Library District's Executive Director to retire

After nearly eight years leading Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries (FVRLibraries), Amelia Shelley has announced she will retire as Executive Director this summer.

Hired in 2015 as successor to retiring director Nancy Tessman, highlights of Shelley’s tenure at FVRLibraries include:

  • Increased emphasis and access to electronic books, materials, and resources throughout the library district
  • Increased visibility for the public library through community partnerships, outreach, and rebranding
  • Completion of a $3.6 million remodel and new construction project at Ridgefield Community Library
  • Completion of a $1 million self-service library in Yale as part of FVRLibraries’ partnership with Yale Valley Library District
  • Planning for new library facilities in Woodland, Washougal, and Brush Prairie, including a groundbreaking for a new Woodland Community Library this June
  • Development and delivery of two new bookmobiles to provide service to rural communities
  • Overseeing pandemic-related changes to keep library services in communities, including curbside pickup options, virtual programs, a dedicated library mobile app, and increased safety precautions

Shelley sees the next few months as a time to wrap things up while also leaving the district in great condition for the new Executive Director.

“I’m proud of all our libraries have accomplished and I believe the District is positioned for continued success. We have some exciting projects underway—including new facilities to serve the communities of Woodland, Washougal and Brush Prairie—that I’m particularly excited about and I can’t wait to visit them as a library patron,” she said. “I look forward to seeing FVRLibraries continue to be a trusted community resource and a place where everyone feels valued and welcome. I’m also excited for my own next chapter and look forward to watching our libraries thrive in southwest Washington.”

Shelley’s over 25-year career as a library administrator includes almost eight years as Executive Director of Garfield County Public Library District in Colorado and 10 years as Youth and Outreach Services Manager at Laramie County Library in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

As for next steps for the library district, the FVRLibraries Board of Trustees is planning to launch a national search to find Shelley’s successor. They intend to make an announcement about recruitment in the coming weeks.

Shelley’s last day with FVRLibraries will be July 31, 2023.