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Friday was the last day our libraries were open for a while. A combination of federal timber subsidy money drying up, plus the very difficult time for Oregon residents to fund specific things through property taxes, and now the double majority required on funding proposals, plus what I consider an inept county government have all colluded to come to this--our libraries are closed and we have no idea when they will open again.

Fifteen libraries, roughly 200 people laid off.

If everything goes well, they will only be closed two months. If not...


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WOW! that is so sad for your customers (well and you too). But how can the communities NOT support their public libraries? Don't they realize that THAT is their future? How will their children have access to books and literacy?

I'm very fortunate to be in a community that not only supports our regional system, but my facility as well. They give wholeheartedly & we have a beautiful building with local funding for programming. Thanks for reminding that I should consider myself blessed.

I really hope that your public will speak out! Let us know how it goes... and in the meantime we're here to listen.
Monty, That is terrible news. And infuriating... What has been the public's reaction to this situation? Beverly CD
I have been following that sad story for several months. The sit-in by the children was very moving (even police taking them away, geez). I hope the levy passes. Was there a similar vote that failed in November, or was that a different library vote? Good luck to you.
I'm actually just a patron. (I'm in this group because I'm interested in writing library software.) The public is generally outraged. At the time of the November ballot it was still hoped that our federal subsidies would be renewed, and the campaign for that ballot wasn't very strong. Unfortunately in this area people seem to think tax is a four letter word.

The May ballot will be a challenge because of the "double majority" required. Not only do >50% have to approve of the ballot measure, >50% of registered voters must vote in the election! This is a special election just for that ballot measure. Not only do we have to get our supporters to vote, we need to get people who don't care either way to vote, just to make the election result valid.
Monty -

It is a sorry thing that the libraries have to suffer.

As a former resident of the state (35 years) I can well understand the difficulties, and attitudes, Oregon residents face where funding is concerned. That always seemed especially true in the rural communities where timber and farming were the major source of income. It was becoming worse and worse even before I left 10 years ago.

Fingers crossed for a good outcome in the upcoming vote.
Well here in MN we rate high as far as personal income taxes. (We used to be third in the nation but I'm not sure where we're at now).

But between state & federal income taxes - I can proudly say that we give 32% of our income to support the public infrastructure for libraries, schools, roads, etc.

And kudos to you for being a concerned citizen. We definitely need more software too - check out the open source options - if you can find ways to make that type integrated into existing app's I think you'd be on the right track!
I lived in Oregon until just a few years ago (lived in Brookings when I was little) and following this story broke my heart. It really brings to light the discrepancies in library support and funding from one county to another.


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