Best bookish events of 2022

This column, part of the monthly Heavy Metal Librarian series, originally ran in the Get Out! section of the Green Valley News on December 27, 2022. The series is authored by Charlie Touseull, Tween/Teen Librarian at Joyner-Green Valley Library.

One of my favorite annual traditions is when all of the various types of “Best of Year” lists get published. I always find it exciting to see what books my favorite writers enjoyed or what albums made the lists from my favorite bands. In a world that produces so much content it’s easy to miss that epic movie that came out a few months ago, or to have overlooked that exceptional podcast that your friend suggested back in the spring. There are only so many hours in a day to read, watch, and listen to that new something that is all queued up in your physical or digital shelves, right?

Here in the library, with all of our services and events that regularly occur, sometimes patrons miss out on some of the library-related workshops, events, and celebrations that we offer. Here are some of my favorite library-related things that happened in 2022.

In January, the Welcome to America Team led a very successful campaign to collect money and household items for the large influx of Afghan refugees that became members of our community. Fifteen different branches in our library system collected more than 106 large boxfuls, or approximately 3,200 square feet of items that filled three public storage units. In addition, generous community members donated $1,900 to fill in the gaps for these newly-arrived families. It made a huge and positive impact on the lives of so many families that were displaced but welcomed here with open arms and warm hearts. This act of generosity was a positive way to begin the year.

The Tucson Festival of Books, held annually in March, was a huge success. After being all but dormant for the last two years, it was delightful to be a part of a festival that celebrates literature, and to be surrounded by so many fellow book lovers. I personally had the pleasure of working at the Nuestras Raíces tent where I discovered some new favorite authors. Yuyi Morales and Zoraida Córdova were especially compelling in describing their creative process and art.

In April, the Children’s Day & Book Day event held at Galería Mitotera in South Tucson was a super fun and positive event that featured music, puppets, the Bookmobile, free books for families, and a delicious assortment of food vendors.

June saw the kickoff of summer when we gave out hundreds of free books as part of Summer Learning. It was a way for families to build up a home book library and encourage both kids and adults to read more. This summer we also gave out Crackerjack Marigold seeds as a part of our One Seed Program, sponsored by the Seed Library. Also, this summer here in Green Valley, we had the most wonderful workshop led by Julia Miller, where she guided customers through the art of creative book making.

Twice a year Cyclovia puts on one of the best street parties, and this October was another stellar coming together of diverse and eclectic community partners. It is an event which temporarily repurposes our public streets to be more inclusive of all people, and as always, featured an appearance by our wonderful Bookbike.

There’s always something happening in your local library, so make sure that you check out our webpage for details or stop in and say hello and check out our event calendars for things happening here in Green Valley. Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and cheers to a healthy and love-filled 2023!

Charlie Touseull is the Tween/Teen Librarian at Joyner-Green Valley Library. His two favorite albums of 2022 were "Innate Passage" by Elder and "Heavy Pendulum" by Cave In. If you want to share your Best Of of 2022 lists with Charlie, send him an email at