September 15, 2017 (Vol. 24, No. 17) PEOPLE

Big Five! Questions with OLA President Buzzy Nielsen

  1. What is your first library-related memory?

My first library was the tiny Langlois Public Library on the southern Oregon Coast. It was a small room, about the size of a modest living room, in the local fire hall. The library of course had many memorable aspects, but what’s most burnt into my brain is the early 1970s carpet with concentric circles in various shades of baby puke green. That image is hard of get out of your head, as anyone who ever worked there can attest.

  1. What is your favorite place in Oregon?

Eep, what a tough question! I’ve lived in or visited so many beautiful parts of Oregon that I love: the Coast, Portland, the Gorge, the Painted Hills, Central Oregon, etc. We are incredibly fortunate to live here. If I had to pick one, though, I’d say that there’s no place quite as powerful and beautiful to me as watching the high surf crash against the rocks at Shore Acres State Park in Charleston. It is awesome in the fullest sense of the term.

  1. What was the last gift you gave someone?

I bought my stepson a box of de la Rosa peanut marzipan. He loves those things!

  1. What do you think about when you’re alone in the car/on the bus/going somewhere else?

I’m a podcast junkie, so I end up thinking about a lot of different things on my daily commute. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about UFOS and aliens thanks to a summer series they’re doing on one of my favorite podcasts, Oh No, Ross and Carrie! It’s fascinating to consider how different people can look at the same phenomena and come to radically varying conclusions based on their own preconceived beliefs and life experiences.

  1. What’s the most interesting thing about you that’s not on your resume?

This may be a cop out, since it is related to a job, but I promise that I don’t put it on my resume anymore! When I was in college, I worked through a temp agency for a few summers. Eventually, I got hired at a women’s sports apparel website based in Portland called Lucy called their customer service reps “Sisters of Style.” As the only male in customer service, I was the token “Brother of Style.” Unsurprisingly, they did not let me talk actually to customers, as I was eminently unqualified to do so. It was a great job with lots of fantastic people. Plus, we had all of the free Luna bars and Oregon Chai we could consume! When classes were in session, I worked at Lucy three days a week. One day, I went to work and everything was fantastic. Lucy had models on the Today Show, and everyone seemed exceptionally excited about the future of the company. Literally two days later when I went back to work, it was a ghost town. My boss was one of the only people still there. She told me that the previous day, the owners announced that they were closing the company. This was during the dotcom crash of 2000-01. I could have had a very different career trajectory if Lucy had remained open! However, they reopened a few years ago and appear to be doing quite well.


September 1, 2017 (Vol. 24, No. 16) ASSOCIATION NEWS

A Changing of the Guard, and Thank You!

Greetings OLA Members!

I wanted to inform you all that the presidency of the Oregon Library Association has officially been transferred. At the executive board meeting on August 25, 2017, at the Crook County Public Library, I had the honor of passing the gavel to our then-vice president Buzzy Nielsen. He is going to be an amazing president, I am certain of that; please join me in welcoming him to this new role!

It is amazing what can happen in a year, both in our personal and professional lives. I see the passing of a year so starkly with my little children, one who was barely crawling when I was handed the OLA gavel is now running around and jabbering. When I look back on the year I spent in service as OLA president, it seems like it went quickly, but time has a way of feeling stretched out too. We did a great deal of work! That is what our association does, there are so many moving parts, and brilliant people working together for the good of Oregon libraries. It’s been a privilege to get to know many of you and seeing what we can accomplish together.

Some of the year’s major events that stick out in my mind:

  • A great turnout at Legislative Day in Salem.
  • Our fantastic conference–and, we added a Saturday–epic!
  • Continuation of our strategic initiatives, such as starting work on the Leadership Institute (coming in May  2018!), upgrading our website, Leadership Scholarships, starting a website task force to continue looking at our web presence, and a task force to look at how we fundraise and how that can be further coordinated and streamlined.
  • Members of our association mobilized in support of Net Neutrality, IMLS funding, LSTA and IAL funding, and our elected representatives heard us!
  • Our units continued work on many big projects, too numerous to list here.
  • The Intellectual Freedom Committee won a national award (Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award) for their “Tuesday Topics.”
  • OLA, OASL, and ACRL worked very hard to get the Oregon Department of Education to include school libraries in their proposal for the statewide “Every Student Succeeds Act” implementation plan.

We also had sorrow in the library community, with the defunding of the Douglas County Library system, and their subsequent closure. We see Wallowa County facing what could be a similar problem. But, as we have seen time and time again, our communities step up and fight for their libraries. Douglas County has most of its branches operating as city libraries or as volunteer-run at the moment, and are looking for sustainable ways forward. Libraries in Josephine County passed their levy and have a source of stable funding after 10 years! Tillamook County and Fern Ridge also passed their library levies!

So you see, there were high points, low points, and a lot of hard work that went on in our association this year. I am impressed and continually inspired to work with you, and feel so fortunate that I get to continue on the board this coming year as “past president.” I’m planning to focus my energy on continuing to assess our web presence with the task force, including how we can use Northwest Central better to share resources and provide more professional development.

Most of all, I want to thank you for allowing me to serve as president of the Oregon Library Association this past year. It expanded my horizons, my community, I learned so much, and I look forward to continuing to work with you!

Elsa Loftis
OLA Immediate Past President 2017-18

September 1, 2017 (Vol. 24, No. 16) ASSOCIATION NEWS

Message from New OLA President, Buzzy Nielsen

Happy OLA New Year!

Last year was a tad bit crazy and challenging, I’d say. There was another library closure in Douglas County and threatened cuts to LSTA and Ready to Read, issues that you all worked tirelessly to fix. There were also huge wins last year, though: successful library funding campaigns in Josephine and Tillamook Counties as well as Fern Ridge; the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s win of ALA’s Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award; and successful advocacy to restore said LSTA and Ready to Read funds. So hats off to Elsa and the rest of the outgoing OLA officers from the Executive Board, Divisions, Round Tables, and Committees for their incredible work last year. And hats off to all of you who tackled the challenges of the year and helped make it a better one.

Despite the prodigious shoes I’ll be attempting to wear, I am honored to be starting my term as OLA president. The year ahead stands to be an exciting one as well (though hopefully less exciting in certain ways!). The Conference Committee already is hard at work planning another great conference in Eugene on April 18-21. Our very first Leadership Institute, coordinated by the Leadership Committee, is slated for May 16-19 in Pendleton. We’re embarking on the second of our three-year strategic plan that gives us a road map to make OLA a more dynamic and rewarding association. And these are just a taste of what’s happening!

We’ll certainly be keeping ourselves busy in the next year, and that’s thanks to all of your hard work. Over the course of this year, I hope that you’ll write to let me know how OLA is working for you. Do you see opportunities we’re missing? Would you like to get more involved? How can we improve what we’re doing to better serve you? Please, no matter your background, no matter your library, and no matter your geography, don’t hesitate to contact me with your ideas and concerns on how OLA can best serve you.

I look forward to working with all of you this year to continue making Oregon libraries and the communities we serve even better.


Buzzy Nielsen
OLA President, 2017-18

September 1, 2017 (Vol. 24, No. 16) ASSOCIATION NEWS

OASL Updates

oasl logo


There are three open positions on the OASL board:

Any OASL member who is interested in volunteering for one of these positions should email OASL President Paige Battle by September 20th.



2017 Conference logo

This year’s conference promises to deliver fantastic authors, programming, and opportunities to connect. Early bird registration is open NOW through September 8th. Register now to save $25.

The theme of the conference is Future Ready. Set. Launch! Highlights include a MakerSpace playground and Future Bus, as well as keynote speakers Jason Reynolds and Vera Brosgol.

  • Where: Jesuit High School, Portland
  • When: October 13 – 14, 2017 (only 6 weeks away!)

Register by September 8th and Save $25.00! Register early as you may win Qdoba burritos or Nothing Bundt Cakes. Weekly winners through September 8th.



obcccasmallLibby Hamler-Dupras, BCCCA Committee Chair,  would like public librarians to help the committee publicize the BCCCA contest  and encourage more patrons and students to participate in voting. This program is open to all public and school libraries throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond, not just in Oregon!




oregon-battle-of-the-books-logoFrom September 1st through November 1st, forms will be posted on the OBOB website for submissions. Anyone can submit up to three titles per division (grades 3-5, 6-8,  9-12). The committee welcomes feedback from all ages!

L. Paige Battle
OASL President 2017-2018

September 1, 2017 (Vol. 24, No. 16) HAPPENINGS

Banned Books Week


Banned Books Week (September 24-30, 2017) is coming right up! You can find resources to help plan your library’s displays and activities on the American Library Association Banned Books Week website. And for additional motivation and ideas, the ALA Public Library Association is going to be hosting a free, one-hour webinar on September 13: “Making Banned Books Week Work in Your Community.”

Ross Betzer
Chair – Oregon Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee
Local Resource/Catalog Librarian – Multnomah County Library

August 15, 2017 (Vol. 24, No. 15) ASSOCIATION NEWS

Thompson wins OLA Leadership Development Scholarship

Sara Q. Thompson, recently appointed Adult Services Manager for the Deschutes Public Library, was awarded $500 from the Oregon Library Association to cover expenses for the Library Management Skills Institute (LMSI), held July 25-27 at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City. The three day institute focused on facilitative leadership, decision making, coaching, and organizational change. One of the main learning outcomes of LMSI is to “identify what motivates people and explore options for increasing staff engagement.”

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Sara plans to use the techniques and strategies used at LMSI in her work at Deschutes Public Library and with her involvement in OLA. She is currently a member of the OLA Website Task Force and is involved in planning the inaugural Leadership Institute of the Oregon Library Association (LIOLA), to be held in Pendleton May 16-19, 2018.



Applications for the OLA Leadership Development Scholarship are reviewed three times a year to support OLA members in developing their leadership abilities. The next application deadline is November 30, 2017.   

Elaine Hirsch
OLA Leadership Committee, Chair
Associate Director of Watzek Library, Lewis & Clark

August 15, 2017 (Vol. 24, No. 15) ASSOCIATION NEWS

The 2018 Oregon Reader’s Choice Award is ready for you!


As the summer draws to a close and with it, many Summer Reading programs, you might be wondering where to steer your patrons next to keep their reading enthusiasm high. We have got the perfect solution for you: the Oregon Reader’s Choice Award!

Your ORCA committee (comprised of members of CSD, OYAN, ORA, OASL, and PNBA) has been hard at work preparing materials to support all libraries interested in participating in the Oregon Reader’s Choice Award. The first place to visit is the ORCA web site ( where you will find a list of the 2018 nominees. If you haven’t seen them yet, allow me to whet your appetite with a list of these fantastic titles:

Upper Elementary Division (grades 3-5):

  • Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  • George by Alex Gino
  • My Near Death Adventures (99% True!) by Alison DeCamp
  • Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
  • Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper
  • The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John
  • Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

Middle School Division (grades 6-8):

  • The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose
  • Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
  • Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
  • Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
  • Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson
  • The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
  • Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
  • The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

High School Division (grades 9-12):

  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
  • More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  • The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

When visiting the web site, make sure you check out the “Resources” tab. There, you’ll find bookmarks and booktalks for all the titles, copies of the logo and spine labels, as well as Prezis and an editable brochure (Go ahead! Add your library’s name and print it for your patrons!) with authors, titles, jackets, and blurb for all books in all divisions. Check out past nominees and winners (once again, congratulations to the 2017 winners: El Deafo, The Crossover, and I’ll Give You the Sun), peruse the photo gallery, and find inspiration in the “Promotional Ideas” tab.

We think you’ll be as pumped with the 2018 nominees as your committee members! Please join us in having some serious fun with this year’s Oregon Reader’s Choice Award titles.


Please contact ORCA Chair Kiva Liljequist at

August 15, 2017 (Vol. 24, No. 15) PEOPLE

New Member Profile: Ihrke Alison


I began my library career over six years ago, in my small hometown public library, as the Summer Reading Program assistant. It was a temporary job that I never wanted to end! And I guess my coworkers didn’t either. By the end of the SRP, I was offered a full time position as Circulation Supervisor, and stayed with the Spirit Lake Public Library for over two years.

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I currently work as a full-time Library Services Coordinator and a part-time Reference and Instruction Librarian for Clackamas Community College. I feel fortunate to be at CCC, where our small, talented staff get to dabble in a little bit of everything in the library world! I assist patrons at the reference desk, supervise circulation staff, manage acquisitions and cataloging, collaborate campus wide, teach one shot library instruction classes, and develop and maintain the annual budget … just to name a few! To say our days are a busy whirlwind would be an understatement!


I relocated from small town Iowa to big city Oregon in November 2013. My parents still live back in Iowa, but I’m happy to be close to my sister and her husband, and my cat nephew out here in Portland! My sister and I enjoy challenging ourselves with hikes each summer and have a never ending list of trails we want to try out!

I picked up running when I moved out here, finishing my first half marathon the same weekend I graduated with my Master’s degree in May 2015! Instead of going to Madison to walk in the ceremony, I decided to head to Disneyland and run across the finish line of the Tinkerbell Half Marathon! Since then, I’ve stuck with the sport and am an active member in a weekly run club, and spend way too much of my money on workout clothes and race entries!

Running is even how I met my significant other! We are constantly active and love adventuring together! A few of our favorite things include going to baseball games, beer/cider fests, OSU football games (season tickets), renovating his house, and of course we go for runs and do races together! We also recently climbed Mount St. Helens for our anniversary!

And of course I’ve always had a love of reading. Growing up, my mom always had something new to read, and I quickly picked up her habit from a young age! Recently, Audible has been my best friend during my commute! The history major in me loves that I’m easily plowing through Philippa Gregory’s Plantagenet and Tudors series! I’m fairly diverse in what I’ll pick up, from growing up devouring Harry Potter to Stieg Larsson’s psychological Millennium series thrillers, from Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder series to Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series. If it grabs my attention, I’ll give it a try!

I’m excited for the opportunities OLA has to offer its members, and look forward to more annual conferences, New Member events, and getting to know my fellow Oregon Librarians!


August 1, 2017 (Vol. 24, No. 14) ASSOCIATION NEWS

Spring Issue of OLA Quarterly

The latest issue of the OLA Quarterly is available here.

Volume 23, Issue 1 is entitled OLA Today: Oregon Librarians Respond to Changing Times

Read how Oregon librarians are getting involved with civic engagement and politics, source evaluation, contentious topics in the library and more.

OLAQ-Spring2017 Final_1_1 cover page-jpg.jpg

August 1, 2017 (Vol. 24, No. 14) LIBRARY NEWS

Oregon library employee awarded national scholarship

Megan Hoak, teen services coordinator of The Dalles-Wasco County Library, was recently the recipient ALSC’s Bound to Stay Bound Scholarship for $7500, which will allow her to attend library school virtually at Valdosta State University in the Fall.

The following is the ALSC press release:

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announced six scholarship winners for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Four winners were awarded the Bound to Stay Bound Books scholarship, which is made possible by Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. All four recipients will receive $7,500 in scholarship aid for the 2017-2018 academic year. The four recipients are: Vincent Thomas Hyland, attending Long Island University; Megan Ashley Hoak, attending Valdosta State University; Keshia Latrice-Carol Nash-Johnson, attending San Jose State University; and Melissa Sue Wise, attending University of North Texas.

Hyland is a multilingual NYC public school teacher who has received a Fulbright scholarship. Hoak presents as an active student and engaged library worker, who currently creates teen and preschool programs. Nash-Johnson is an active ALA member, who currently works in Santa Monica as a library page. Wise, who speaks French, Japanese, and Spanish, currently gives multilingual tours for Austin Public Library.

Two winners were awarded the Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship which is made possible by contributions from librarians, professionals and others associated with the field of children’s literature. This award is worth $7,500 in scholarship aid. The two recipients are: Cynthia Pauline Rogers, attending Emporia State University and Naomi Grace Giles, attending Longwood University.

Rogers became a social studies teacher and later, a school librarian. She coordinated the local public library’s Summer Reading Program. Giles is a bilingual math teacher who is looking to return to the workforce as a school librarian. Not only did she teach for several years, she also helped develop a math curriculum for the county, and volunteered for several youth organizations.

Each year, ALSC provides the Bound to Stay Bound Books and Melcher Scholarships to help advance the profession of children’s librarianship. Recipients must complete their academic work at an ALA-accredited institution. Recipients are also expected to accept positions after graduation in the field of library service to children for at least one year.

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit ALSC’s website at

The 2017 ALSC Scholarship Committee includes: Robin J. Howe, Chair, Kent (Washington) Library, King County Library System; Katie M. Eckert, Free Library of Philadelphia; Elizabeth Hanisian, Virtual Member; Jean A. Hatfield, Virtual Member; Allison W. McLean, Elkhart (Indiana) Public Library; Jane B. Marino, The Nyack (New York) Library.

Courtney Jones, Awards Coordinator


American Library Association