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Estacada Library director steps down, takes on new role

Beth McKinnon oversaw the building of the new library; now she's taking a deep breath before retirement

Estacada Library Director Beth McKinnon announced last week that she will step down as top librarian, but continue to work there until retirement. Librarian Katinka Bryk will be the interim director.

When McKinnon was hired in 1991 to manage the city's public library services, approximately 3,000 items were checked out every month. Today that number has grown to more than 25,000.

'Historically rural libraries have never enjoyed the great funding their city cousins experience,' McKinnon said. 'The lame excuse was that rural folk just don't need or use library resources like city folk do. I have always believed that the better the collection and service, the more people will use their library. It has been very rewarding to watch the citizens of Estacada respond so favorably to our efforts to put together great collections and services.'

Now that McKinnon's vision for a new library building has been realized, she's decided to slow things down a bit in her life. On Tuesday, Feb. 13, she made the official announcement that she is stepping down as the Estacada Library director. She plans to retire in November 2009.

'Someone once told me that libraries should have a change in leadership and vision every 15 years or so. I am 63 next month, and for health reasons I need to cut down on my responsibilities and stresses of management,' she said. 'I am also an old fashioned librarian, and public library services are changing dramatically. My dream is to work in this building as a simple librarian until my retirement.'

McKinnon said that during the fundraising campaign, which began six years ago, much of her time was taken working with the community on the new library. In 2005, Bryk began taking over more of the everyday responsibilities of running the library.

'We will simply switch titles and salaries so that there will be no fiscal impact. When I retire, the library can afford another professional librarian and the city may advertise for a permanent director. Until then, under Katinka's leadership, I am confident that our community will discover many innovative, exciting, new directions in library services to fulfill the promise of their beautiful, new library,' McKinnon said. 'We need to recognize the hard work and leadership that (Bryk) has assumed and give her the title she deserves. We work very well together and I look forward to supporting her in the same gracious manner in which she has supported me.'