[Libs-Or] Congratulations! Governor's Volunteer Award Winner, Josephine Community Libraries

MaryKay Dahlgreen marykay.dahlgreen at state.or.us
Tue Apr 1 11:44:21 PDT 2014

Dear Colleagues,
As I expected, there have been concerns expressed to me about celebrating this volunteer library.

My perspective on this is that the citizens of Josephine County didn't want to wait a great  length of time without library service, especially for their children. They are very up front about the fact that their current situation is unsustainable and are even now collecting signatures to put a library district on the ballot in November 2014. I like to think of the creation of the non-profit Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. as an emergency response and they have been building towards sustainability ever since.

I would also guess that the none of the public libraries in Oregon would be able to function at their current level without volunteers, I know that OSL couldn't.

And finally, the political and financial situation in Josephine County is quite different than in other areas of Oregon, particularly the Willamette Valley.

I think this is an important topic of discussion and would welcome other comments.


From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of MaryKay Dahlgreen
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2014 3:47 PM
To: (libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us)
Subject: [Libs-Or] Congratulations! Governor's Volunteer Award Winner, Josephine Community Libraries

Not-for-Profit Volunteer Program: Josephine Community Libraries of Grants Pass
Without the volunteers at Josephine Community Libraries, 83,000 Oregonians wouldn't have access to a public library. Josephine Community Libraries formed in fall 2007, after the county closed its libraries due to funding cuts and the failure of a ballot initiative for a library district. The nonprofit today operates all the county's libraries, with volunteers filling core roles: cataloging and shelving books, providing information to library users, hosting children's story times, checking books in and out, marketing, communications, fundraising, outreach, facilities maintenance and more. The system has 360 dedicated volunteers. About 2,500 patrons check out items from the libraries each month, and 1,700 patrons use the public Internet computers. The system also has special programs for children: First Steps for toddlers, K-9 Reading Buddies for young readers, story times and the Summer Reading Program. It also has the Expanding Opportunities Program, which provides deeper access to library resources and community partners, helping people improve their prospects in education, employment and entrepreneurship.

For more information on the Governor's Volunteer Awards: http://www.oregonvolunteers.org/

MaryKay Dahlgreen
Oregon State Librarian
marykay.dahlgreen at state.or.us<mailto:marykay.dahlgreen at state.or.us>
[library logo.jpg]

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