Today’s Libraries: Something for Everyone (But Maybe Not A Swimming Pool)

In 2007, all of the libraries in my county were closed due to lack of funding, leaving 82,000 people without access to any library services whatsoever.

It sucked. A lot. For so, so many reasons.

Since then, I’ve been a volunteer for Josephine Community Libraries, a nonprofit that reopened the libraries when the county government refused to do so. A group of us have also formed Keep Our Libraries Open, working to pass a publicly funded library district in Josephine County.

Anyway, that’s the background to this piece I wrote for Keep Our Libraries Open.

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Back in 2009, when JCLI finally reopened the library, we volunteers worried we were in over our heads. After 18 months of working together, we sure knew how to fundraise, but we didn’t know yet know how to run a library. One thing was a given, though: this library would reflect our community’s needs. So we set out a suggestion box.

The ideas we got were pretty much what we expected: materials requests, questions about expanded hours, new program proposals.

We didn’t expect this: Read more...

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