Dan Hess, Branch Librarian
I come from a library in the Bay Area with many similarities to Fort Bragg: curious, demanding readers of all ages; a Friends group with tenacity and wisdom about what makes a good library; and a staff that cares about the quality of the collection and is very approachable when people have questions. I’m happy to be working here.
My library work began in the 1980s with student jobs in college and public libraries. I moved to the Bay Area in 1991 and worked in a large county library system there. I received my MLIS at San Jose State in 2011. Over the years, I’ve held various jobs that taught me the full range of tasks that make a library system function smoothly. I’ve done circulation, delivery, and supplies. I’ve done outreach to the county jails and juvenile hall, tutoring inmates and providing books. Many of our “jails books” were donations, so I developed a great respect for Friends of the Library groups. Since 2010, I’ve worked at a branch in Albany, California. My work has encompassed poetry nights, political discussions, author visits and a noon-time speaker’s forum. As Children’s Librarian since 2013, I’ve had great times bringing books to life for local children and hosting entertainment and art displays that sparked young imaginations.
Libraries are a wonderful place for self-paced education. They spark a life-long love of reading and the joy of sharing stories with each other. As Branch Manager, I will help Fort Bragg continue to be a place of discovery for anyone who walks through the door.
I am very happy to be helping Fort Bragg families explore all our library has to offer. I am a native Californian but had never been to this beautiful corner of the state until my job interview. I was born and raised in Riverside. I grew up reading Mad Magazine and the Oz books, and I would still rather read a book for children or teens than one for adults, whether it’s Mo Willems or Harry Potter. I spent the summer after high school volunteering at the Riverside Main Library, putting videotape descriptions on 3” x 5” cards.
I got my MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science degree) in 1999 at San José State. I worked as a clerk at the Palo Alto Children’s Library and then became a part-time Children’s Librarian for SJPL. I moved up to Washington State, where I was a full-time Youth Services Librarian and then ran a used bookstore for children. It’s great to be back in a library and back in California!