Chemeketa Courier

Building The Literacy Community


By Sydney Agee
Michele Burke didn’t find her way to the librarian profession just because of her love for books. Her love for community-building and working with students also were significant factors.
Burke is a reference librarian at Chemeketa, as well as the incoming president of the Oregon Library Association.
Last month she was named a 2012 “Mover & Shaker” by Library Journal magazine.
“I didn’t know about the nomination until the Library Journal magazine contacted me to ask how I felt about it,” she said.
Burke was nominated by Anne-Marie Deitering, a fellow librarian from Oregon State University. She did not know about the nomination.
“I didn’t see the documents sent in or any of that,” Burke said.
However, she said that she was pleasantly surprised when she was informed about receiving the honor.
“I’m honored that our statewide work between librarians and other faculty members in Oregon is being recognized in this category,” Burke said. “The desire to build strong communities drew me to librarianship and is at the heart of Chemeketa and our mission as a community college.”
According to her peers, what sets Burke apart from other librarians is her ability to act as a bridge between resources.
She works with the Information Literacy Advisory Group of Oregon and the Oregon Writing & English Advisory Committee, creating bridges to her own work at Chemeketa to create the best experience for students that she can.
According to the Library Journal magazine, Burke is looked at by librarians around the state as the linchpin behind the statewide information literacy efforts.
Burke’s passionate efforts to keep conversations going among professors and instructors around the state has made an incredible impact in creating shared literacy standards, according to the magazine.
“You just have to have the belief that someone should work on it and maybe that somebody should be me,” Burke told the Library Journal magazine.
Burke’s work is thought to have real-world impact by Kate Rubick, an instruction services librarian at Lewis and Clark College in Portland.
Burke said that her next step would be to introduce an information literacy conversation to the members of the Oregon Association of School Libraries.