The City of Canby and a group of longtime library supporters and volunteers on Friday to bid farewell to outgoing Library Director Irene Green, who retired after five years of service to the city.
“I think the virus makes people look at life a lot of different ways,” she told the Canby Now Podcast in June. “We’re from the East Coast originally, and our family is still over there. We want to be with family. We miss our family.”
Friday marked Green’s last day of work, and the nonprofit Friends of the Canby Public Library organized a small, socially distanced celebration to send Green off.
Her time with the city was an especially momentous one for the library, as it involved the construction of and move to its spacious new digs on NE 2nd Avenue — which she said led directly to a renaissance in the facility’s usage and programming.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the Canby library’s usage in most of its programs and outreach to various demographics — including the notoriously difficult-to-reach teen segment — had risen steadily for several years.
“I think it was a different viewpoint of looking at the library,” Green said of the investment that build the new library. “We became an information resource. We became a community center. We became a living room. It’s like people were really coming in and using it as a fun place to be in Canby. I want to get back to that.”
More recently, of course, Green helped lead the library’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, including a pivot to distance and online programming and developing a cautious, staged reopening that follows the county and city’s phased approach.
On Friday, she was quick to credit the library’s staff and volunteers, including the Friends group.
“Whatever needs to be done, they just do it,” she said. “That’s what so amazing about this group of people here: They’re just very devoted to their community and what they do.”
Interim City Administrator Amanda Zieber said the city has made a conditional offer to a candidate to replace Green, and expects to make an announcement soon.
Hear more from Irene Green on Episode 184 of the Canby Now Podcast, “Checking Out”:
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