Frequently asked questions about JCLI


1. What is Josephine Community Libraries?

Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. (JCLI) is a nonprofit, nongovernmental library system. It is a privately run public library that relies on donations for funding and a large and varied volunteer force to staff operations and support functions.

2. What is the mission of JCLI?

The mission of Josephine Community Libraries is to ensure long-term operations of a public library system serving Josephine County, while adhering to its core values of integrity and accountability.

3. What is the history of JCLI?

In May 2007, libraries in Josephine County were closed due to lack of county government funding.

In September 2007, committed community members formed Josephine Community Libraries, Inc., a nongovernmental nonprofit organization dedicated to reopening and operating the libraries in Josephine County.

On December 20, 2008, the Grants Pass library opened again. On September 5, 2009, the Illinois library was reopened. On November 7, 2009, the Williams library was reopened. With the reopening of the Wolf Creek branch on December 19, 2009, all four library branches in Josephine County were restored.

4. Where are library branches located and when are they open?

See the sidebar to the right on this page to locations and hours of the four library branches.

5. What services are offered?

The core services of JCLI are to:

  • Maintain and circulate a curated and balanced collection of cataloged books and other materials selected for a wide range of interests for adults, youth, and children in the community.
  • Provide a pleasant experience and convenient space for library users, with trained volunteers and professional staff available for guidance in the acquisition of information.
  • Provide access to the Internet and a variety of digital media with subsequent digital skills training.
  • Provide special programming to encourage children’s literacy.
  • Provide adult and teen programs that encourage lifelong learning.


6. How many people use the library?

In fiscal year 2012-13, more than 300,250 items were checked out. In addition, 30,000 patrons came to the libraries to use the Internet computers, access the online reference resources, or plug in to the high-speed Internet wireless service. Thousands more came to the libraries to enjoy an exhibit or attend one of the many hosted events. Currently the four library branches have more than 25,000 library card holders with an average of more than 1,000 patrons using the library each open day. JCLI averages 350 new library card signups each month.

7. What materials can I check out at the library?

JCLI holds more than 167,000 items in four branch libraries. Among the collection are about 150,000 books, 30,000 downloadable eBooks, more than 7,900 audio books, 19,000 downloadable audio items, nearly 9,000 videos and DVDs, 2,000 music CDs, and several hundred magazines and newspapers. In 2013, more than 14,000 new physical items and 21,000 new electronic items have been added to the materials collection. In addition, dozens of online databases on a variety of topics are available for patron use.

8. What digital resources are available?

About 40 high-speed Internet computers are available for use. Annually, about 21,500 patrons use the Internet computers and about 13,000 ebooks are checked out. The JCLI digital library is available 24/7 for access to the reference databases, software training programs, career development tools, and the library catalog. You can access popular magazines and newspapers, as well as resources for business, health, Spanish-language, and more. JCLI is a safe online place for children and teen resources. The LearningExpress Library offers an interactive online learning site for all ages with practice tests, skill-building, and career development tools. Library2Go is a service you can use to “borrow” and download eBooks, digital audio books, and videos onto your eReader, smartphone, or other device.

9. What community events are held at the library?

Innovative learning programs are offered for the diverse needs of the adults and children in Josephine County. These programs include children’s storytimes and crafts, the Summer Reading Program, K9 Reading Buddies, Young Master Gardeners, movie matinees, library tours, Poet Laureate workshops, Oregon Humanities Conversation Projects, Community Reads program, Friends of the Library book sales, and more. Programs and events are featured on theevents calendar on this website.

10. Can my group use the library facilities during closed library hours?

Josephine Community Libraries provides free services to all. JCLI offers a wireless network, and meeting room spaces can be reserved for meetings, staff training, and more.

11. What else can I find at the library?

Artwork of local artists rotates on a regular basis at the main branch in Grants Pass and from May through August at the Illinois Valley branch. JCLI also offers a “librarian on loan” program to help parents and students learn to use online research tools, business people seeking demographic data or help write business plans, and anyone else who would like know how to use the wealth of online research tools.

12. Who works at the library?

JCLI have more than 360 volunteers who work a combined total of 27,000 volunteer hours each year.

Volunteers help library users know what books, videos, DVDs, and audio books are in the library, where they are located, whether they are checked out, and whether they can reserve a copy. There are also 12 paid employees (seven full-time equivalent), one of whom is fully grant-funded.

13. How can I get involved? 

You can volunteer your time, expertise, donate books, or become a contributing donor. Send e-mail to to receive the monthly JCLI e-newsletter. Call 541-476-0571 for more information.

Updated 6/12/2014