More hours and better materials

If you haven’t heard the news yet, I want to let you know that our library system will be on the May ballot for a tax funding measure, Measure 17-79. The Board of Directors of Josephine Community Libraries is advocating for this measure to create stable funding for our library system. Currently, our community’s public libraries receive no regular funding from taxes—the only library system like it in the United States. We raise money through donations and grants to keep the libraries open, but our busiest branch in Grants Pass is only open 24 hours a week. This simply isn’t enough. Every day, residents in our branch areas in Grants Pass, Williams, Wolf Creek, and Illinois Valley try to get into the libraries but cannot because we don’t have the resources to open them for more hours. Click here for frequently asked questions about the library district measure.

A survey of our patrons in 2015 demonstrated that residents think the number one need for the library is additional hours. Measure 17-79 will pay for more hours, almost doubling the hours from what we have now. Click here to read the feasibility statement with the projected budget details.

More importantly, Measure 17-79 will form a library district, separate from the county government that will give our community a sustainable library system they can count on for generations. And, with this type of foundational funding we will be able to apply for more grants and update the collection of books and materials to keep our community connected and competitive in the 21st century.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at my office at 541-476-0571 ext. 110, or email If you would like to make a tax credit donation to the political action committee or volunteer for Keep Our Libraries Open, click here. We need your help to pass this measure!

Above all, please vote yes for our library in May.

Kate Lasky has been the executive director of Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. since 2010. She holds a master’s in education and serves on the Oregon Library Association Public Library Division Board of Directors and the Legislative and Development Committee. She is also a board member for Oregon Humanities. In 2015, she was honored by the Oregon Library Association with the Olé award which annually recognizes an Oregon public library employee who has displayed exceptional effort and excellence.