Dina Sanchez

Calhoun County Head Library Dina Sanchez poses in the selfie booth during the kickoff to the Summer Reading Program. (DD Turner/Wave photo)

PL native’s goals include re-opening Point Comfort

Spreading the importance of reading is one reason Dina Sanchez sought the library director position.

She was named to the position May 6 by the Calhoun County Commissioners’ Court to replace Noemi Cruz, who retired from the position.

“I wanted the position of library director because I thought it would be an amazing opportunity, an opportunity that would allow me to spread the importance of reading beyond the elementary school level,” said Sanchez. “Not only do I bring an educational background in human resources to the position, but I also bring experience. Prior to becoming the county library director, I was the librarian aide at Jackson-Roosevelt Elementary. I was the librarian aide at J-R for nine years.”

Sanchez said she thought libraries were important because they “promoted the importance of reading by providing the community with reading materials.“

Her short time as director, though, has taught her that libraries are so much more.

“I was amazed and continue to be amazed by everything the Calhoun County libraries have to offer for the community. All three branches are staffed with people who truly care about their patrons. They know most of their patrons by first name and know exactly what they like to read,” she said.

She described the library as a small community within the community.

“We have our regulars that come every day to get books, use the computers, or just to escape the heat. We provide a safe environment for the community to meet their printing, faxing, and copying needs. We also offer a number of programs suitable for all ages, such as Reading Buddies, tutoring, summer reading, crochet, ESL, and ukulele.”

One of her main goals is to get the Point Comfort branch reopened. Winter Storm Uri heavily damaged the library in 2021.

“I want to get the Point Comfort Library opened back up as soon as possible because I see what a huge impact the Port Lavaca, Port O’ Connor, and Seadrift libraries have on their patrons,” she said.

Other goals include continuing to serve the community and “making adjustments where needed in order to meet the community’s changing needs and wants,” she said.

Sanchez was born in Houston but was raised in Pot Lavaca by her grandparents, Felix and Grace Garza. She graduated from Calhoun High School and attended Victoria College and the University of Houston-Victoria before moving to Alabama with her parents, Stacy and Linda Hedrick.

She and her husband, Joaquin, recently celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary and are the parents of two children Joaquin Jr. and Eva.

“Fun fact: Like the previous director, I have a twin sister, Melissa Sanchez,” she said.

The new director enjoys a true crime novel as well as the writings of Katherine Applegate.

“I know that I have some big shoes to fill because Noemi Cruz did such an incredible job with the library. I am truly grateful to have been given this amazing opportunity,” she said.

Originally published on portlavacawave.com, part of the TownNews Content Exchange.

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