Courtney playing guitar
That’s how Courtney Sheedy describes herself. And that gives you a glimpse of the wide variety of skills she brings to her job as e-content librarian for the Washington County Cooperative Library Services.
When COVID-19 precautions shut down libraries, online access to Washington County libraries’ resources and services became essential to patrons … so Courtney’s been pretty busy. “People didn’t even get a ‘last call’ to check out materials. I took this overnight transition very seriously,” she says.
Managing all the e-books, audio books, streaming video and online resources like the New York Times subscription access has resulted in juggling of priorities to free up more budget for online materials.
“I immediately began to ask myself how to make more of the collection available to more people,” Sheedy said. “I wanted people coming online for the first time to have a great experience.”
That means monitoring e-book wait times, constantly tracking circulation trends, and navigating a variety of digital licensing options and requirements.
“We acquired more copies of children’s materials so kids don’t have to wait to read what they want to read.” A partnership last fall between the WCCLS and Beaverton schools, giving 30,000 students Washington County library cards, increased the urgency for enhanced materials for children.
Courtney is a lifelong lover of libraries and came to Oregon in 2006 after earning a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University in Detroit.
“I thought I’d be an archivist,” she recalls. But after working in the Tigard and Hillsboro libraries, she discovered her true passion. “I love information and books, and my job allows me to match those up with patrons who appreciate and need them. I can’t imagine anything more rewarding than that.”
She brought her love as a matchmaker between people and books to Washington County Cooperative Library Services five years ago, where it continues to drive her to enhance online services.
But there’s more to Courtney Sheedy. She plays bass in a couple of local bands. Although she’s been playing since she was a teenager, “Not many people know I’m a musician,” she says. “To further flout the librarian stereotype, we play loud, aggressive rock music.”
She also enjoys gardening and outdoor activities with her partner Wilson, and being Henry the cat’s human servant.
There’s no question that times have changed for libraries and their patrons – Sheedy’s mission to help patrons connect is stronger than ever.