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County library head to lead national organization

by: MULTNOMAH COUNTY LIBRARY - Multnomah County Library Director Vailey Oehlke has been elected the 2015-2016 President of the Public Library Association. Vailey Oehlke, director of the Multnomah County Library, has been elected the 2015-2016 President of the Public Library Association.

The 9,000-member PLA announced the results of its annual election on Monday.

“I am truly honored to have been elected. I am passionate about the work PLA is doing on behalf of public libraries and am excited to engage our field in the conversations necessary to ensure libraries remain responsive and vital to our communities,” Oehlke says.

Oehlke began her career at the Multnomah County Library in 1997 as a youth librarian. Since becoming director in 2009, she has lead the organization through three successful funding efforts, culminating in 2012 with the formation of a library district. It is now providing stable funding for the popular institution celebrating its 150th year of service.

In addition to her work on behalf of her own library system, Oehlke has worked to further the larger field of public libraries by serving on the PLA Board from July 2011 to June 2013 and currently serving on the Urban Libraries Council Executive Board. She also serves on an advisory committee for an IMLS-grant project with the University of Albany's Center for Technology in Government, and has served on ALA's Digital Content Working Group. Locally, Oehlke also serves on the Leadership Advisory Council for the Cradle to Career's Ready for Kindergarten Collaborative.

Oehlke will become PLA president-elect at the conclusion of the ALA's 2014 Annual Conference this June and will assume the PLA presidency in June 2015 for one year.