Admittedly I am a bit late with the giving thanks but I’m also very tardy in actually blogging each week so we’ll just chalk it up to overwork (or laziness, you decide).
I had a great road trip a couple of weeks ago that reminded me why I love my job and the people I get to interact with in my job. Our friends at the Lake County Library in Lakeview (look it up!) opened their fabulous new building that has been in the works for over 10 years. The project is the result of the work of library staff, past and present, library foundation members, past and present, and an incredible community. My photos don’t do it justice but here are a couple of shots.
Yes, that is a giant garage door in the middle of the library, how cool is that? The celebration included a ukulele band, a poem (see matching pockets) written by Paulann Petersen, our fabulous Poet Laureate, for the occasion, and cookies shaped like the building.
A big congratulations to Amy Hutchinson and everyone in Lake County!!!!
I also got to stop by and visit Pete Barrell and his staff at the Cottage Grove Public Library and I visited the Klamath County Library in downtown Klamath Falls and got to see the progress on their new South Suburban Branch. Christy Davis has been the library director of Klamath County Library since October 1, 2013 but I remember meeting her in 1996 when she was the story van staff at Klamath County and I was the newly minted Youth Services Consultant. Why is my hair grey and hers isn’t?
I was on the road last week and had a couple of great library experiences. And then this week we had a great library experience right here at the State Library.
Friday was the quarterly meeting of the Southern Oregon Library Federation, libraries in southern Oregon formed this group many years ago as a vehicle for sharing information and networking. The State Library is invited to all of these meetings and staff takes turns attending. Last week was my turn and I attended the meeting at the North Bend Public Library. I hate to call out favorites but Gary Sharp, the director at North Bend, is one of my favorites. He runs a great library and has some of the best cultural programming available in public libraries in Oregon. Plus, he is one heck of a nice guy! I also had a minute to catch up with Sara Simpkins, the children’s librarian at North Bend. I’ve known Sara since I started at OSL and appreciate both her dedication to libraries and children as well as her spunk.
Since I was in North Bend already I decided to hop down to Jackson County to check in with Kim Wolfe, the library director there. Some of you may know that Jackson County has recently decided to hold a library district vote in May of 2014. It happened that the Medford Branch was holding a Learn-a-palooza on Saturday so I popped in to see what was up. The place was bustling and I got a chance to visit my inner children’s librarian with Kim.
Then on Monday the State Library was honored with a visit by world renowned calligrapher, Ma Weihua. Mr. Ma has donated an incredible book, Chinese characters’ development : China stamps collection of carved porcelain art, to the State Library. He was in Oregon visiting the Confucius Institute at Portland State University and agreed to visit OSL so we could thank him for his gift. Senator Edwards and Representative Williamson, both involved with the Oregon China Sister State relationship attended the reception and thanked Mr. Ma.
And speaking of China take a glance at the 2013 Horner Exchange blog
I have decided that blogging is a lot like exercising. It is awfully darn easy to skip a session and then skip another session. As you may have guessed, I haven’t exercised in
The Oregon state capitol building turned 75 on October 1st.
The dome was festooned with candles for the occasion and the day was celebrated with cake and other fun activities. The staff of the state library created a great website of photos that was featured in several news stories about the celebration.
Take a look at this great article in the Salem Statesman-Journal about the recent changes at the Salem Public Library, complete with pictures of both the library and the fabulous director, B.J. Toewe.
And speaking of fabulous library directors, Penny Hummel has resigned from the Canby Public Library and will be doing consulting. She made huge changes at the Canby Public Library and the Canby Herald acknowledged her contributions to the citizens of Canby. All the best, Penny!
Two of our wonderful Oregon public libraries celebrated a 100th birthday on Saturday. The Multnomah County Library celebrated the opening of the Central Library Building and the Estacada Public Library celebrated the beginnings of their library.
I attended the Estacada celebration and it was quite delightful. A local writer/historian/storyteller, Kathryn Hurd, shared a wonderful history of Estacada. And we were treated to a memories by Stevan Allred of the role of libraries in his life. Stevan was raised in Seattle and Portland. His story of visiting the old Seattle Public Library main building was familiar to me since I had a “student librarian” job there when I was in library school.
Stevan is also the author of a new book, A Simplified Map of the Real World, which is getting some good reviews. I have it on my list of books to read and will let you know what I think.
So, as my old friend Winnie-the-Pooh would say “Many Happy Returns of the Day!”
That got your attention, didn’t it? I didn’t really go fishing but I did take a vacation to Camp Sherman on the beautiful Metolius River last week, which is why I didn’t post anything. It was beautiful and restful and I want to go back…
Now that I got that out of my system, let’s get down to business. Last week I received an e-mail from Katie Anderson that Leah Griffith, director of the the Newberg Public Library, had sent to her about Oregon having the highest circulation of children’s materials per capita in the country. I sent that link along to libs-or and have received lots of good feedback about it. But now I want to make a point that Leah alluded to in her message to Katie, and that I think is very important.
Oregon is the only state in the country that uses state public library per capita funding exclusively for children’s services; summer reading programs and early literacy. Oregon has the highest circulation of children’s materials per capita. Coincidence? I think not….
I think that the library community and the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1993 saw the writing on the wall (or in the book…) and created a grant program that is providing results for the Oregonians. I think that the library community and the Oregon Legislative Assembly have seen fit to continue to improve the grant program. This year the Governor and the Legislative Assembly agreed to increase Ready to Read funding by $194,000 for the 2013-2015 biennium.
I do realize that I am making some leaps of logic here but I honestly believe that our investment in children via the Ready to Read grant program is yielding benefits. And I believe that our partnerships and participation in the early learning activities being proposed for our communities will yield even more benefits.
Long Live Libraries!
I just had to look up the definition of pomp and circumstance after I decided on the title. It is defined as: splendid celebration with ceremony and fuss. And that is just what I attended Sunday afternoon at the OHSU Auditorium (Old Library Building) in Portland.
The 12th Cohort of the Emporia State University School of Library and Information Management Oregon Program held commencement exercises and I witnessed the splendid celebration with ceremony and fuss. I even got to help with the fussing!!!!
Last year I found out that one of the responsibilities of the State Librarian is to welcome these Candidates for the Degree of Masters of Library Science into the profession. How incredibly cool is that? I have the best job ever.
My participation in the fuss consisted of brief remarks. The rest of the ceremony and fuss consisted of a greeting from Dr. Gwen Alexander, Dean of SLIM, and then after my remarks we heard from Michele Burke, our wonderful OLA President. Christy Davis provided an excellent speech as the Student Representative. She was followed by our amazing Oregon Poet Laureate, Paulann Petersen, who graced us all with a reading of two of her poems. The main event, aside from the graduates of course, was the Commencement Address by the City Librarian of the Seattle Public Library, Marcellus Turner. It was a pleasure to meet him and he gave a great address that was everthing from deep thoughts to practical advice. Thanks for being there, Marcellus.
Then came the best part…I got to assist Dr. Andrew Smith, Interim Associate Dean, with “hooding” the candidates. We only knocked the hat off one student, she was very gracious about it, and once we got the hang of it we were quite efficient. I make light but it was very satisfying and affecting to interact, however briefly, with each and every one of those new librarians. And as I said in my remarks “I don’t believe there has ever been a better time to be a librarian”.
In the spirit of over-communication and making sure I get a blog post out this week I am posting the information that Arlene Weible shared with library directors about Cover Oregon. Arlene also gave the directors with information about the contact list we will be providing to Cover Oregon. I just want to make sure there is broad communication in the library community about Cover Oregon so we can be sure to have information available when people ask.
Cover Oregon is Oregon’s new health insurance exchange, and is part of the federal Affordable Care Act. This new online marketplace will help Oregonians compare and enroll in health and dental coverage that fits their needs and budget. More Oregonians will be able to get health insurance, even if they already have a health condition, and be able to access financial help. Cover Oregon will be rolling out on October 1, 2013.
Cover Oregon will provide libraries the ability to order promotional products (brochures, bookmarks, etc.) from their web site. The Oregon State Library has been asked to provide a list of library contacts for Cover Oregon to use as they set up accounts.