Welcome to Tamra Hawley-House

photo of Tammy Hawley-House

The Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) is very pleased that Tammy Hawley-House joined our staff in December as our reading programs/teen activities coordinator.  Hawley-House, who works with the Read to Me and Make It at the Library teams, has worked in public libraries for over 20 years, with most of those years devoted to the service of children and their caregivers. Before libraries, she worked in accounting and received her undergraduate degree in elementary education. Hawley-House has a heartfelt interest in literacy and providing opportunities for children, parents, teachers, and librarians to succeed. She believes that a literate population is essential for our future.

It may not be a surprise that Hawley-House enjoys reading. She is delighted when she gets to spend time curling up with a great book. She loves cooking and gardening, and each spring she enjoys coming home from work and walking into the garden to see what new sprouts are waiting to greet her. She also loves to travel, whether it be a hike on a new path, a drive to a National Park, or a visit overseas. She relishes learning the history of places she wants to visit, planning the trip, and being part of new cultural experiences.

During her years devoted to youth library services, Hawley-House took advantage of numerous opportunities that ICfL offered her to further her studies in early literacy. In addition to storytimes and collection development, she offered early literacy educational trainings for parents, library staff, and childcare workers. She has written and received grants that require attention to deadlines and details—skills that are also necessary in her new job at ICfL. And she has a great deal of experience in budgeting, accounting, and process improvement. Hawley-House said, “I have seldom walked away from a project without thinking of ways I would like to do it better next time.”

Hawley-House believes that ICfL took a huge risk when it decided to become a development agency, and that has paid off immensely. Idaho is unique, in that many staff come to library work without any training or experience, sometimes as the only person in the geographic area to work in a library. They need help and ICfL is there with suggestions to craft better policies, adhere to state law, learn about early literacy, and so much more. It is important to her to be part of something that makes a difference in the world and she is honored to get a chance to affect positive change in Idaho libraries and their communities as part of ICfL’s team. Despite all her professional experience, Hawley-House says that her strongest contribution to libraries is that she cares. She cares about the future of our children, our communities, and our world and wants to be a part of making them better.

When asked what she sees as the biggest challenge facing Idaho libraries today, Hawley-House responded thoughtfully: “the plethora of opportunities that await them.”