Volunteer Spotlight: Diane Hogan

by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer

By the time Title Wave volunteer Diane Hogan and I finish our meeting we’ve talked about everything: From politics to cats, from the #metoo movement to how societal gender roles have changed over the past fifty years. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the very interesting life of another one of Multnomah County Library’s fantastic volunteers.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Diane and her family moved to Corvallis when she was a pre-teen. She later attended Oregon State University, graduating “with a degree that no longer exists: secretarial studies.” She also got a bachelor’s degree in graphic design at PSU, but long before computer programs were the design method. “I’m not sure I could do it now,” she laughs.

Diane worked for a time as a civil service secretary with organizations like civil defense and the Worker’s Compensation Board. After marrying, she and her husband moved to Portland’s Alberta Street area in the early 1980s. Adventure arrived when her husband got a six month contract to teach in the Czech Republic. Diane laughed remembering their communal living arrangements there, especially being woken late at night by drunken people wandering the halls. She ended up teaching English to students, too: “Their teenagers are a lot more mature than ours!” she recalls.   

Diane started working at Title Wave in 1998, first organizing books in the back room and then becoming a cashier. She says she most appreciates “the great atmosphere and good coworkers. And you know,” she adds, “most volunteers, when they leave for the day, they take a book home.” Besides her time at Title Wave, Diane also volunteers at the cattery at the Oregon Humane Society three days a week and enjoys going out to eat with friends in her Alberta neighborhood. As we parted ways we exchanged cat photos (naturally) and I realized the next time I need a book I might bypass my library—and head to Title Wave to talk to Diane instead!


A few facts about Diane

Home library: Thanks to the wealth of books at Title Wave, “I haven’t been to the library in years!”

Currently reading: Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane. “It’s all about caves!”  

Most influential book: A twenty-volume encyclopedia set called The Book of Knowledge that originally belonged to her grandfather. “It had everything from French lessons to handwriting lessons…”

Favorite book from childhood: Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat by Morrell Gipson. “A few years ago I bought a brand new edition.” 

Favorite place to read: On the couch or on her exercise bike. 

E-reader or paper: “I don’t read e-books!”

 

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