Library notes: Rachael Fox gives freely in her ‘new’ library role

Rachael Fox has never been interviewed for the newspaper before and is clearly excited at the prospect — but not nearly as excited as she is about her new job.

She comes to the interview with notes already prepared, questions already answered, directions already established — just the way she’ll probably be doing her new job as Assistant Director of the Hood River County Library.

Rachael did not set out to be a librarian, she says. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in women’s studies and at the time “had no clue” what she wanted to do with her life.

Her first job in Hood River was managing the Postal Annex.

Then came her epiphany. “I was at a parade in Amboy, Wash., and someone handed me a button featuring the Ft. Vancouver Library,” she says. And just like that, she knew what she wanted to do.

She went to work for the library as a clerk in 2002, initially in Cascade Locks and then with some additional hours in Hood River. She did a wide variety of tasks — “We all do everything,” she says — until the library’s recent, and thankfully temporary, closing. At that time her primary responsibility was ordering all the new non-fiction and fiction books. She was also writing a column similar to this one.

Meanwhile she had received her library degree from Emporia College in 2006 by driving into Portland one weekend a month for classes.

When the library re-opened Rachael was rehired as a cataloguing specialist, responsible for entry of all the electronic records having to do with library materials.

Then, when adult service librarian Kathleen Joritz left to be with her fiancé in another city, Library Director Buzzy Nielsen created the new position of Assistant Director and promoted Rachael. As part of her new role she also takes over Kathleen’s adult programming responsibilities.

“Besides assisting Buzzy I’ll be booking events and author readings, local and out-of-town presenters, as well as supervising public service clerks and maintaining the staff work schedule,” she said. She’ll also be responsible for eReader classes, concerts, and outreach into the community. “I want to expand the programming and have more literary-themed parties,” she added.

Along those lines Rachael is already thinking about more programs at Cascade Locks and Parkdale branches.

One of her most pleasurable projects, she says, is the Hood River County Library District Book Club which meets bi-monthly.

The May 16 meeting will focus on “Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress,” a novel by Dai Sijie.

Looking back, I want to know, why that certainty you wanted to be a librarian?

The answer is swift and sure: “You’re not exchanging money. It’s low stress. You’re able to give freely.”

And the new job? “I’m excited to be able to contribute to the citizens of Hood River County in a whole new way.”

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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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