Library Update from Sean

March 2024 Report to the Friends

We assessed three candidates for our vacant Senior Library Assistant position, and will be interviewing next week. We are anxious to fill this position.

It’s amazing what a difference a few days make.In February 2023 the branch circulated 9,100 items. February 2024 the branch circulated 9,405 items up by 3.35%. At this time last year the branch circulated 19,236 items. By the end of February this year the branch circulated 19,251 items. Circulation in Ridgefield is almost as much as the library at the Mall.

We ended up with over 1200+ Bookmark Contest entries. Once our judging was completed staff and volunteers hung all the Bookmark Contest entries up to honor all the entrants.

I went to the Early Learning Center to share stories with the four classes of students. The director of the Center wants the families to form a relationship with the library, which is what I’d like to see happen also. I’m hoping to visit regularly.

March 13 we held a Happy Painting program or as I like to call it A-Bob-Ross-Alike Painting program. We had 19 sign up for this program, and 14 enthusiastic painters enjoyed it very much and have asked us to do this again.

March 19 we held our first ever Homeschool Meetup BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch). A huge thank you to Christle and Gayle who decorated tables and created a swoon-worthy space. Unfortunately after all of this effort we had no families come, but we haven’t given up yet and are running this through June. 

On March 19 I joined Barbara Wright and Rob Melton to put on the Ridgefield Arts Experience, an arts smashup, that culminated in a public performance. The kids participating really pulled together once the audience arrived and put on a really excellent play.

On March 27 the grant coordinator for the oral history grant the library received in partnership with Ridgefield Heritage Society will visit. That evening Ridgefield Heritage Society will hold its annual Pioneering Women of Ridgefield program.

A volunteer will be leading an English Conversation Circle at the library weekly starting April 16.

I attended the first organizational meeting of the Ridgefield-La Center Kiwanis Club, along with Jurinda, and joined. I volunteered to serve on the Board.

I met with Jennifer Lawrence to continue planning a Healthy Kids event taking place April 20.

We’ve been invited to the evening Spring Showcase event  at View Ridge Middle School on May 16 to share information specifically about Summer At Your Library and about library programs and services.

I will be on vacation April 1 to April 5.

Librarian’s Report February 2024

In January 2024 the branch circulated 9,846 items down from 10,136 in January 2023. This change might be because the branch was closed for five days due to snow and ice. In fact every branch is down except for the Vancouver Community Library and Yacolt. 

John Utsler, the branch’s full-time SLA, has taken a position at the Vancouver Community Library, and starts there February 16. I’ll be leading Dungeons & Dragon on Tuesday and Tammy will be picking up Wednesday storytimes. 

Speaking of Dungeons & Dragons, we received a call from a reporter from the Reflector Newspaper who is writing an article about tabletop roleplaying games and interviewed John and I. Look for the story soon.

The Bookmark Contest started February 1. It ends February 29. I’ve delivered Contest entry forms at Union Ridge, South Ridge, Sunset Ridge/View Ridge, Ridgefield High School, and Cedar Tree Classical Christian. February 15 and 16 we will put supplies so kids can do their bookmark design in the library. I plan on hanging all entries as a way to honor all the kids who enter once we complete our judging. Last time we had over 1300 entries. I expect this year we’ll have more.

Our People Count for Saturday February 3 was over 800, which is definitely higher than normal.

On February 7 Libs Martin from Cascade Park Community Library came to Ridgefield and presented a bilingual storytime again to an appreciative crowd. We look forward to having her back early in May.

Word Nerds, a monthly program for writers led by Priscilla Riggle, began February 15.

January 2024 Report to the Friends 

In November 2023 the branch circulated over 10,000 items. December 2023’s circulation was 9,523 compared to 9,899 in December 2022. Last year the branch circulated 121,751 items and in 2023 125,135 items were circulated, an increase of 2.78%.

Thank you for serving cookies and hot cider during Hometown! Many people come to the library for their traditional cookie and cup of steaming cider! For the day the people count was just over a thousand. In past years the count has been in the 1200-1500 people range.

We held our first in-person wreath making program since COVID December 13. 37 people made wreaths. Tammy brought in a bow making machine and was busy making festive bows for people to take with them and for children she had gathered supplies for a pine cone gnome which was a hit. 

Tammy presented our first Music & Movement session on December 6.

Chess Mates, Spanish Conversation Circle, and Adult Book Discussion have grown big enough that we have moved these into the Community Meeting Room.

Imagined Ink is an annual writing contest put on by the Library District. Ridgefield had a winner this year! If you know Ella Hill congratulate her for her excellent short story My Andrea.

In February a volunteer will begin leading a program that will meet every two weeks focused on writing called Word Nerds.

In March we will hold a Happy Painting program which is a Bob-Ross-A-Like program. We will also hold a BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) program focused on homeschoolers to give them an opportunity to meet together to socialize, network and learn.

The volunteer anxious to lead an English Conversation Circle is still in the vetting process so no word yet on when this will start.

A 4H Robotics Club that meets at Skyview High School wants to come for one of our Build It! Programs maybe in February, maybe in March.

The library is now partnering with the Ridgefield Art Association and in December the first Art Chat program was held with the library partnering.

On December 6 YMCA staff used the small meeting room to film an episode of Muddy Boots. On January 24 the library hosted the Y program, Spice of Life, a program geared towards active seniors with food served. The Library will partner with the Y in April to hold a Healthy Kids Day.

I met with Barbara Wright and Rob Melton to begin planning for the Ridgefield Arts Experience which will take place in March, Youth Arts Month. 

On January 31st Clark County Community Services staff used the Community Meeting Room. Discussion and feedback will be collected at this public forum on the County’s 2023 Low-Income Survey of Needs which will guide spending in the future.

On January 1st the District changed the status of the small meeting room to a large study room, a change I advocated for. That means that businesses or organizations can use this room for private meetings and allows us to make better use of the resources we can offer the community. I am also advocating for after hours use of the meeting room.

Cindy Lebeau, publisher of Greet Ridgefield, contacted me to ask if the library wanted to showcase the programs we offer. Of course!

And I don’t want to forget that the Bookmark Contest starts February 1st. In 2022 Ridgefield had the most entries of any branch in the District (over 1300). 

A person could say numbers increased just due to increased population, but those people don't have to choose to use this library. They're here because of something we offer or something we did, even passive things like scavenger hunts or guessing jars or excitement generated by Mitt Mitt Monsters. 


Jan 2557

Feb 2582

Mar 3408

Apr 4154

May 3838

June 5487

Jul 5151

Aug 5122

Sep 4696

Oct 5618

Nov 310

Dec 3736


Jan 5099

Feb 5049

Mar 5825

Apr 5371

May 5647

Jun 7409

Jul 7025

Aug 7359

Sep 6219

Oct 6975

Nov 5016

Dec 5902

Friends Meeting Report November 2023

In October 2023 10,599 items checked out compared to 10,608 in October 2022, down .08%. Total circulation for 2023 through the end of October is 105,374 compared to 102,196 for 2022 at this time up 3.11%,

Thank  you for going with us to the Trunk of Treat at the RORC. I heard that giving out books was extremely popular and even caused a bottleneck as far as foot traffic. 

On October 30 we painted pumpkins with 27 kids who came for this program. 

On Halloween library staff gave candy to any number of ghosts and ghouls who came to the library. We estimate about 200 kids which was down from last year.

Rebecca Jaramillo, a community member we met through the Ridgefield Family Resource Center, put up an ofrenda again this year to celebrate the Dia de los Muertos. 

November 8 Libs Martin, from the Cascade Park Community Library, presented a bilingual storytime in Ridgefield that was a lot of fun. We have asked her to return quarterly to do more of these storytimes. And speaking of storytime, we are averaging 100 attendees a week.

On November 1 Marilyn and Heather went to Ridgefield High School’s volunteer fair and returned with a list of potential volunteers.

A group of participants who discussed Caste by Isabel Wilkerson continues to meet at the library to discuss books. We explored folding this into library programming, but at this point the group chose not to do that.

Organizers of Art Chat asked for their program to be folded into library programming, and is now on the District calendar.

My first grant progress report to the Washington State Library is due November 30. This grant is for collecting oral history and cleaning up some early interviews by the past Heritage Society that were captured on DVD.

A patron donated a large stuffed cheetah which as you can imagine is very popular. We decided to invite the community to choose a name for the cheetah, and after two rounds of voting our cheetah’s name is Savanna.

I met with a person who would like to lead an English Conversation Circle in Ridgefield. This is something a couple of people have come in asking for as it’s difficult for them to go to other locations that have an in-person program or to get into a virtual group. I’m excited to put this program in place.

A company called Clark Christmas Lights put up the holiday lights that decorate the building for no charge.

Last night I had a tween try out Forza Horizon 5 on the XBOX X. He reported, “The game’s great. This library’s so bad.” (bad being slang for “hot” according to my son). Thank you for the game. I snapped a photo and lost it as I transferred it to my office PC, but I’ll get another and post on Facebook.

October 2023 Report to the Friends of 

Ridgefield Community Library 

Thank you for purchasing tickets for Michelle and I to attend the Foundation’s A&I Dinner on Tuesday. We enjoyed the speaker and seeing people we often don’t see (retired library staff and others). Mostly we enjoyed the company at the table.

Circulation in September 2023 10,812 items. In September 2022 the branch circulated 10,925 items. For the year circulation is 59,842 items, up 3.48% compared to last year. 

It was hopping in here for Birdfest and Bluegrass with our people counter showing that a little over 800 people visited the library. 

With Dungeons & Dragons numbers staying steady at 25 I am generally game mastering for 8 or so players Tuesday from 4:30-6:30 PM. 

Players at the Hybrid Pathfinder program asked if they could play evil characters, and after consulting with parents, we’ve started this sort of campaign. Two of the most interesting things that occurred are the players discovering that in order to accomplish goals they need to cooperate, and we ended up having a really good discussion about the potential of redemption.

Several people have shown interest in the Writers Circle and it looks like this program is resurrecting itself.

I met with a staff person from the Library District’s Office of Community Partnerships and the Washougal Community Librarian to discuss more effective ways for the three of us to communicate and collaborate to more effectively work with Wildlife Refuge staff.

 Discussion of Caste, YA edition, by Isabel Wilkerson continues. Attendance is between 17 and 14. I purchased the books for this discussion using Friends funds as people are not required to return them. The United Methodist Church purchased an accompanying workbook which is given out to participants. 

A local company that installs holiday lights has offered to hang lights on the library. 

We will be staffing a trunk at this year’s Trunk or Treat on October 28. 

We are planning on pumpkin painting on Oct 30 3:30-5:30 PM. 

We will be participating in the Downtown Trick or Treat on October 31st.

I will be attending the high school Volunteer Fair on November 1st.

September 2023 Report to the Friends

In August 2023 the branch circulated 12,563 items compared to August 2022 when we circulated 11,952 items. Increase of 5.11%

For the year 83,963 items checked out compared to last year at this time when we were at 80,663. Increase of about 4.09%.

The Library had a booth at the Multicultural Festival, first Saturday In September for promotion and crafts.

There is no question that we need a volunteer game master for the library’s Dungeons & Dragons program which takes place Tuesday 4:30-6:30 PM so if any of you know someone who game masters send them my way.

September 7 we hosted Kerry Grombacher’s program Songs and Stories of the American West. 

We’ve temporarily gone from two Read to the Dog programs to one due to an injury sustained by the dog handler who was defending her dog from another loose aggressive dog. 

Storytime is starting gracefully-we’re averaging about 65 a week instead of the normal 100.

September 23 we are holding a Solar Eclipse Celebration with a craft and we will be giving out eclipse glasses

September 30 we will host a presentation by the Master Gardeners on putting together a garden that is pollinator friendly. 

Music and Movement, a program designed for ages 3-10, will begin Wednesday October 4 3:30 PM.

In October you’ll notice a change in our Build It program! In this STEM program children build with LEGOS. We wanted to make this richer so in October participants will make a cartesian diver. 

August 2023 Report to the Friends

Thank you for all you did to make the library’s 2nd birthday celebration a success. You may not know that this was noted and appreciated by the Library Board during August’s meeting in Ridgefield. Thank you for joining us at National Night Out and giving books out to children. I was reminded of how important and popular this is when I happened to glance at my October 2022 article about the Trunk or Treat and one of you was quoted as saying that some kids enjoyed getting books more than candy!

The Library Board met here August 21. Although there were some critical comments about titles in the collection and about Draq Queen Storyhour, which hasn’t been held in three years,  the positive comments about the Library District and service at the Ridgefield Library far outweighed any critical comments. 

In July 2023 we circulated 11,553 items compared to July 2022 when we circulated 11,605 items a change of -.045%. For the year we have circulated 71,400 items compared to 68,711 in 2022, a difference of 3.91%.

You may have noticed the sound panels up in this room. They were installed last Saturday and Sunday and have made a noticeable difference. 

We had two interns from the YES program who worked limited hours at the library for four weeks. You may have seen them during National Night Out. They also helped out at the Back to School Bash. We enjoyed having them at the branch and hope to see more of them. YES is a program that provides job transition services to teens with disabilities.

We held a series of Summer At Your Library programs including two at the Farmers Market and 1 at South Ridge Elementary. This was our first time holding an evening program and important to me because it was on the southern end of our area. For the first time we also had a program specifically for teens, okay, really teen girls which was a henna tattoo program.

I’ve been using the branch’s OWL for Hybrid Pathfinder and it’s been working wonderfully. Two parents of two of the participants are volunteers so that a staff member doesn’t need to stay until 6:30 PM, and this has made this program possible. We’ve had as many as 3 teens attending virtually with another 6 joining in-person. 

I attended the morning meeting of the LIONS Club on July 11 to report on the library. This was important because back when virtually no fundraising had taken place, no site had been identified, and no plans drawn up the LIONS Club donated a $1000 to the building fund becoming the first Cornerstone.

The grant request in partnership with the Heritage Society was submitted to the State Library by me. In mid-August I received word that the grant was awarded for the purpose of collecting oral histories. 

Marilyn joined a special program at Whipple Creek Park called a “Hike and Learn” on August 4

We participated in the Back to School Bash August 19 and will be participating in The Multicultural Festival on September 2.

I met with Jennifer Lawrence with the YMCA on August 23. Gentle Strength and Stretch will continue. The YMCA Art Fun, a crafts program, will begin in October once a month.  We are planning on having the Y’s LEGO engineers come to a BUILD It! Program and we will partner for the Healthy Kids event. The Y is planning on holding a cooking social program starting in late September with several sessions taking place in the community room. 

We’ve been in discussion with Pastor Jo Anne Schaadt about holding a joint program discussing the YA edition of the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson using an accompanying workbook. Tentatively this is scheduled to start Sept 25 and go through October 23 starting at 4:00 PM. Using money from the budget you’ve given me the library will purchase either the book or the workbook. Our strategic plan specifies Equity as an area we are encouraged to focus on, and this program falls under that which is why I can support it.

I have booked Kerry Grombacher to do a program on September 7 at 4:00 PM titled “Stories and Songs of the American West.”


In May 2023 9717 items were checked out. May 2022 9498 items checked out. That's an increase of 2.31%. For the year 48,810 items have checked out compared to 45947 items in 2022 showing an increase of 6.23%.

Maybe more interesting is that in April 2023 we added 59 new accounts. In May 2023 we added 117 new accounts. I'm sure the argument can be made that this is because of our outreach at South Ridge Elementary. 

We promoted Summer At Your Library to just about every student at South Ridge Elementary, about 750 students, and we saw many of the students from Union Ridge Elementary (close to 700). 

What’s amazing to me is that we also gave each student a Mitt-Mitt Monster or Monster in a Bag, a take and make elsewhere craft. We would not have been able to do this without the generous help we received from some of you as we couldn’t keep up with the need.

On May 26 I held a hybrid role-playing game program (partly virtual with everyone else being in-person). This worked very well with even the virtual attendees happy. Now that the OWL, the technology that makes hybrid attractive to people participating virtually lives in Ridgefield, I plan on doing hybrid programs starting July 14. I recognized that this also put a strain on staff as someone needed to stay later so that two of us were on hand if there were any problems. Three of the parents signed up as volunteers and will be assisting with this program. 

May 27 a Master Gardener presented information on growing vegetables in an informative and well attended program. 

I’ve worked with The Heritage Society and Library District administration on an MOU, draft work plan, and draft budget in preparation for applying for a Digital Heritage grant for oral history collection and conversion of VHS tapes and DVDs to a digital AVI format.

I also heard that images from the 2023 calendar that I and Dan Kallem put together as a fundraiser for the Heritage Society will displayed at the Port Offices.

June 24 we are holding another Master Gardener program, this one on lawn reduction. 

July 8 is our first Summer At Your Library program at 10:30 AM on the stage at Overlook Park during the Farmers’ Market. 

I attended the Clark Cowlitz Fire Rescue Board meeting on June 8 to listen to the city’s presentation about the Tax Increment Area.

On June 13 I took part in the final strategic planning session for Ridgefield Main Street for the next 3 years. 

May 2023 Report for the Friends

In April Ridgefield circulated 9423 items, an increase of 2.19%. For 2023 39,093 items circulated, an increase of 7.25%.

According to data collected by the District on the number of people coming into libraries comparing 2019 to 2022  dropped (though we are seeing that change as programming ramps up in 2023) except in Ridgefield where people coming to the library in 2022 actually increased over the 2019 numbers. That shows the value of a new, larger library building in the community.

We partnered with the YMCA to put on a Healthy Kids event. The event was great fun with all sorts of activities including a LEGO table inside the library. Y Partner organizations were in the Community Room and the Ridgefield LIONS were doing vision testing in the study room. I’d like to see the library come up with better activities. I was a little disappointed in the set of lawn games (especially compared to Gaga Ball) and to me this this event needed more attendance.

The YMCA held a senior social event May 11 to gather input on services and programs important to senior adults that was well-attended. 

I attended a training on how to apply for a Digital Heritage Grant put on by the Washington State Library. This was to prepare for the oral history grant that the Heritage Society wanted to pursue. I prepared a draft MOU and shared this with them and with Library Administration, but haven’t done much beyond that until I hear from the Heritage Society that they want to pursue this.

A photographer will be here on June 20th to take photographs from 4:00 PM-6:00 PM and I encourage you to come down and invite a couple of friends so this library is the active, dynamic place it is (though with Dungeons & Dragons going on we could be busy, but more is good).

I am planning on holding a hybrid Pathfinder program that will be both in person and virtual soon making use of the new OWL meeting technology the District has invested in. I can tell you that I have a bunch of excited kids looking forward to getting together in person although they all know one another.

May 20 at we are starting a program called ChessMates

Saturday May 27 at 11:00 AM a Master Gardener will give a presentation on Growing Your Own Vegetables. I plan on coming to this myself in the hopes of getting motivated to put in a garden this year. 

And we’ve started Summer At Your Library or Summer reading promotion visits with virtually all teachers of Union Ridge signed up to visit the branch, and staff going to South Ridge starting May 15 where we’ll share information about the program with almost all the students there. I also delivered three boxes of books to the Family Resource Center for them to distribute to kids. Just like last Summer kids don’t need to get a prize. We give them a book as soon as they sign up! And unlike last year we are actually holding programs with performers. Three of our programs will be on Saturday in the morning at the Farmers’ Market at Overlook Park. We will host the Museum of Curious Things, kind of like a traveling Marsh’s Free Museum, at the library. And I hope to schedule Creature Teachers, an evening program at South Ridge Elementary. Oh, and to increase the fun of our promotional visits we made 1400 monsters in a bag to give to students. 

April 2023 Report to the Friends

In March 2023 10,343 items were checked out at the Ridgefield Community Library compared to 9,805 in 2022. This is an increase of 6.42%. I got another set of numbers which was interesting. In January 2019 we were still in the old library and had a collection of 15,248 items. In January 2023 the library had 19,730 items (and of course a whole lot more).

Mary Abler, the Deputy Director for the District is taking a new position in California and her last day is May 4. Amelia Shelley, the Executive Director is retiring in July.

We are in the process of switching our Read to the Dog programs to afternoons. Read to the Dog #1 was right after storytime and since virtually the only kids coming to storytime are toddlers and babies this didn’t work and Read to the Dog #2 was at 6:00 PM. Read to the Dog #1 is already getting more participants. 

The Ridgefield Arts Experience was March 21. We were in the middle of running through the script with the students when all of a sudden it was time to let people in. We had planned for students to go back and forth picking up the correct mask as they went, but half the masks ended up one side and half on the other side. Still students did make masks and scenery and learned simple music and did put on a performance even if it was chaotic and mostly unrehearsed. 

We held a Community Art Event March 25 and all canvases were painted by community members including myself and both kids. What was exciting to me watching this program was the range of people who were painting: families, older adults, teens who stopped in, our regular tutor and her young daughter. We plan on hanging these in May in the Community Room to display them.

The Ridgefield Heritage Society held their Pioneering Women presentation on March 30. I had planned to present about the Priscilla Club at this event, but was unable to attend.

All the wonderful paintings on the walls are from the Southwest Washington Watercolor Society Spring Show. Their award ceremony was April 3 and there’s still time to vote for your favorite painting in The People’s Choice category.

April 29 is the Healthy Kids Event that the library is doing with the YMCA. We have a set of big lawn games coming for this event and will coordinate their use. YMCA partner organizations will be in the Community Room and the Ridgefield LIONS will be using the study room for vision testing. The Y will have activities outside at Davis Park unless it’s raining in which case we’ll shift the carts around in the kids area and make use of the space inside.

I’ve been invited to talk about the library at May’s LIONS Club morning meeting at 6:45 AM at Rosaurers. 

We will have an activity for First Saturday in May with the Farmers’ Market being at Davis Park, but not flower head dresses. Might be planting wildflowers in a cup. We will also have something for June and may just put an Art Bar outside on the library side of the street. 

We’re already setting up our schedules of class visits for promotion of Summer Reading. Just like last year we’ll visit virtually all of South Ridge Elementary’s classes over two weeks. The difference this year is I have three staff members who can promote also so I won’t be doing this alone. We’ll also have Union Ridge students coming to the library. 

I do plan on holding a 2nd birthday party for the library in conjunction with Main Street Day on July 14 from 12-2 PM.  Jeanne and I met with Kristen Riggs from Main Street who may have a source for cookies for us and these might be free. We’ll put out an art bar and have a performer and may bring in a balloon artist. 

We plan on holding a window painting contest that starts in May and will culminate in July with members of the Art Association choosing the winners. These windows will be finished so that people will see them during the 2nd birthday.

March 2023 Report to the Friends

In February the branch circulated 9100 items, an increase of 11.46% compared to February 2022. At this point in time total circulation is up 10.41% over 2022.

Heritage Society completed posters celebrating 5 women who made an impact on Ridgefield up on display. Along with these we have art from students from the Ridgefield School District on display, art from the Ridgefield Art Association, art from an artist from Yacolt, and art from a local metal artist on display in the display case. 

Brigid Taylor and other teachers brought three classes of first graders to the library on February 28 for a tour and story. 

We put out gift wrapped books that patrons could “date” during February. Some titles had teasers while others were mysterious, enticing the reader to a daring act of discovery. 

Still coming up in March is the Ridgefield Arts Experience which I wrote the script for. Gretchen McLellan, the author, will be at the performance which is Tuesday March 21 at 7:00 PM. 

We will be  holding a community art event on Saturday March 25 where people can paint individual 8” x 10” canvases which we will put on display in May.

In April the Southwest Washington Watercolor Society will hold their awards ceremony April 3 and art will be on display for the whole month.

3 of our Summer Reading programs are on the calendar at the Farmers’ Market. If it rains we’ll have them inside the library and give tickets out to the first 50 or so people. The Museum of Curious Things will be here July 11 from 11-1 PM for visitors. And Creature Teachers will be at South Ridge August 3 though I’m waiting for confirmation that I’ll be able to use the space.


October 2022

Report to the Friends

It is with great sadness that I note that Traci Tingley, our 24 hour Senior Library Assistant, has accepted a position in Washougal. She will start there November 1st. 

In September 10,950 items circulated. In 2021 10,405 items circulated. We gave out 62 cards.

We had a Hispanic Heritage book display up, a banned books week display of books up, and a nonfiction that reads like fiction display up.

We had books about birds on display in the children’s and adult areas of the library. In the kids area John set up bird scavenger hunt that run from September 15 to October 15. On the 15th I put out a spooky scavenger hunt for kids. 

You may not have noticed but we moved our adult world language books to the top of the first adult nonfiction case as you enter from Mill St. This makes it much more visible and allowed us to wrap adult nonfiction around the last case making the whole area less tight and more attractive.

On September 28 we held a welcome back storytime with more than 50 attending. After this we started our regular schedule on Monday and Wednesday with between roughly 45 attending Monday and 35 attending on Wednesday.

The Dungeons & Dragons program continues to grow. We are making plans for guest game masters to help with overflow or if that doesn’t work then I’ll run a session.

We’ve started a Ridgefield Stringed Instrument jam program taking place once a month.

Words and Pictures was originally a program showcasing local authors and illustrators that took place at Cascade Park Library. This year programs tied to Words and Pictures are taking place across the District. I’m happy to report that Gretchen McClellan and Deb Cushman will be in Ridgefield October 29 at 11:00 a.m. for a program. I’m especially glad that Gretchen is coming as she was our chosen author for the Ridgefield Arts Experience which didn’t take place as everything closed down when COVID hit.

Thank you! I got the ball rolling and purchased a movie license for the branch that is valid now. For our first movie we plan on showing COCO on October 29 as a preview for Dia de los Muertos. 

I will be attending the volunteer fair at Ridgefield High School October 26.

On October 29 Marilyn will represent the library at the Trunk or Treat.

On October 31 during downtown trick or treating the library will be a stop for candy.

September 2022

Report to the Friends

August 2022 circulation was 11,952 compared to 11,628 for August 2021. In 2022 so far circulation has been 80,663 and comparing this to last year at the same point circulation was 50,910.

Thank you for your help in staffing both the Multicultural Festival and Experience Ridgefield. The library hosted a writing workshop led by the Poet Laureate of Clark County in conjunction with the Multicultural Festival. 

The Teen Dungeons & Dragons program started September 6. We’ve done some readjusting of the schedule to make it fit the needs of the participants. Build It!, a LEGO program, started September 10. Spanish Conversation Circle is meeting in person. The Legacy Photo Workshop program’s September program had 8 participants! September 28 is our first welcome back storytime for families. After this we will hold a family storytime on Monday and Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. September 19 and September 27 we will be hosting volunteers for a Read to the Dog program.

The following groups are using meeting rooms: The Ridgefield Port Commision, which met September 14 when we were closed for an all day staff training; The Ridgefield Education Association, The Ridgefield Heritage Society, and the students and director of the upcoming Ridgefield High School theater production. At the end of October the YMCA plans to use our space. 

We are exploring holding programs for Dia de los Muertos at the start of November. This would certainly include activities for children/families but we are also considering an ofrenda, an altar used to honor the dead (not religious). We want to be sure we are being culturally appropriate and  reached out to Compassion 360 and Chris Poppert at the Family Resource Center to see if there is a family or an individual who can help guide us.

August 2022

Report to the Friends

In July 11,605 items circulated. Last July 11,340 items circulated. More interesting to me is that in July we registered 111 new patrons for library cards.

Library staff went to National Night Out and The Back to School Blast. At both events we gave out free books. Marilyn reported to me that National Night Out was great fun. Thank you for your help. The button making machine was a hit at The Back to School Blast. In fact, I’m going to order one for the branch. I went to the Union Ridge Summer School carnival. In September we will be at The Multicultural Festival at Overlook Park with a booth and also be at Experience Ridgefield.

I led a tour of the library for one of the city’s Meet Me on Wednesday walks, and we had about 45 students from Union Ridge come to the library to look at books.

The branch’s 3-D printer arrived and John and Traci are our point people for certifying patrons. Here’s an example of what you can make with it. The next thing is to get the video game system in and working.

July 2022

Report to the Friends

In June 11,159 items circulated, an increase of 161.98% over last June.

The Library’s Stitchery, Senior Adult Games, Spanish Conversation Circle, and Adult Book Discussion programs all restarted. Currently it looks like we can add more programs in September. At this point I’m not considering adding more adult programs, but will add a teen role-playing program led by John, our new SLA, and start up Read to the Dog again and maybe a LEGO program. In October we’ll most likely start story times up again. 

The Library’s two meeting rooms are now open for the public to reserve, and groups like the Port of Ridgefield’s Commission and Union Ridge PTO are making use of the rooms besides community members leading painting sessions and learning to play harp from a master harpist in Ireland. Scheduling meeting rooms is completely new at this branch, but we’re figuring it out with our patrons. 

In June we welcomed 24 classes of students from Union Ridge Elementary who came to the library to learn about Summer At Your Library. When sign-up occurs kids get to choose a free book to take home and keep. I don’t have firm numbers on how many kids have signed up, but I do know that we had to ask for more books for older students (middle school/high school) and for young children (preschool and babies).

The Bubble Festival was a success due to the tremendous work of the branch’s SLA's and volunteers. Attendance was 75 and people enjoyed this event including students from Union Ridge’s Summer Camp program.

Traci, Marilyn, and I met with Wendy Lehner with Compassion 360 and staff will be at their Back to School Bash.

On July 14 students from Union Ridge Elementary’s Summer Camp came to the library to build with LEGOS. I invited them to come down for our  Bubble Festival and we plan on going to their carnival in August. July 27 staff will go to Union Ridge to promote Summer Reading to summer students. On August 5 staff will go to the Union Ridge Summer Camp carnival. 

Traci went to the second Meals on Wheels program to promote the library and we’ll be doing this monthly.

I reported on library activities and Friends activities for the past year at the Library District’s Board meeting.

I volunteered to be the Heritage Society’s secretary and am keeping minutes. I’m pleased this group is meeting in the library and excited about an idea to digitize DVD recordings of past Old Timers’ Panels.

June 2022

Report to the Friends

In May circulation was 9,498 an increase of 109.84% compared to May 2021.

As of the date of the Friends meeting, 39 classes have either visited or we’ve gone to visit them. I presented to virtually all of the students at South Ridge Elementary. 

An instructor at the Clark county Genealogical Society called trying to find a certain issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly online. I worked with him for half an hour, not only finding the issue he needed, but also the article he wanted by using an online index.He shared his great experience with his students and boasted about my research prowess.

Students from Cedar Tree Classical Christian School filmed a telenovela, at least partly, in the library for the Spanish class at their school. It’s titled CNI Operacion Serpiente and episode 1 is available via Youtube. I love that the “Ridgefield Community Library” sign on Mill Street has been changed to Central Intelligence. We will be hosting Community Education’s Summer Camp students for a LEGO session at the beginning of July.

We were surprised when 65 people arrived for the Bookmark Contest celebration. We served cake, passed out certificates, and framed bookmarks to the branch winners. The ladies of the Stitchery Group are glad to be back and this program started successfully.

We will be holding our bubble festival at Davis Park directly before Battle Ground Park and Recreation Summer At the Playground session. The programs will overlap by half an hour as a way to lure participants to both programs.

I held a discussion with staff at the local Fish and Wildlife office about displaying 100 Junior Duck Art contest entries in the library. I figure we’ll use book cradles and if we run out we’ll get creative.

Traci, one of our SLAs, met with Wendy Lehner from Compassion 360.

May 2022

Report to the Friends

In April we circulated 9221 items.

I feel a bit like the Ridgefield Library has become a revolving door. We hired John Utsler from Vancouver as our full-time SLA. At the same I’m sad to report that Leticia Chacon, the 24 hour PSA who is leaving at the end of the week to a position at the Mall Library.

We hosted our first class visit on April 26 (kindergartners from Cedar Tree). Since then we’ve booked 14 to 15 class visits by Union Ridge classes and we’ve ambitiously scheduled time at South Ridge in the hopes of

presenting to every class. Library staff will also go to Union Ridge’s Summer Camp and host the campers down here one day.

I attended and spoke at the Ridgefield Heritage Society meeting about the time capsule. They have been inventorying what the library is storing as a courtesy to community members and our own collection of historical materials. For instance did you know that we have two books from Frank Gilbert’s, personal collection which were donated to the Priscilla Club when they formed a library?

I did finish up a storywalk, which is all around you, which I had done in partnership with the elementary school librarians. My storywalk went up at Davis Park First Saturday in May. We also gave flowers to children first come, first served that day and had an art bar in the library.

We plan on honoring our bookmark contest honorees and winners at a small event on May 31st where we will serve cake, hand out certificates, and for the winners framed bookmarks, but as Friends members you get a

sneak peak. It was a surprise to me that Ridgefield had a Grand Prize Winner at the high school level since we had no high school entries submitted at this branch (Other branches could receive entries from patrons who choose a different home branch, and we judge by home branch not where the entry was received). Since we had no high school entries I didn’t bother looking at the winning bookmark for that category.

Traci Tingley created a fairy house craft using paperbooks that had been donated to the Friends, and a pinata craft for Cinco de Mayo which parents have been raving about.

We’re gearing up for a busy summer with plans for a bubble festival, programming, and Summer Learning taking place. The District has sent us Field Guides to Activities and Fun as well as Cryptid cards. Anyone wonder what a cryptid is?

March 2022

Report to the Friends

In March we welcomed a new employee. Traci Tingley to the branch. Traci is a senior library assistant meaning her focus is on programming. In fact, already she has planned a passive mystery program, both for adults and children, for the First Saturday in April. Becky, the branch’s other SLA prepared a St. Patrick’s craft for children and staffed an Art Bar outside our doors on March 5. We also put out an unfinished puzzle on top of one of the nonfiction cases for patrons to work on, and unlocked the doors on the Main Avenue side of the library,.

March 12 the District ended the mask requirement to be in the library. Patrons can now come in without masks, staff are not required to wear masks, and we are allowing food and drink in designated areas.

The District is planning to bring limited adult programming back starting in late Spring or early Summer. 

Circulation was 8,164 in February. In 2021 we circulated 5200 items. 

You may have noticed the bookmarks on display throughout the library. Ridgefield had over 1300 entries, primarily because of the enthusiasm of Jubilee Roth and Emily Crawford, the librarians at the elementary school. Once again, Ridgefield had more entries than any other library in the District. This is welcome even though we had too be creative when it came to hanging them. All bookmarks will be off the wall by April 9th in order to leave a blank canvas for the Watercolor Society’s juried art show.

The Arts Experience is March 22 at 7:00 p.m. and  you’re all invited. Three poets, including the Poet Laureate of Clark County, wrote poems for this Experience, and will be at this program. 

The 3D printer, which was funded by IQ Credit Union, is at District HQ, and will be coming here soon.

I’m working with the District’s Facilities department and IT department to site an exterior access point for wifi outside the building which is weak.

I’ve started an inventory of historic materials held by the library.

February 2022

Report to the Friends 

People checked out 9259 items from the library last month. 

We’ve hired a new SLA at the branch. Traci Tingley is highly creative and highly experienced and she’ll work 24 hours a week. She starts March 1 and her most recent position was in Washougal. 

I met with the Ridgefield School District librarians to discuss Storywalks. A storywalk is a kit that contains a story mounted on yard signs that is set-up outside that people stroll through, like a self-serve storytime. The school librarians are going to develop one kit, and Ridgefield Library will develop one kit. We have permission from the City to put one out at Overlook Park and the other at Davis Park for a week.

Youth Art Month is March. Library staff will be at iOverlook Park First Saturday in March with the City of Ridgefield. We will most likely bring an Art Bar.

I met with Armin Tolentino and Christoper Luna, current and past Poet Laureates of Clark County to plan their portion of the Ridgefield Arts Experience. The poets will craft poems while Carla Kendall-Bray will work with participants who will interpret the poems in dance. Remember that students in the Arts Experience don’t know what they will be doing year to year, that the Arts Experience only lasts from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m., and that it culminates in the public performance. This  year it is March 22 either at Union Ridge or at South Ridge and you are all invited.

I met with a group whose interest is local history. This group has ambitious goals: do professional video recordings of long time residents memories of their life in Ridgefield; collect all historical material in one place; and perhaps in the future hand new home owners in Downtown a packet containing information on the families that had previously lived in their house.

I met with Joylynn Woodward from the Southwest Watercolor Society to discuss their juried show in April.

Staff prepared a Valentine’s Day card take and make craft as well as a Year of the Tiger display.

I posted about our Black History month display on the page of a Facebook group and it gathered 98 likes over the course of several days.

January 2022

Report to the Friends 

I’m changing my reports with the New Year focusing on highlights rather than a more comprehensive report detailing all we do. Besides some what I previously reported was the same month to month.

The biggest news is that Marilyn Abbink was hired as the new Supervisor in Training for Ridgefield. Her first day was January 3. Marilyn has worked for the District for 14 years most recently in Telephone Information. During our move from the temporary location, Marilyn actually took on extra hours to help us ready the branch for opening. Staff like her and I’m glad she took the position. Next we need to fill her position. With Marilyn on board my schedule has changed. I now work Monday through Friday. I’m committed though to be at the Saturday meetings. 

December circulation was 9311. For 2021 we circulated 89,857 items. Compared to 2020 circulation increased by 98.21%. 

We counted 550 people who came into the library during Hometown. 

The Take and Make wreath program went very well. 55 people took wreath rings and greenery. I had planned to just hold this on Friday, but there was so much greenery left that I decided to run it into Saturday. Saturday evening a woman stopped by and donated ribbon and cut holly and asked if we could run it into Sunday. I was agreeable and was delighted to see most supplies gone when I came to work on Tuesday.

I’ve been kept busy drafting a new COVID contingency plan for the branch, more a guide on where to find things and how to operate the branch assuming no regular staff were available. I also drafted 4 quarterly appraisals in the latter part of December. 

You’ll remember that I wanted to purchase a time capsule? I’ve talked with Marilyn and Becky and we’re all excited to move forward with this. I have some items I want to add and we plan on inviting library patrons to create something to include. My question is are there things the Friends want to include? Keep in mind that the interior space is kinda’ limited. When I  think about this as I write this report my mind goes to the Timeline of Friends activities to raise money for the library, but this doesn’t necessarily have to go in. You may want to add other items. 

Since you all are talking about goals I wanted to share a couple of my quarterly goals with you. At one point when we were in the old library my daughter volunteered to fulfill a school requirement and Lois kindly took the time to work with her on processing magazines. Cora asked me afterwards if I knew how to do this. I told her I could probably figure it out, but I’d be slow. She asked me how I could be the manager if I didn’t know how to do all the tasks in the library. I told her that as a manager I delegate and I don’t necessarily need to know how to do all the tasks at the library. With Lois gone it was kind of a shock to suddenly be doing deposit (She did walk me through one deposit, but there’s a lot of pieces). So one of my goals is to process magazines with Anne-Laure, who does this regularly, and to order supplies with Leticia. It’s not that I need to be an expert at these tasks, but people do sometimes move to other positions and being in the middle of a pandemic cross-training is a worthy thing to do.

My other goal grew out of a comment from my 360 review, “Sean may lean towards the benefit of the community while making life a little harder for staff unintentionally.” My goal is to more closely balance the stakeholders I interact with.

November 2021

Report to the Friends 

No circulation numbers for October have been reported yet. **

The hiring process for the branch supervisor has slowed down. The job was posted November 11, when we had originally planned to do interviews. Potential new interview dates have not been shared yet.

The Trunk of Treat event was a lot of fun and we spoke with a lot of new families. We gave out 125 books and gave out 350 pieces of candy. Marilyn and I are already making plans of how we can improve for next year. 

Even if the Trunk or Treat doesn’t take place we could use the same plan for the Downtown Trick or Treat.  We gave out over 175 pieces of candy to children in costumes who stopped by the library.

I had two left-over bags of candy and gave one for you to use on Make A Difference Day. I’m using the last bag with a rough group of tweens to create a positive relationship before we start to educate this group on behavior in the library (for instance, no pretend choking). 

I’m still leading virtual Pathfinder on Friday afternoons.

Staff are getting a craft ready for Hometown. We put together 150 take and make crafts for children. 

On Friday December 10  the library will put out materials for a take and make wreath. I’ll be up early to cut greenery (and bring some with me). Last year 75 people took materials which was more than ever came for the in-house program probably because this runs from ten until supplies run out. 

Every month we’ll have a new display of books, highlighting  on top of the first nonfiction case as you enter the library. This month is Native American Heritage Month and though sometimes it’s hard to tell if people are taking books we’ve seen good circulation of these items.

All staff will be getting four hours of Equity Training at different times in the next few months

The District is going to install motorized blinds on the interior of the clerestory windows, two more wireless ports (one in the staff area and one that will be outside), and if you happened to look at our books on display throughout the collection you’ll notice they are presented nicely now due to new wire book cradles.


I have a figure for October's circulation 9.897 which isn't bad.

Interestingly if today was any hint of what we can expect over winter break we are going to be quite busy. It sure feels like today has been the busiest day of the month. We've had a group of 8th graders cycling through three or four times and heavy shelving all day and given out 10+ library cards. Personally I love it like this-I won't need to walk tonight and I'd sure rather be busy, but being short three people has sure made it hop.

October 2021

Report to the Friends 

Of course the big news is that Lois took a position at the Stevenson Library. We are going to hire a “Supervisor in Training” and are planning on interviewing November 10 and November 11 with a tentative start date of December 1st.

In September the branch circulated 10,405 items. In 2020 we circulated 5,263 items. 

The Library staffed a table at the Halloween Hall, put on by the Ridgefield Art Association, with mystery boxes and take and make elsewhere lollipop ghost kits. On October 29 the library will be participating in the Downtown Trick or Treat event. On October 30 I’ll take my car and several bags of candy to the Trunk or Treat event at the RORC from 6:30-8:00 p.m. along with mystery boxes and books to give out.

Katie Lightheart has been bringing in school age kids to play chess on Saturdays. Last Saturday she had called to say she would be coming with 10 kids and 23 ended up playing chess throughout the library. My hope is that this is a program that can be folded into library programs so the library can provide better support.

I had a call from Jean Hague with the Washington Watercolor Society. Tentatively they are planning on having a juried show from April 9, 2022 to April 30, 2022 on display in the library. I felt comfortable scheduling this as we are most likely going to begin programming for adults in early spring of 2022. Of course this is dependent on COVID, but that the District is having conversations about programming is a good thing. I feel like in Ridgefield the library could begin adult book discussion, the Spanish Conversation Circle (after checking in with the volunteer who leads it), the Stitching and Spinning program (I get email from this group about every 2 weeks wanting to know if the library can host this program again), gaming for mature adults and possibly a family history type program. The library has the physical capacity to do this and because these programs are really community driven staffing for us is light. 

Staff at Three Creeks Library shared a great scavenger hunt idea which I adopted by quickly putting up 10 Halloween images (Think a bat, a black cat, a haunted house, a ghost etc) in various places in the children’s area. If children could find 5 of the images they got a prize. If they found 10 they got bragging rights. They could ask for hints and most often needed help finding the bat. Can you guess why? Bats like to sleep upside down so I put the bat underneath a bookshelf on the juvenile fiction case. 

I’m still leading virtual Pathfinder except it’s on Friday now until 6:30 p.m. Christine Olson comes in weekly to lead a virtual Spanish Conversation Circle.

I also did a good deed in October. A woman had come in to use the professional level scanner to scan photographs and then negatives. She needed help which I gave her, but neither of us were satisfied with the scans of the negatives. I emailed the scans to her and she forgot to take her USB drive which had her book on it. She said I could mail the USB drive to her, but she had her whole book on it. What if it got lost? Or smashed? Or she didn’t have another copy of her book? Instead I drove to east Vancouver and delivered her USB drive to her in person. Later I figured out what had gone wrong with scanning the negatives and drove back to pick up the negatives for scanning and then a couple of days later dropped them off. Surely most patrons won’t get this level of service (or need it) and for sure I felt responsible for doing these scans correctly, but I also recognize when I do a good thing. 

September 2021

Report to the Friends 

The BIG news is that circulation is holding steady at over 11,000. In fact when I first looked I assumed that the July figure had migrated into August, and then I realized that the August figure was actually 300 higher than July. And we haven’t even hit our stride yet as we aren’t offering programs like story time or other activities to draw people in.

We had a count of 2763 People in the library for August, which averages to 106 persons per day.  There were 10 curbside requests for the month.  National Night Out we counted 263 people. We had two teens sign up for volunteering.  Christine Olson is back to actively volunteering for us, leading a virtual Spanish Conversation Circle from the library on Saturday. She put in 6:45 hours for us in September.

The Library joined you at the Multicultural Festival (Thank you for sharing your space) and at Experience Ridgefield. I can’t speak for Becky, but I thoroughly enjoyed Experience Ridgefield. It was great to be doing something we would normally do; especially since we are not programming yet. 

I’m still leading virtual Pathfinder every Wednesday though we’re considering moving to Friday for this program. Like most gaming programs I’ve led I have the same group of kids every week, and most have been involved with this program since early this year. I’ve proctored two exams this week. 

Our study room is proving to be quite popular. Virtually no one has realized they can reserve it online, but virtually everyday we have two separate small groups using it.

The Art Association delivered postcards to us, pre-stamped, for patrons to take to send a card to whoever they might like to. I had a bunch of identical cards that I thought could be used for the same purpose. When I emailed Patricia Thompson to let her know about the cards she actually went straight to the Post Office and bought two books of stamps for us to give to patrons wanting to send a quick note.

Maureen O’Reilly with the Art Association said they want to purchase more of the cables used to hang art on the display system inside the library. I plan on being at the Haunted Hall the evenings of October 15 and 16 to promote library services and offer a grab and go type craft. 

We’re hosting a moderator for a virtual Spanish Conversation Circle program on Saturday by providing space for her and use of a laptop.

We’re hosting the professional level scanner that the District purchased using grant money from the Washington Rural Heritage Project. We used this to scan historical photographs which went to the Washington Rural Heritage website hosted by the State Library, and now it is available to patrons. 

Regrettably we’ve had two incidents with patrons who refused to wear masks. We did call the police to assist us with one patron who was trespassed from all District Libraries for a month and we were on the verge of calling the police on a second person who actually brought her children along. We’ve had more discussions with people about putting on a mask, but these haven’t risen to the level of an incident though I did get called a communist by one person. This has been tough on staff, but we are using humor directly afterwards to reduce stress. As I told staff if she had called me a socialist I might have taken it as a compliment. 

August 2021

Report to the Friends 

In July 3179 people came to the branch. Lois was so shocked by this number that she repeated her math several times.

Patrons did check out 11,346 items. In a normal July patrons would check out roughly 5000 items from the old library. Staff are keeping up with the shelving.

Staff shared that the workflow has become familiar and the system Lois and I set-up is working. We’ve moved from logistical challenges to patron challenges, and as a staff are figuring out how to respond to these. 

I attended the August Library Board meeting and reported to the Board in spite of technical difficulties at the last minute. 

Becky enjoyed her time with you at National Night Out. We’re preparing for Experience Ridgefield. Becky will be with  you in the morning and I’ll be with you later in the day.

I’m reminded again about how small the world is. I’m still leading the virtual Pathfinder program for the District. I discovered that one of the moms was my daughter’s dance instructor for a couple of years starting when Cora was in preschool.

It’s been nice to see the teens return for pen and paper gaming in the study room.  One of them told me that he’s running another game outside of the library with some of the first people to join the program, now adults. I doubt they would have ever met one another and been friends except for this program. 

On July 29 library staff were instructed to wear masks again. On August 18 patrons were required to wear masks inside the library and patrons were not allowed to consume food or drink inside the library. 

Tourists from other library systems, like Multnomah County, have stopped in to walk through the branch and talk with staff. That’s wonderful.

July 2021

Report to the Friends 

My report is quite short this month.

Thank you for all your time, energy, and creativity for the Grand Opening. That morning someone told me a grand opening is like a wedding. You have to expect something to go wrong, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. From my perspective it was a success. I can also pass on what I heard from Sherry Braga. She said this was one of the smoothest grand openings she’s been to and had some of the best activities for kids to enjoy. At the library we gave out 43 library cards on Friday, another 20 on Saturday, and more on Monday. We also checked out a lot of items on Friday. And we’ve had lots of questions about use of the meeting room. 

Being open without capacity limits and keeping track of how long patrons are in the library is wonderful. I’m looking out my office window into the childrens’ area right now and there are three moms pulling books and 1 sitting where the wall mounted kids’ enrichment tools are with three little ones playing with these amidst a lot of excited chatter. Over the last couple of days we’ve had 4 people in using laptops and staying for long periods of time. 

This beats being closed for five days due to the discovery of a crushed sewer pipe. I honestly can tell you never did I dream that I would see wheelbarrows going by my office window full of liquid concrete to fill in a two foot hole in the floor. 

And I’ve had several more people come in with ideas for programs from running a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons program to starting a program on family history and organizing family photos to a weekly card and dice game program for mature adults. That’s the one I’m most excited about. Although progrmming staff haven’t sat down for a meeting yet I’m mapping out a tentative calendar.

JUNE 2021 


In the latter part of May we filled our last new position and hired Leticia as a 24 hour PSA. She’ll start June 17.

We began moving non-critical items over towards the end of May. Marilyn our new 24 hour SLA would win a gold medal in any sort of endurance competition involving moving things. She even came in for extra hours on one of her days off to help us. By Saturday June 5 it seemed that all that remained were the tables which I brought over. 

During this time we also had over 200 boxes of books arrive that needed shelving. I am convinced that Jan who leads the Collection Development Department would win in any speed shelving contest. She managed to shelve 100 boxes of adult fiction in one long day. Not only that, but as we interfiled our adult fiction it all fit perfectly!

John, one of the couriers, spent portions of three afternoons with us after he had finished his route helping us move stuff, but also helping with shelving. I can’t tell you how happy I was at the end of that first long day when he told me he had moved all the empty boxes from the new library to the temporary location.

I also returned from lunch one day last week to find that Anne-Laure had shelved all of the magazines. This was important because we weren’t sure how many we could actually fit on the shelves neatly and we only have 4 titles remaining.

All shelving is complete. Excess books are being sent elsewhere. We’re getting very close to having the staff areas organized. Our goal was to open to the public by June 21st and I feel confident that we can meet that goal. We decided as a staff that when we open we will allow up to 24 people in at a time. Starting July 1st people who are vaccinated and children will be allowed in without masks though we will not be asking people’s vaccination status. Staff will continue to wear masks. 

The Library District’s Facilities Department and the contractor are still fixing some items (like a leaky pipe in the staff bathroom), IT still needs to install our new catalog computers, the key card system isn’t live at this point, but I noticed this morning that all of the doors have door knobs now. I expect these little things will be taken care of as they crop up and as other departments are able.

The RCCA board toured the new branch on Friday May 28. Staff are feeling comfortable enough with people in the building that they’ve been letting in parents who come by with children and end up peering through the windows just to see the place.

I’ve still been able to lead Wednesday’s Pathfinder program.

I also had a conversation with a patron who wanted to reserve the large multiuse room for a music jam meeting taking place monthly. I suggested making this a library program so the room could be reserved for the same day and time several months ahead.

MAY 2021 


We are saying goodbye to Kathlleen Mintz who is moving to a full-time position at Three Creeks Community Library. Marilyn Abbink from Vancouver Community Library is our new 24 hour Senior Library Assistant. We have hired a full-time Senior Library Assistant, Becky Netherada. 

The Library District is offering Limited In Branch Services. People can come into the library to browse up to our capacity which is 1 unless it’s a couple or parent with small children. Starting June 7 our capacity will be 12 as we will be in the new location. We will do away with our closure from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and our closure for the last 15 minutes of every hour. We will also have Internet workstations which people can use. On June 7 we will begin offering curbside services until 6:00 p.m. and Limited in Branch Services also until 6:00 p.m. People will be allowed in the branch for a full hour. Generally chairs will not be available and we will be removing the cushions from the window seats.

Interlibrary Loan opened back up May 1st with some limitations.

The May Experience Kit was Go Art Yourself and arrived May 15. The Library also distributed a calligraphy kit tied to a program offered through the library district by the Oregon Hope Chinese School to celebrate the Year of the Ox. 

Summer Reading starts June 15 and will be virtual.

We will be closed June 3-5 as we move from the temporary location to the new location. Curbside pick-up will not be available during this time. We will offer curbside service starting June 7. Our soft opening date has moved to June 21. We’ve started moving items over to the new building. 

I had an email from a woman who coordinates the Stitchery group that stopped meeting when the library closed due to COVID. She wanted to know when this program could start back up. It’s going to be awhile, but I was excited to hear from her.

Building Project Updates

The big news in April was the fence coming down and what a difference that made.

Since then much more has happened.

I’ve realized two things. First, I’m challenging staff to add color and character to the break room though Patricia Thompson with the Art Association has offered to let us borrow paintings.

The second thing is that it will take a while for staff to feel like the new building is their space. Early on I felt a little like I was trespassing almost. Now that I’ve put my files in my office there’s no issues for me. But it will be an adjustment for staff who haven’t been inside as much as I have.

APRIL 2021



Thank you for the generous gift of the Keurig. The coffee, tea, and hot chocolate drinkers at the branch will make good use of it. And for the generous offer to purchase a water filter and have it ijnstalled. 


The most exciting news is that on Monday April 12 the first two patrons in over a year came into the library to browse the collection. The library had a soft opening on April 12 for patrons to use the library to browse either by making an appointment or via walk-up. We’re limited to 1 to 2 people for a half hour visit. Promotion starts April 19 and we’re looking forward to welcoming more patrons into the library. 


We have 4 Chromebooks available for patrons to check out and use outside the library.


We had a Curbside service count of 587 for this month and we handed out 205 Experience Kits/Curbside Crafts. Chris Poppert from the Family Resource Center did not pick up craft kits we had set aside for her so our count of kits handed out is a little down.


Kathlleen and Lois are like the dynamic duo of crafts! Kathlleen had kids saying “April Fish!” instead of “April Fools” on April 1st with her craft kit containing a cut out fish and instructions stating that in France on April 1st it is a tradition to stick paper fish on other people as a joke. 

Lois pulled together a poetry collage craft since April is National Poetry Month.


The District has posted the two new positions at the Ridgefield Library which are a new 24 hour SLA (like Kathlleen) and a new 24 hour PSA (like Anne-Laure). We’re tentatively planning to move June 3rd-June 5th from the temporary library to the new location and hoping to have new staff onboard the 3rd week in May.




Shelving is up in the new location except for in the kids’ area where carpet needs to be installed. Paving took place Tuesday in the alley area and striping will take place next Monday. The glass slider between the main library and the community room should be installed next week. Planters and the bike rack are on order, and an order for benches will be sent in presently. The hearing loop is installed, but until the AV equipment is installed-which will be in early June-this installation is not complete.


Proofs using the historic photos as images on the windows have been received and reviewed. The final signage order is being reviewed. Photos from the Chinook tribe for windows in the children’s area have been received. We hope to have photos from the Cowlitz tribe up in the kid’s area also.


On Friday we’re meeting with the company putting the donor boards together.

MARCH 2021



On April 12 Ridgefield Library will open for Library Beyond 5 services including checking out Chromebooks for people to use outside for up to 2 hours (The Library has no public Internet stations). The library will also open up to allow people to browse. People will be able to make appointments for up to half an hour every hour (Library staff will clean between patrons). If an appointment time is not full we will take a walkup patron. 


 In February a total of 226 crafts were given out.  158 were curbside crafts that were planned and prepared here.  68 were experience kits that were planned for the entire district by Jamie Baer, but put together by Kathlleen.  Of these, 30 went with Chris Poppert to the Ridgefield Family Resource Center. 


 Our curbside service count for this month was 538.   Considering that we were closed for 3 days due to a Holiday and snow, dividing  that number by the 21 days we did work, we averaged service to 25 people daily.


Lois put together a collage craft kit for First Saturday/Youth Art Month including poster board and images from magazines. She included an invitation for patrons to return their completed collage and we’ll hang them in the library like we did with the snowflakes. After these were exhausted she put out a pinecone bird feeder craft kit, and once these were gone Kathileen put out an Experience Kit centered on weaving. 


Lois led a Virtual Teen Book Discussion at the end of last month.


Kathlleen is moderator for an English Conversation Circle and hosts a virtual Craft ‘n Chat program at the beginning of the month.


I continue to lead a Virtual gaming program every Wednesday. Players now include a 4th grade girl who enjoyed her first session of this program so much that she had her parents buy the First Edition Core Rule Book. 


We will not be presenting the Ridgefield Arts Experience this year.


I’m glad to report that Ridgefield will have a collection of 15-20 titles in French and geared for students in Middle School, including a couple of copies of The Little Prince.


The District is distributing Teen Library Loot boxes that contain a book, a snack, a creative activity and a calendar of events. These go to teens who sign up through the website. 


I am beginning to put together a plan for how to serve patrons if we are still operating under the same COVID related constraints-that is limited entry and limited computer  use. This planning is easier with the welcome news that we will have 2-24 hour positions open.


Ridgefield Building Project Update


The contractor has indicated a finish date of May 11. Probably early April for furniture installation. We do not have a move in date.


I was in the building today. Most of the carpet is installed.The planks of green, blue and orange give the mostly grey-toned carpet punch. All lights are up. The service desk area is finished (We’re talking quartz tops). The display case in the Community Meeting Room is finished. All the window seats are installed, and they all have cubbies. The self-serve tech counter is  up (This is the one that overlooks Davis Park). Glass doors from the Main Avenue vestibule and the Mill St. vestibule into the library are installed. The partition between the library and the Community Meeting Room is not installed yet and workers were installing floor cove. This is going to be a knock-out library to echo what the contractor said and what I know.


While I was there. I took a long look at the Friends cabinet today and later we’ll need to figure out money containment through the deposit slot-using a metal locking box like before will not work. An open metal container or any sort of small box will work. The cabinet is locking so this area is secure. Opening the door with the payment slot will require kneeling down to let the release for the door lose. 


We are still reviewing the sign package. The photographs for the historic images on the windows project have been selected. We are reviewing information on the donor boards. 


Amelia and I went to see the bronze eagle today and have asked our Facilities Department to see if it can be hung in the Main Avenue vestibule. 


Last week I ordered flags for the Community Room. This week I’m ordering new book carts.