Library fits into a new cover

The Hood River County Library is up and running in its new temporary home at 6th and State streets. You can do all the regular library things there, like check out books, read microfiche, browse through magazines and newspapers and surf the Internet.

But you can’t pay your phone bill there.

“We’ve had two people come in just today wanting to pay their phone bill,” said library assistant Elena Smith on Monday. The Dean Building, which is where the library has moved while the addition and renovation of the old library building takes place, used to house Sprint offices.

Aside from the occasional wayward phone customer, things are running smoothly, according to library director June Knudson.

“We’re getting positive comments from people coming in, so that feels good,” Knudson said. She said the biggest challenge has been getting used to having the library’s wares housed in 14 small rooms.

“You have to be psychologically prepared for that when you come in,” she said. The staff has put together signs and maps to help library patrons find their way around.

“It’s a little harder to find space where people can sit down and read,” Knudson said. But, she noted, several “undaunted souls” have persevered. Indeed, on Monday several people sat in the adjoined magazine and computer room, lounging in chairs reading or clicking away at one of the computers.

Kerry Brady of Hood River had no problem finding her way around the new space.

“Everything seems easy to find,” she said. “Everything is well-labeled.”

Kenneth Kane of Mosier said he actually likes the many rooms the library has had to squeeze itself into.

“It allows a little more privacy,” he said as he sat reading a newspaper in a corner of the large print books room. “There are lots of nooks and crannies.”

Librarian Kathy Thomas said the hardest space to organize was the nonfiction room, with its high ceilings and lack of windows.

“Figuring out how to get all the books in there and make it inviting was a challenge,” she said. But, she added, people seem to be happy with the results.

“The children’s room is a lot of fun,” she said. “People come in and say ‘This isn’t the library.’ But then they see how warm and inviting it is.”

The library is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Preschool story time is held every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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