Director biography

Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries

Vailey Oehlke was appointed director of libraries for Multnomah County in 2009. She began her career at the library in 1997 as a youth librarian in the School Corps program. After six years, she joined the staff of the downtown Central Library, first as a section administrator and then as its director. She became the library system’s deputy director in 2008 and was promoted to director a year later.

A longtime resident of Portland, Vailey is pleased to be leading the library that serves the community she loves. A champion of innovation, Vailey passionately supports the continued adaptation of public libraries as they strive to maintain relevance and support local communities in a global context of ever-changing information technologies and priorities.

Intrigued by the future of public libraries in a rapidly changing world, Vailey actively engages in activities that consider and respond to such change. In June 2015, Vailey will begin her tenure as the 2015-16 President of the Public Library Association after serving on the PLA Executive Board from 2011-13. She is a member of the American Library Association, the Oregon Library Association and the Urban Libraries Council Executive Board. Additionally, Vailey serves on the Library Advisory Committee for ALA’s Policy Revolution! initiative. She has been an active participant in ALA’s Digital Content Working Group since its inception.

Vailey received her bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University in 1988 and her master’s degree in library science from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1992. Vailey welcomes and invites your thoughts and questions about the library. Please drop a line here.