Rachael Fox reading in a chair at Hood River Library, October 2013

Rachael Fox chosen as new Library Director

The Hood River County Library District Board of Directors chose our current Assistant Director Rachael Fox as the library’s new director. Fox impressed the Board with her strong communication, leadership, and community outreach skills as well as her long-time commitment to the library and Hood River County community. Fox will be only the second director the library district has had in its five-year tenure.

Fox began working in libraries when she was hired as a library assistant in 2002 at the county-run Hood River County Library, a position she held until the library’s closure in 2010. While working there, Fox studied for and received her Master of Library Science from Emporia State University’s School of Library and Information Management.

During the library’s year of closure, Fox was actively involved in the successful campaign to create a library district, canvassing door-to-door and assisting the campaign with information about library operations. Fox was one of the first employees of the newly-created Hood River County Library District when she was hired as its first Cataloging Specialist in 2011. She later became the district’s first Assistant Director, a position she’s held since 2013. As Assistant Director, Fox plans adult programming, manages desk staff and scheduling, and conducts outreach to senior living facilities.

The Library Director position opened proceeding current director Buzzy Nielsen’s announcement in May that he would be resigning. Following a national search, the library district received and reviewed nineteen applications. After interviewing an initial five candidates, the hiring committee narrowed the field down to three: Fox, Diane Adams, director of the International Falls Public Library in Minnesota, and Emily Klonicki, director of the Ella Johnson Memorial Public Library District in Hampshire, Illinois.

The finalists participated in a rigorous evaluation process on July 9 which included interviews, meetings with staff, a written assignment, and a presentation and meet and greet with the public. In reviewing the candidates, the HRCLD Board of Directors strongly considered the views of the public and staff. Final approval of Fox’s selection will be at the Board of Directors meeting on July 19.

Fox will begin her new position on August 1, following Nielsen’s final day on July 31.Training shall start immediately. Both the Board and Fox anticipate that she will become an even more common presence within the community as she becomes the new face of the library district. Plans already are moving forward in recruiting a new Assistant Director, a position expected to be filled externally. The library district has several large projects for the future including moving the Cascade Locks branch, renovating the Parkdale branch, preserving the historic Hood River branch, and carrying out a new five-year strategic plan that emphasizes community outreach.

For more information, please contact Board President Suzanne VanOrman at 541-400-1725 or suzanne@hoodriverlibrary.org.