Mid-Willamette Valley History

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The as yet unnamed Willamette Chapter met as a satellite chapter for about two years, beginning in 1990. June Ruyle, representing PNACL, led these meetings that were hosted by local churches in the Corvallis and Albany area.

The Willamette Chapter was named and had its first officers elected in the spring of 1992. The first officers were President Connie Dougherty, Vice President Julia Robnett, Secretary Jan Barton, Treasurer Margery Brash and PNACL Representative Lenore Aitken. The dues were set at $16.00 per year, with $10.00 going to PNACL and $6.00 for Willamette Chapter’s operating costs. (Later minutes from February 6, 1993 stated that $12.00 would go to PNACL and $4.00 for local operating expenses.) Meetings were scheduled for October, February, and May. The officers would meet in August to write the chapter by-laws.

The by-laws were adopted at the February 6, 1993 meeting.

On February 18, 1995, after discussion the chapter decided not to merge with the PNACL chapter in Salem (Capital City) and to keep the dues the same even though the PNACL dues were increasing to $13.00, leaving only $3.00 per member for local operating expenses.

On October 17, 1996, the chapter agreed to pay dues to become a member of the Capital City Chapter so that they could be involved with that chapter’s events if possible. The dues were raised to $17.00.

In 1997 we began to have meetings four times a year: October, January, March, and May. At the May 15 meeting new officers were elected: President Janet Vance, Vice President Nancy Klingeman, Treasurer Julie Robnett, Secretary Lenore Aitken, and Chapter Representative Julie Robnett. Dues were raised to $19.00.

New officers were elected on June 18, 1998: President Nancy Klingeman, Secretary Janet Vance, Treasurer Elaine Fuchigami, and Chapter Representative Ed Gallagher. The Vice President position was left open.

Lauri Blumenstein was appointed to the vacated Chapter Representative position on October 21, 1999. On May 18, 2000, Judith Jaquith was appointed treasurer to replace Elaine Fuchigami, and Helen Ames was appointed Vice President. On September 28, 2000, Elaine Fuchigami resumed her position as Treasurer.

The dues were raised to $20.00 at the October 19, 2000 meeting. The increase would begin with the dues for the next year. This was increased to $25.00 at the January 18, 2001 meeting due to the increase to $20.00 going to PNACL beginning the next year.

In the 1990s many churches were represented in the Willamette Chapter, including United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Nazarene, Southern Baptist, Conservative Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Evangelical, Episcopal, New Life and Assembly of God from both Linn and Benton Counties including the cities of Corvallis, Albany, Philomath, and Scio.

Some of the most interesting “meetings” during this period were tours of different libraries and businesses including the Mt. Angel Library, Harvest House Publishers, OSU Library, Multnomah County Library, The Book Bindery in Corvallis, Pilgrims Book Store and Powells Books Store in Portland, and Cornerstone Books in Corvallis.

Meetings in the 1990s included many programs including cataloging, repairing books, bulletin boards, promotion of church libraries, books on diversity, books on World War II, books by Frederick Buechner, books on policy, and Circuit Rider Books. The meetings were held at a different church each time and included book reviews, door prizes, and a tour of the host library.

In 2001-2002, Julie Robnett served as president, Elaine Fuchigami served as secretary and treasurer, and Lauri Blumenstein served as chapter rep. In October, the eight-member group met in Salem for the Capitol City Rally Day with workshops, vendors and speakers. Tom Birdseye, a Corvallis author, spoke to the group in January. The library discussion centered around recruiting volunteers and audio books. The March meeting was a round table discussion of library fundamentals: library check-out systems, classifying, new copyright laws, weeding, policies and budgets. The new Cross library computer program was demonstrated in the May meeting.

2002-2003 was the year Capital City and Willamette Chapters hosted the PNACL regional conference in Salem in September 2002. Janet Vance served as treasurer. The membership count was twelve members. The group worked on a how-to book for new members. Programs included summer reading clubs, Corvallis author Linda Crew, copyright laws, videos, and computers in the library.

In 2003-2004, the chapter registered seven members. Edie Orner served as vice-president. All other officers were re-elected. Nancy Powell spoke of her professional library experience in Coombes, England. Lauri Blumenstein led a presentation on How to Process. The group helped Edie Orner and Nancy Klingeman shelve books in their libraries. The year ended with a trip to the new Linfield Media Library with a stop at McMenamins after the tour.

In 2004-2005, Edie Orner served as president and Julie Robnett served as vice-president. Other officers remained in place. In November, the eight chapter members helped Dell Stanton retrofit video movie boxes to fit into plastic holders. For the January meeting, Janet Vance demonstrated how to do inventory. In April, the chapter assisted in trying to set up a chapter in Eugene with a program on book repair. A chapter in Eugene was never accomplished. The May field trip to Mt. Angel Abbey was cancelled due to heavy rain.

In 2005-2006, the same officers served. Elaine Fuchigami served as both secretary and treasurer. At the January meeting, the eight members shared what was happening in their libraries. The March program explored Lenten practices in different churches. Ann Warren, the Salem author of children’s books, spoke at the May meeting.

In 2006-2007, the same officers continued. In November, Janice Tyrell of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Corvallis reported on the grand opening of her library and explained the Librarysoft computer system. In January, the group met at the new library and adjourned early to attend the lecture Why Religion Matters. The March meeting was a joint meeting with the Capital City Chapter. The program was book repair. In May, members met and shared information about their library procedures. The revised by-laws were adopted.

In 2007-2008, the officers continued to serve. Nancy Klingeman spoke about her visit to their sister church in Japan. Marion Whitney, a retired public school teacher led the program on writing your life story. Father Jon Goman explained the religious studies library at St. Anselm’s Episcopal chapel near OSU.

In 2008-2009, the same officers served. Membership was now at seven members. At the October meeting, members shared the protocols for policies, procedures and organization. 16 members and guests attended the formal tea held at Brownsville Baptist Church. Librarians shared promotions ideas. Lauri Blumenstein hosted the March meeting in her home and demonstrated the software library program, ResourceMate. In June, the group toured the Carnegie Library in Albany and the newly opened Albany Public Library.

In 2009-2010, the same officers served for the year. In October, Joy Maloney presented a program on choosing children’s books. Members shared their favorite children’s books. At the January meeting, librarians shared sources for ordering online. Cammie Bella presented a program on Soul Friends–Listening with Presence at the March meeting. Capital City members presented their to-date plans for the 2011 PNACL regional conference. The May field trip was a tour of the Mt. Angel Abbey library with a special tour of the vault containing the medieval illuminated manuscripts. A meal was enjoyed at the Glockenspiel Restaurant.

In 2010-2011, the same officers agreed to serve another year. The chapter had nine members. Jan Barton presented a program on children’s books in her library. Promotion ideas were shared. In January, Irene Johnson demonstrated the use of ResourceMate in her library. Nancy Klngeman reported on her visit to the Festival at Oberammergau at the March meeting. In May, the group toured the Brownsville Historical Photo Gallery. Capital City Chapter and Willamette Chapters hosted the 2011 PNACL conference in Salem.

In 2011-2012, Jan Barton served as president. Elaine Fuchigami continued as secretary and treasurer. Lauri Blumenstein continued to serve as chapter rep. At the October meeting, Jan Barton led a program on book repair. In January, the group held a work party at Grace Lutheran Church in Corvallis to help Cindy Lee in her efforts to revitalize the library and get it operational again. The March meeting was at the Corvallis Public library with a presentation by staff member Carrie Ottow on e-books and the development of the current loan system for e-books. The group toured the Brigittine Monastery in Amity with a stop at the Wings and a Prayer Alpaca Farm. The business and next year’s planning meeting continued at a local restaurant.

In 2012-2013, Bonnie Bonham was elected as secretary. The other officers continued to serve. In October, Dottie Loeb demonstrated the new ResourceMate Essential Plus in her library. Various library software programs were discussed. The January meeting was a hands-on book mending session. At the March meeting, librarians shared their five favorite books and library materials. The May field trip was at B & J Book binding in Corvallis. The meeting continued at the nearby eatery, Laughing Planet, for the business and next year’s planning session.

In 2013-2014, the same officers continued serving. The chapter increased to ten members. In October, Lauri Blumenstein presented the program on recruiting volunteers and financing your library. Betty Charnholm presented a workshop on library promotion for the January meeting. In March, Jan Barton led the hands-on workshop on refurbishing dust jacket covers and creating new book covers. In May, the group toured the new archival storage facility at the Benton County Historical Museum. The business and planning meeting was held at Eats and Treats in Philomath. The Willamette Chapter changed its name to Mid-Willamette Valley Chapter on March 18, 2014.

In 2014-2015, Linda Samuels was elected as treasurer. Jan Barton continued as president, Bonnie Bonham continued as secretary, and Lauri Blumenstein continued as chapter rep. In October, the group of ten chose to repeat the hands-on workshop on refreshing book jacket covers for more practice. Jan Barton led the workshop. Lauri Blumenstein led the January meeting. The program was library promotion, newsletters, and posters. In March, Bonnie Bonham presented the program Low-tech/High-tech covering the subjects of low-tech affordable options and time saving solutions for cataloging, processing, library record management and circulation. The group enjoyed the May field trip to the Independence Public Library. The small town library is very involved in serving the needs of the community. The business and planning meeting was held at a local Italian restaurant.

In 2015-2016, the same officers continued serving. In October, the meeting was held at the historic Porter House that serves as the youth house for the First Presbyterian Church in Corvallis. The ten members shared their summer conference experiences and favorite summer books. At the January meeting, Bonnie Bonham presented the program on Facebook, websites, LibraryThing, and the PNACL website. Marie Peters demonstrated how to make a poster using Word and importing images at the March meeting. Lauri Blumenstein brought materials to create a spring promotion poster. The year ended with the May field trip to the Monroe Community Library. The business and next year’s planning meeting was held in at Francesco’s Gelato in Corvallis.

In 2016-2017, the officers continued serving. The chapter had nine members. Membership dues had remained at $25 since 2001. The October meeting gave a chance for members to share what they learned from the summer conference workshops and share the books purchased at the conference. In January, Margee Dyck, author of the Dickson Boys mystery series, presented what makes a good children’s book. Jan Barton made a presentation on building a children’s library and the group shared their favorite books. The March meeting was a joint meeting with the Capital City Chapter. The two chapters began to plan for the 2018 summer conference. The program for the meeting was Green Books. The sharing time for books about the environment, creative ways to recycle books, and the color green books was postponed due to the length of the conference planning part of the meeting. It was decided that the 2018 conference would be at First Presbyterian Church in Corvallis, Oregon on June 22-23, 2018. The theme chosen for the conference was Heart of the Library in the “Heart of the Valley.”

Between 2000 and 2017, chapter meeting were held at members’ libraries: Good Samaritan Episcopal Church in Corvallis, Grace Lutheran Church in Corvallis, Kings Circle Assembly of God in Corvallis, Northwest Hills Community Church in Corvallis, First Congregational Church in Corvallis, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Corvallis, Grant Ave. Baptist Church in Corvallis, Scio Baptist Church in Scio, St. Anselm Ministry for Higher Education in Corvallis, First Baptist Church in Corvallis, Brownsville Baptist Church in Brownsville, Crowfoot Baptist Church in Lebanon, Albany Mennonite Church in Albany, First Nazarene Church in Albany, First Presbyterian Church in Corvallis, Life Community Church in Corvallis, and Calvary Community Church in Albany. Besides the programs, meetings include a library round table–a sharing of our questions, successes, concerns, and what is happening in our libraries. Members enjoy food, fellowship, learning new library skills, and sharing ideas. Members learn from each other, assist in the work of each other’s libraries when needed, and help new librarians.

Jan Barton, March 2017