A new chapter

Wow, we did it—thanks to the support from library volunteers, donors, patrons, staff, and everyone who voted yes for the library district, we finally have a permanently funded library system. The new library district Board of Directors has been hard at work over the past several months preparing to take the reins of library operations and we can hardly wait for the changes that lie ahead. Thank you for your patience as we take on the task of transitioning our libraries into a system that not only survives, but thrives.

As you may already know, the nonprofit Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. (JCLI) is dissolving at the end of this year to allow the new Josephine Community Library District to begin operating all four branches early next year. At that point, Josephine County Library Foundation will become the fundraising arm of the library system, raising money for anything the library district isn’t able to fund. Amidst these wonderful changes, the nonprofit JCLI is now in the process of transferring all its resources to Josephine Community Library District and Josephine County Library Foundation.

That means if you are a current donor or volunteer you probably received a yellow envelope from the library in September. That wasn’t the typical yellow envelope you are used to seeing this time of year asking for a donation. Instead, we are asking our donors and volunteers to stay involved with the library by giving JCLI permission to share contact information, donor history, and/or volunteer history with the new library district and Josephine County Library Foundation. If you haven’t had a chance to respond yet, you still have time to let us know over the phone, via email, or by filling out a paper authorization form and mailing it back.

Aside from questions about the letter sent out in September, we have received questions about how to find out if you live in the new district and how to add your property to the district among other inquiries. We are here to answer your questions. Please call us at 541-476-0571, send an email, or get in touch on Facebook. (Click the hotlinks to learn more.)

Please bear with us as we get closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. We will do our best to give plenty of notice as we become aware of upcoming changes, such as more hours, better materials, and new programs in 2018. Most importantly, this is still your library and we want you to continue to be a part of it. Thank you for being so patient with us as we begin this new chapter.

Kate Lasky has been the executive director of Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. since 2010 and recently began her new role as the director of the newly formed Josephine Community Library District this October. 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.