February 20, 2018

Oregon Library System on Course for April 7 Closure

By LJ Staff

Jackson County Library Services, OR, a 15-library system, is set to close April 7, after the U.S. Congress failed to renew the Secure Rural Schools and Self-Determination Act, which would have reinstated timber subsidies and provided more than 70 percent of the system’s budget. To help shore up that $7 million deficit and allow the library to reopen after a brief time, the county has scheduled a levy vote on May 15.

American Library Association (ALA) president Leslie Burger commented, "I understand that the loss of federal funding has placed JacksonCounty in a very difficult position, but closing its libraries on April 7 is not the answer." Burger reiterated the importance of libraries to their communities and cited studies that show that investment in libraries has significant ripple effects. "It is not too late for the community in Jackson County to invest in their libraries," she said, urging a vote for the property tax levy. She noted that the levy would cost the average homeowner "a little over $9 per month, less than the cost of a DVD or CD."