parents impart wisdom to their son before he goes out into the world.
"The message is there's only one you in this great big world, so you should try to make it a better place," Kranz said.
Schools have used the book as a theme for the school year, and school counselors also use the book, she said.
"I know it's unusual to live in the desert and write about fish and paint fish on rocks, but that's what I do," Kranz said. "The strange part of it is that I don't even like seafood."
Library director Peterson pointed out that 150 authors applied to be part of the festival this year, but the library could only accommodate 35.
"In the future, we would like to run the festival for two days," she said. "We want this to be a stress-free day to meet authors and mingle with library staff."
The festival is funded by the Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library.
Fourth annual Oro Valley Public Library Book Festival
"The Many Colors of the Library"
Saturday, Feb. 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 1305 W. Naranja Dr.
Free and open to the public. Parking at the Oro Valley Public Library is limited; overflow parking and shuttle service is available to and from the library at the Naranja Town Site.
More than 30 local and regional authors, plus booths and activities.
Sponsored by Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library, the Town of Oro Valley, Oro Valley Police Department and Barnes and Noble.
Go to www.orovalleybookfestival.com, or call 229-5300.
Iris R. Bell, M.D., PhD.
Shawn Tassone, M.D.
M.E. "Betsy" Harrigan
Kathryn Landherr, M.D.
Paula and Mike Bloker
Martin F. Feess
Toby Fesler Heathcotte
Conrad J. Storad
Phillip J. Greene
Philip F. Hemmo
Marilyn Anne Pate
Mark P. Sadler