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Libraries Provide – Countywide December 28, 2019 - EO Column

The Helix Public Library’s newly renovated community room offers an inviting space.

Libraries provide – countywide | Spotlight on Helix library

By Erin McCusker For the East Oregonian Dec 28, 2019
The Helix Public Library’s newly renovated community room offers an inviting space.


This month, I am highlighting the Helix Public Library. Library director Annette Kubishta answered questions about the library and told about many of their wonderful events.

Tell me about your library. The Helix Public Library was established in 1914. In 1971, the City of Helix donated a room in the old school building to the library. Our library has a history of wonderful, dedicated people involved in its survival. I am privileged to be a part of this lineage for the past 15 years.

What services do you provide? Our library provides free programs for all ages, including a preschool story hour and an after school program. We also have an adult book club and many family events during the summer.

We offer DVD’s, audios and books for all ages and access to interlibrary loans. You can check out an Astroscan
Telescope and a Maryhill Museum pass. We provide free computer access and WIFI. A copy machine and
laminator are available to use for a small fee.

What’s exciting about your library? This year has by far been the most exciting! The HAPN committee, which
consists of Cindy Wood, Jack Bascomb, Terry Case and Darlene Herbert, were able to secure grants to renovate
the library. They have worked hard for many years, improving the HVAC and this fall, renovating the rooms
including a wonderful community room. We now have new sheetrock and paint, carpet, a sink and cabinets for
storage and a barn door to close if two activities are going on during the same time. There is also a drop down
screen and an audio/video system with speakers. The Friends of the Library provided funds to paint. It all
turned out beautifully! I have created a coffee/tea area in the adult section and have a STEAM (Science,
Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) area in the children’s space.

What is the Helix Public Library’s vision of the future? The vision is to make the library a place that everyone
feels comfortable coming to and that offers a variety of things to do. I feel this goal is becoming more a reality.
With the successful programs we have had in the past couple of years, the excitement is growing for the
possibilities this new space can provide.

What are your current and upcoming events?

All of our programs are listed on the library’s Facebook page. The STEAM program will feature guest speakers
sharing their trade. For the month of January, a plumber will be highlighted!

• Preschool Story Hour — features stories, crafts, music and snacks: Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.

• After-School Programs — STEAM-based activities for elementary ages: TBA at 4 p.m.

• Adult Book Club — This month’s selection is “Between Shades of Gray.” Since it’s a YA book, teens are invited:
Jan. 23 at 6 p.m.


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 visit…- library/article_0fa47194-2391-11ea-bb88-3f5d4f6bc4ac.html

Release Date

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

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