INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — If you've spent time in the Incline Village Library, chances are you've seen Pam Rasmussen. She can be found behind the desk, in the stacks, or leading one of the many community events the library hosts. In short, she does it all at the library.
As managing librarian, Rasmussen is the sole person responsible of maintaining the 40,000-item collection. A mother of two, she's worked in the Washoe County Library system for more than a decade, including five years in Sparks and eight in Incline Village. Prior to that, Rasmussen worked in a small library in Sierra County.
Rasmussen was one of the key players when it came to designing the Incline Village Library, working with the architect and Washoe County library superintendent. In an opportunity that Rasmussen called “exciting” and a “win-win situation,” she was responsible for the interior design of the library. For this effort, she and the library have won two awards, including one from the American Library Association.
Working with the public has always been a joy for Rasmussen, as she hosted several focus groups and meetings to have community input while designing the library.
For example, Rasmussen explained, community members said it was important to have art in the library, which has since become a staple in the building, complete with rotating art exhibits.
Describing herself as a “hands-on” librarian, Rasmussen noted that one of her favorite parts of her job is recommending books to patrons. When asked what some of her favorite books are, Rasmussen paused, before explaining that she would need to think it over for a bit before replying.
Several hours later, after giving the question some thought, Rasmussen replied in an email. Among her favorites are “The Education of Little Tree,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Things They Carried,” and more.
Working with the community is also a large part of Rasmussen's job, as she organizes and oversees various events the library hosts. One of the events she helps run, in conjunction with Sierra Nevada College, is the Community Read program. This complimentary event features various book discussions, involving different authors or guest speakers.
“It is exciting and rewarding to participate in such a worthy and important event for our community,” Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen works with the SNC Library Director, Betts Markle, to organize the event. She explained that the Community Read events consist of five different programs and four exhibits on art, books and audiovisual materials.
Another one of Rasmussen's favorite programs that she oversees is the Lifescapes program, in which senior citizens write memoirs.
“It gives a voice to people that sometimes get marginalized,” she explained.
Although managing the library is a big part of her job, Rasmussen also notes that educating others, whether it be teaching patrons to use a computer or how to download an e-book, is another large part of her job.
“It's important to me that people come to the library and learn something new each time they visit,” she said.
Rasmussen is also a founding member of the Tahoe Library Coalition, a collection of libraries on the North Shore, from Incline Village to Tahoe City. The libraries work together to host various events at different locations.
“This group has sponsored many community events, such as book sales, computer classes, community reads and student reading assistance,” she said. “It's a phenomenal group of librarians from Incline Village to Tahoe City. I'm very proud to be a founding member of that group.”
Rasmussen added that in her free time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking and attending live performances of any kind, whether it be a concert or a literature reading. When asked if she plans on staying in Tahoe, Rasmussen's face lit up, as if to say she didn't want to be any place else.
“I love Tahoe,” she said. “I love the sense of community and adventurous spirit of the people here, and the thirst for knowledge.”