Magazine features San Luis Obispo library director
“I want all kids to be bi-lingual,” Brian Reynolds says. He has been studying and using Spanish since he was twelve.
Reynolds, the director of the San Luis Obispo City-County Library, serves each year as the interpreter for a Rotary Club project in Compostela in the Mexican state of Nayarit, a mountainous region on the west coast of the country. Among other things, the service club helped run an audiology clinic for children in Compostela and has supplied household appliances for a home for the elderly.
The February 2006 issue of The Rotarian, the magazine representing Rotary International, featured Reynolds in an article about his service work for his local Rotary club, which has involved him every year since 1994 in collaboration with the Rotary club in Compostela.
Reynolds joined Rotary International in 1984. He has been director of the San Luis Obispo City-County Library for 13 years, in charge of a system that serves 250,000 customers on the central California coast. Last year the library restored library service in Oceano, a mostly Hispanic community in an unincorporated part of the county, after a hiatus of 30 years. Remarkably, the library system raised the money to build and maintain the new branch without raising taxes. Donations were made by individuals and service clubs, and the branch library opened on the grounds of an elementary school on October 22.
Reynolds’ involvement in Rotary service projects to Latin America began before he moved to San Luis Obispo. As director of the Siskiyou County Library, he led a Rotary group study exchange to an agricultural region in Chile in 1990, for example.
As an undergraduate enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, Reynolds studied at the University Madrid. He earned his library degree at UCLA and then worked for a year in Nicaragua as an academic librarian.
He believes that his fluency in Spanish helped him get the job in San Luis Obispo, where he has used it to write publicity for summer reading programs, help program a website, plan outreach programs, and share in the translation of paperwork. Serving the Spanish-speaking community in San Luis Obispo County has been key to his success as library director for the city and county.