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Employee Connection: Meet Library Early Literacy Specialist Emily West

Early Literacy Specialist Emily West - Copy.PNGOur City employees enjoy working for the North Plains community. In this series, we introduce either an individual or a group of City employees to you each month so you can get to know us and what we do. See all of the Employee Connections so far here.

How long have you worked here?
I began as a volunteer leading a weekly youth book club. I was hired in 2018 to lead our Storytimes and assist the public in checking out library resources.

What do you do in your role for the City?
I am honored to serve as our library’s Early Literacy Specialist.

What do you like best about your job?
I love working with local families. I have the opportunity to instill a love of learning in children! My goal is that they carry that love of learning throughout their lives.

What is your typical workday like? 
I plan our library’s weekly Storytime. Our Storytimes are unique in that they include a “Learn How to Read” portion. I create weekly crafts and literacy packets for families, co-plan youth programming, serve as past chair for the Oregon Library Association Children’s Services Division, and promote upcoming events and programs via our library’s social media accounts. I also have the joy of regularly interacting with our patrons at the front desk.

I serve because...
I love our city and our library. Libraries have always been my happy place even as a child. Where else can you get a book, attend an art class, grab a movie, take your child to kindergarten readiness classes, or learn a new language all for FREE? Our library is so welcoming and has an amazing team of staff members. My career began in adult literacy and then in early literacy. Teaching literacy skills is what has driven me professionally since I graduated college. I had a life goal to end up working in a library that I love and here I am! I am honored to serve as our Early Literacy Specialist! Our library’s mission statement states: “Through equitable access to our collection and services, we empower gathering, connection, lifelong learning, and creativity.” Truly our library is the heart of North Plains!

What I love about North Plains is...
The beauty of our natural landscape, the people, and the small-town vibe.

What do you like to do when you're not at work?
I love to cook, read :-), hang out with my kids and husband, play cards with neighbors and friends, head to the beach, play piano, sing, keep honey bees, care for our nursery stock, and decorate our 1934 farmhouse.