|January 8, 2014. Issue #9 Ed TePas, Editor.
We hope you enjoy these updates from the Friends of the Round Valley Public Library.
I have asked Rachel to share her story on how she came to Round Valley and went on to her present position as our own Round Valley Librarian.
Some very big and good news! Last month the Michael J. Connell Foundation gave our library $10,000! These people have been wonderfully generous to our library in the past and this just shows their continued belief in what all of us are doing.
I grew up in Reno, Nevada with my paternal grandmother, parents and siblings in the house where my father was raised. I went to the University of Nevada, Reno from 1999-2004. I earned a B.A. in Spanish one year after returning from studying in Latin America for two semesters. To afford college, I continued to live with my family and commuted by bike to the university. I worked part time for the USDA as a research assistant for rangeland scientists where I spent many hours in an academic library.
When I graduated college, I was given the opportunity to move to Round Valley to help a new family owned business farm tomatoes and process them into juice and sauce. I never knew about Mendocino County let alone Round Valley before my arrival. I only knew one person and was seven hours away from my family and friends. (My mother never understood why I would choose to live in a small town after growing up herself with twelve other siblings in a small town in Colorado. She feels there is not enough opportunity for youth in a small town.) In the fall of 2005 we had a lot of rain, more than I had seen in my entire life. Struck with cabin fever I knew I needed to get out of the small cabin to remain sane. The first place that had always been a home away from home was the library. I met Georgina Wright-Pete, the librarian at the Round Valley Public Library. I asked if I could help at the library as a volunteer. She was delighted to have reliable help and was eager to pass on her knowledge. We worked together well; she showed me the ropes of operating the small library and introduced me to the patrons while I contributed with my knowledge of technology and research. A few months later, a part-time (seven hour per week) Library Assistant position became open. As the assistant, I operated the library every Monday, filled in for Georgina and volunteered. With books and a new community I became a part of Round Valley. In the meantime the Friends of the Round Valley Public Library recruited a handful of motivated and highly skilled folks to organize an enormous undertaking of building a new library facility. Each monthly meeting I attended, I watched every step of what it took to make a million dollar project become a reality. I was elected treasurer for the FRVPL for one year after Bobbie Drewry resigned. I was promoted to Library Technician prior to giving birth to a baby boy, Zev, in 2008. I took six months off and returned to the library in January 2009. Two months later Georgina retired. Mary Long and I job shared to keep the library open. Due to the lack of county funds, I was laid off in July 2009. After many months the county opened Georgina's position up so I applied. After two interviews I was selected to become the Library Associate. February 2010 I started my new job moving the old library to the new location. One month later we had our opening ceremony. I grew into the job as I grew into the status of a new mother. Two rewarding simultaneous challenges made it possible to grow and learn, at the same it was crazy trying to balance a career and a family. I felt the support from the community really kept me afloat. Patrons are honored to have library services provided to them. Library work is a reciprocating relationship. It is like having a constant house warming party. People of the valley are able to come into their library to get the resources they need in a neutral atmosphere while library staff is eager to connect our patrons to what they are looking for. The library is a place to access knowledge, resource sharing, and networking for all ages, gender, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Helping people is very rewarding and it shows with the gratitude we receive in return. Library staff (including volunteers) really makes the library function at its prime. Without it, the minimally staffed branch would not be able to survive. We all bring our unique interests and experiences to the table allowing us to reach out to the public.
The biggest challenge living and working in our community is the isolation. Resources are not as accessible as they would be in a larger community or with bigger cities nearby. We get by from being more self-reliant, resourceful and strong when even our most basic needs are a challenge to obtain. Lack of funds is always a challenge as well. Luckily the FRVPL have gone above and beyond to make contributions to our county library branch.
At this point in my life, I primarily read children's picture books. That is the extent of my reading affair within the parameters of a career, child rearing and housework. Generally speaking, I love nonfiction. My inquisitive nature is always yearning for more information. Every once in a while I can escape into a good piece of fiction by Amy Tan, Lisa See or my latest favorite, Maria Dueñas. Historical fiction is what I enjoy the most. I have not delved into other enthralling genres in fear that my responsibilities would elude me and child protection would take away my son for lack of supervision. I look forward to reading in another twenty years.
~ Rachel Borum