The Josephine Community Library we know today would not exist without the passion, commitment, and tireless contributions of thousands of staff, volunteers, and community members.
After 97 years of operation, on May 17, 2007, the libraries of Josephine County closed due to lack of funding.
Four months later, a group of community members formed Josephine Community Libraries, Inc., a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and ensuring long-term public library services for every county resident.
By December 2009, volunteers had reopened all four shuttered locations. For the next eight years the libraries in Josephine County were operated and supported by private donations. Each year, more than 360 volunteers invested their time to keep the libraries open. More than 2,000 local community members made financial contributions.
Many of those same donors and volunteers also worked hard on three separate campaigns to create permanent, stable funding through the formation of a library district. In 2017, almost exactly ten years after the initial closure, voters county-wide supported the effort. The following January, Josephine Community Library opened its doors.
The new library district provides funding to meet the ever-increasing demand for basic library services. Specifically, the funding makes possible more open hours across the four library branches, improved services, and better circulating materials.
It took many partners to form the library district.
Little could have been accomplished without the nonprofit Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. Special thanks are also due to Josephine Community Library Foundation and the Josephine County government, the cities of Grants Pass and Cave Junction, and the generous volunteers, donors, and staff members who successfully transitioned public library operations to the district. Together, they have led the community to work and build together, demonstrating that we have the resilience, strength, and fortitude to build a brighter future for Josephine County residents.