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Librarian can’t pass a bookstore without making a purchase

by Nancy Hamlett

Take a man with the love of reading, combine him with a person interested in helping others, and you’re likely to come up with Dan Doyle, a librarian at the Minden branch of the Douglas County Library.

A soft-spoken, pleasant person, Doyle’s love of books becomes evident as soon as you start talking to him.

“I love book stores,” said Doyle, a resident of the Gardnerville Ranchos. “I can’t pass one up without stopping in to see if there is something to add to my personal collection.”

Originally planning on a career in education, Doyle said that he has found his niche with the library.

“There is no greater thing in the world than helping people,” Doyle said. “But I especially like the one-on-one aspect at the library. And the fact that the people want help.”

Doyle uses his librarian skills and a quest for knowledge to expand on his favorite pastime, the study of Russia. He enjoys the rich Russian history so much that he leaves in the middle of July for a two-week tour of northern Russia.

“It’s almost an obsession with me,” said Doyle. “I have always been interested in the history and culture of Russia. Two weeks is not enough time to see what I want, but this is still an opportunity of a lifetime for me. I’m also curious to see what’s happening today with the revival of religion in Russian. The Romanoff dynasty and the revolution fascinate me. I want to get a sense of feeling for the country.”

Doyle’s tour will start in Moscow and then proceed up the Volga River.

“Some of the stops include Uglich and Kostroma, a preserved historical city,” Doyle said. “And of course St. Petersburg.”

Sometimes referred to as the Venice of Russia, St. Petersburg promises to be the most important port of call for Doyle.

“St. Petersburg excites me even more than Moscow,” said Doyle. “The culture that came out of this city, the heart and spirit of the people during times of upheaval . . . especially the siege during World War II . . . is an inspiration. I want to learn all that I can. Nothing is more fascinating than the sad history, but beauty of Russia.”

Originally from Michigan, Doyle relocated to the Carson Valley about 14 years ago after stops in Aspen, Colo. and San Diego.

“I like the Carson Valley,” he said. “It is a beautiful and scenic area. And I like the people.”

Doyle also likes to partake in many of the activities available in the Valley, including cycling, although his favorite hobbies are reading, classical music, good wine and good food.

“I remember filling out a questionnaire for a publication at one time,” Doyle said. “I gave the same answers then. I guess my lifestyle hasn’t changed very much over the years.”

Doyle doesn’t anticipate any major changes for the future either.

“I plan to stay in the Carson Valley and help people at the library,” Doyle said.

And to continue learning all that he can about Russia.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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