happening peoplearchive

Ken Ehler

Just inside the entrance to the new Eugene Public Library, take a left turn to find the Second Hand Prose Bookstore, adjacent to the coffee shop. Friends of the Library volunteer Ken Ehler has worked nearly full-time all this year to establish and manage the bookstore, an adjunct to the library's annual sale of donated books. "Ken is energetic and dependable -- he's done an outstanding job," reports Friends president Edith White. "In just a few months, the store has made $15,000." A native of Chicago (and still a Cubs Fan), Ehler moved to Arizona at age 10 and earned a PhD in chemistry from the UA in 1972. He worked as a research chemist from California to Switzerland and points between until 1989, when he arrived in Eugene for a job at Molecular Probes. "They design fluorescent dies for basic biomedical research," he explains. An avid reader, Ehler started volunteering at the library in 2000, and began reading to kids in the SMART readers program at Adams/Hillside School a year later. He retired at age 56 last year to concentrate on volunteer activities. "My focus in life is getting books into the hands of readers," he says, "especially children."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 30 October 2003

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