The Oregon library community consistently amazes me with its innovative, enterprising, and patron-focused activities. Indeed, we hear about these many activities through Libs-Or, OLA conferences, and this journal. While certainly not by design, many of the voices we hear come from libraries along the I-5 corridor. Cool things happen in those libraries, of course, but this issue of the OLA Quarterly amplifies voices we hear less frequently: the rural institutions that constitute the majority of the libraries in Oregon.

There are so many aspects of rural librarianship that set it apart from working in larger libraries. Sometimes those differences seem small. For instance, try shopping for groceries without running into a patron. Sometimes the differences are more significant. A single person could be the cataloging, finance, adult services, and maintenance “departments” all rolled into one! In addition to fostering a problem-solving attitude, working in a rural library instills in you an important lesson for all libraries: you don’t merely serve the community, you are the community, just like your patrons.

Author Biography

Guest Editor Buzzy Nielsen is a rural boy with a smattering of big city sensibilities. In his 22 years as a librarian, he has worked in libraries of all types and sizes. His heart remains with rural libraries, however, which is why he currently directs the Crook County Library in Prineville. Buzzy is a self professed policy wonk and currently serves as OLA President.

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© 2017 OLA



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