As COVID-19 kept schoolchildren home and reduced their access to books and local libraries, a number of literacy programs throughout the Gorge have jumped in to help, supported in part by generous grants from Gorge Community Foundation donor advisors.  Through collaborations with the Hood River County School District and FISH Food Bank, the Hood River County Library supported by the Library Foundation has been donating books and providing funds for teachers to purchase books for their students.  First Book of Wasco and Hood River Counties has also purchased and distributed books for young readers.

The Hood River County Library has risen to the challenge of serving rural communities by committing to the purchase of a new bookmobile, with over 75% of the funds raised for the purchase of the bookmobile.  In addition to bringing materials patrons have requested, it will offer free mobile technology services for those needing to use a computer. The bookmobile will be stocked with Spanish and English reading material for youth and adults, an onboard internet connection and computers and printers.  It will offer free mobile technology services for those needing to use a computer, conduct a job search, print forms and documents, and conduct other business.  The bookmobile will visit senior centers and central community locations throughout the county and the bookmobile librarians will be bilingual and ready to recommend a book to a young reader or senior.  Hood River Library Foundation president Jen Bayer says, “The bookmobile will enable us to reach all of our communities and ensure that everyone has access to the library.”

If any of our donor advisors wish to support the bookmobile campaign, please let Jill Burnette know by the March board meeting on 3/29.  Grants of $2,500 or more will be recognized on the side of the bookmobile as sponsors.