MEDIA RELEASE - For immediate release
Date: April 25, 2017
Contact: Jodi Nielsen, Senior Program Educator
Oregon Library Association presents the Librarian of the Year Award to Martín Blasco and the Library Supporters of the Year Award to the Aloha Community Library Association
Washington County, Oregon: This year the Oregon Library Association (OLA) recognized two Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) affiliates at their annual conference in Salem on April 21st. WCCLS Director, Eva Calcagno expressed, “it is with great pleasure that WCCLS joins OLA in recognizing both Martín Blasco and the Aloha Community Library Association. We are honored that they represent WCCLS and offer wonderful symbols of the tremendous impact of libraries life-long learning on the diverse residents of our County.”
OLA presented its 2017 Librarian of the Year Award to Martín Blasco, WCCLS Outreach Librarian for Latino and Multicultural Services. This award is presented to an Oregon Librarian for exceptional service and Blasco has made many contributions through his service to member libraries and their communities. The Association recognized Mr. Blasco for his outstanding work in Washington County, as well as his dedication statewide in creating an Oregon Chapter of the National Reforma organization for librarians in the region, and for serving on the prestigious Caldecott Award Committee of the American Library Association.
According to Stephanie Lind, WCCLS Outreach and Youth Services Program Supervisor, “Martín’s efforts provided the tools, resources and networking Oregon library staff needed to better serve the Latino community. Once the Reforma chapter was up and running, he led the group as their chair, encouraging them to vary meeting locations around the state to make attendance possible and equitable for all.”
Blasco constantly advocates for the underserved. He often shares information about local, regional, state and national news that impacts the patrons we serve throughout the County. He has been particularly vocal about the importance of diversity of representation in children’s literature.
OLA presented its 2017 Library Supporter of the Year Award to the Aloha Community Library Association. This award is presented for exceptional efforts to support and promote libraries. According to Aloha Library Director, Terri Palmer, “the non-profit Aloha Community Library Association (ACLA) was founded in 2011 and it has established a tradition of working with members of the community to build an institution that grows and adapts to meet the needs of their patrons.”
OLA recognized the ACLA for their leadership and support of the Aloha Community Library (17455 SW Farmington Road, Suite 26A). Calcagno, remarked, "WCCLS eagerly awaited the opening of the Aloha Community Library as a full service WCCLS member library in late 2016, it is the Cooperatives 16th public library and filled a gap in service in the center of the County."
In approximately six years, the dedicated residents of Aloha went from a crazy idea to start a non-profit library association to a full-service library operating as part of a strong countywide library system. The library is ideally situated in a highly used shopping center, within walking distance of a high school, a middle school, several elementary schools, and numerous apartment complexes. It has created a new heart to a community beginning to define its own destiny.
Dick Schouten, Washington County Commissioner, District 1, remarked, “in my 17 years of elected, public service I have never seen such an inspiring example of community-building.”
According to Ellen Mickanin, President, of the ACLA Board of Directors, "the ACLA Board spearheaded a capital campaign "Build - Move - Thrive" to privately raise $370,000 to build out Phase I for the expanded library which officially opened to the public in January 2017.
As a result of the ACLA efforts the new Library offers Aloha residents:
- A 30% increase in open hours – now open 6-days a week for 47 hours per week
- Four times the space – including significantly expanded public and staff areas
- Doubled computer access for the public to 14 stations, plus free Wi-Fi access
- Integration with the WCCLS.org website and catalog
- Access to Cooperative’s shared collection of over 1.6 million books, e-books, CD’s and more
- Convenient local hold pick-up and drop-off location for WCCLS items in the heart of Washington County
- More robust program offerings for children and adults
The Oregon Library Association (OLA) provides advocacy, education, leadership and collaboration to continually strengthen Oregon’s libraries and the communities they serve. Over 1,000 librarians, library employees, and library supporters are part of the association.
The Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) includes: Banks Public Library, Beaverton City Library, Beaverton City Library @ Murray Scholls, Cedar Mill Community Library, Cedar Mill Community Library @ Bethany, Cornelius Public Library, Forest Grove City Library, Garden Home Community Library, Hillsboro Public Libraries (Main and Shute Park), North Plains Public Library, Sherwood Public Library, Tigard Public Library, Tualatin Public Library, and West Slope Community Library. Two specialty libraries are also a part of the Cooperatives library card service — the Oregon College of Art & Craft and the Tuality Health Education Resource Center.