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The former operations manager and interim director is excited to help guide the library moving forward 

COURTESY PHOTO - Sasser

As a part-time job to pay the bills while she worked on earning her teaching license, Shasta Sasser took a job as a shelver for the West Linn Public Library.

Despite obtaining her license, Sasser never entered the classroom. Instead, she realized that her calling lay between the shelves rather than in front of desks. Earlier this week, about 15 years after she started working in libraries, Sasser was named the director of the Wilsonville Public Library. She replaces Pat Duke, who served in that role for many years before retiring.

"I have no regrets. I love what I do. I love libraries," she said. "I'm very happy with my career choice."

Sasser has a master's degree in English from Portland State University and wanted to become a middle school or high school teacher. But the Great Recession meant that teaching opportunities were scarce. She found that the principles of being a teacher apply to library work. Plus, she loved it.

"I love people, so I love connecting people with books and information and resources. I love the sense of communities libraries have. I love seeing kids get excited about reading, playing, storytime," Sasser said.

Sasser worked her way up the library ladder in West Linn and then became a circulation supervisor for the Corvallis Library before taking the job as operations manager in Wilsonville in 2016. In that role, she oversaw day-to-day operations and circulation while also managing the technical services team.

Sasser explained what she feels is special about the Wilsonville Library: "I would say the staff is amazing … we're so community focused here as a staff. One of our core values in our mission statement is the patron comes first, their needs come first, and that is really indicative in the service and programs and everything about this library. It has a sense of community."

Sasser was part of a regular hiring process for the library director that included multiple interviews. She said being chosen was surreal.

"I'm elated. I'm especially elated to be director of this group and library in this community," Sasser said.

In her new role, Sasser will guide the team through a process to update the library's strategic plan. Some of the components staff will look at through this plan include bolstering teen programming, decreasing barriers to access and improving technology.

On a less serious note, Sasser's latest book recommendation is "The Sentence" by Louise Erdrich, which she said weaves mystery, ghosts and contemporary issues. She also enjoys arts and crafts and can make a "mean" balloon animal poodle. She said anyone with a question about the library should reach out to her.

"I think I'm very relationship- and collaboration-focused," Sasser said. "I love working with people."


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