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Brent Husher to succeed longtime Library Director Katie Newell, who is set to retire at the end of July.

PMG FILE PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Katie Newell, director of Milwaukie's Ledding Library, holds a photo of Florence Ledding's house.Milwaukie has named Tigard Public Library Circulation Manager Brent Husher as the new director for the Ledding Library. He succeeds Katie Newell, who is set to retire at the end of July. Husher will start on July 29. Brent Husher

Husher has worked for Tigard since 2019, leading a 20-person team managing a collection of more than 225,000 items and 1,000 patron visits each day. He also helped lead the Tigard Public Library through the challenges it faced at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm excited to join the Ledding Library team and look forward to building on their strong tradition of excellent customer service," said Husher. "I'm eager to get to know the Milwaukie community, while ensuring the library is here for everyone."

Newell had served Milwaukie for a little over a decade, and a highlight of her career here was the completion of a new library in 2020. She was hired in Milwaukie in part because of her success in leading construction on New Castle Public Library in her previous seven-year tenure as a library director in Delaware.

In May 2016 Milwaukie voters passed a $9.2 million bond measure to renovate and expand the Ledding Library, approving an property-tax increase of $62 annually for 20 years on the average home assessed at $175,000.

In 2016, architects had submitted preliminary plans for a two-story 13,000-square-foot addition to expand the building to the north. Then, seismic issues were identified, and the old building was completely razed to make way for a new 20,000-square-foot one-story library.

"Brent's experience, passion and demonstrated commitment to a safe, inclusive and supportive library environment propelled him to the top of a very competitive field of applicants," said Assistant City Manager Kelly Brooks. "While we're sad to see Katie move on, it'll be exciting to see the next chapter of our beloved Ledding Library unfold with Brent at the helm."

Previously, Husher also worked at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library in Vancouver, Washington, Mid-Continent Public Library in Grandview, Missouri, and the University of Missouri, Kansas City Library. He holds master's degrees in public administration and library science, as well as a bachelor's degree in socio-political communication.

The library director oversees a staff of nearly 20 full-time employees and a budget of about $2.2 million.

Ledding Library receives support from the community through the Library Board, Ledding Library Foundation, Friends of the Ledding Library and Clackamas County library network.


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