Welcome to the 2018 OLA Conference program! Please check back frequently, as more details and information will be continuously added over the coming weeks. See our tips for using Sched.  The conference hashtag is #ORLib18 (twitter / instagram)

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Thursday, April 19 • 8:30am - 10:00am
Grand Opening Session and Keynote Address: Erin Helgren

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Welcome to the Grand Opening Session of the 2018 OLA Conference!

We are very pleased to introduce attendees to our keynote speaker, Erin Helgren! Erin is an early childhood specialist from Children's Institute, which "strives to build support for a state early childhood system where all children have the opportunity to achieve success in school and life." Based in Yoncalla, in Douglas County, OR, Erin's particular focus is on the distinct needs, desires, and aspirations of rural communities. Joining Erin is Jill Cunningham, Librarian at Yoncalla Public Library.

Keynote Address:
"The Role of Rural Libraries in Supporting Families and Building Community"

Rural libraries play a pivotal role in ensuring all children have the support they need to be healthy and successful. Libraries are often a safe, neutral space where families find more than just books: internet is accessed for homework and job searching, parent education supports young children, and compassionate relationships with local library staff ensure a safe (and warm) place for many kids. Erin Helgren and Yoncalla Public Library’s Jill Cunningham will share their experiences of leveraging strong relationships through responsive library services. Their initial partnerships are instrumental in the success of the Yoncalla Early Works project, a 10-year initiative promoting kindergarten readiness and strong, authentic family engagement.


Jill Cunningham

Librarian, Yoncalla Public Library
Jill Cummingham is the librarian for the Yoncalla Public Library. She is strongly committed to ensuring rural communities have access to rural libraries. She lives in Yoncalla.
avatar for Erin Helgren

Erin Helgren

Early Works Site Liaison, Children's Institute
Erin Helgren joined the Children's Institute in November 2015 as the Early Works Site Liaison in Yoncalla, a rural town in Douglas County with a population of fewer than 2000 residents. Erin's 25 years of experience and knowledge working with young children and families in rural... Read More →

Thursday April 19, 2018 8:30am - 10:00am PDT
Playwright's Hall Hilton Eugene Conference Center, 66 East 6th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401-2667 USA