The Price family recently donated a beautiful bronze sculpture to the Main Library in Lakeview in honor of long-time librarian Verna Price. At right, Dave Price (son), Susan Robertson Price (daughter), and Ernie Price (husband) show off the sculpture in its new home.
Verna graduated from Oregon State University in 1945 with a Bachelor’s degree, and then taught high school science for several years. In 1950, she married Ernie Price, a professional forester, and raised a family of five children. The family moved to Lakeview in 1968. In 1969, she was hired as the Lake County Librarian. After taking the job, she enrolled in a library administration program at the University of Oregon. To complete the program, she commuted between Lakeview and Eugene for about a year. She also worked with the Klamath County librarian to help develop her library management and supervisory skills.
During her tenue at the library, she helped Paisley get its first library building. Mrs. Price along with a local library group found a surplus Forest Service trailer and persuaded the Lake County commissioners to acquire it
for the library building. Previously, the county library had been housed in a closet at Paisley High School. She then worked with citizens of Silver Lake to get a library building for that community. Silver Lake’s first stand-alone library building was donated by the ZX Ranch and moved to a site in the center of town by the local Lions Club. Later, she worked with Christmas Valley citizens to acquire a large trailer to serve as a library building for that community. The trailer replaced a small alcove at the Christmas Valley golf course that had been used as a county library station. She also remodeled and expanded the main library in Lakeview and upgraded the library lighting to make reading easier in the evening.
As county librarian, Mrs. Price was the “Google” of the pre-information age. She and her staff knew all the day-readers by name. These were the people who spent long hours at the library quietly reading everything from newspapers to novels. She also got to know generations of junior high students who came to the library in the evening to do their homework. She even got to know the prisoners in the county jail as they were allowed to come to the library to check out books. However, her favorite library activity was children’s story hour. During those periods, she often dressed up as a book character to make the stories come alive for the kids.
For over seventeen years, Mrs. Price managed the main library in Lakeview along with the branch libraries in Paisley, Silver Lake, and Christmas Valley plus several library stations located in other communities around the county. As a result, she knew many people from all over the county. She always made sure readers got the book they wanted, even if it had to be ordered from the state library in Salem. Because community libraries were important to county residents, she always got outstanding support from the library board and Lake County’s commissioners.
Mrs. Price was very proud of her service to Lake County. She passed away in 2003. The Price family presented the sculpture to the library to recognize her service and to thank county residents for their support of the library over the years.