Learning center

Column: The Columbia Learning Center honors Margaret Jeffries | Opinion

Columbia Learning Center, the nonprofit organization formerly known as the Columbia Foundation and developer of the Columbia Center that houses St. Helens Library, meeting rooms and an auditorium, wishes a heartfelt farewell to the librarian and member of the board of directors Margaret Jeffries.

When it was founded, the Columbia Center served not only as a library, but also as one of Columbia County’s first Internet service providers and technology education institutions. As times have changed and the Internet has become commercially available, the Center has adapted to these changes while maintaining the mission of lifelong learning for the community. Through the formation of The Chance to Become Scholarship program, they have become the largest provider of scholarships for graduate students in Columbia County.

When Margaret joined the library, first as a children’s librarian and eventually as library manager, she recognized the changing times for libraries. She capitalized on innovative programs that helped St. Helens Library and Columbia Center thrive and continue to be a valuable asset to the community during a time of decline for public libraries.

Margaret’s efforts don’t stop there, as a librarian she was also a respected board member of the Columbia Learning Center. You might still find Margaret rolling up her sleeves at the nonprofit’s main fundraiser, the Black Tie & Blue Jeans event.

With Margaret’s incredible leadership and team-building skills, she has been invaluable in bringing the Columbia Center and St. Helens Library into the 21st century. She provided significant funds for library programs, worked tirelessly in her position as librarian and as a volunteer.

We wish her the best for her well-deserved retirement and are also saddened to see her go. She will leave big shoes to fill.

Marion Christensen is the Chair of the Columbia Learning Center Board of Trustees. She can be contacted at [email protected]m.