Spring Update from Pat Duke, Library Director

Written by Hilly Alexander on .

We’ve had a good year.

Deborah Gitlitz, our Outreach Librarian, has been making contact throughout the City to parent groups, apartment houses, and anywhere else folks gather to take early literacy messages to families. She has been visiting a Head Start program at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. She’s been meeting with Hispanic parents at Boeckman Creek Primary. And she’s been an important Spanish language resource for the library, including building our Spanish language collections.

This year we are going to do more. With the Foundation’s support, Deborah is going to begin regular visits to local daycares, some of these are run by families and friends and providers have little formal knowledge of early literacy. She can make connections, give advice and model effective techniques to help kids on their reading path.

For adults, we are adding programs like Curiosity Café, which allows individuals to share experiences and gifts with the community. We started with a talk about the Library’s own Terri Wortman’s bike ride across the USA. And last week we had cowboy poet, Tom Swearingin, read his poetry and talk about his life. We plan to do these monthly, each with a different topic.

And of course there is Science Adventure. I spent Saturday morning in the streets of Portland, with about 10,000 others, to make a statement about the importance of science in peoples’ lives, and the importance of kids pursuing it as a thoughtful career. Science Adventure provides out of school opportunities for kids in this community to explore science and to think critically. Last year over 400 local children completed ten science activities over the summer, hundreds more attended preschool stories and science, where scientific principals are introduced to preschoolers… at their level. And hundreds more attended classes taught by OMSI.

All of these activities are supported by the Library Foundation. Indeed, Science Adventure simply would not exist without the Foundation.

We are going to have a great year. So let me tell you about a couple of other things we are doing that will hopefully make the library easier to use and more attractive. These are not necessarily funded by the Foundation, but are important.

As I speak, Library staff are applying RFID tags to materials in the Library. These tags will make checkout easier, and will create other efficiencies for the library. You should see changes this fall.

Also this fall, we will be renovating the central areas of the library building. We are replacing our carpet, downsizing our service desks, working to improve the Young Adult area, and improving seating.

By this time next year, the Library will have a new look. This is being paid for with capital money that was made available to us by the County as part of the creation of the Library district in 2009.

So we are really looking forward to an exciting year. We are expanding programs and we are making great changes to the Library building.

In January, the Library Foundation took over the administration of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Wilsonville from the Wilsonville Kiwanis. Kiwanis did an amazing job creating and supporting the Wilsonville Imagination Library. In the five years that Kiwanis ran the program, over 1,200 Wilsonville kids have been touched by the monthly books. Over 30,000 books were mailed. The Foundation took over a robust and thriving program, and it is now the Foundation’s task to take it to the next level. Hint: It’s easy to support this program - $100 buys books for 4 children under 5 for an entire year.

Support us when you shop on Amazon

Written by Hilly Alexander on .

The Wilsonville Public Library Foundation is now registered with Amazon.

Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible smile.amazon.com purchases to the charities selected by customers.



When customers sign up for AmazonSmile, they're asked to select
one of over a million charities to support. When you click on our
unique link, you skip this charity selection process. Instead, you're
taken to smile.amazon.com and are automatically asked if you want to
support Wilsonville Public Library Foundation.
We thank you for thinking of the Library Foundation when you shop.

Where does the money go?

Written by Hilly Alexander on .

The Wilsonville Public Library Foundation has had another successful year raising money for the Wilsonville Library in 2016. We thank our donors for their generosity. Here are the highlights of what we funded:

Science Adventure - Science focused Summer Reading Program

  • * 500 science prizes for kids completing 10 science explorations
  • * 300 kids taking summer science classes

Annual cost: $6,700

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (DPIL) – Early literacy program that provides books for preschoolers.

  • * 710 kids are currently enrolled in Wilsonville and 650 children have graduated from the program over the last 5 years
  • * $25 = 12 free books for 1 year
  • * The Foundation accepted administrative control of DPIL in December.

Annual support: $3,400

Adult Programming – Lectures and seminars on literary and special topics.

  • * Monthly History Night lectures at McMenamin’s Old Church
  • * Literature, language and special topic classes
  • * Monthly Genealogy Club

Annual support: $5,300

Outreach Programs – going beyond the Library’s walls

  • * A Head Start program at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility where 9 preschoolers get 2 books per month
  • * 75 children at Autumn Park apartment complex who participate in the Summer Reading Program
  • * A monthly Book Club for inmates at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility
  • * School Family Nights at the library with free books for kids

Annual cost: $6,600

Heritage Collection – Regional level local history and genealogy collection

Foundation Support continues

Endowment Fund – Investing in the future

  • * Xerox Corp. donated $5,000 to grow our endowment

Thank you for helping the library thrive.

Do you have plans for Valentine's Day?

Written by Hilly Alexander on .

Guess who has a birthday on Valentine's Day? The State of Oregon and the Wilsonville Public Library, and probably a few other noteworthy institutions.

The Library Foundation and the Friends of the Wilsonville Library invite you to celebrate the Library's 35th birthday. Please join us for cake and coffee on

Tuesday February 14 starting at 2pm in the Library

Board members from the Foundation and the Friends will be on hand to serve cake until we run out of cake or 4pm, whichever comes first.

Library Foundation Annual Meeting

Written by Hilly Alexander on .

I invite you to attend the Wilsonville Public Library Foundation Annual Meeting on

Tuesday January 10, 2017

6:30pm - 8:00pm

at the Wilsonville Public Library, Rose Room

This is a great opportunity to meet the Board of Directors, look  back on our accomplishments of 2016 and get a preview of the goals and activities for 2017.

Happy Holidays and my best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous New Year!

Hilly Alexander


Wilsonville Public Library Foundation

Ms. Asai says Thank You

Written by Hilly Alexander on .

Ms. Mitsui Asai who is 83 gave a great talk on Japanese Internment during WWII at the February History Pub. She included many personal notes from her experience as a young deportee and what it was like being shunned in the Hood River area after the family's return. She sent us the following note:

"Dear Wilsonville Foundation members,
Thank you for the honorarium for my slide presentation yesterday. As one of the founding members of the Friends of the Coos Bay Library in the early 1970's I know what time and energy of many it takes to support our libraries and their dwindling budgets. Libraries are very near and dear to my heart. I appreciate your efforts and recognition of what it takes to give a full library service. I have given many such talks and I seldom receive remuneration except from libraries, as I have in Jackson County, Pt. Orford, Florence, Klamath Falls and Wilsonville! It helps with my gas expenses - and I'm glad I drive a Prius for all the miles I cover.
Thank you again. I was gratified to speak to a full house, who had many good questions to pose."

I believe that this is the first thank you note we've received from a presenter. If you missed the lecture, check out the book "Stubborn Twig: three generations in the life of a Japanese American family".

The Library Foundation is a primary sponsor of the lecture series at McMenamins Old Church. Your donations help us fund this great program.