May 1, 2019 (Vol. 26, No. 9): PEOPLE

New Member Profile: Pia Alliende

I am Pia Alliende, as an occasional blogger and instagrammer also known as la intervencionista. I have dedicated my entire life to education, especially to giving young people and educators the tools to become agents of their own learning, through critical thinking, creativity and a good dose of humor.

I am a school librarian, workshop leader and collaborator of the International Baccalaureate, observer, and interventionist. Lover of the bike, peace, justice, and life. I belong to a drama group (Jujuruju Teatro) and participate weekly in a creative writing workshop.

Currently, I am living in Spain but planning to return to Central Oregon this summer after being laid off by my district in 2009. Even though it was heartbreaking at the time, it gave me the opportunity to open my wings and show my family the world.


Originally from Chile, now I am a citizen of the universe, but determined to find a librarian job in Central Oregon again. I have an MLIS from Catholic University of America (DC) and a MA in history from SUNY at Stony Brook. I also have a teaching degree and MA in history from Chile, and a virtual teaching certificate from UC Irvine. I have written three books in Spanish about obscure histories of Chile (trains, a pharmaceutical company, and a religious tradition). I worked in education for more than twenty years, and as a librarian since 2006, when I got immersed also in the IB world. I have worked for eight years at a wholly IB PK-12 school in Seville, Spain.

In 2017, to have more flexibility (my dad was getting very sick in Chile and our kids had returned to the US for college), I decided to join my husband’s family business, GringoCool, of exporting to the US and offering on Amazon and own online store hand-painted ceramics, and extra virgin olive oil from Southern Spain. I help him with orders, blog articles, promotions, research, databases, visit to the factories, and social media.

I am a proud mother of two bilingual college students.Our daughter is graduating from VCU this May with a dual major in Political Science and Economics, and a minor in Arabic. Our son is in the Civil Engineering program at Montana Tech.

Currently, I am reading Las Maldiciones by Argentinian author Claudia Piñeiro, and listening on my phone to Caperucita en Manhattan by Spanish author Carmen Martín Gaité. I just finished listening to Raymond Carver´s story The Cathedral, and George by Alex Gino. I would love to collaborate in any OLA initiative, especially if they are international and/or Latinx related.

I am attending OLA-WLA Conference in April but our big move across the Atlantic will be hopefully this summer. Our two dachshund dogs, Clyde, a 12-year-old Oregonian, and Buck, our Andaluz,  will join us on this journey. They will miss the Spanish sun for sure, but we know they will love to chase deer in search of green leaves that enter in our premises at the Crooked River Ranch.


April 15, 2019 (Vol. 26, No. 7): HAPPENINGS

Oregon Reference Summit

Registration is now open for the Oregon Reference Summit being held Friday, May 31, 2019 at The CH2M Hill Alumni Center at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

This is a one-day conference with reference-focused content appropriate for all skill levels, library types, and experiences. It is an excellent opportunity to meet reference staff from around the state face-to-face and exchange ideas.

Registration is $50 and includes breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks. There is an opportunity to apply for a scholarship that covers the full cost of registration –learn more and apply.

To register and view program information, please visit our website.

Registration will close Friday May 17th at 5pm.

We hope to see you there!

April 15, 2019 (Vol. 26, No. 7): PEOPLE

New Member Profile: Kathryn McDonald

Hello!  My name is Kathryn McDonald, and this is my first year as a graduate student pursuing an online MS/LIS from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  My journey to this degree has been an interesting one. For my undergraduate work, I double-majored in Anthropology and Computer Science at Oregon State University.  I knew that they fit together, but I couldn’t articulate exactly how at the time, so I took a job on the computer science side of things as a data analyst.

When the news broke last summer about US agencies separating migrant children from their families at the border, I stumbled across a Wired article about academics from Columbia University who were building a map of every ICE facility in the country based on open data.  Their goal was to show that the scope of the separation crisis extended far past our southern border. The article called their work “Digital Humanities”, and I finally realized how to fit my degrees together. I was put in touch with the Oregon State University Rare Books and History of Science Librarian, who suggested that a Library and Information Science degree would put me in the best position to leverage my technical and academic knowledge in ways that benefit my community.

I live on the coast near Astoria, so I am familiar with the challenges rural communities face and would like to use the knowledge and skills I gain to benefit my community.  Recently, I have become rather involved with Astoria’s Q Center. They have been strategizing about ways to expand and become a community resource center, and my dream is to help them offer an array of LGBTQ books and articles.  I am also volunteering with the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (based in Portland) to help connect rural Q Centers to share resources. The coast has some fascinating LGBTQ history, and I would love to collect and share oral histories from elders to help young rural LGBTQ folks see themselves represented.

My favorite book is “Alamut” by Vladimir Bartol, which I learned about while playing the Assassin’s Creed video game series.  Quite apart from rotting your brain, when done well, video games can actually provide immersive history lessons. When I find spare time, I enjoy playing the baritone ukulele, conducting “mad science” experiments, and trying to grow herbs and vegetables in sandy soil.

I have a passion for bringing suppressed or marginalized histories and folklore to the public, and books are a wonderful way to do that.  I am hoping to meet everyone in OLA and find out how everything works and how librarians are serving their communities around the state. In addition, I was delighted to be accepted to serve on the ALA’s Over the Rainbow Book List Committee this year, so I am looking forward to reading lots of books.  I’m interested to learn about the relationship between ALA and OLA and how I can harness my experience to benefit both.

April 1, 2019 (Vol. 26, No. 7): ASSOCIATION NEWS

Congratulations to our Oregon author, Barbara Kerley, the recipient of the 2019 Evelyn Sibley Lampman Award

On March 23, 2019, Barbara Kerley received the Evelyn Sibley Lampman Award for her significant contribution to Oregon in the field of children’s literature at the Children’s Services Division workshop. The Evelyn Sibley Lampman Award is presented annually by the Children’s Services Division of the Oregon Library Association and is given in memory of Evelyn Sibley Lampman (1907-1980), noted Oregon teacher, journalist, and author of children’s books.

Barbara is already an award-winning author of children’s books, most notably in the world of nonfiction. Among her awards, Barbara has received two Sibert Honors, Oregon Spirit Book Award, Parents’ Choice Award, Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and the list goes on! The shelves of our libraries hold many of the titles Barbara has contributed to the youth of our state. Barbara has been writing children’s books, both nonfiction and fiction, for decades.

Songs of Papa’s Island was Barbara’s first book, published in 1995. A fan of Kerley’s book wrote this in a review: “…a sweet book of short stories (or songs, as they are referred to in the book) from mother to child, that describe life when the mother and father lived on a tropical island in the middle of the ocean and prepared to have a baby. It’s based on Barbara Kerley’s real-life history of living on Guam and giving birth to her daughter there…The rich language, story songs, were fascinating and rich from beginning to end, I felt like I travelled to Guam with the books gentle guidance.”

Barbara’s most recent book, Tigers & Tea with Toppy, came out in 2018, and she is currently researching her next nonfiction title. Her books have been translated into multiple languages and she has been published by National Geographic and Harper Collins, among other publishing houses. With subjects ranging from A to Z – the American Museum of Natural History and the Central Park Zoo – Barbara fills children’s worlds with wonder, adventure, and fascination. Some of the many subjects she has explored include iguanodons, Teddy Roosevelt, world peace, and Mark Twain’s donkey. The perfect quote from Barbara regarding her work follows: “The best thing about writing children’s books is that I get to follow my curiosity–around the world and even into outer space.”

We congratulate and thank Barbara Kerley for her engaging books, tireless research, and delightful spirit. The Lampman Committee is sure that Evelyn Sibley Lampman would be as proud to honor her as we are.

April 1, 2019 (Vol. 26, No. 7): HAPPENINGS

Oregon Reference Summit

Registration is now open for the Oregon Reference Summit being held Friday, May 31, 2019 at The CH2M Hill Alumni Center at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

This is a one-day conference with reference-focused content appropriate for all skill levels, library types, and experiences. It is an excellent opportunity to meet reference staff from around the state face-to-face and exchange ideas.

Registration is $50 and includes breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks. There is an opportunity to apply for a scholarship that covers the full cost of registration –learn more and apply.

To register and view program information, please visit our website.

Registration will close Friday May 17th at 5pm.

We hope to see you there!

April 1, 2019 (Vol. 26, No. 7): PEOPLE

New Member Profile: Kris Alpi

I’m Kris Alpi, the University Librarian at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland as of December. This is my first job in the West. I’m from Indiana, where I earned degrees in art history and Spanish, as well as my MLS at Indiana University. I did a one-year fellowship at the National Library of Medicine before moving to New York City. There, I earned a public health degree and had one of my most interesting jobs, running the library for the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. The other most interesting was a summer internship at the Collezione Peggy Guggenheim in Venice, Italy more than 20 years ago. I’m looking forward to reading the new bio of Peggy recently published.

My last 10 years were spent directing the Veterinary Medicine Library at North Carolina State University. I like to do research and write, and just finished my PhD in May. Although I don’t have any pets at the moment, I love, and have a lot of experience with, dogs, turtles and horses, and I will probably be adopting a dog soon.

OLA New Member

I can’t wait to drive all around Oregon meeting library staff and health professionals, so I hope we will meet in person as I am doing outreach. I’m most active in the American Medical Informatics Association and the Medical Library Association (MLA), where our book club is reading Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. I hope to be active in OLA and the Orbis Cascade Alliance, as well as the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the MLA.

As a new member of the Oregon Health Sciences Libraries Association, I just launched a new Google Group, Oregon Health Science Information People (OHSIP), an informal way for those who have any interest in health sciences information to connect.

Look for me at wine events in the Willamette Valley, as wine seems to be a great way to meet people here in Oregon.

March 15, 2019 (Vol. 26, No. 6) PEOPLE

New Member Profile: Bentley Clark

The first book I remember truly loving was The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. It won a Newbery Medal in 1979 and in 1983 it sparked a love of mysteries that has burned in me ever since. I borrowed that book from Thomas Branigan Memorial Library. The building was still new at the time, having been opened only a few years before. The architecture was hip and modern and unlike anything we’d seen before in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

I can’t remember if the book was recommended to me or if I found it face-out on a shelf, drawn to the image of a house made of money shooting fireworks from its chimney. But my memory of the library from which I borrowed the book is vivid – the quiet, the smell, the looming card catalog, the sheer enormity of the stacks.

A lot has happened since third grade. I have earned a B.A. in English and an M.S. in Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management. I have worked as a teacher, bookseller, travel agent, event coordinator, bookkeeper, retail manager, and paralegal. I have lived in New Mexico, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, and Oregon. I have been married and divorced.  I have had cats and a dog. I have lost cats – the dog is still around, touch wood. But my love of mysteries and libraries has remained constant.


These days I don’t have much time for reading fiction. In addition to my full-time job as a paralegal and my volunteer work for the Tigard Public Library, I am studying for my M.L.S. at Emporia State University. At present, my brain is overflowing with FRBR and RDA and DDC and Sears List and MARC and APA style and things I can’t even put into context yet.  But I love it. And I can’t wait to get started.

There’s no mystery here: my name is Bentley Clark and I’m a future librarian.

March 1, 2019 (Vol. 26, No. 5): ASSOCIATION NEWS

It’s getting close, but you still have time to nominate your co-workers and supporters for OLA Awards!

Who has done an outstanding job or taken on a project or been responsible for a success in our libraries this year? Tell us about those talented, dedicated individuals whose commitment to excellent library service has made a difference. The OLA Awards Committee wants to know who those individuals (or groups) are and we want you to tell us!

Nominations may come from all types of libraries and from all kinds of librarians, staff and supporters.

Nominations are open for the following awards:

  •             Oregon Librarian of the Year
  •             Library Employee of the Year
  •             OLA Distinguished Service Award
  •             Library Supporter of the Year

Nomination letters (with no more than six letters of support) are due Friday, March 15, 2019

These awards will be presented to recipients at the 2019 OLA/WLA Conference Luncheon Banquet in Vancouver on Friday, April 19, 2019  (tentative date and time, joint conference committee will confirm)

Here are the details on each award:

  1.       Oregon Librarian of the Year may be awarded to any Oregon librarian who has been working in an Oregon Library for at least two years in a paid professional position.  The nominee must demonstrate excellence in library service in his or her community and to Oregon libraries. The nominee must be a member of OLA.
  2.       Oregon Library Employee of the Year may be awarded to any Oregon library staff member who has worked in an Oregon library for at least two years as a paid staff member and demonstrated excellence in library service in his or her community.
  3.       Oregon Library Association Distinguished Service Award may be awarded to any Oregon librarian or library staff member, who has been in the profession for 15 or more years, has worked in Oregon libraries for at least ten years, and is currently a member of OLA, for exceptional service over a period of years.
  4.       Oregon Library Supporter of the Year may be awarded to any volunteer, volunteer group, library Friend, board member, government official, or other individual who is not a paid library staff member and who has demonstrated excellence in supporting and promoting Oregon libraries.

If you need more info, read the awards guidelines and let me know if you have questions.  Take a look at

List of Past Recipients

Your  letter (e-mail) of nomination should include the following information, if pertinent, and be as informational as possible:

  •   Name, contact information, current position for nominee
  •   Award for which you are nominating the person or group
  •   Description of why your nominee should be selected for an OLA Award
  •   OLA activities: committee appointments, etc.
  •   Past positions held and summary of major accomplishments  (for Distinguished Service Award)
  •   Your name and how you can be reached if the committee has questions

Please send nominating letters and supporting letters by Friday, March 15, 2019, to:


We prefer e-mail, but you can also send via mail to me at:

Leah Griffith, OLA Awards Chair
Newberg Public Library
503 E. Hancock
Newberg, OR 97132

E-mail or call Leah at 503-537-1256 if you have any questions. We will be looking forward to your nominations.

March 1, 2019 (Vol. 26, No. 5): ASSOCIATION NEWS

Hello OLA!

The crocuses aren’t even out yet but Support Staff Division (SSD) is hard at work on our annual July conference.  This year’s event will be held at the Monarch hotel in Clackamas, OR and it’s all about change. We’re seeking a keynote speaker for our conference theme of “Transforming Together: Building a Better Library”.

Can you speak about what it means for libraries as they continue to take on more roles of leadership and support to provide services for an ever changing community?  Can you speak about how we prepare and care for ourselves while reaching out to our patrons? Can you speak about how we manage and learn from obstacles, even if those obstacles come from ourselves? We’d like to hear from you! To submit a proposal please email the SSD chair at

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap) 1

March 1, 2019 (Vol. 26, No. 5): Happenings

Libros for Oregon offers cooperative Spanish-language book buying for libraries

Imagine walking into an immense conference center filled not only with books from around the world but with beautiful and innovative displays of mostly Spanish-language books waiting to be purchased. It’s a librarian’s dream come true. And it is a real event that takes place each year in Guadalajara, Mexico, called la Feria Internacional del Libro (FIL).

“In 2016 alone, the FIL featured 2,042 publishing houses from 47 countries,” said Deborah Gitlitz, Outreach Librarian, Bibliotecaria Comunitaria, Wilsonville Public Library. However, getting to FIL can be a challenge for many libraries. Gitlitz is the leader of a team of librarians who started a book-buying cooperative for libraries throughout Oregon with the goal of improving Spanish-language collections throughout the state, and helping libraries connect those collections with their communities. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the state, but finding culturally appropriate books has been difficult, said Gitlitz, who has been to FIL six times as a buying librarian for various libraries.

“The project we put together is called “Libros for Oregon: Collections Connect Communities,” Gitlitz explained. “Its primary goal is to increase access to high-quality Spanish language books for the users of Oregon libraries, particularly users of smaller, rural libraries.” With the help of a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered through the Oregon State Library, Libros for Oregon was born in 2016. The project involved a full year of planning with a pilot cohort of three librarians traveling to FIL on behalf of nine libraries in 2017. Road-tested and now a subcommittee of OLA, Libros for Oregon sent its first non-pilot cohort to the Guadalajara book fair in November of 2018. Thus far, 15 libraries have participated, and two teams of library staff have traveled to FIL to purchase books for the participating libraries.

“You really get a good sense of publishing trends and what is really popular and important to the communities they serve,” said Star Khan, Outreach Services Coordinator for Driftwood Public Library in Lincoln City, who has gone to FIL twice with the Libros cohort. “Also the experience of seeing all the books and being able to go through them physically really helps.” As a traveling librarian with Libros, Khan not only looked for books for Driftwood Public Library but also for other participating libraries. The way Libros for Oregon works is that libraries apply to participate in the book-buying cooperative, each contributing $200 toward traveling expenses for three library staff who go to Guadalajara to make the selections at FIL. Each participating library then also provides a budget for purchasing books for their library, and each library is individually invoiced and pays when they receive their books. It’s a very easy process for libraries who want to purchase books in Spanish. Every year, the Libros cohort will include a librarian who has been to FIL before and has experience in navigating the book fair. “This was my second time and it was a lot less overwhelming since I knew the basic layout,” Khan said. “I already had in mind some favorite booths to visit in order to track down certain items.”

The 2018 Libros cohort also included a library student volunteer from Emporia State University, Lia Gutierrez, who helped record and organize the purchases for the various participating libraries. “I was a bit nervous because I had never been to anything similar to FIL, but the experience was worthwhile,” Gutierrez said. “I have never seen so many books in one place. And the vendor bookstands and book displays were incredible.”

While Libros for Oregon saves many small libraries money by not having to pay staff time and travel to send someone to Guadalajara, the plan is that someone who has not been to FIL goes with the group each year, to share the experience and prepare new participants to be possible Libros team leaders another year. Thus far, the group has included library staff who can speak Spanish, but speaking Spanish is not required. “Spanish isn’t necessary at all,” Khan said. “I ran into many folks who didn’t speak a word of Spanish.” Librarians who travel with the cohort can have most expenses paid through the American Library Association and through Libros for Oregon. Travelers may have to pay for some of their airfare, food and other incidentals, but the goal is to cover nearly all expenses for travelers. More information is available on the Libros for Oregon website, and the address appears at the end of this article. In addition to providing an array of books in Spanish, FIL also offers many professional development opportunities. “Authors give televised presentations. Publishers hold meet-and-greets,” Gitlitz said. “Book professionals from around the world converge in the vast International section and swap business cards.”

Public and school libraries throughout Oregon can apply to take advantage of the book-buying cooperative offered through Libros for Oregon to purchase Spanish books for their communities. The organization, which began with public libraries, would like to encourage school districts or individual small schools to apply to participate in Libros for Oregon –the door is wide open. The application process will begin on February 19th with a deadline of April 30th . Selected participants will be notified by May 20th . For more information please check out the Libros for Oregon website: or the Libros for  Oregon Facebook page: .

By Linda Campillo

Linda is a retired teacher/librarian and member of OLA/OASL who sits on the Libros for Oregon subcommittee and the International Relations Round Table.