[Libs-Or] Southern Oregon Library Federation Statement of Support for OLA on State Librarian

Michael Grutchfield mgrutchfield at josephinelibrary.org
Thu Mar 15 12:13:06 PDT 2018

Hello all,

As the President of SOLF, I crafted the following letter to the OLA president, supporting his position on the State Librarian. It has been endorsed by our membership, and so I am sharing it with all of you as well.

To: Buzzy Nielsen
OLA President

Re: Dismissal of State Librarian

The membership of the Southern Oregon Library Federation (SOLF) would like to add our voice to that of the Oregon Library Association in expressing our shock and concern regarding the sudden dismissal of the State Librarian, MaryKay Dahlgreen. It was our understanding that such decisions would be taken in a transparent manner in consultation with stakeholders, represented by the State Library Board.

We also wish to echo the high esteem expressed by the Oregon Library Association for Ms. Dahlgreen. In a state in which the majority of the library profession is clustered around a single region, the Willamette Valley, those of us in less populated, more remote areas sometimes find it hard to make our voices heard in Salem and Portland. Ms. Dahlgreen made a point of traveling to libraries and professional meetings all over the State, attending on average at least one SOLF meeting per year. She also made herself approachable and available to librarians at professional meetings such as OLA, and many of us had frequent professional and personal contact with her. This can not be said for many State Librarians in America, or in Oregon's past.

Southern Oregon libraries have faced some trying times in recent years, with closures, staff reductions, and funding crises. Through it all, MaryKay Dahlgreen has stood for the best interests of the libraries and the communities they serve, offering her support and encouragement for our efforts. It is safe to say that some of the library districts operating today might not exist but for the dedication and hard work of Ms. Dahlgreen.

We hope that the Governor and the legislature will agree to hear OLA as the voice of professional librarianship in Oregon and as representatives of the information need of all our communities going forward. We understand that the OLA president and lobbyist will be meeting with the Governor to discuss the future of the State Librarian, and we hope that it will be understood that they truly speak for us and for the communities we serve.

Michael Grutchfield, MLIS
Collection Development Librarian
Josephine Community Library District
200 NW C Street
Grants Pass, Oregon 97526
mgrutchfield at josephinelibrary.org
office: 541-476-0571
fax: 541-479-0685

"The public library gives you a present every time you go - books to read, books to share. Books full of art, entertainment, and knowledge - the stuff we live on. The stuff of life."
Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929-2018

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