[Libs-Or] State Library Newsletter: Letter to Libraries Online (April 2021)

HENDERSON Joel R * SLO Joel.HENDERSON at slo.oregon.gov
Thu Apr 1 09:10:51 PDT 2021

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Volume 31, Issue 4 - April 2021


State Library Volunteers Honored with Presidential Volunteer Award

The Presidential Volunteer Service Award was presented to both Marlene Lee of Oregon and Miranda Montez of New York for their service to the State Library in 2020. Each passed a requisite threshold to receive this nationally recognized award at the silver level (250+ annual hours) and bronze level (100+ annual hours) respectively.

[Marlene Lee]Marlene has served in the volunteer program for several years accomplishing a myriad of projects in her role as chair and contributing member of the Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS) committee. OSLIS<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=2d3e3c93bc&e=14e6da8535> is a website aimed at helping K-12 students learn how to do research and how to cite sources, and it serves as the central K-12 access point to library databases offered statewide. Of her contributions, her staff counterpart shares, “Besides writing and tracking the annual grant for OSLIS, most recently Marlene was instrumental in the successful APA Citation Maker<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=91f5af9011&e=14e6da8535> update, contributing nearly 300 hours by documenting for a coding vendor the changes that were needed and then testing the updated templates for accuracy. Marlene is bright, dedicated, and a joy to work with.”

[Miranda Montez]Miranda is also a multi-year member of the State Library’s volunteer team, serving in the Answerland Virtual Reference Librarian role. In 2020, she was selected based on her experience to step into a newly created mentoring role for new Answerland volunteers. Of her contributions, her program coordinator shares, “Miranda is enthusiastic and dedicated to her work. Since joining the team, she has answered over 800 patron questions – a record number for our volunteers. Her excellent customer service prompted one patron to comment, ‘Miranda was awesome! Give her a raise!’”

Celebrating the accomplishments of these two individuals comes during Volunteer Appreciation Month, when the library commends our entire volunteer team for their service. We cannot thank these folks enough for their continued dedication despite the difficult times we have all experienced. Even during the trials and tribulations of the pandemic year, the State Library of Oregon’s volunteer team flourished. With more than seventy-five percent of our program operating remotely on a regular basis, it’s no wonder we had exemplary contributors who went above and beyond last year.

Cornelia Marvin Pierce Plaque Removed

The plaque of Cornelia Marvin Pierce, the first State Librarian of Oregon, is no longer on display at the State Library. After conversations with the Oregon Library Association’s EDI and Antiracism Committee and further discussions within the agency, it is clear that displaying the plaque was honoring someone whose racist ideology does not align with the State Library’s values. The plaque was a gift from Pierce’s sister to the State Library in the 1950s and will be retained by the State Library and added to our special collections.

When considering whether or not to keep the plaque displayed, we used the helpful criteria developed by the Eastern Oregon University Pierce Library Naming Committee (coincidentally, Pierce Library was named after Cornelia and her husband Walter). These criteria from the Pierce Library Naming Committee’s final report<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=0324ba91fb&e=14e6da8535> include:

  *   Did their values and actions conflict with our mission statement, values and principles, strategic plans, and library professional values?
  *   Did they demonstrate discriminatory views that actively promoted systemic oppression (with historical context)?
  *   Did they actively sponsor legislation and/or use power in government to oppress and discriminate?
  *   Did they demonstrate redemptive action?
  *   Did they promote violence against people?
  *   What is their dominant public legacy?
Pierce was a proponent of eugenics and backed the enactment of eugenics laws in Oregon, and her husband Governor Walter Pierce was known to be affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan and signed the Oregon Alien Land Law that banned Japanese and Chinese nationals from buying and leasing land in Oregon. Pierce’s values and actions are in direct conflict with the State Library’s vision, mission, values, strategic plan, and commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracism<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=9962cfa034&e=14e6da8535>. Thank you to the OLA EDI and Antiracism Committee for engaging with us and sharing your perspective and potential strategies for addressing this aspect of the agency’s past.


eClips Extra Highlights State Documents in the News

Oregon state agencies are constantly publishing a wealth of information, including audits, environmental studies, brochures, videos, and posters. These publications are sometimes referenced in news articles, but in vague and unspecific ways. That’s where eClips Extra<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=ccd478a92d&e=14e6da8535>, a companion blog to the State Library’s popular eClips<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=69bf537b41&e=14e6da8535>, can help!

[Blog banner for eClips Extra]

If you’ve ever been frustrated by the phrase “in a report published yesterday….” in a news article that provides no additional information, eClips Extra can help by linking directly to that report in the Oregon Government Publications<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=b9a9c8f121&e=14e6da8535> digital collection.

Here are some recent posts:

  *   Greenhouse gas emissions<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=38f59ce3d8&e=14e6da8535>
  *   Measure 11 sentencing<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=6f2c246746&e=14e6da8535>
  *   Much more (see below)
Posts reflect current events, some of which are distressing and unsettling. After the recent news of the horrific murders in the Atlanta area, eClips Extra had a post on Hate crimes against Asian Americans.<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=1c81592959&e=14e6da8535> This post featured a “Spread facts, not fear" flyer produced by the Oregon Health Authority, and Bias Hotline reports from the Department of Justice. The topic of missing and murdered indigenous persons<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=b3785fffb8&e=14e6da8535> in the news prompted a post highlighting reports from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Oregon and Oregon State Police. News of the recent ice storm’s impact on Salem’s Capitol Mall cherry trees<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=a778b8b4fe&e=14e6da8535> provided an opportunity to share documents about the Capitol Mall park from the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department and the Oregon Department of Forestry.

eClips Extra is a product of the Oregon Documents Depository Program<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=e77c087a91&e=14e6da8535> and can be accessed for free online by anyone.


The Talking Books Unified Theory of Reading

A long-time Talking Book and Braille Library user once shared, “Anytime you want to add to your life, you read. If you don’t read, you’re missing something really important to our way of life. You miss a lot by not reading. You keep your mind/thinking active by reading. It is very important in my opinion to read as much as you can. Thinking clearly helps me get along with lots of different people. Reading helps me think clearly and be open to new experiences.”

These wise words have been very helpful as a reminder of how our library adds value to the lives of our users. And with some creative refinement we have distilled them into something like a scientific theory:

     An open mind is happy
     Reading opens minds
     Talking Books has a huge selection of free audio and Braille books
     Therefore, Talking Books users are very happy 😊

While it may not merit publication in any academic or professional journal, the Talking Books Unified Theory of Reading is a great reminder to us all of the value of reading. We see the proof of this theory more and more when we hear stories of excitement, epiphany, empathy, or many other reactions to a book a user has just read.

Do you know someone who would like to be part of our ongoing research? Because there is plenty happy to go around<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=4b6858e6c3&e=14e6da8535>!


Getting to Know the Library Support and Development Services Division

Featured Staff: Ferol Weyand (she/her)

[Ferol Weyand]Around 11 years ago, Ferol Weyand joined the State Library of Oregon's staff as a consulting assistant to the Library Support and Development Services (LSDS) division. However, her tenure at the library goes back further to when she served as a volunteer and later worked as a temporary assistant to the then-State Librarian as needed.

Her current role is to support LSDS consultants, and in that capacity, she happily tracks down and organizes information, facilitates connections, and is the clerical "glue" (as her colleagues call her) that helps keep the programs working. Her job is a combination of reception duties, like reading mail and answering phones, and detective work, including getting questions answered, handling in-person meeting logistics, and gathering data that helps the division function.

She says that she has, “a really strong desire to make the consultants’ lives easier.” Each of the consultants has an affinity for helping the library community with their specialized skillsets that in her words, “truly make a difference in other peoples’ lives.” The most important part of her job is being there to help her colleagues and clients connect with each other.

So, next time you call in to Library Support and Development Services<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=09f4793050&e=14e6da8535>, know that Ferol<mailto:ferol.weyand at slo.oregon.gov> is on the line and ready to help!

American Rescue Plan Act Funds Coming to Oregon

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed by Congress in March includes $200 million in additional funding for the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), of which $178 million is allocated for state libraries through the Grants to States program. Each state library will receive a minimum of $2 million with the final allocation based on state population. The State Library of Oregon will receive $2,924,165!

IMLS provided the following spending priorities regarding how this funding is to be used, which are based on the intentions of Congress in including the funding for libraries:

  *   The main priority is digital inclusion and improved access to technology and Internet, especially supporting education, telehealth, and workforce development. In particular, these efforts should focus on populations with high poverty, high unemployment, low broadband availability, and other people who have been historically underserved.
  *   The secondary priority is to to provide rapid emergency relief to libraries to allow them to safely respond to the pandemic and implement public health protocols.
  *   Broadly speaking, ARPA funds may also be used for other purposes to support libraries in serving their communities.
  *   In addition to the libraries with which state libraries typically work (e.g. public, academic, school), state libraries should partner with tribes and museums to support digital inclusion and pandemic relief.
The Library Support and Development Services Division will develop plans for these funds that align with the spending priorities established by IMLS and will share more information soon. The funds coming to the State Library are not the only funding streams from ARPA that may be available and of interest to libraries, including additional dollars for broadband, state & local governments, and educational institutions at all levels. To learn about the library-related elements of the American Rescue Plan Act, see ALA’s summary<https://oregon.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=91dd1172fce9a235a5e993c03&id=c74d80fea9&e=14e6da8535>.


Library Support & Development Services Program Manager
Buzzy Nielsen<mailto:buzzy.nielsen at slo.oregon.gov>, 971-375-3486

Talking Book & Braille Library Manager
Elke Bruton<mailto:elke.bruton at slo.oregon.gov>, 971-375-3509

Government Information & Library Services Manager
Caren Agata<mailto:caren.agata at slo.oregon.gov>, 971-375-3483

Chief Operating Officer
Susan Westin<mailto:susan.westin at slo.oregon.gov>, 503-378-5435

State Librarian
Jennifer Patterson<mailto:jennifer.l.patterson at slo.oregon.gov>, 503-378-4367

Letters to Libraries Online is published monthly by the State Library of Oregon.

The State Library of Oregon cultivates, preserves, and delivers library and information services to foster lifelong learning and community engagement.

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