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Suzanne Bishop takes the helm June 15, replacing longtime director Margaret Jeffries.

COURTESY PHOTO - Suzanne Bishop has been selected as the new director of the St. Helens Public Library.A new library director will be arriving at the St. Helens Public Library soon.

Suzanne Bishop will replace longtime director Margaret Jeffries, who retired in January. Bishop begins her new role June 15.

According to a city news release, Bishop brings two decades of library experience and a full career in public service to St. Helens.

Bishop's most recent job was as youth services manager in the Alexandria Public Library system in Virginia.

Her vast experience includes working for libraries at Virginia public and private schools, as well as the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

The city news release quotes Bishop as saying, "St. Helens Public Library is a vibrant place with staff who are doing innovative programming."

Bishop continued, "I came from an urban library system where things like the St. Helens Public Library's Makerspace and the Library of Things aren't being done yet. I'm also attracted to St. Helens, which reminds me of Fairbanks, Alaska, where I raised my children and became a librarian. I am also really looking forward to working with the strengths of a smaller library."

Bishop has a master's degree in library and information science from Syracuse University. Bishop also attended Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

Bishop has been involved with fundraising for libraries and other community organizations.

The news release states, "During her career, she has developed collaborations between local government and community partners and worked closely with local officials to develop a strategic plan for public schools."

Bishop likes what she sees in a smaller library.

"I am also really looking forward to working with the strengths of a smaller library — they can pivot so quickly when they see a need," said Bishop.

A dedicated birder and hiker, Bishop's long-term goal is to ensure the St. Helens Public Library remains relevant to the community.

"Libraries are evolving as our citizens' ways of engaging with learning and entertainment shift," Bishop said. "The pandemic taught us that we will best serve the community when we interact with our patrons in many different ways in the library and out in the community."

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