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Hoodland Library moves in new building space

Open house held Aug. 15 at Welches Mountain Center

Hoodland residents now have a welcoming place to access the Internet, check out books and just hang out.

After a week of transporting books on foot across Welches Road, the Hoodland Public Library officially opened in its new space on Saturday, Aug. 1, in the Welches Mountain Center, 24525 E. Welches Road.POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - A group of library staff and volunteers get ready for the official opening of the Hoodland Library on Aug. 1.

“Ultimately, everything went really well,” said Sarah McIntyre, library director. “Everybody just pulled together.”

The new library is up and running, complete with a children’s section, comfortable seating, a community meeting room and eight laptops available for use within the library.

In May 2014, Former Library Director Beth Scarth, now retired, redirected a county grant after the Hoodland Women’s Club announced it was backing out of plans for a new community center.

The $250,000 grant from the Clackamas County Library District was to be used for capital improvements. The original plan was for the grant to go toward building the new community center, where the library would relocated. Instead, it was utilized to renovate a space in the Mountain Center for use by the Hoodland Library.

In the end, the project wound up going about $18,000 over budget, which was a little more than staff wanted to spend, McIntyre said.

The library anticipated needing to take from the Hoodland materials budget to make up for the money spent and has been accepting donations to offset that cost.

So far, staff has brought in about $1,000 in donations, and McIntyre said they received more than expected from the Friends of Hoodland Library, which will help.POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - The Hoodland Library is now open in a new location across Welches Road.

“I think it turned out better than we expected,” she noted.

Chris Wilhelmi, assistant to the library director, who led the team of staff and volunteers that got the library settled in in the new space, agreed.

“People were generally excited when they saw we were moving,” he said. “One thing I heard was, ‘Now it looks like a library, rather than an afterthought.’”

The Hoodland Library service area serves a population of around 5,000. As of July 31, McIntyre said the Hoodland Collection contained 16,204 items and had 2,944 registered borrowers.

McIntyre and Wilhelmi said the new space will allow them to expand what the Hoodland Library can offer to the community.

“We should be able to have more programming,” McIntyre said, adding that it’s Hoodland’s goal to mirror programming going on at Sandy Library. “Hopefully (we're) also providing a comfortable place to hang out in for the community.”

From 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15, Hoodland Library staff invites the community to an open house, which features music and light refreshments.

In conjunction with the library event, the Friends of Hoodland Library will hold a book sale on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the nonprofit group’s storage locker, The Book Bin, on East Stage Stop Road.