Driftwood Public Library

DSC_0018-300x300LINCOLN CITY, Ore. – Those who think libraries have had their day, need to check out the Driftwood Public Library in Lincoln City. Started by volunteers in a small storefront nearly 50 years ago, this home to a collection of 68,529 books, DVDs and videos is manned by a fine cadre of staff and volunteers who organize free programs for all ages of residents, visitors and tourists. The welcome mat is out seven days a week.

Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney, the Driftwood librarian who arrived in Lincoln City with a bachelors degree in English, a masters in library science and an innate love of connecting people with information, credits the residents themselves for the library’s success.

Over the years, Teena Nelson, longtime Youth Services Coordinator has offered her year round storytime schedule as well as her summer program for families and children from infants to teens; photo by Jan Jackson.
Over the years, Teena Nelson, longtime Youth Services Coordinator has offered her year round storytime schedule as well as her summer program for families and children from infants to teens; photo by Jan Jackson.
“Lincoln City is lucky that the residents, city council members, the library staff and volunteers and the people who live here think our library is worth spending money on,” Kirsten said. “In addition, we have so many volunteers spending so many hours preparing books and audio-visuals for check out, cleaning and mending damaged books, and searching shelves for missing books and books requested by patrons in other libraries, that the staff we do have are able to focus on innovative programs to keep us moving forward.

The Driftwood Library Foundation helps with major needs and the Friends of the Lincoln City Library helps us fund special summer programs that service about kids. It is a great place.”

Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney, Librarian at Driftwood Public Library in Lincoln City.

Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney, Librarian at Driftwood Public Library in Lincoln City.

Kirsten, who grew up in the small college town of Alma Michigan, didn’t have to look past her parents for book-loving role models.

“I watched the spark come back into my dad’s eyes when he switched from a career teaching in a fifth grade classroom to being a librarian for the middle school and high school,” Kirsten said. “I watched his spark come back during our many wonderful discussions on the world of books and I could see that I would love a librarian career as well.

Before Kirsten and her my husband Malachi moved to Lincoln City, she worked in book stores and as a librarian and then as manager of the Kingsessing Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia.

“Those experiences showed me that I much prefer to work with the public rather than managing operations in the back” she said. “People who come to the library come because they want to and not because they have to. It is much like teaching except there are no grades, you just get to enjoy seeing their eyes light up.”

The library has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the little storefront in 1965, about the same time as the communities of Delake, Oceanlake, Taft, Cutler City and Nelscott consolidated to form Lincoln City. Blanche Fischer, a successful real estate businesswoman who had retired to Lincoln City, was instrumental in the formation of the trust that helps fund the library. In 1978, when she saw that the library had outgrown its storefront, she bought and paid for a new building for them just down the street from where she lived. When Lincoln City voted to purchase its present facility and combine the library with city hall, the Blanche Fischer library building was sold and the money was put into the Driftwood Library Foundation, which continues to help support the library today. What started as a 100 percent volunteer-run library now boasts of a full time staff of six, a part-time staff of seven and a complement of volunteers.

“I didn’t realize that I would be wearing quite so many hats — helping kids with homework, solving computer problems, helping with research, getting people signed up with e-readers and talking books and our role keeps expanding,” Kirsten said. “It’s an exciting time to be in the library business because change is happening at a rapid rate.”

For more details about Friends of the Library book sales on Mondays from 10 am to 2 pm (except when the library is closed for holidays), the 12th annual summer Dig into Reading program, the special free programs for children on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 7:30 pm and for teens on Thursday afternoons, visit http://www.driftwoodlib.org, email librarian@driftwoodlib.org or call 541-996-2277. Be sure and ask about library cards for residents and non-residents and the free visitor guest passes good for 30 days at a time.

Jan Jackson©2013 

 

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