Capital City History

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Under the leadership of Bunny Zeller the chapter was opened in January 1972 and given the name Willamette Valley Association of Church Libraries. Officers elected were Bunnie Zeller, President; Rose Fahdenrecht, Vice President; Helen Hamon, Secretary-Treasurer; and Marie Townsend, Program and Education Chair. Later members included Sallie McDuffie of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Dale Shafer of Court Street Christian Church, Connie Sims of First Presbyterian Church, Anna Mae Guile, Irma Lady, and Lois Perry, Pearl Powell, and Sophie Mull of First Christian Church.

The charter, constitution, bylaws, and a membership list were presented on May 17th at the annual PNACL workshop. Rubye Slay of Portland presented the welcoming address.

Marie Townsend was editor of the Lamplighter from 1976 to 1978. During its tenure the chapter hosted the annual PNACL workshop at Willamette University. For lack of members willing to hold office the chapter was disbanded in 1980. Connie Sims continued her PNACL membership and attended Metro-Portland chapter meetings.

In 1987, June Ruyle began satellite meetings in McMinnville. Failing to establish a chapter there, the PNACL board allowed that area to be combined with Salem as per the PNACL by-laws of radius distance. June Ruyle canvassed the churches in Salem and conducted fall and spring meetings there in 1990. This brought forth the reorganizing and reopening of a viable chapter in 1991. The name Capital City Chapter was adopted. Officers elected included Dale Shafer, President; Connie Sims, Treasurer; and June Ruyle, Secretary and Chapter Representative. Shortly thereafter, Linnie Rentfro took the office of Secretary.

In 1995, Capital City Chapter hosted a mini-conference for PNACL. June Ruyle chaired the event and Connie Sims was registrar. It was held at Faith Lutheran Church in Keizer. The attendance was 60 and there were seven new people in the gathering.

Capital City Chapter, beginning in 1998, conducted an annual fall Rally Day with the other Oregon chapters joining in. It became increasingly successful in reaching more church librarians in the area and getting an enthusiastic start for the year’s meetings. The chapter displayed a banner at meetings with the PNACL name, chapter logo, and an area map embroidered on plastic canvas.

Mary Lou McCollach of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church was President from 2000 to 2004 with Lori Pedersen being Treasurer. One meeting was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with Teresa Donovich, author, speaking on icons.

In 2002, the 42nd annual conference was held at the First United Methodist Church in Salem with June Ruyle leading. There were 66 attendees. Mike Thaler was a keynote speaker. The 2004 meetings were held at Silverton Assembly of God, St. Joseph of Salem, and Faith Lutheran of Keizer with programs on the Lord’s Prayer, keeping teens involved, and music by a praise team.

In 2005, meetings were held in Trinity Lutheran of Dallas and Capital Baptist of Salem. Lori Pedersen presided and shared book mending tips, and a Rainbow West representative shared books. From 2001-2007 Mary Lou McColloch shared recipes in the Lamplighter called Holy Chow. She also shared books on dealing with grief for children. St. Joseph Parish, Stayton Calvary Lutheran, West Hills Community, and Trinity Covenant churches hosted meetings on volunteers, with June Ruyle on book reviewing, with the Bible Book House on current Christian books, and with Melody Carlson, author.

Then in 2007, president Lori Pederson and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church librarian Betty Anderson shared about moving libraries to new locations with pre-planning as the key, and on Advent. A missionary trip by Holly Albertson was a highlight at The Church on the Hill in Salem.

Incoming officers were Lori Pedersen, President; Bonnie Brough, Secretary; Betty Charnholm, Treasurer; and Elizabeth Mills, Chapter Representative. Members of the Multnomah Chapter joined us that fall to hear Karen Ball, author and editor who regaled us with excerpts of her books and life.

The next fall, a highlight was a tour of the Corban University library and the Prewitt/Allen Archaeological Museum on the campus. Other meetings focused on cataloging, the life of Melvil Dewey, and writing book reviews. In 2009, Betty Charnholm was elected President. John Dashney, storyteller and writer, was featured at the September meeting hosted by Elizabeth Mills at St. Timothy’s in Salem. A brief discussion was held on the 2011 conference that Capital City and Mid-Willamette Chapters held at Tokyo University in Salem. Our next meeting was a field trip to the Nativity Exhibit at the Lone Oak Stake. Betty Plude shared at the next meeting about writing life stories, and St. Mark’s Lutheran’s art collection also was a field trip.

The next few years continued with meetings on Make It and Take It, evaluations of libraries, Doris Howard and her granddaughter on book clubs, author Leroy Ramsey of Baby in a Box with speaker Lynn Bonifee and violinist Kafi Bonife, and Melody Carlson. Later meetings included Cornerstone Book Store in Monmouth, author Peter Ilylnm, electronic downloads and programs, author Leslie Gould, Ashbery Press owners, and author Julie Emblem Meetings were held at most of our area churches, and Betty Charnholm served as President until May 2016: eight years.

In 2016-2017 four meetings were held without a president, with the host church leading and planning the program. Pam Powell, Secretary; Jill Johnson, Treasurer; and Bonnie Brough, Chapter Representative, served as officers. Authors Sam Hall and Betty Plude and missionary Emily Jadhaz were speakers, as well as Priscilla Fischbacher and Grace West on Bible literacy. Planning began with the Mid-Willamette Chapter for the upcoming 2018 PNACL annual conference to be held in Corvallis. April elections included Betty Charnholm again being President, plus the other officers continuing through 2019.