JCSD 509J is spotlighting Ryan Dempsey who is our District Librarian for the work he does every day in his role. This is third full year with JCSD 509J. He has been a librarian for more than 20 years though.

“I originally started out in the classroom and kind of fell into the library by chance,” he said. “The school that I was working for, they passed a bond and they had remodeled a middle school and being very, very junior on seniority I was displaced and I made my way into the library. Wound up absolutely loving it and 21 years later, still excited about the position every day.”

One of Dempsey’s biggest accomplishments in his time with 509J is growing the number of students who participate in the statewide Oregon Battle of the Books competition. This is a statewide voluntary reading motivation and comprehension program.

“There are 16 titles and it depends on which division you’re in but I’d ideally love for all of our kids to read all 16 books, but that’s not reality. So, we do have a lot of kids. We have more than 200 Kids district wide in the battle the books. If they’re reading one or two books, I’m really excited because that might be one or two books that they wouldn’t have read. So, I think overall our initiative is just to get kids to read more as they read more to critically think and think for themselves, because I think those are the skills that they’ll leave Jefferson County 509J with and be successful.”

Below is his nomination for Employee Spotlight:

“Ryan Dempsey, our district librarian, has had a tremendously positive impact on increasing the number and quality of books in our school libraries, supporting our school librarians and championing the regional Battle of the Books competition to encourage our students to read for fun and enjoyment. Over the past few years he has engaged students in conversation about the types of books they like to/would like to read and has intentionally added new books to our school libraries that reflect student interest. Battle of the Books has grown exponentially in our district over the past few years and Ryan is a big reason behind this growth. He brings purpose and intention to his role as a district librarian and our students are lucky to have him in this capacity.”

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