Sunday marks new era for Library

A book is a product of an author’s imagination, research, or muse. A book is also made possible by the efforts of the editor, proofreader, publisher, printer, and often countless other individuals.

Transfer the same concept of an array of contributions to the impressive community facility on State Street: the “new” Hood River County Library. The $4 million expansion project is all but complete, and on Sunday the community will celebrate a great accomplishment.

The library’s new era started with The Millennium Project, a five-year effort to expand and remodel the County Library. The works and contributions of a wide variety of people — from the community members who donated money to the builders who put up the bricks, pipes, wire, and shelving — are all described in the special section that is part of this edition of the Hood River News.

The “Project Millennium” section, named for the fundraising project that started in 1998, details the way the old Carnegie Building was melded with the new construction in a way that preserves the historic 1913 building yet gives the public a modern library for its changing needs.

The story behind the project is one of community pride and determination, and the building itself is functional and welcoming to diverse users. Kids have flocked to the expanded basement children’s section, and adults are enjoying the relaxed and well-lighted upstairs rooms for reading, computer use, and research.

The words of State Librarian Jim Scheppke perhaps say it best. The first group to meet in the new building’s Community Room was the State Library Board, prompting Scheppke to write to County Library Director June Knudson the following letter:

“On behalf of the Oregon State Library Board of Trustees, I want to thank you for hosting our Board meeting ... The building is fabulous! If there was an award for ‘best views’ of any library in Oregon, yours would win it hands down. Everyone associated with your project is to be commended for the obvious care and commitment that went into meeting your goal to transform a treasured old library into a beautiful and fully-functional library for the 21st century. I am glad that you were pleased with the work of (architects) FFA. Your library continues their winning streak of outstanding historic library renovation projects, ours included. Again, my congratulations to you and to your Library Foundation and County officials for the successful completion of an outstanding library building project.”

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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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