New SH librarian has always had yen for books

Sean C. Morgan

Rose Peda had a library in her garage when she was in the fifth grade.

Running a library was her dream job, and following a detour into electrical construction, she’s realized that dream.

Peda, 57, is the new library director with the city of Sweet Home. She will go to work on Oct. 3.

Peda grew up in the Cupertino, Calif., area and then moved to Seattle, Wash., where she went to work in electrical construction. Eventually, she went to school and earned her master’s degree in library and information science.

She worked as a student intern for the Seattle Public Library. That was extended during a hiring freeze in Seattle and King County. By the end of the freeze, she had so much experience, the Seattle Library hired her as a permanent employee.

She worked in Seattle for nine years as a young adult librarian at the Rainier Beach and New Holly branches.

“I left that position and moved to Southern Oregon and worked as a temp for Jackson County,” Peda said. From there, she went to work for Douglas County for five years, serving as an Extension Services librarian and overseeing 10 branch libraries in locations throughout the county.

“I’m willing to take on challenges of meeting new people and the opportunity of meeting new people,” she said. “I look forward to it.”

She anticipates honing and expanding her skill set here in Sweet Home, Peda said.

The community is much like Sutherlin, where she lived last, she said. “Talking with people and meeting people, it just seemed like a nice fit for me.

“The people are fabulous. Everybody has been so welcoming and excited about me coming here, which has made the transition for me a little bit easier. There’s still sadness of leaving the people there.”

Everyone in Sweet Home has been supportive, and she has enjoyed learning about the community and community events.

Sweet Home is about the same size as Sutherlin, but it has things like the Community Center and its long list of community events, she said. That’s what Roseburg has, and Roseburg is much larger.

She thinks that smaller libraries have advantages, she said. Among them, librarians can get to know the patrons. She had that chance at New Holly in Seattle. Operating in a low-income minority area, it was a popular place for teenagers and children.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the library patrons,” Peda said. “I’ve already met some of them.”

While here, she hopes to do more outreach to schools, Peda said, and she wants the library to keep doing what it is already doing so well and then expand and add to it.

Her interest in libraries started early.

“It all started in the fifth grade,” Peda said. “I had a library in my garage. I had kids come in and check out books. If they were late, I charged them a fine.”

When she graduated from high school, she went to work, and the dream was gone into daily life.

“It was on my mind,” Peda said. “I started working right away out of high school. I never really took the time to explore it.”

While working, fire departments would often contact her company to get plans while they were inspecting buildings. She was the one her company turned to for the plans.

Finally, someone there said she should become a librarian, based on the way she handled the plans. And then a friend there suggested she look into it. Soon, she was attending Highline Community College, where she earned her associate’s degree. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in business administration and then her master’s degree from the University of Washington.

Peda is not married, but she has a dog and a cat.

She also enjoys her non-biological grandchildren, who are hers through a long story with an ex in the picture, she said.

Peda’s favorite books are mysteries and young adult books. She enjoys spending time with her friends, walking her dog, quilting and sewing.