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New library director likes feel of Canby, excited about the future

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Canby's new library administrator, Melissa Kelly, is excited
 about the opportunities Canby has now and in the future.When Melissa Kelly discovered Canby, she knew she liked how it felt.

A native Oregonian who grew up in The Dalles, she moved to the Willamette Valley to attend Willamette University and pursue a career.

With an extensive background in library work to pull from, Kelly is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that come with being the new director at Canby Public Library.

“Although I am a new director that came into a difficult and overwhelming situation, I am up for the challenge,” she said.

Working in a comfortable environment will certainly help.

“In many ways, Canby reminds me of my hometown of The Dalles — one of the reasons I immediately felt at home here,” Kelly said. “My husband and I live in Sherwood since he commutes in the opposite direction, but I love coming to work in Canby every day and feeling like a part of this close-knit community.”

Kelly came to the Canby Public Library with eight years of full-time, professional, progressively responsible library management experience and a master’s degree in library and information science.

Kelly was hired in September 2013 as the library supervisor.

Things started to get interesting immediately.

“On my very first day of work, Penny Hummel announced her resignation and began training me on both the library supervisor and library director responsibilities,” Kelly said. “From October 2013 to July 2014, I performed both roles.

“I feel reinvigorated to have only one job description and much more time and energy to focus on improving library services, planning for a new facility and demonstrating the library’s value to the community. In addition to those three areas of focus, one of my goals is to expand services to and improve the library experience for teens.

“Other projects I’m working on include planning for RFID tagging, fundraising to support a new early literacy program, and upgrading our self-checkout software,” she added.

While earning her Bachelor of Arts from Willamette University, Kelly worked in the university library all four years as a work study assistant. After graduating from Willamette, she was hired as the full-time evening supervisor, responsible for supervising the circulation desk and reserve services in the evenings, as well as training and evaluating 35 to 40 work study students to shelve materials and perform customer service functions.

“I realized working in libraries was more than just a job for me, it was a passion and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else,” she said.

She soon enrolled in San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science, a completely online program that allowed her to continue working in libraries while earning her MLIS degree.




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