News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Lyons librarian retires after serving 30 years

Contributing writer for The Canyon Weekly

The Lyons Public Library starts a new chapter as librarian Brenda Harris retires and her replacement, Roxy Wilcox, takes over. 

“Brenda has been a library staple for over 30 years, working at the Lyons Library, but also calibrating with other libraries throughout the Willamette Valley as part of the Chemeketa Regional Library Cooperative Service system,” said Tammy McKim, speaking with Amy Shields for the library board. “Brenda worked to develop the summer reading programs, moved the entire Lyons Library from City Hall to the current location, and took part in numerous other projects and changes throughout the years.  

“Brenda’s love and creativity has always been apparent if you have had the pleasure of attending a summer reading program,” she added. “The Lyons Library Board would like to thank Brenda for her dedication and wish her the very best.”

A retirement celebration will take place between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the library, 449 Fifth St. Refreshments will be served. 

“Please come and wish Brenda well as she starts her next chapter,” invite Board members. “You can also welcome our new librarian, Roxy.”

Reading avidly from a young age, Harris started using the local library in her small town, which, she said, was “a lot like the Lyons Library.”

“There wasn’t anything to do during the summer,” she said. “I started volunteering at the school library in sixth grade. 

“When I moved to Lyons in 1988, I had a friend ask me to be on the local library board. I joined in 1990 and began volunteering as well. I was hired in 1992, knowing the limitations with a small budget and hours.”

Creating the library’s successful summer reading program was the highlight of her career, she said. 

“I saw kids grow up, and then their kids came to the program,” Harris said. “I also enjoyed delivering books to homebound patrons that couldn’t get to the library.”

Challenges came every time a new city council was in place, she said.

“They would like to change things,” she added. “A past mayor, Rose Ader, is now the library aide!”

Harris is looking forward to more personal time which has been sparse during her librarian years, she said. 

“I’m not moving away,” she said assuredly. “I will still need to use the library to get reading materials, and I will help with the summer reading program next year.”

Harris believes her successor will be a great asset to the library.

“I’m excited to be your new librarian,” Wilcox said. “I’ve worked in libraries for almost 20 years, several of those in the Chemeketa Regional Library Cooperative at the Salem and Dallas Public libraries.”

The CCRLS headquarters are at Chemeketa Community College in Salem. The service has allowed for multiple libraries to share information and resources with patrons. 

“No one can fill Brenda’s shoes, so I won’t even try, but I will do my best to make the library a warm and inviting place that meets the needs of the community in Lyons,” Wilcox said.

The library staff, patrons and community members agree, Harris has made such a difference and will be truly missed!

For more information, call 503-859-2366, email [email protected] or visit .

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