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West Linn mourns death of 'Miss Ellen'

Former children's librarian Ellen Credle dies after battle with pancreatic cancer

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Ellen Credle was known as 'Miss Ellen' during her storied career as children's librarian at the West Linn Library. She retired last year. Popular former West Linn children’s librarian Ellen Credle died last week after a two-and-a-half year battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 63.

Credle, who retired Jan. 1, 2013, worked for more than 13 years at the library as both the head of the youth services department and, later, the manager of public services. As children’s librarian, she came to be known as “Miss Ellen.”

“It’s hard to believe she is gone,” teen services librarian Elaine Spence said. “But her ethic of service to young people and their families lives on.”

Credle was part of the last graduating class of the University of Oregon’s Master of Library Science program. She worked at the Springfield Library and Fort Vancouver Regional Library before coming to West Linn in the spring of 1999.

She was a pioneer in the practice of multisensory story times for children. A 30- to 40-minute story time with “Miss Ellen” always included music, sign language, picture books, finger plays, activities and crafts.

"She was really passionate about children's literature, and she definitely thought of it as 'literature,'" librarian Rebecca Mayer said. "I always thought that was such an awesome thing about her — she was definitely a champion for kids' books ... she inspired me to push for that myself."

Credle presented approximately 2,500 story times for infants, toddlers and preschoolers during her years at the library.

“Everything I know about excellent patron service, I learned from Ellen Credle,” Spence said.

Memorial services had not been planned as of Monday. Credle is survived by two children — Maggie and Colin Williams — and a grandson, Holden.

The library is accepting donations for a commemorative chair in Credle’s name, which will be placed in the children’s room.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO. - Credle, far right, was beloved by colleagues and patrons alike.

By Patrick Malee
503-636-1281 ex
email: pmalee@westlinntidings.com
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