Spring has sprung in Hillsboro and as it unfolds our people are getting out to do somethings they dearly love to do. Main Street has come alive as has local parks and trails. Soon Hidden Creek recreation center will open for the first time with limited classes beginning soon. And in more good news our award-winning libraries are going to open for some limited visits too! If there is one thing people really love in Hillsboro it is our libraries!
Here is the big news:
There are some limitations but people will once again be allowed inside. That is a really big deal. If we mask up, play by the rules, and keep working hard to crush down the pandemic, we just might get the green light by Summer! For so many people the simple act of walking into the library is now a reality again! Hooray!
New Library Director: Meet Hillary Ostlund
Even better news than the library opening is the hiring of our new library director, Hillary Ostlund! We know Hillary and have seen her positive energy spread to all those who meet her and work for our library. Her first-hand knowledge of our libraries comes from years and years of experience. Her background and successes made her a natural choice with City management needed a new director. Thank God she was a part of building the local success of our libraries. So many times outsiders are hired for jobs like this one. This time we landed a local pro who can stand with the best from anywhere in the Nation. That is just a fact folks.
“I love working for the City of Hillsboro: such an innovative and inspiring municipal government, whose mission and commitment to equity and inclusion pushes us to remove barriers, to create a sense of belonging, while utilizing collaboration to its fullest power,” Ostlund said.
As Hillsboro Publicy Library Director, Ostlund is leading a team of more than 70 employees who welcomed more than 2,000 combined visitors a day to Brookwood and Shute Park Libraries prior to the pandemic. Library staff also serve residents through outreach services such as Library on the Loose, the Book-O-Mat at the Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza, and a new Novel Branch book vending machine that will be available in the near future at the newly opened Hidden Creek Community Center.
“Serving staff is at the heart of everything I do, from ensuring equitable practices to creating systems of support for employees,” Ostlund said. “I believe in radical caring. I believe in empowering our talented and mission-driven library staff so they can provide relevant and flexible services to our growing, diverse, and changing community.”
A continuous learner with a background in design thinking, community and people engagement, and servant leadership, Ostlund is eager to work with community partners and groups, including the Library Board, Library Foundation of Hillsboro, and Friends of Hillsboro Public Library, to move library services forward, keeping the Library mission “For Everyone/Para Todos” front and center.
Ostlund fills the role that had been vacant since former Library Director Stephanie Chase left the position in March 2020. Most recently, Assistant City Manager Simone Brooks had served as Interim Library Director during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I come in ready — and excited — to get started!” Ostlund said. “We’ve had a difficult year — not just our library, but libraries in general. We had to fundamentally change how we provide service multiple times. We’ve faced challenges no one could have been prepared for and our library employees and volunteers have been nothing short of incredible. We’ve done it because of our care and commitment to Hillsboro and our patrons.”