Library Notes: Dearing serves as library collection specialist

What do you do when you have degrees in political science, economics and international relations AND you’ve lived in Japan, Germany, Morocco and the Philippines, in addition to a number of different cities in the United States?

You become a librarian in Hood River, Ore., of course.

“I think it’s lovely here,” says Collection Development Specialist Michele Dearing, “and it’s a joy to connect people with the materials they want or need.”

Michele was born in Japan and did most of that moving about because her father was a teacher/counselor on military bases. She was working as a registrar at the Art Institute of Portland when she decided she needed a change.

“I was not really happy there,” she says, and she eventually went to see a career counselor who helped her decide to make a change. “I’ve always loved libraries and that seemed like the right direction.”

So off she went, married by this time, to get yet another degree — this time in library science — from the University of Washington in Seattle.

(The political science/economics degree was from U.C. San Diego and the international relations degree was from American University in Washington, D.C. Have I mentioned that the woman gets around?)

About the time she finished the library degree her husband found a new job in the Columbia Gorge. Upon arrival, Michele found there were no openings at any of the libraries in the area. In fact, she was told by a person in the local library field that she could get a library job around here only “if somebody gets hit by a truck or dies.”

Not discouraged, or at least not much, she volunteered at the Hood River Library for about a year and finally did snag a job without any traffic accidents or deaths involved.

At first she was a part-time on-call substitute clerk in Parkdale but in the time since then, of course, she’s done just about every job the library has to offer — including repairing the books, which is something she particularly likes to do.

Now, as the collection development specialist, her job is to select and order the fiction and nonfiction books to be added to the library’s adult collection.

She welcomes all suggestions, of course. “Everyone is invited to let me know what they’d want to see in the collection,” she says. Her email is if you’d like to chime in.

Don’t worry about her seeing your suggestions. She’s not going anywhere.

And finally, a couple of extra notes from the Friends of the Library: Watch for a special display of Christmas books for sale upstairs in the Friends’ book area of the main library (across from the circulation desk). They would make great gifts and the prices will be very reasonable.

Also, don’t forget there are free books year-round downstairs on carts outside the children’s area. These are usually older books not necessarily in good condition but certainly readable.

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