Director biography

Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries


Vailey Oehlke, Director of LibrariesVailey 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. President of the Public Library Association for the 2015-16 term, Vailey is also a member of the American Library Association and the Oregon Library Association and a past member of the PLA Executive Board from 2011-13 and the Urban Libraries Council Executive Board from 2012-15. She is currently serving on the Library Advisory Committee for ALA’s Policy Revolution! initiative after having been an active participant in ALA’s Digital Content Working Group from its inception to 2015.

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.