Library Director Michael Gaston Honored as the 2008 Librarian of the Year

Posted By:  Webmaster
Date Posted:  4/22/2008

The Oregon Library Association is pleased to announce that Deschutes Public Library Director Michael Gaston has been awarded the 2008 Oregon Librarian of the Year award. The award was presented to Gaston at the association’s annual awards banquet.

Gaston was recognized for his many contributions to libraries over the past 30 years. He has served as secretary, treasurer, and president of the Oregon Library Association. He led efforts to form both the Siuslaw and Deschutes library districts. Three libraries were built and 13 library funding measures were approved during his tenures at the two library systems.

Deschutes Public Library Board President Beth Pearl-Gent nominated Gaston for the award. "Because of Director Michael Gaston's dynamic leadership and commitment to excellence, the Deschutes Public Library District stands as a valuable resource for the community it serves while enjoying a statewide reputation as a model for many other library systems. Gaston has been the guiding force that has enabled our libraries to provide programs and services so appreciated and enjoyed by the people in Deschutes County."

Gaston stated that he is most proud of the increases in library services and library usage at Siuslaw and Deschutes. He expanded youth services at both libraries to reach a much higher percentage of children and teens. Deschutes has pioneered many online services, including downloadable audio books. Library circulation had a five-fold increase during his 19 year tenure at Siuslaw, and has nearly tripled during his 11 year tenure at Deschutes.

Gaston is retiring in January, 2009. In accepting the award, he challenged the next generation of library staff to continue to “fight the good fight” to build Oregon’s public libraries.

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