Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Call for Presenters

As you probably know, the next Support Staff Division annual conference is coming up this summer, July 15, 2016. This year, the conference will be held at the Holiday Inn Portland-South in Wilsonville. As you may not know, we are trying a new and exciting format for some of our sessions, and the new format gives you more opportunities for professional development!

This year, in addition to the presentation-style format you’re used to (one or two people presenting to an audience for the majority of the allotted time), we are hosting interactive, panel-style sessions as well. These sessions will involve a short presentation on a theme by the panelists at the beginning, leading into a lightly moderated discussion involving everyone in the room for the majority of the time. You’ll be able to choose which style works best for you, so you can get the absolute most out of the conference.

Of course, we’ll need more presenters and panelists than we’ve had in the past in order to execute this plan, which means more opportunities for you to share your hard-won expertise with your fellow support staffers. As an added bonus, presenters’ conference fee is completely waived! Interested in presenting? Take a look at the themes of our sessions this year:

  • Presentation style conference sessions:
    • Managing Compassion Fatigue
    • Library Ergonomics
    • Handling Challenging Patrons

  • Interactive panel style conference sessions:
    • Interpersonal Skills at Work
    • Customer Service Victories
    • Training Guides/Techniques/Manuals – Best Practices

If one of our sessions jumps out to you as something you’d feel confident presenting about in either format, we’d love to hear from you. Email us at, or alternatively call Justyne Triest or Jennifer Patterson,  conference committee co-chairs, at (503) 352-1426 and (503) 691-3074 respectively. Let us know which theme interests you, and if you have questions about the new format or anything else conference related, we can answer those too!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

OLA SSD Co-Chair Elect Nominees

OLA SSD is looking for enthusiastic people to run for Co-Chair Elects for the 2015-2016 Executive Board! This is a wonderful chance to learn more about OLA SSD and get actively involved for Oregon libraries.

If you're interested please contact Interim Chair Margaret Harmon-Meyers by November 30, 2015. If you know anyone that might like to do this, please share!

You can find more information about OLA SSD including the current Board members, schedule for meetings (all are always welcome!) and bylaws here.

OLA SSD is also seeking an Archivist, Treasurer, and Recorder for 2015-2016, so please contact Margaret if any of those sound like your area of expertise!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Map of Members

Map data ©2015 Google, Landsat, Data SIO, NOAA, NGA, GEBCO, LDEO-Columbia, NSF
Ever been curious about where your fellow SSD members call home? Every star on this map marks a city with at least one OLA SSD staffer. If you notice you’re in the middle of a big blank area, don’t worry! We haven’t forgotten you. The Executive Board has formed a new group dedicated to reaching out to regions where our membership is sparse, in hopes that with a more even distribution we’ll be able to do more for everyone. That means direct benefits for you.

New things on the horizon

Along with our outreach campaign, we’re creating new spaces and resources for current SSD members across all of Oregon. Some exciting things we’ve got in the works you’ll want to watch out for:

     Casual regional meetups, much more often than once a year.
     New opportunities to represent your library or your branch’s support staff on a statewide level.
     A monthly/bimonthly newsletter exclusively for support staff.
     ...and more!

If you have questions, comments, or ideas, you can email the new group at

Keep your eyes on your inbox, the SSD Facebook, and this blog for more updates. We are excited to see where we can take SSD this year!

Friday, September 25, 2015

OLA SSD Elections

OLA SSD Board elections are happening soon! Currently there are four elected positions that are open. If you're interested in any of the positions, let us know! Being on the OLA SSD Board is truly a fantastic opportunity for professional development and to make your voice heard. 

-Interested in being Chair? Chair-Elect is one of the positions and a great way to start.
-Do you enjoy history? Maybe Archivist is the position for you.
-Good with money and budgeting? How about Treasurer?
-Got a flair for taking notes? Why not run for Recorder? 

Or maybe you want to take a more active role in OLA SSD but being a Board member isn't for you right now. Why not contact the newly formed Outreach Team to see how you can get involved? Stay tuned to hear more from them very soon!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September is for Libraries!

It's September which means two important annual events happen this month for libraries. The month of September is Library Card Sign Up Month and the last week of the month is Banned Books Week.

What are some events your library has done to encourage patrons to get library cards? Do you know about the Oregon Library Passport, which lets your patrons use libraries across the state?

Banned Books Week is an excellent time to create book displays and to educate patrons, and is something libraries of all types participate in. Do you know what books were challenged most in Oregon last year? What are some displays and events your library
has done?

We'd love to see ideas/displays/pictures here or you can share on our Facebook and Twitter .

Artwork courtesy of the American Library Association

Monday, September 14, 2015

ACRL-Oregon Invites Scholarship Applications for the 2015 ACRL-WA/OR Joint Fall Conference

Please note the quick turn-around time for this scholarship!

The ACRL Washington & Oregon Joint Fall Conference will be held at the Pack Forest Center for Sustainable Forestry in Eatonville, Washington on October 22-23, 2015. ACRL-OR will award up to two scholarships for library paraprofessionals/support staff; each completely covers registration and housing (dorm or cabin) and up to $50 in transportation costs.

Submission deadline is Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

The Criteria:

Applicants must be:
  • Library paraprofessionals/support staff
  • currently working in an Oregon library

The Application Process:

Complete the online application form (link below), which includes a written essay (250 words maximum), outlining your reasons for wanting to attend the conference and your interest in the conference theme of Forging Partnerships, Opening Doors.

The Deadline for All Scholarship Applications:

All scholarship applications are due . Scholarship recipients will be announced by September 23, 2015.


Uta Hussong-Christian, ACRL-Oregon President (2015-2016)
Oregon State University

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fall 2015 Continuing Education Scholarships Sponsored by the Southern Oregon Library Federation (SOLF)

Enter to win a $200 scholarship award to attend the library-related conference of your choice.

Eligibility: Open to any support staff member (who does not have an MLS/MLIS degree). You do not have to be a member of the Southern Library Federation (SOLF) to enter but a SOLF member must nominate you or endorse your application.
Application and more information available here:

For further information, contact:

Christy Davis
Library Director
Klamath County Library Service District
541-882-8894 ext. #23

Monday, August 10, 2015

OLA SSD Presentations and Pictures

We know that you all are missing OLA SSD 2015, and sad that you have to wait almost a year for the next OLA SSD conference. We've got some good news though! You can remember your time at the 2015 conference in a number of ways:

Many of the presentations are now available on NW Central!

We also have some fun pictures from OLA SSD 2015 up on our Facebook . If you have any to share or any stories/comments to tell, please feel free to post them there as well. We had record attendance of 141 people!

It's our hope that everyone had a great time and brought lots of new and interesting ideas back to their library. Thanks to all who filled out the evaluations- the Board and 2016 conference committee are looking at your comments and they're appreciated!

It's not too late to get involved for the 2016 OLA SSD conference- if you'd like to help out, please see how you can do that here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Great Ideas From Deschutes

Libraries are the place to go for new and exciting ideas and the Deschutes Public Library system is obviously no exception, judging by this article from The Atlantic.

Take a moment to read about their exciting library projects and innovations and then please share yours with us as well, either in the comments below or on our Facebook page. We know libraries all over Oregon (and beyond) are up to some amazing things to meet their patron's needs (often before the patrons even know what those needs are!) and we'd love to hear all about it!

Friday, July 17, 2015

OLA SSD 2015 Conference & Get Involved!

We're in beautiful Newport, OR at the 2015 OLA SSD Conference! It's off to a great start, with a ton of attendees. We hope everyone's having a great time so far!

Want to share your work experience with the OLA SSD community, but don't want to do so from the stage? Share your job and stories with us with the OLA SSD Blog's "A Day in the Life"- no microphone required!

If you're enjoying the conference, why not help to plan next year's? There are currently openings on the 2016 Conference Committee and we'd love to hear from you! To get involved or to share any feedback, please send an email to-

Shanel Parette (2015 Conference Committee Chair)
Justyne Triest  (Conference Committee, OLA SSD Social Media)

Monday, July 13, 2015

2015 Conference schedule

We're thrilled that the OLA SSD 2015 conference is less than a week away! If you're joining us Friday July 17, we want to make sure you know when and where all the excitement is happening. Here's the conference schedule.

Whether or not you use Twitter, you can follow along with photos, conversation, and live-tweeting of events using the hashtag #OLA_SSD15. You don't need an account to join the fun, but if you'd like to follow us, we're @ola_ssd. See you at the beach!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Last Chance for OLA SSD Conference Registration!

Wow! So many of you have already signed up for the OLA SSD Conference, and we’re really looking forward to seeing you next week! For those of you who haven’t registered yet, you only have a few days left to get your registration in! The last day to register is Sunday July 12 so don’t wait much longer. With such warm temperatures across Oregon over the last few weeks, what more incentive do you need to attend a conference in Newport, OR?

The OLA SSD 2015 Conference will be Friday July 17 from 8:00am-4:00pm. The conference is at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn in Newport, OR. For full details on sessions, food, and more, as well as to register, please visit the registration page. If you need a ride or can offer a ride to attendees, please check out our ride share page to coordinate.

See you all next week at the beach!

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Day In the Life... of a Library Assistant

Today we welcome Holly Freewynn, MLS, as our guest blogger from the Midland Branch of the Multnomah County Library to talk about what she does in a typical day as a Library Assistant. She says: "Library Assistants are responsible for customer service, reference/reader's advisory, collection development, content creation, programming, outreach, and professional development. We get a HUGE variety of questions, and connecting our patrons to their information needs is primary. We have A LOT of resources, in a wide array of media, for our patrons."

"Angel" walks in - she's in 5th grade, and VERY excited to be heading to 6th grade. Her family is from central Africa, and we get to see her often. Her big interest is READING, and lots of it. She is engaged, funny, whip smart, and very motivated. Her questions are always interesting - "How do I find a book about Rosa Parks, but not just a kid book?"; "Do you have anything new that is like the Kane Chronicles?"; "How do I find primary sources for my research project?" etc. I had looked in to being a medical or academic while I was in library school (Emporia MLS '12). Helping "Angel" discern trusted information and be media savvy is one way we make a difference every day.

I am a Librarian Assistant, providing reference services, reader's advisory, and technical assistance to patrons. We have a lot of leeway to offer programming ideas for the branch, highlighting our collections in novel ways. Our leadership is focused on how libraries are growing and changing into the future - it is a great time to be in LIBRARIES.

I LOVE my Midland Branch of Multnomah County Library (MCL). As a transplant from investigating abuse against the elderly, I feel my skill set works very well for our patrons' needs.

I LOVE being able to spend time with our patrons to help them with research, job applications, readers advisory, and navigating government websites.

I LOVE that my branch offers four target languages, along with staff who speak them - Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian and Chinese. We have multiple story times each week that are held in these languages.

I LOVE our attempts to keep our patrons able to use our services - we THINK YES, and have a lot of support to work around barriers for patrons.

Thanks, Holly! Want to hear more about what other library support staff do in their jobs around Oregon?  "A Day In the Life..." is also an annual breakout session topic at our conference each year.  It's taking place on Friday, July 17 in Newport, OR this year and you can register here. More information can also be found at our 2015 Conference page.And if you have our own story to tell, you can comment below, or fill out our survey.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Book Repair Roadshow: Port Orford, Oregon

"Basic Book Repair for Libraries" took the show on the road last week from Portland State University Library to the Port Orford Public Library. It's been a few years since Kris Kern and I roamed the state with a car full of mending tools, polyvinyl acetate, acid-free paper, and Kennett bookcloth. The workshop has been going steady at both the OLA pre-conference in the spring and the Support Staff Division conference in the summer, and both Kris and I have been teaching in different library education programs. But it had been a while since the book repair caravan rolled out of the Willamette Valley!

Librarians and staff from Curry and Coos Counties, from Brookings to Coos Bay, from Gold Beach to Agness, met in Port Orford on June 19 for a day of book conservation, starting with the basics of bookbinding adhesive and the properties of paper, and working our way up to a full spine repair and the wonderful "one on, two off" hollow tube that rejoins text blocks to their cases.

I always learn something about book care myself in every class. Coming from a library that does not generally preserve dust jackets for hardcovers, I'll mention the great difference dust jackets, protected by mylar covers, can make to the life of a well-read hardcover. While my big job at the repair table is spine replacement of hardcovers, most of the books folks brought along were still intact on the outside, thanks to their dust jackets. The trouble was split bindings and pages falling out! Most of the time, bindings of adhesive-bound hardcovers bust because the adhesive holding them together just wasn't so good in the first place, but some strain is also placed on bindings from dust jackets that are attached very tightly to their covers. A little "ease" is recommended when taping jackets on, to ease stress on the spine!

Many thanks to all who came out to spend the day with me fixing books on the southern coast! And especial thanks to the directors of the Curry and the Port Orford Public Libraries who invited me to travel south, made my journey possible, and gave the workshop a perfect space, and to Rea Andrew with the Support Staff Division who put together our toolkits.

Happy Summer Solstice, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the workshop at the SSD Conference at Newport in about a month. More time by the sea? Yes please!

Coquille Point, Bandon, Oregon. June 19, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

OLA SSD Conference Rideshare

Are you planning to attend the OLA SSD 2015 conference in Newport, OR but not sure how you’re getting there?

OR are you attending, but don’t want to make the drive alone in your big, empty car and are hoping for a co-pilot to join you?

If either of these sound like you, great! The OLA SSD conference committee has set up a document where those interested in getting or providing transportation to the conference can communicate.

Please note OLA SSD isn't responsible for scheduling, coordinating, or details beyond providing this document as a forum to attendees.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

OLA SSD 2015- Early Bird Registration ends June 12!

Thinking about attending OLA SSD 2015, July 17 in beautiful Newport, OR? Don’t wait too long to decide- Early Bird registration ends soon! Register between now and *June 12* to save $10 off the conference registration fee.

This year’s conference theme is "Many Roles, One Goal: Meeting the Needs of our Communities" so no matter what kind of a library you work in, there’s something for everyone here! The conference will be Friday July 17 from 8:00am-4:00pm at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn in Newport, OR

Registration, hotel information, and information on all the sessions can be found here.

If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Rea Andrew, OLA-SSD Treasurer.
If you need special accommodations, please notify Shanel Parette, SSD Conference Committee Chair, by July 1, 2015 by email or call her at 503.370.6673

Friday, June 5, 2015

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Since Fridays are #followfriday on Twitter, we thought we should let you all know that OLA SSD has a Facebook and Twitter! We would love for you to comment on posts and follow us there as well.

If you're attending OLA SSD 2015 (have we mentioned it's July 17 in Newport, OR?) then you can use the hashtag #OLA_SSD15 to live tweet sessions you're attending, talk to other attendees, and generally let us know what a great time you're having! Even if you don't have a Twitter account, check out the hashtag on Twitter to see what's happening at OLA SSD 2015. If you aren't sure what a hashtag is, or why they're useful, you can read more here.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book Repair at OLA SSD 2015

**UPDATED** As of 6/2 "Basic Book Repair for Libraries" is full. To be added to the wait-list, please contact Rea Andrew, OLA-SSD Treasurer. If you didn't register in time for book repair, there are still so many great sessions to attend- check them out and register here!

It’s that time of year again- Spring is wrapping up, and we know what comes after that- July 17 which is the OLA SSD conference

old books.jpgBack by popular demand is the day long “Basic Book Repair for Libraries” session. This session will cover the basics of book repair for circulating items, materials to be used, and different techniques to repair books like a pro. This is an all-day session and will run from 8:00am-4:00pm, Friday July 17 in Newport, OR. 

This session only has the capacity for 9 more participants so you’ll want to register ASAP! Once those 9 participants have been registered any additional ones will be wait-listed. The session has a $30.00 supply fee, in addition to the conference registration. If this sounds like a session you’d like to attend, don’t wait! This is a small session, so register now to make sure you get a spot.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Shake It Off or Check It Out?

So National Library Week happens every year in April.  This year, The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library decided to celebrate by covering Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" and it's pretty great.  Check it out (heehee):

It's an "homage to Taylor Swift and her outspoken support of public libraries and literacy and in celebration of National Library Week".

Which version do you prefer?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Survey graphic
Do you look forward to work every day? Do you want to let the world know about all the interesting and challenging things you do? We want to know all about it! 

Tell us about it by filling out a short form with information about what you do and what makes your job special and fun and your story could be featured as part of a Day in the Life right here!

If you have any questions please send us an email.

Friday, April 24, 2015

OLA Employee of the Year 2015

A big congratulations to our own Margaret Harmon-Myers for being named OLA's Library Employee of the Year for 2015!

According to the article, Margaret was recognized for her many contributions at Eugene Public Library, especially her computer/technology classes and her skills in genealogy research (and we all know well these are both major benefits for a public library!)The award was presented at the OLA conference in Eugene.

The full list of previous award winners for this award and the others OLA gives out is available here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

OLA SSD 2015 Conference is now open for registration!

It’s time to make the announcement you’ve all been waiting for- registration for OLA SSD 2015, is now open! Use the online form to select your sessions and register for the conference. If you hurry*, you can make the early bird registration and save $10!

Some important details- the conference, titled “Many Roles, One Goal: Meeting the Needs of Our Communities” will take place at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn in Newport, OR. The conference is Friday July 17 and runs from 8am-4pm. Your registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, AND delicious snacks. We have fantastic speakers and sessions all day with content designed to be relevant and useful to all different library types.

If you’d like to stay at the Best Western please give them a call at (541) 265-9411 and mention the conference- you’ll get a nice discount! Discounted rates are $119 (hillside view) or $135 (ocean view) (plus taxes and fees). Registration is open until Sunday July 12.

If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact Rea Andrew, OLA-SSD Treasurer, at

If you need special accommodations, please notify Shanel Parette, SSD Conference Committee Chair, by July 1, 2015 at or 503.370.6673.   

*Okay, you have until June 12 for early bird. But we’re trying to get some excitement here!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Chicks hatching in a library!

Peep peep!

One of the more interesting additions to a library collection, which were due to hatch April 19th, is the Chick-It-Out Hatch Program at the Homer Library in Illinois. 

You can go to their site and watch a live stream of the incubator, which according to their facebook page has one chick, but looks like it still has eggs in it as of this date.

The chicks will be kept at the library for a couple weeks after they hatch then go back to the farm.

I can't imagine resisting the cuteness while trying to shelve holds or working the circulation desk and would probably find excuses to be out on the floor a lot more.

How much work would you get done if there were adorable, fluffy, baby chicks in your workplace?

Monday, April 13, 2015

National Library Week 2015

Hello everybody!

It's once again National Library Week.  David Baldacci has been named the Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2015.

ALA (American Library Association) is encouraging everyone to "share what they've created with the help of their library ... Share what you've made with the help of your local library on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #librarymade for the chance to win a $100 gift certificate to Maker Shed or Amazon."  More details are over on

Tomorrow is National Library Workers Day.  Started in 2003, it celebrates "the hard work, dedication, and expertise of library support staff and librarians."

We get special snacks at the library where I work to celebrate NLWD. Or should I say "more", since we tend to really like our snacks on every day of the calendar year, whether we're celebrating or not.

What do you most look forward to during National Library Week?  Does your library do anything special for its workers? 

Also, consider nominating one of your coworkers for a star!

Monday, April 6, 2015

OLA SSD 2015 Conference update and keynote speaker

 Beach at Newport OR- photo from

OLA SSD 2015 conference planning is in full swing, and we have two exciting announcements!

Registration for the conference will be opening soon. This is a little earlier than normal but we know all of you are excited to start planning your trip to fabulous Newport, OR for this year's conference! Keep your eyes posted here and on Libs-OR because we'll be announcing the dates for registration soon. Remember, the conference happens Friday July 17 so make sure that date is on your calendar.

We're delighted to announce that Janet Webster will be the keynote speaker for the OLA SSD conference. Janet was the Head Librarian of Oregon State University's Guin Library at the Hatfield Marine Science Center until her retirement and in 2013 OLA awarded her the OLA Distinguished Service Award. Janet's background and experience will fit well with this year's theme of "Many Roles, One Goal: Meeting the Needs of our Communities". We’re looking forward to announcing more of our fantastic speakers soon!

Want to make sure you're the first to know all the OLA SSD updates? Be sure to bookmark this blog and like us on Facebook!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Five book mending tutorials

It's not updated anymore, but explore the blog of One Book at a Time to find some tutorials, mostly of techniques you can use at home, to repair and restore books.

Andria Bobo has a really nice pinterest collection of book repair tutorials. Fair warning, though, pinterest will put all sorts of blocks over the page which reduces the area you can see - unless you have an account.

A school for conservation called West Dean is a beautiful blog even if you have no interest in conservation or book repair, and there are some very good in depth tutorials with detailed photos. There's a tutorial on Japanese stab binding illustrated with a sandwich!

There are some good tutorials over at Temper Products, who are a company that make book binding furniture.

The NorthEast Document Conservation Center has a lot of free preservation resources online, made possible in part by support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2015 OLA SSD Conference announcement

Save the date!

Mark Friday July 17th 2015 on your calendars because that’s when the 2015 OLA SSD Conference is happening! We’re looking forward to seeing all of you at the Best Western Agate Beach Inn in Newport, Oregon for this year’s conference.

Keep watching this space because we’ll soon have some very exciting announcements and more information about the conference posted here. Although, what more incentive do you need to attend besides the words “Newport” and “July”?

The OLA SSD conference committee is in full-speed ahead planning mode. Do you have any thoughts or comments to share with us? We’d love to hear them- please contact Shanel Parette at, or comment below.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Could this work in your library?

Barbary Sanderson, a teen services assistant at Licking County Library in Ohio, came up with a neat new program that lends out guitars to their patrons. 

This article in the Newark Advocate goes into a little more detail.  She's teamed up with a local guitar shop, bank, and the board of trustees.

Their lending policies can be found here on their website.

Licking County will also be adding ukeleles to their collections, among other things.  It looks like a lot of their ideas come from their support staff, too.

What awesome "think outside the box" things is your library doing?  How do support staff help with those ideas?

Monday, January 26, 2015

The newest library in Oregon
That axe would be handy for breaking down crates, amiright?

Well, sort of!  The new TNT series 'The Librarians', which is filmed in Oregon, debuted on Dec 7th. 

Have any of you watched the new series?  How do you like it?

Most importantly, is it accurate in its depiction of library support staff in Oregon?!?