Vernonia Public Library News

On the Shelves: What’s Happening at the Vernonia Library

By Jennifer Moloney


Columbia County Reads 2014

January, February, and March will once again feature reading and events as part of “Columbia County Reads.”  What is this you ask?  In an attempt to provoke thought and discussion by all residents in Columbia County the local libraries unite to choose a common theme and from there books to be read, discussed, and events planned.  This year’s theme is ‘Survival, Self-Reliance, and Sustainability’.  Featured books for Columbia County Reads 2014 are:


Adult Selections - 


by Cheryl Strayed

Feeling she had nothing left to lose after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, Cheryl Strayed impulsively decided to hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Coast Trail.  With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would travel from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State – and she would do it alone.  Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.


OnShelvesBill_Bryson_A_Walk_In_The_WoodsA Walk in the Woods

by Bill Bryson

The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America – majestic mountains, silent forests, sparking lakes.  If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go.  And Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find.  He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way – and a couple of bears.  Already a classic A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors (or at least a comfortable chair to sit and read in).

Young Adult Selection –

OnShelvesTheDarknessAfterThe Darkness After 

by Scott B. Williams

When massive solar flares send an intense electromagnetic pulse to Earth, every electrical device is fried instantly.  The modern world that sixteen-year-old Mitch Henley has always known comes crashing down.  Anarchy, looting, and chaos explode all around him.  Stranded in New Orleans, Mitch escapes into the Mississippi backwoods he knows so well, hoping to stay alive using the survival and hunting skills he learned from his game-warden father.



Juvenile Selection –


by Gary Paulsen

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single engine plane in which he is flying crashes.  Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother has given him as a present – and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart ever since his parents’ divorce.  But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair – it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

Book descriptions supplied by


Events will begin around the county on January 7th with “A Demonstration of Spinning” at the St. Helens Public Library.  Please stop by a Columbia County Library to check out a ‘Columbia County Reads’ selection book and for a list of scheduled events or visit the Vernonia Public Library website for more information.

On the Shelves: What’s Happening at the Vernonia Library

“Food for Fines” Returns to the Vernonia Public Library!

On December 16, 2013 you can help feed our community while paying off your library fines.  The Vernonia Public Library will be sponsoring a food drive and fine amnesty program to benefit Vernonia Cares Food Bank.  For each food item donated, $1 will be credited toward your fine balance up to a maximum of $10.00.  Please note that credit cannot be applied to lost or damaged book replacement fees.  Patrons who do not have fines are also encouraged to make donations of non-perishable food items.  Home-canned items, cans that are past their expiration date or are dented or damaged, or cans with barcodes lined or scratched through will not be accepted.


On the Shelves: What’s Happening at the Vernonia Library

New Program to Extend Library Access Statewide Continues to Grow!

Beginning January 2013, a new Oregon Library Passport Program began allowing card-holders from participating libraries to register and use other participating libraries across the state.  Vernonia Public Library was signed up and an active participant from the beginning.

Here is how it works: Oregon public and academic libraries opt to become Passport Program participating libraries.  Their registered card-holders are then able to visit, register without the customary “out of area” card fees, and use the materials at any other participating library. Their home library card becomes their “passport” or ticket to registering for library cards at other participating libraries throughout Oregon. Patrons are responsible for managing their checkouts, complying with the Passport member library’s policies regarding due dates, late fees, and materials limits, and must return materials directly to the library they borrowed from; there is no library-to-library return delivery mechanism.

So, if you are vacationing at the coast and need some beach reading, you can register for library cards in Astoria, Rockaway, Garibaldi, or Florence. Or perhaps you live in Vernonia, but work in Hillsboro, and want to use Hillsboro Public Library during your lunch hour.  No problem. In addition, Oregonians who are conducting research will be able to tap into the vast resources of academic libraries, including the Oregon State University libraries, Oregon Health Sciences University and several community colleges. The key to the Passport Program is that you first need a library card from your participating local “Home” Library. Read More

On the Shelves: What’s Happening at the Vernonia Library

Throughout the country, most children are starting a new academic year. Teachers are sending out their lists of required readings, and parents are beginning to gather books. In some cases, classics like “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Catcher in the Rye,” and “To Kill a Mocking Bird,” may not be included in curriculum or available in the school library due to challenges made by parents or administrators.

Since 1990, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has recorded more than 10,000 book challenges, including 513 in 2008. A challenge is a formal, written complaint requesting a book be removed from library shelves or school curriculum. About three out of four of all challenges are to material in schools or school libraries, and one in four are to material in public libraries. OIF estimates that less than one-quarter of challenges are reported and recorded.

It is thanks to the commitment of librarians, teachers, parents, and students that most challenges are unsuccessful and reading materials like “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Slaughterhouse Five,” the Harry Potter series, and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Alice series, remain available.

The most challenged and/or restricted reading materials have been books for children.  However, challenges are not simply an expression of a point of view; on the contrary, they are an attempt to remove materials from public use, thereby restricting the access of others. Even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves. For children, decisions about what books to read should be made by the people who know them best—their parents! Read More

On the Shelves: What’s Happening at the Vernonia Library

Changes Abound at the Vernonia Public Library

In this day and age libraries run operations using an automation system. Small libraries often find it difficult to purchase an automation system as they can be quite expensive. Here in Vernonia we have been very fortunate that an automation system was sought out and acquired in 2000. This has worked well for many years. Now, 13 years later, this system is no longer supported by the manufacturer and lacks the ability to upgrade any further. Time has become critical for replacement. Fortunately, on April 17th The Collins Foundation awarded over $5,700 to The Vernonia Public Library to replace the 13 year old system with a new web based program called Apollo by Biblionix. Some of the highlighted features:

  • The Vernonia Public Library catalog can be viewed in real time from any computer or touch screen device.
  • Patrons can reserve books, make book requests, identify favorite authors (patrons can be notified when a favorite author has a new book!), leave book reviews, and much more!
  • Patrons can receive a text or e-mail reminder 3 days BEFORE items are due.

In addition to replacing the old automation system the grant award will cover costs for replacement hardware, a receipt printer and staff training. Read More

Library Conversation Explores Unheeded Warnings

Cogent, compelling warnings about exponential population growth, misplaced faith in technology to solve our problems, that greed and envy are treacherous underpinnings for an economic system – have been ignored for more than two centuries.  These warnings have come from some of the best minds of their times and have often been endorsed by other respected scientists and thinkers, yet their influence on public policy and individual behavior has been negligible.

This is the focus of “Slow Learners:  Two Hundred Years of Unheeded Warnings,” a free conversation with Oregon State University professor emeritus Richard Clinton on April 20, 2013, at 4:00 PM at the Vernonia Public Library.  This program is hosted by Friends of the Vernonia Public Library and Vernonia Library Board and sponsored by Oregon Humanities. Read More

On the Shelves

Stamps, stamps, stamps!  The  latest program being initiated at the Vernonia Public Library is the Vernonia Stamp Club.  This program will reach out to the ‘young’ and ‘not as young’ alike.  The club will meet at the library the first Thursday of the month starting in April from 4:30-5:30 PM.  The first meeting is April 4th.

OntheShelvesStampsWhether you are a long time collector or just interested in discovering the fun of stamp collecting, come join Grant Williams at the first meeting.  All ages are welcome.  Learn how to identify and care for postage stamps and start building a lifelong hobby that will increase your knowledge of world countries, leaders, and important events and places.  Bring in a collection for evaluation or just show up to see what it’s all about.

Thousands of free stamps are waiting to be discovered and find a new home.

On the Shelves: What’s Happening at the Vernonia Library

Please welcome Evelyn Banko to the Vernonia Public Library Saturday, March 9 at 4:00 PM

Evelyn Diamont was born January 21, 1936 in Vienna, Austria. Her father, Joseph, was an engineer and her mother, Frieda, was a housewife. In March of 1938, the Nazi’s marched into Austria and annexed it as part of Germany. Hitler’s persecution and murder of Jews was rampant in Vienna and after being tipped off that Joseph was to be deported within twenty-four hours, Joseph gathered then two year old Evie and Frieda and fled to Riga, Latvia. Read More

On the Shelves: What’s Happening at the Vernonia Library

Columbia County Libraries Bring You “Columbia County Reads 2013”

This year’s Columbia County Reads adult selection is “Night,” by Elie Wiesel.

This year’s Columbia County Reads adult selection is “Night,” by Elie Wiesel.

“But because of his telling, many who did not believe have come to believe, and some who did not care have come to care.  He tells the story, out of infinite pain, partly to honor the dead, but also to warn the living – to warn the living that it could happen again and that it must never happen again.  Better that one heart be broken a thousand times in the retelling, he has decided, if it means that a thousand other hearts need not be broken at all.”  – Elie Wiesel

Libraries across Columbia County are inviting their communities to read a common book related to this year’s “Columbia County Reads” theme: the Holocaust.

The purpose of Columbia County Reads is to bring reading to the forefront of public discourse. If everyone reads the same book at the same time, it is hoped that it will inspire discussions, connections and a shared perspective among Columbia County residents. This year’s adult selection is “Night,” by Elie Wiesel and the teen selection is “The Devil’s Arithmetic,” by Jane Yolen.

Read More