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Director of Library Services Gary Sharp has worked for with the North Bend Public Library since 1984, when he was hired as the Assistant Library Director.  In 2000 he became the library director.  He was born on the south coast, raised in Reedsport, and earned a Bachelor's degree in Journalism, followed by a Master's Degree in Library Science at the University of Oregon.

The North Bend Public Library circulates over 234,000 items each year and answers 16,000 reference questions. The library presents over 150 programs specially for children each year.  The library is rich in resources for information, entertainment, and personal enrichment. There are over 115,000 books, magazines, rolls of microfilm, newspapers, videos, and books in audio format.  Library staff coordinate 50 well-attended programs for adults each year, including lectures by presenters from around the state, plus annual readings by authors nominated for Oregon Book Awards and Video Voyages.  Library staff teach workshops, including Researching Grants (for nonprofit groups), and Internet Searching techniques.  The library offers 24 art exhibits and special displays annually.

 

The library, located at 1800 Sherman Avenue, North Bend is open to the public with the following schedule:

Monday - Friday 10 am - 6 pm

Saturday 1 pm - 6 pm

Sunday CLOSED

 



Many of the special programs for adults and children are sponsored (and funded by) the Friends of the North Bend Library.  The library is also grateful for the help of its 16 volunteers. The library is guided by the North Bend Public Library Board, an advisory board to the staff and the City Council.

The library is a member of the Coos County Library Service District. City and countywide cooperation for library services has served library users well for over 26 years.  Your COASTLINE library card is the gateway to libraries countywide. You can search the online catalog, use research databases, and renew books or place holds online at COASTLINE - Coos County Library Service District

Director Sharp's goals for the library are reflected in the mission statement adopted by the library board:  "The mission of the North Bend Public Library is to promote the enjoyment of reading and cultural materials, and to respond to the community’s need for information; to provide reading materials to meet the interests of all ages and to provide materials that support lifelong learning, encourage literacy, and enrich the quality of life of the people of our community. The North Bend Public Library Board also places a high priority on stewardship of the library building; improving the library facilities for the benefit of future generations.

Sharp says serving in the North Bend community is a great experience because of the consistent support and high use of the library by people of all ages.   His philosophy of public service is guided by these words from former Librarian of Congress Daniel Boorstin:

"Libraries remain the meccas of self-help, the most open of open universities...where there are no entrance examinations and no diplomas, and where one can enter at any age."

 

North Bend library director wins state's top award

By Jessica Musicar, Staff Writer at The World Friday, April 03, 2009

NORTH BEND - Mild-mannered and unassuming behind the circulation desk, North Bend Public Library's director Gary Sharp isn't one for self promotion.

While his staff members say his dedication to serving the public and improving the collection is unswerving, it's difficult to get Sharp to admit he goes a bit beyond the norm.

It's for these reasons that Assistant Library Director Buzzy Nielsen and his colleagues nominated their boss for the Oregon Librarian of the Year award. That and this July, the  library services director will celebrate his 25th year at the library.

"He often doesn't get recognized for a lot of the things he does because he's so quiet about it," Nielsen said.

Today, at the Oregon Library Association's conference in Salem, Sharp will receive the honor - one that has never fallen on a Coos County librarian. It's also momentous since the commendation comes during Oregon's Sesquicentennial. Although that didn't factor into the nomination, Nielsen said it's pretty appropriate.

"Gary is a very dedicated Oregonian. He loves this state," Nielsen said.

On Tuesday, Sharp acknowledged the award as a great honor, but focused more on the public that uses his library - part of the Coos County Library Network - than on his own accomplishments.

"It gives me confirmation that we're doing some good things here," Sharp said.

He agreed that he keeps a friendly atmosphere at the library, something he learned while serving as an assistant under the library's former director, and that his efforts to expand library services and the collection don't differ from his colleagues.

"We do that because we want to serve the public the best we can," he explained.

While the award reaffirms his commitment and the values that guide Sharp's work, he doesn't see it as an opportunity to further his career. Born in Coos Bay and raised in Reedsport, the 56-year-old said he intends to retire here.

In a seven-page nomination letter from Nielsen to the Library Association, a number of community members, colleagues and employees described his kindness, leadership and professionalism.

Joan Greif, an acquisitions assistant at the library, said Sharp's many responsibilities as the director, a position he's held since 2002, don't overshadow his work as a librarian.

"Like most librarians, the director hat is frequently interchangeable with the tweed topper of Sherlock Holmes, the shaded visor of the astute accountant, the pith helmet of the literary explorer and the navigator's helmet of the cyberspace adventurer," she said for the letter.

Nielsen put together the letter about a week before deadline and was pleasantly surprised when library users and employees quickly backed the nomination.

The assistant director, who has worked with Sharp since August 2008, said his boss makes the library a viable resource for the community. Sharp fills gaps in the county and local collections; and offers courses on grant writing accessible to people in the Bay Area and surrounding counties. He even fought to create a full-time children's librarian position in North Bend.

"It's hard to imagine what the library would be without Gary," Nielsen said.

Oregon Library Association President Mary Ginnane said Sharp also has served on a number of committees for the OLA, has written grants to start a scholarship program for future librarians and also sits on the committee that chooses Librarian of the Year winners.

"It was very fitting that he should get the spotlight pointed at him," Ginnane said.

She's the one who broke the news to Sharp more than a week ago.

"His face was just beet red," the assistant director said.

"I was speechless," Sharp said. "Knowing the association was giving me the award, there couldn't have been a nicer thing to hear."

In addition to his work at the library, Sharp is an accomplished photographer and spends time with his pet and roommate, Valentine the Wonder Cat.


You can reach library director Gary Sharp at 541-756-0400, or e-mail nbpl@cclsd.org

 
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