Thursday, January 21, 2016

Oregon Library Profile: Sandy and Hoodland Public Libraries

Ever been curious about how other libraries in Oregon work? We thought it would be informative and fun to share a little bit of a fellow Oregonian library’s culture and customs with everyone in the Support Staff Division. Starting now, we’ll be periodically featuring libraries here on the blog that you may not have had a chance to visit. For our first feature, we’ll focus on the Sandy and Hoodland Public Libraries in beautiful Sandy, Oregon!

Sandy Public Library was founded in 1934 by the Sandy Women’s Club, and has been serving the community there ever since. The City of Sandy started management of the Hoodland Library after the citizens of Clackamas county voted on establishing a permanent tax district for Clackamas County Libraries in 2008, and their partnership has continued to this day.

Sandy and Hoodland work hard to forge partnerships with the local community. They value it highly enough that several of the staff of their libraries were recently enrolled in a five week training course in public relations at their community college. For an example of how S&H reaches out to their community, last year they put together an Oktoberfest event where local breweries brought their wares into the library for a beer tasting. In addition to bringing lots of people into the library, this event served as excellent PR for both the library and the breweries. Sounds like a good deal to me!

In addition to their one-off programming, Sandy and Hoodland Libraries have partnered with an organization called Experience Works to give unemployed seniors the experience they need to get back into the workforce. Their mission serves not only those enrolled in the program and the library, but by extension the entire city of Sandy. Just another example of how powerful libraries can be for the communities they serve.

Like any library, Sandy and Hoodland would be nothing without the people who work there, so I reached out to Thea Kuziemski, Library Assistant at Sandy, for an inside look at how things get done there. As so many of us do, the staff members in the Sandy and Hoodland Public libraries tend to wear a lot of hats. Thea alone staffs several desks, is the head of public relations, handles the purchasing of their Young Adult fiction, repairs books, and more. Her advice for those with many and varied duties? “Schedule everything!” According to Thea, when you find yourself moving from place to place and task to task throughout the day, allotting specific time for each in a structured way is the key to success and the best way to ensure that everything gets done if you don’t have the convenience of a central desk or office.

It’s something of a point of pride for 
the staff at the Sandy and Hoodland Libraries that they go as far as they can for their patrons. If there’s any way they can make research easier for their patrons, if their patrons are worried about their ability to pay fines, or even if a patron needs personal time and attention to find items in their collection, Sandy and Hoodland staff are happy to help. 

Thea has some parting words for all support staff in Oregon: “Branch out! Rural libraries tend to be a little more isolated, and seeing how other libraries do what they do can really help.” Thanks for the words of wisdom, Thea!

If you’re interested in seeing your library on the OLA SSD blog, feel free to contact the outreach team at We look forward to hearing from you!

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