May 1, 2013 (Vol. 19, No. 9) – From the President

Thank you to Garrett Trott, Sam Wallin, and everyone else on the Planning Committee who worked hard to create a hugely successful OLA/WLA Joint Conference. I loved having the chance to spend time with colleagues from all different kinds of libraries in Oregon and Washington- it was so nice to see everyone.

Highlights for me included the Visual Thinking Strategies pre-conference hosted by the Children’s Services Division. How is it that CSD has such awesome conference sessions? They are a cute group to be sure (see pictures on the OLA Facebook Page), but I continue to be impressed by how directly the CSD programs inform my instruction work at the community college level. It got me all jazzed up.

I hope it goes without saying that the Library Instruction Round Table pre-conference featuring Dale Vidmar and his work with peer reflection conversations was awesome (I’m sure I’m not overstating that just because I’m the LIRT Chair). I’m so glad I was able to attend with my colleague and teaching buddy, Theresa Yancey. We both enjoyed thinking about how each can support the other’s intentionality and reflection in instruction. Speaking of support, we’ll write a big thank you to Chemeketa for supporting our attendance- who will get a thank you card from you?

I have a soft spot in my heart for Washington County Cooperative Library Services- I still have the WCCLS pin from the first day on my ultra-part-time job with them back in the ’90s. So it was especially nice to be at the table with Eva Calcagno, sneaking a photo of her as she watched Abigail and Buzzy perform a skit to honor the Librarian of the Year…..who could it be? who could it be? Eva of course for her incredible work on the Passport Program!

I presented the President’s Award to Abigail Elder. What can I say? I want to be Abigail. Trouble? Stop and ask yourself “What Would Abigail Do?”  I can’t thank her enough for her leadership over the last two years. She’s wonderful and Oregon continues to be so lucky to have her.

Other good memories from the conference include seeing Oregon and Washington State Librarians dressed up as Bert and Ernie. How cute is MaryKay with a fuzzy unibrow? Well she makes it look good, but Rand Simmons with a fuzzy headband gives her a run for the money. He’s adorable. I guess I learned things at that session about similarities and differences in the way state libraries are run, but, main impression? adorable.

The WLA Social Responsibilities Roundtable had a great session called The Role of Libraries During Civil (or Human) Rights Moments. Although the panel was very warm and mellow, I learned a few things that I took as a personal call to arms in the way I discuss topic selection in instruction. I got so fired up about it my hands started shaking and I can’t wait to start normalizing LGBT and undocumented people discussions in my classroom. What else is the needs-to-be normal that’s not on our radar? Interested to hear from others!

Unexpected conference treats include chocolate mousse, Library Assessment Round Table Meeting, Alliance Research Interest Group meeting, Emporia reception at the Red Lion, and breakfast at Torque with the Communications Committee. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Communication Committee members I had only met online and hashing out ways to make our OLA publications stronger. That said, I don’t know why I bought a scarf with a picture of #10 Dr. Who. I guess Torque just had that effect on me (see also photo of “The ‘Couve” tshirt on OLA Facebook for more Torque merchandise).

Thanks everyone for the great memories and inspiration I can take back to the library!
Sincerely, ~Michele Burke, OLA President


April 1, 2013 (Vol. 19, No. 7) – From the President

Hello Oregon Library People,

OLA President Michele Burke
OLA President Michele Burke

A brief follow-up to my announcement about Lead the Change, a Library Journal leadership development training and education opportunity. Lead the Change will be in Oregon on April 16, and Multnomah County Library has agreed to host the event at the Central Library in Portland. One of OLA’s goals is to support leadership training. Lead the Change is a leadership opportunity for library staff at every level and will feature our very own Eva Calcagno, Director of Washington County Cooperative Library Services. Do you have to hold down the fort while colleagues attend the OLA conference? Maybe Lead the Change will work with your schedule!

Here’s a link to the information and registration page. I hope you’ll consider attending and let us know how it goes!

~Michele Burke
OLA President

February 1, 2012 (Vol. 18, No. 3) – From the President

OLA President Abigail Elder

I’m pleased to be serving as your new OLA President, serving an abbreviated term after the resignation of Robert Hulshof-Schmidt.  I’ve had the pleasure of working in Oregon libraries for 14 years, and the Oregon Library Association has been a central part of my professional happiness. I’m honored to serve an organization comprised of so many smart and generous members.

The theme of the 2012 OLA conference, “Oregon Libraries: Right at the Heart of Things”, honors both the physical and philosophical place that libraries hold in our communities.  Libraries, with our dedicated staff and volunteers, are not on the sidelines passively watching communities evolve. Instead, we are active participants in creating the change we want to see— identifying community needs, rallying partners, and implementing initiatives to better serve our patrons and potential patrons.

OLA is in the middle of a busy year. Some of our current projects include:

  • Proposal to merge with the Oregon Association of School Librarians
  • Software for attending meetings remotely
  • New OLA Logo
  • 2012 Conference in Bend, Oregon
  • 2013 Conference in Vancouver, Washington
  • Shared Borrowing Across the State
  • Working with Partner Organizations outside OLA

We are a vibrant, energetic organization. I encourage you to get involved in our many roundtables, committees, and divisions and see for yourself! Please contact me, or any OLA board member, to talk about how you can lend your talents and skills to our efforts.

And so I propose a variation on our theme:  <Your name here>: Right at the Heart of OLA
Thank you for your trust in me as your OLA President.  I look forward to working with you in support of Oregon’s libraries.

September 1, 2011 (Vol. 17. No. 15) – From the President


OLA President Robert Hulshof-Schmidt

I am very excited to be starting my term as President this month. I thought a brief biography and an overview of the main goals of my term might be of interest to OLA members. I was born in Albany and lived there through high school. I went to Willamette University, where I received a B.A. in English and German, then got my MLS at the University of Washington. While in library school, I worked at the EPA Regional library in Seattle, which led to a job as a reference and systems librarian at EPA Headquarters in DC. My diversion to the east coast lasted thirteen years, two in DC and eleven in Atlanta. I was the head librarian at the Goethe-Institut Atlanta, a German cultural center, then moved on to SOLINET (now Lyrasis), where I had a variety of jobs culminating with three years as Manager of Member Services. One of my primary tasks in that role was to work with state library associations and state libraries in the ten-state SOLINET region.

I was very excited to have the opportunity to return to Oregon in 2005 to take my current position as Program Manager for Government Research Services at the State Library. I live in Portland with my husband, Michael (a native Southerner who was easily brought west by Oregon’s beauty and climate) and our four cats. After a decade of working with other associations and active membership in the Georgia Library Association (including two years on the Board), I was excited to become involved in OLA. I love conference planning, so I jumped onto the conference committee right away. The OLA membership and Board are truly amazing and welcoming. I was thrilled to be nominated for a term as President and honored to be elected.

My presidential theme is “Oregon Libraries: Right At the Heart of Things” celebrating the central role libraries and library workers play in the success of their communities. I will work with the Board to pursue four initiatives during this year.

  •  Pursuing the merger with the Oregon Association of School Libraries, pending the vote of each association’s membership at our annual meetings in October and April.
  •  Building on the work of last year’s Branding Task Force to create a unified message about OLA’s mission and communicating that mission clearly to our members and the library community.
  •  Engaging OLA members to participate actively in the association and help shape its direction. This will include testing and implementing a virtual collaboration tool that will allow members to participate in meetings and training activities without travel.
  •  Investigating best practices for collaborative borrowing across libraries throughout the state.

OLA is your association. Please give me a call or send me an email if you have ideas, suggestions, or would like the find the best way you can participate in OLA activities. I’m looking forward to an exciting and productive year.

Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
OLA President

November 1, 2010 (Vol. 16, No. 19) – From the President

***The Prez Sez: OLA Board Begins a New Year
The new OLA Executive Board met at the State Library in Salem on October 8th to begin a new year of advocating for library services and supporting library staff. 

Your new executive team is Past President, Connie Anderson-Cohoon from Southern Oregon University;  President, Rob Everett from Springfield Public Library; and Vice-President, President-Elect, Robert Hulshof-Schmidt from the State Library.  They are joined on the board by additional voting members, Secretary, Emily Papagni; Treasurer, Liisa Sjoblom; State Librarian, Jim Scheppke; ALA Representative, Hannah Gascho Rempel; Member-at Large, Anne-Marie Deitering; ACRL President, Jane Scott; CSD Chair, Krist Obrist; OYAN Co-Chairs, K’lyn Hahn & Susan Smallsreed; PLD Chair, Colleen Winters; and SSD Chair Susan Bacina.  We are ably assisted by Association Manager, Shirley Roberts along with a number of Round Table, Committee, and Task Team chairs.  All this adds up to a formidable group of librarians and library workers who are dedicated to improving library service in Oregon and in helping the library staff delivering that service become even more successful than before.  If you work with or encounter any of these people be sure to thank them for their service to Oregon libraries and for their service to you.

The good news is that our just completed fiscal year (’09-’10) saw the organization finish in the black, and plans are well underway for what promises to be a highly successful annual conference.  The theme of the conference and for my tenure as your president is, “Libraries build Communities build Libraries”.  In my mind, and in my actions, libraries are integral to the communities they serve; be that a private sector employer, a university campus, a government agency, or a city, county, or district public library. By the same turn, those communities are the life blood of their institutions.  We could not survive without our communities.  In fact they are the reason we exist. 

The bad news is that whatever organizational or jurisdictional context we find ourselves in, times are tough, and we are going to have to exhibit both cohesiveness and resourcefulness to get through them.  OLA is devoting itself to helping you, but we can’t do it without your engagement and participation in the association.

 In the coming weeks I will talk to you about specific aspects of the board work plan that we hope will support you and your involvement in OLA.  I encourage you to become involved in our common endeavor by encouraging coworkers to join OLA for the first time, renewing your own membership, offering your skills and insights to an OLA Division or Round Table, and by visiting our website and reading our Vision 2020 Statement, which is the culmination of a 2 ½ year process designed to “paint a picture of the challenges and opportunities Oregon’s libraries will face in the next decade.”  This vision was created by tapping into your experience and imagination and it will be your experience and imagination and energy that will ultimately determine whether we achieve it or not.  Consider my last statement both a challenge and an invitation to join us.

Rob Everett

September 15, 2010 (Vol. 16, No. 16) – From the (Past) President

***From the Past-President***
Wow! Where did a year go? Seems like just yesterday I was learning a million details about OLA in an attempt to fill the shoes left behind by Mary Ginnane.  The year flew by with a multitude of OLA activities even though we didn’t have our annual conference to bring us all together.  It was a tight year financially because our conference is the economic engine that funds a variety of organizational activities.  I’m very pleased to report that we ended the year with a slight budget surplus thanks to a very generous donation by our 2010 Library Supporter of the Year, Betsy Priddy.  Betsy is also the person behind the wonderful Amo Leer and HOLA projects.  Every member of our organization has benefitted from Betsy’s altruism.  We are fortunate to have supporters like her. 

Additional highlights for 2009-10 were the change in our association management from the McCulley’s to Robert’s Business Services; the decision to end our institutional membership in PNLA; and the completion of Vision 2020.  The Board also started merger discussions with OASL and approved plans for the new Oregon Reader’s Choice Awards.  These are but a few of the numerous decisions made on behalf of the organization by the OLA Executive Board.  Many thanks to outgoing board members: Mary Ginnane, Lorie Vik, Suzanne Sager, Dana Campbell, Rachel Bridgewater, Rick Samuelson, Todd Dunkelberg, Susan Gilmont, Ruth Murray, Sara Charlton, and Kim Willson-St. Clair.  I also appreciate all who served on OLA Roundtables, Committees and Task Forces.  The dedication and passion that you bring to the organization benefits all libraries throughout the state. 

 I am grateful to all of you for your support and friendship during my tenure.  I have learned an immense amount and am looking forward to year ahead as past president.  We are now in the capable hands of Rob Everett, OLA President 2010-11.  Best of luck, Rob!

August 15, 2010 (Vol. 16, No. 14) – President’s Message

Photo by Mary Ginane

***President’s Message
Like the changing of the seasons, leadership of OLA is changing as well.  OLA’s annual Leadership Retreat was held at Silver Falls August 2-3.  Rob Everett, our esteemed incoming president led the meeting.  We reviewed the past year’s achievements, set goals for 2010-11, and met our incoming leaders.  A lot was accomplished but it wasn’t all work and no fun.  Jim Scheppke, State Librarian led a hike to Silver Falls and we initiated Rob in traditional OLA fashion.  Want to know more?  Ask Rob to sing, Old Rob Everett, a top tune that is sweeping the nation.   

–Connie Anderson-Cohoon 

July 15, 2010 (Vol. 16, No. 12) – President’s Message

‘Twas a grand afternoon! Who says legislative history is boring?

Peter Buckley was awarded OLA’s Legislator of the Year Award at a reception at Ashland’s Hannon Library on June 4. Peter’s work on behalf of school libraries during the 2009 legislative session was key to the passage of HB 2586 . The idea for this legislation originated with Anne Billeter, a retired librarian and former OLA President. Anne was inspired by a column written by Jim Scheppke, our State Librarian, which lamented the sorry state of school libraries in Oregon. Anne decided to do something about it…she wrote to Rep. Buckley and a brilliant piece of legislation was born. Schools are required to develop annual continuous improvement plans and now these plans must include a provision for a “strong school library program.” As Peter remarked as he accepted the award, “It doesn’t solve the problem, but we got a toehold. It’s a start.” Many thanks to all of you who worked to help pass this legislation, particularly to Anne, Peter, and Jim who conceived the idea. Well done!

Connie Anderson-Cohoon

May 1, 2010 (Vol. 16, No. 8) – President’s Message

***President’s Message
I just got the news, “Molly Raphael, former director of libraries at Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore., has been elected president-elect of the American Library Association, defeating Sara Kelly Johns, school library media specialist for grades 6-12 at Lake Placid (N.Y.) Middle/High School.”

How wonderful for Molly and great that we have an ALA President from Oregon. Thanks to everyone who gave Molly your support and your vote!

As you all know, April 11-17, 2010 was National Library Week. You may not know that Senator Harkin from Iowa wrote a press release in honor of this event:

Several members of the Legislative Committee suggested that I write a letter of thanks to Senator Harkin and post it to the Hotline. That letter read as follows:

Senator Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

April 15, 2010

Dear Senator Harkin,

On behalf of the Oregon Library Association, I want to thank you for your comments regarding National Library Week. You eloquently articulated the value of libraries and librarians to our communities. We especially are proud of our service to children and people of modest means. We view our institutions as “great equalizers” in helping ordinary citizens achieve their goals. Librarians take great pride in what we do and it is particularly heartening when it is noticed and appreciated by a person such as you. Again, thank you for your observations.

Connie Anderson-Cohoon
Oregon Library Association
President 2009-10

Connie Anderson-Cohoon

April 15, 2010 (Vol. 16, No. 7) – President’s Message

***President’s Message
Are you interested in how reference has changed through the years? What are you doing to better serve patrons? What’s new? What aren’t you doing any more? How have your reference statistics changed over time? Share your experience and get published! The Summer OLA Quarterly issue is dedicated to the theme “Revitalizing Reference”.

Submit an article proposal (a brief description of article topic) by May 1, 2010 to the Guest Editor, Connie Anderson-Cohoon . The deadline for article manuscripts is May 31, 2010. If you have questions or would like to bounce your ideas off someone, contact me at or 541-552-6820. Thank you!

Connie Anderson-Cohoon