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One book at a time 

National School Librarian Day is April 4, a day dedicated to honoring librarians for fostering a love for reading and learning among students. South Umpqua School District’s five schools are fortunate to have dedicated librarians, including a district librarian. 

Our libraries offer numerous benefits to students, acting as hubs that enrich their educational experiences. These resourceful spaces provide students with access to books, digital resources and reference materials. Students get to participate in activities that supplement classroom learning. From ongoing story time and STEAM activities for younger learners, and Battle of the Books for elementary to high schoolers, the library is a hub of educational excitement. At the high school,

Student studies in SUHS’s library.

the library is a place for students to access reading and research materials and provides a quiet place to study. Additionally, librarians coordinate Scholastic Book Fairs.

Within the district’s library system there are 75,441 books, shared among schools. Having access to books is important to Canyonville student Rendola Yazzie. She’s in eighth grade and enjoys reading. “I like reading because you can go to different places and connect with characters,” she said.  


Inside Canyonville’s School Library (Middle school section)

Kristina Gale is the district librarian and works closely with the library team and teachers to meet the students’ interests and needs. She has been an integral part of our school community since 2000. Starting as an instructional assistant, Gale’s passion for literature led her to become a library tech, eventually earning a master’s degree in school library media from Portland State University. During the work week, she drove to Portland a couple times a week to attend graduate school classes and went to school during summer to complete her degree. When the former district librarian retired in 2010, Gale was ready to step into the position.  

“I feel like the library is my home,” Gale said. “It’s the perfect fit. I can’t imagine anything else.” Her commitment to the role is evident, and she expresses joy in watching students grow from kindergarten to graduation. 

Kristina Gale is South Umpqua School District’s district librarian. 

Gale’s dedication was even more evident last year when the elementary library at Canyonville School merged with the middle school library. Previously there were two library locations at the campus, spread between two buildings. The main purpose of the move focused on safety. Classrooms are now in one building. Elective classes and the library are in another building. The logistical challenge of moving the elementary library involved meticulous planning, from measuring square footage to strategically moving and organizing 14,313 books. “Canyonville’s school librarian Tina Soliz was with me every step of the way,” Gale said. Plus, the transition was made easier with the support of staff, students and community members who helped move books and assemble bookshelves. 

Grant funds from Northwest Community Credit Union and the South Umpqua School Foundation provided comfortable seating, reading nooks, library signage and even stuffed animals.  

Eighth-grade student Addison Mayfield sat reading on a beanbag chair and said, “I like the variety of books. It’s a pretty cool place for us to be.” 

Eighth-graders at Canyonville School enjoying reading in the library. 

Her friend Alex Williams, another eighth-grader added, “The library can be quiet and peaceful. We look around and find what we like.” 

On the other side of a wall separated by a door is the elementary library, a space where students enjoy story time and various activities that accompany themes of books.  

Payton Reid is in kindergarten and shared what she likes about the library. “I like to read. I like to read with a buddy. A buddy is a stuffy.” A stuffy is a stuffed animal that students can snuggle up with and read alongside.  

Canyonville kindergarten student poses with books and stuffed animal. 

“We’re in a groove now,” said Tina Soliz, Canyonville School’s librarian. “We figured out what works, and we’re making adjustments, as needed.”  

As we celebrate National School Librarian Day, let’s express our gratitude to school librarians for making a lasting impact on the educational journey of our students. Their unwavering commitment to literacy and fostering a love for reading is truly commendable. Thank you to our librarians for shaping the minds of the future, one book at a time: Kristina Gale, district librarian; Kathy Brown, South Umpqua High School; Makenzie Chapman, Coffenberry Middle School; Tina Soliz, Canyonville School; Jessica Widener, Tri City Elementary; and Liz Posey, Myrtle Creek Elementary.  

The library is not only a physical space but also a virtual one, thanks to the district’s library webpage. Accessible to all students (K-12), the webpage offers a treasure trove of online books and research materials, ensuring that the love for learning extends beyond the library walls. For more information and access to online resources, visit the district’s library webpage at