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Grow with Google
Partnering with our business community

Some say that librarians were the first search engines. Others ask why libraries are still relevant in the age of Google. But librarians know that there's perfect synergy in utilizing the power of Google to provide top-notch service to our patrons, and this is just one story of how it's done. 

We recently teamed up with the Grow with Google program to provide a free workshop called "Reach Customers Online with Google" to our local area businesses. In this 90-minute session, 17 business leaders learned how customers can find their businesses online and how to promote their businesses using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Smart Campaigns in Google Ads. There were several tips and tricks for experienced techies, as well as for those just starting out. 

The best part for us was getting to know our neighbors in the Camas business community. Library Aide Hannah Deslatte personally went door-to-door with invitations, explaining to business owners what the workshop would entail. While not everyone could make it, many expressed interest, and we hope to offer something similar in the near future. 

Photos from all of our December events

Google alert! Articles in The Columbian or Camas-Washougal Post Record in the last month.

'Whisper quilts' fill Second Story Gallery

Camas Library reopens after 'small spark of a fire' Friday night

Noon Year's Eve a hit with the kids at the Camas Library

New + Renewed
10 trends in our world this year
  1. Changes to physical spaces. Examples include providing phone booth-type quiet areas for a quick, private phone call or video-chat meeting. People also want to see environmental consciousness at the Library, such as water fountains that accommodate their water bottles. A continuing trend is more space for comfy furniture, facilitating quiet conversations, or a place to curl up and charge a mobile device. This may mean fewer bookshelves to accommodate furniture, bringing some less-frequently circulated books to non-public areas.
  2. Dialogue-driven programming. We discovered first-hand this election year that citizens are ready to get involved and be active participants in their communities. From the popularity of programs like our Great Decisions (global; foreign policy) to offerings like Civic Lab in several cities (national or local; hot topics): people want to discuss their world around them. Lecture-style events are less popular now as patrons want to take part in the discussion and be heard.
  3. Binge Boxes. These combine the popularity of subscription TV services (Netflix, Hulu) with curated boxes (BarkBox, FabFitFun). They can be limited to media, or they can include any kind of accompanying items. The sky’s the limit!
  4. Going fine-free. We have been fine-free for years, but many libraries are finally seeing the benefit of how this eliminates barriers to access, especially for the underserved who need it most.
  5. Changing staffing models. No matter the size of the library, one thing is common when it comes to staffing: the traditional mold doesn't fit anymore. Big cities are hiring social workers. Many mid-size libraries have eliminated their assistant or deputy director for a specialized manager (like our Technology & Collections Manager). Job titles like Reference Librarian are being replaced with Innovation Guide. These are just a few examples. Perhaps the biggest change is the connection to community, with fewer jobs focused on collections and more on people. This is evident in our decision to move two Aide positions from Content Delivery into the Community Engagement department.
  6. Library of things. This is the trend that seems to be here to stay. People want to downsize, to live in tiny houses, to have less stuff. So why not just borrow on an as-needed basis? Libraries have collections such as cake pans, tools, musical instruments, and board games, to name a few. This year we are adding STEM kits to our collection for check-out.
  7. Open data. Citizens want to be engaged, and they want a government that is transparent with information. The disconnect occurs when a city, state, or country makes data open to the public and a citizen doesn't know how to access it. Librarians can help! Just like guiding patrons to the right book, we can help residents find out local info like how much our firefighters are paid, what the City spent to re-carpet the police station, or the number of motor vehicle accidents last year in Camas involving teen drivers. The possibilities for viewing even more combinations of data exist at the state and federal level. As technology develops, it becomes easier to share data with a global audience in an easy-to-read, easily digestible fashion. Numbers tell a story, and our citizens want to be informed. If you like to play with data:
  8. The fight for e-content. As publishers continue to place harsher restrictions on libraries for their e-content (ebooks and audiobooks), libraries are fighting back. Some public libraries have chosen not to buy any items from certain publishers--not even their physical hard copy counterparts. Most libraries are trying to find the balance to provide titles for their patrons while still sending a message to the publishers. In the end, it's no doubt that the group that ends up losing in this battle is our patrons. For more info on this fight:
  9. Social solutions. Libraries have always acted as centers for communities, but as they host after-hours events, offer more services and resources, and serve the public in myriad non-traditional ways, they have truly become community centers. For this reason, it is paramount for library staff to reach out beyond its subject matter experts to partner with other departments or organizations. We can't expect library staff to be experts in every area for which we may offer resources, but--just like information we provide in the form of books or websites--we can connect our patrons to the right organizations and people. This is why knowing the right people in our communities who can help is critical. For example, as we see more and more in our area struggle with permanent housing, the Library will play an important role in providing resources to those afflicted. However, we won't do it alone and will be part of a coalition of other City departments and organizations.
  10. Throw tradition out the door: literally! Many of these trends may seem to reflect a loss of traditional library services inside our brick-and-mortar building. However, reading--and its offshoot programs such as storytimes and book clubs--are alive and well. That's why many libraries are throwing their most popular tradition out the door...along with an outreach librarian or two. Programs such as our Read to Grow outreach, which features storytimes at preschools throughout Camas, are extremely popular. Many libraries also host book clubs at bars, which is something we plan to do in 2020 as well. When you think about tradition, it goes something like this: be conventional outside of the Library in order to reach new patrons; be innovative inside the Library in order to introduce existing patrons to new ideas.
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camaspubliclibrarySoaring to new heights after storytime! . . . #camaspubliclibrary #camaslibrary #balloons #camaswa #peopleofcamaslibrary
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camaspubliclibraryBest reading buddy ever! . . . #wednesdaywisdom #camaspubliclibrary #camaswa #librarylife #camas
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Community Engagement

◘ Doing the Work Externally and Internally: Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Danielle Reynolds

Let's Talk About Race in Storytimes, Kaysie Taylor

◘ Serving LGBTQIA+ Youth in Your Library, Vanessa Perger

Content Delivery

◘ Assorted Niche Academy tutorials: Leah Burch (9), Vanessa Perger (19), Elliot Stapleton (5)

◘ Utilizing Chilifresh Forum, Danielle Reynolds


A Guide to Collaborative Leadership, Connie Urquhart

Librarian Evolution: Libraries Thrive When We Change, Danielle Reynolds

Professional Growth

Anti-Harrassment Training for Employees, Leah Burch and Elliot Stapleton

What We're Reading

From our Current or Just Read piles.

Upcoming Events

Bollywood style dancing and Henna tattoos on Saturday, January 25th at 2pm. More at

Camas Public Library

616 NE 4th Ave, Camas
WA 98607 United States

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