Woods Memorial Branch Library
3455 N. First Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85719
- Public Library
- Meeting Rooms
Hours of OperationMon 10am-8pm
Please call 594-5445 for more information and to reserve the meeting rooms. Please read our Meeting Room Policy (PDF). See meeting rooms available at other library locations.
Print out a Meeting Room Use Application (PDF).
Supplies for using the chalkboard or the whiteboard must be supplied by the group using the room.
Small Meeting Room
The small meeting room has the following amenities: chairs, tables, and a chalkboard. Capacity: 30 people.
Large Meeting Room
The large meeting room has chairs, tables, and a whiteboard plus a projection screen. A lectern and a TV with VCR are available upon request when the room is booked. Capacity: 75.
Two study rooms are also available and may be reserved for a two hour period up to a week in advance.
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2 non-reservable computers with 15 minute sessions (Express PCs)
13 reservable computers with 30 minute sessions
8 reservable computers with 60 minute sessions
You may reserve a computer one time per day, excluding Express PCs.
We offer free computer classes. Please call 594-5445 for more information.
We also have wireless internet access available. Bring your laptop and use the library's WiFi network for free. For more information, please see our WiFi FAQ.
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The Woods Memorial Branch began life in 1968 as the First Avenue Branch Library and was later renamed in 1970 to honor G. Freeman Woods who was a City Councilman for 8 years, Flowing Wells School Board member for 6 years and served on the library board.
Located at 3455 N. First Avenue, the Woods Branch was expanded and renovated in 1997-98, thanks to a bond approved in the 1994 election. Part of this renovation included having local artist Simon Donovan create a flurry of 100 flying metal books in a rainbow of colors to adorn the outside of the building and help create a sense of place.
Partial Source: Arizona Daily Star, "Things, places named for locals in the Old Pueblo." April 21, 1991, p.E1.
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Woods Memorial Library Anniversary Celebration Speech
Sharon Oels Martyn, the daughter of Mr. Woods shared memories of her father and the community at the 40th Anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 19, 2008.
I am so pleased to be here for the 40th anniversary celebration of the Woods Memorial Branch Library. I am Freeman Wood's granddaughter, the child of his only daughter, Joan Woods Oels.
George Freeman Woods was born in Center Pont, Texas on August 11, 1905. When he was 3 years old, his family moved to St. David, Arizona Territory. At age 11, they moved to Benson and finally to Tucson in 1916. Freeman graduated from Tucson High School and in 1927 received a degree in agriculture from the University of Arizona.
While a young college student, Freeman and his brother Leonard helped their father run the family business- the Fairveiw Dairy. After the death of their father in 1932, Leonard and Freeman owned and operated the dairy until the early 60's. Although the dairy no longer exists, Fairview Avenue still does. It ran to the east of the farm. Fairview Dairy was one of 4 Tucson dairies, and one of the larger ones. The family grew their own cattle feed and had a garden to supply food for their own daily needs. The dairy processed their own milk and also provided cream and butter to the community.
Freeman was active in 4-H, where he judged cattle and worked with aspiring young farmers. After he retired from the dairy, he owned and operated the Southern Arizona Machinery Company.
In 1961, Freeman decided he wanted to give back to the community by serving on the Tucson City Council. He was elected on his first attempt and served three terms. In 1963, he was named Vice Mayor under Mayor Lew Davis. At the time of his death in 1969, he was dean of the City Council. His obituary said the following- "Mr. Woods advocated a strong fiscal policy, was a proponent of air pollution controls, a strong police department for the protection of his citizens and an opponent of bickering in City Hall matters. He also formulated many compromises between the Republican and Democratic battles over city policy." I find it interesting that the things he thought were important in the 60's are still issues of concern today.
Freeman Woods served on the Flowing Wells School Board and the Tucson Library Board. He served 4 terms as president of the Arizona Holstein-Friesian Association.
Far more important than any of these achievements was Freeman's personal life. In 1929, he met the woman who was to be his mate for life- Eleanor Margaret Treat. She accompanied him on the piano in church while he played the violin. They married in 1931 and raised three children, Joan, George Edward and Charles. They were members of the First Baptist Church where Freeman taught Jr. and Sr. High boy's Sunday School, and was on the deacon board, a church moderator and chairman.
On July 3rd, 1969, at the age of 63, while returning from a visit to the east coast, my grandfather suffered a heart attack and died in Wilcox, Arizona. I was 11 when he died on my mother's birthday, and not a day goes by that I don't miss him. At the time of his death, Mayor James Corbett said "Tucson city government has suffered an immeasurable loss. Mr. Woods experience and knowledge were of great benefit to the Mayor and City Council and every citizen of this community." His widow, my grandmother, was named by Mayor Corbett to fulfill his term on the Library Board, an unusual thing for a woman in the 60's. By unanimous vote of the Tucson City Council, the nearly completed First Avenue Library was renamed the G. Freeman Woods Memorial Branch Library.
I am here in Tucson today, having come from Phoenix for this special occasion. I live in Dallas, Texas and my trip to Arizona is for the sad purpose of attending the funeral of my grandmother, Eleanor Woods. She died one week ago today, at the age of 97. She had been a widow for nearly 40 years. Our family gathered to say goodbye to this remarkable woman. She was as proud of us as our grandfather had been. Our family is physically scattered across the globe, but there is a bond that holds us all together. We work in varied careers. We are teachers, business owners, engineers, managers, designers and artists. We work in the fields of medicine, agriculture, finance, dentistry, computers, entertainment, mechanics and aviation. Some of us are retired. The Woods legacy will live on with the 8 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and 1 great great- grandchild of Freeman and Eleanor Woods.
So are the facts of the life of Freeman Woods. He was a highly respected and honorable man- much loved and missed by many. But to me, he was just Grandpa. I grew up in Phoenix and we saw our grandparents often. I was the youngest of three girls and with my older sisters, Kathy and Peggy, we had many adventures with our beloved Grandpa. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and was always laughing. My grandmother would flinch every time a bug would hit the windshield of the car, and he would say "I bet he never had the guts to do that again!" He would always take us to Dairy Queen for an ice cream cone or a Dilly Bar, usually about an hour before my grandmother put dinner on the table. He loved to travel, and liked to buy his cars directly from the factories. He and my grandmother went to Detroit and Europe on several occasions to find exactly the right car- which was usually one that he loved and she hated. When he came to Phoenix to visit us, he would take his little granddaughters, all dressed up, to City Hall or to Arizona State Capital to visit. We discovered that Paul Fannin kept Charms candy in his desk, and Barry Goldwater had jelly beans. And, they shared. We would walk through the halls of those government buildings and Grandpa was greeted by all. He seemed to know everyone. He took us to the Arizona State Fair, where he had a great interest in the cattle and 4-H exhibits. Best of all were my memories of him sitting in the living room, playing his violin. It had been handmade by an uncle, just for him. I loved the sweet music it made, and I am blessed to own and cherish that instrument today.
Libraries have always been important to our family. One of my earliest memories is of my mother reading to us. She, like her parents and siblings, loved to read. It was her desire to pass that love on to her daughters. We sat next to her almost every night as she read her way through "The Five Little Peppers", the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories, the Laura Ingalls Wilder books and our favorites, the Oz books. As we got older, it was hard for my mother to get our noses out of our books in order to come to the dinner table. I have, in turn, passed that love on to my own daughter. I couldn't get her to the dinner table, either, and today, at 27, she still enjoys reading, and is in a weekly book club.
Libraries were the hangouts of our youth. Back in those days, each book had a pocket on the first inner page, with a white card in it. We would take our dog-eared library cards up to the librarian and present her with a stack of books. Each one opened with the title page facing her, smallest book on the bottom, biggest book on the top. The librarian would take each card out of the pocket and record it somehow with a mysterious looking machine. She than stacked the books, biggest on the bottom, smallest on the top, and slid them over the counter to us. We ran for the car with our special treasures, eager to start reading. Our books opened up new worlds to us and we still remember those hours we spent at the library.
Today, I have recreated that wondrous feeling in my own home. My husband and I have approximately 3,000 books and yes, we have read them all. How proud I am that my family has our name on such a fine institution as the Woods Memorial Branch Library. My grandfather's legacy of learning and reading will be carried on by the families that visit this building.
I would like to leave you with a poem that I remembered from my childhood. It was printed on the reading certificate my school gave out. It is by Emilie Poulsson and is as follows:
Books are keys to wisdom's treasure, Books are gates to lands of pleasure, Books are paths that upward lead, Books are friends; come, let us read.