Multnomah County youth librarian Kirby McCurtis named national “mover and shaker” for community building

McCurtis among 50 US library professionals recognized in Library Journal’s 2013 awards

PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah County youth librarian Kirby McCurtis has received Library Journal magazine’s 2013 Mover & Shaker award for her efforts in community building. McCurtis is among 50 U.S. library professionals identified for their commitment to providing excellent service to meet the needs of the people they serve.

McCurtis has worked as a youth librarian at Multnomah County Library’s Midland branch since January 2012, focusing on service to the African and African American communities. Determined to remove barriers to library service for the black community, she helped launch the library’s Black Storytime offered at Midland, North Portland and St. Johns libraries. She is building a black popular fiction collection at Midland in response to community demand. She is instrumental in Multnomah County Library’s exploration of a potential new program called Reading Is Grand, an intergenerational storytime for grandparents raising grandchildren.

“I became a librarian for the social justice aspect of the work,” said McCurtis.

Prior to coming to Multnomah County Library, McCurtis worked at San Diego Public Library, where she helped launch the Cuddle Up & Read program - storytimes for pregnant and parenting teens.

"I heartily congratulate Kirby on this outstanding achievement and national recognition from her peers,” said Director of Libraries Vailey Oehlke. “Her efforts help our library respond to changing needs in our community and demonstrate our commitment to becoming a library of the future. Congratulations, Kirby!"

McCurtis and all 50 recipients of the Mover & Shaker award are featured online and in the March 15 print edition of Library Journal.