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Take Off!

Reading to your children at an early age sets them up for success! Discover more about the Take Off! Program here.

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Announcements & News

Libraries Provide – Countywide November 30, 2019 - EO Column

Celebrate the holidays at your library

By Erin McCusker Nov 30, 2019

Our public libraries in the Umatilla County Special Library District (UCSLD) provide wonderful, inspiring and
enlightening programs for all ages all through the year. They are perhaps best known for the Summer Reading
Program, which keeps kids reading and involved in literacy and learning themed activities when they are not in
school. And, there’s so much more.

Nationally, programming in public libraries is increasingly important. The article, “The 2017 Public Library
Data Service Report: Characteristics and Trends,” by Ian Reid in the September/October 2017 issue of Public
Libraries Online, showed increases not only in the number of programs offered at public libraries nationally,
but more importantly in the attendance at the programs. They used baseline numbers from FY 2012, and by
2017, the number of programs offered increased by 6.3% and attendance at programs by 4.0%. This upward
trend continues into 2019 in our public libraries in the UCSLD.

During the winter holidays, library staff members go above and beyond! From holiday-themed story times and
gift-making craft times to Christmas parties with refreshments and Santa, there is something for everyone in
your community. All events are at the public library unless noted otherwise:

• Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m. — Holiday Preschool Story Hour, Helix

• Dec. 3, 4 p.m. — Letters to Santa Storytime, Adams

• Dec. 5, 4 p.m. — Winter Carnival Fundraiser, Umatilla. Support the library and enjoy carnival-style games and
fun prizes, popcorn, nachos, cotton candy and a potato bar.

• Dec. 5, 5 p.m. — Snowflake Ornaments, Adams

• Dec. 8, 4-6 p.m. — Holiday Tree Lighting and Santa Visit, Athena Public Library and Main Street. Write a letter
and take a picture with Santa, and create a natural ornament to hang on the city Christmas tree.

• Dec. 9-19, all day — Elfie Selfies, Helix

• Dec. 10, 4-6 p.m. — Santa @ the Library, Weston

• Dec. 12, 5 p.m. — Popsicle Stick Ornaments, Adams

• Dec. 12, 6 p.m. — Book Club/Cookie Exchange, Helix

• Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m. — Make Your Own Sugar Scrubs, Adams

• Dec. 16, 4 p.m. — Last Minute Gift Making, Helix

• Dec. 16, 7-8 p.m. — Holiday Pajama Storytime, Athena. Gather around the fireplace for cookies, cocoa and
stories. Wear your jammies!

• Dec. 17, 3:15 p.m. — Make a Friendship Bracelet, Weston

• Dec. 18, 6-7 p.m. — Children’s Christmas Party, Milton-Freewater. Refreshments, crafts and pictures with

• Dec. 19, 5 p.m. — Cookie Decorating, Adams

Other programs:

• Every Tuesday, 5-8 p.m. — Crochet Night, Ukiah. Gather with friends and complete those Christmas gifts.

• Dec. 7, 10 a.m. — STEAM Lab, Umatilla — First day of Session 2, fun with 3-D pens, snap circuits, painting and

• Dec. 10-13 — Celebrating Computer Science Education Week, come and learn to code, Athena — Hour of
Code: Dance Party (Dec. 10, 3:30 p.m.); Hour of Code: Star Wars (Dec. 11, 3:30 p.m.); Code with Robots (Dec.
12, 3 p.m.); Hour of Code: Minecraft (Dec. 13, 3:30 p.m.).

• Dec. 6, 13, 20, 10 a.m. — Preschool Storytime, Weston

Find more information at


Erin McCusker is the district director of the Umatilla County Special Library District. Read her column, Libraries Provide – Countywide!, the last weekend of the month. Contact McCusker at 541-276-6449 or…

Release Date

Libraries Provide – Countywide Oct 26, 2019 - EO Column

Umatilla County library staff team up for training

By Erin McCusker Oct 26, 2019

On Friday, Nov. 1, all of the public libraries in Umatilla County will be closed so that their staff members can attend a daylong, all-staff inservice provided by the Umatilla County Special Library District (UCSLD).

The UCSLD provides two inservice trainings for library staff each year — one in the spring and one in the fall. Many libraries can’t afford the cost of going to a conference or to a training for all of their staff members. With travel, lodging and meals in addition to the fees for the training, the cost can be prohibitive, especially for more than one staff member.

The UCSLD inservices provide new learning for all staff members. Additionally, they get to know their colleagues from the other libraries in the district, contributing to county-wide collaboration, exchange of ideas and co-envisioning ways to work together for the benefit of our library customers.

Training at the inservices covers all aspects of public library service: leadership, programming for adults and youth, working with unique populations, marketing, collection development, policies, budgets, customer service, planning for the future, partnering with community organizations and more. We are fortunate to have the coordinator of the Sage Library System, of which we are all members, come periodically to provide training on reporting, new processes and cataloging with our shared system.

Continuing education is extremely important for the staff members who help library visitors find and access the information they need. From the amount of data increasing quickly to the fact that so many people are connected to the internet, librarians are critical to help wade through and discern authoritative information from what should be ignored and deleted. They also help customers navigate through the ever-changing ocean of technology devices. In order to do this, they have to keep learning about what is new themselves.

The Nov. 1 inservice is a full day of learning. Our keynote presentation is on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, a vital focus of public library service. Other presentations include: the 2020 Census and how libraries can help in the process, the new law for statewide standards that define a public library, and interactive sessions with highlights from staff members’ training and conference attendance from the last year.

Additionally, the UCSLD will provide an inservice on Saturday, Nov. 16, for city library boards, city council members and city officials, friends of libraries groups and library directors. This inservice covers how the library district works with local libraries and the roles and responsibilities of providing excellent library service to our county residents and visitors.

Many libraries focus on ensuring continuing education for their customers and Umatilla County library staff members work hard to continue their learning as well.


Erin McCusker is the district director of the Umatilla County Special Library District. Read her column, Libraries Provide – Countywide!, the last weekend of the month. Contact McCusker at 541-276-6449 or

Release Date

Umatilla County Special Library District


The Umatilla County Special Library District works in partnership with our libraries to advance and make available excellent library services, programs and continuing education opportunities for all.


The Umatilla County Special Library District (UCSLD) works collaboratively with our public libraries to ensure that high quality library services are available to all.

Public libraries are places of welcome for everyone, and UCSLD strengthens and unites our communities.

Library staff are valued and recognized for providing exceptional service to their communities. UCSLD invests in Library Staff development, and offers opportunities for interaction, skill-building and cross-training.

To advance the vision, UCSLD partners with groups and organizations to increase the reach of literacy and access to information, building on the foundations of a democratic society.


Customer Focus—Communication—Leadership—Integrity—Teamwork—Growth—Creative Innovation—Flexibility

- Strategic Plan - FY2018-2020, Vision updated 11/19