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

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