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Aryn Keeney joined the library Tuesday, Nov. 22, after serving in a number of library capacities.

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF ST. HELENS - Aryn Keeney joins the St. Helen Public Library as Youth Librarian. The St. Helens Public Library has a new Youth Librarian. Aryn Keeney officially joined the library Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The position was vacant for several months following the departure of popular Youth Librarian Gretchen Kolderup, who left to assume a similar position in Multnomah County.

The Youth Librarian position was a focus of a St. Helens Budget Committee decision last May to approve a 2022-23 budget worth $87.7 million.

A proposed budget suggested not filling the children's librarian position as a way to balance the budget, but at the May 12 meeting, the committee decided to keep the youth librarian position while also adding two new patrol officers for the police department.

Keeney received their Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington Information School in Seattle.

Previous work worked for the IUPUI University Library in Indianapolis, Indiana, and as an on-call librarian for Tualatin Public Library, Beaverton City Library and Happy Valley Public Library.

According to a city news release, they were a library assistant and teen services librarian as well as the makerspace librarian for the Shute Park Makerspace with Hillsboro Public Library.

The city said, "In Hillsboro, they led weekly toddler storytimes, managed the teen summer reading program and designed and led the Shute Park makerspace."

Recently, Keeney has worked for Homeplate Youth Services in Beaverton as an outreach worker helping to connect youth in Washington County to essential services.

The city quoted Keeney as saying of their new position, "I am really excited about getting children's programming started back up."

As to their new role with the St. Helens Public Library, Keeney said, "I love doing storytimes, and I really enjoy art and science programming. I'm also excited to work with Allen at the makerspace to see what cool things we can collaborate on."

Welcoming Keeney to the staff, Library Director Suzanne Bishop said in the new release, "Their experience working with children, teens and their families will be a great asset to the community. Their experience with a makerspace will allow us to again extend these services to younger patrons."

Keeney enjoys the experience of working in smaller libraries.

"I really enjoy getting to know people in the communities where I work and appreciate being part of small, tight-knit teams," Keeney said.

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