Hood River Library reopens July 1

June 15, 2011

The library will be open on July 1.

At the Hood River branch, a celebration will start at 4 p.m., one year to the day since the library was closed. The event will coincide with the July 1 downtown First Friday.

Officially, the library will reopen on Tuesday, July 5, in the Hood River, Cascade Locks and Parkdale branches.

For the first time, the Parkdale and Cascade Locks branches will have Saturday hours, announced Buzzy Nielsen, the new library director.

Since starting work June 1, Nielsen has been busy developing the schedule, writing job descriptions and preparing a budget for opening the library in July.

In November 2010 county voters approved a County Library District, for which tax revenue won't be collected until November. The library, formerly a department of Hood River County, was closed July 1, 2010, after the county cut it from its general fund budget and voters turned down a May 2010 ballot request to form a taxing district.

In what is known as "early opening," the foundation has donated $60,000 and helped acquire grants and community donations sufficient to get the library open, with limited hours and minimal staffing, from July through October.

"You have made it possible for us to have an early opening day," Nielsen told the Foundation Thursday, his first meeting with the group.

Tuesday was his first meeting with the library district board, chaired by Sara Duckwall Snyder.

Jen Bayer of the foundation board announced Thursday that the May 14 "Feast of Words/Dessert First" event and related dinners have so far raised $18,000 for the early opening. Those proceeds will make it possible for Nielsen to add even more hours this summer. He said he will decide when and where to add hours after he has hired his staff.

Job descriptions have been posted for seven part-time positions; see hoodriverlibrary.org for details

Nielsen told the board that the Cascade Locks hours are designed to coincide with the community's parks and recreation summer events. In Hood River, the Friday evening hours are intended to complement the monthly First Friday events.

It won't be hard for library patrons to get to know Nielsen, who lives in Cascade Locks. He said he will work the desk at all three branches at least one day each week for the first few months.

"It's important that I do this. I want to learn as much as I can about what each branch wants," Nielsen said.

Another of his tasks this summer will be to spend $20,000 from a Wichita Falls Community Foundation Grant on children's collection. Every book purchased under the grant will contain a bookplate reading, "given in honor of longtime Library Director June Knudson," who retired in 2010.

Nielsen noted that while the grant must be spent by Aug. 31, patrons won't necessarily see every one of those books on the shelves right away, because of limited staffing and the time needed to process and catalog each book for circulation.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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