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Shyann McKown, 11, of Riddle, checks out a book at the Riddle Library on June 2017. Libraries throughout Douglas County are ready to serve students as the summer months arrive and the end of school draws near.

Most students have free access to their local libraries, which also offer summer reading programs and educational events.

Over the past couple of months the Douglas Education Service District and Roseburg Public Library have been working together to get better library access for students throughout the county.

The library commission has suggested Roseburg City Council adopt a $20 per student fee for a library card distributed outside the Roseburg Public Schools’ district.

However, many of the local libraries in rural Douglas County don’t charge any fees for library services.

Elkton Library is part of the Elkton Community Education Center, which is located next to the elementary school and less than a mile form the high school. The library provides free access to all patrons including students.

Most schools do have access to their own libraries, but public libraries can often provide additional materials.

Canyonville Community Library, Glendale Community Library, Myrtle Creek Library, Oakland City Library, Riddle City Library and Winston Library worked together to form the Douglas Community Library Association.

Libraries within the association can borrow books from each other and a courier will deliver those books to the requesting libraries.

DCLA consists of “independent libraries working together to offer products and training to help maintain and expand access to library services for all residents of Douglas County,” according to its website.

Sutherlin’s C. Giles Hunt Memorial Library and Yoncalla Public Library have representatives on the DCLA board as well.

While no other libraries are delivering to the schools, they are often located in close proximity to a school.

In Riddle the library will be working with the school on a program called “Riddle Library and Rise,” which encourages families to spend time together with the hope to reduce abuse. Riddle City Library is set to host a few different events throughout the summer.

Riddle City Library director Rita Radford said she also works with local day cares and preschools to provide books and classes.

Myrtle Creek and Canyonville libraries also hosts classes when they come to the library.

While Myrtle Creek Library doesn’t have a fee, they do have a suggested donation of $6.

Myrtle Creek, Riddle, Winston, Canyonville, Drain and Glendale are also part of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which provides books for children.

All libraries will have a summer reading program for students, with several also hosting special events and story times.

Representatives from Drain’s Mildred Whipple Library, Glendale Community Library, Winston Library and Yoncalla Public Library did not respond to questions inquiring about fees and student programs.

When the Douglas County Library System failed to get public support for a tax in November 2016, volunteers in many areas worked tirelessly to reopen libraries under local control in the following weeks and months.

Roseburg Public Library remained closed until late 2018. Control of the library shifted to Roseburg city government, which made a deal with Douglas Education Service District to house management offices in the building and contribute to the library’s operations.

Students who attend Roseburg Public Schools or live within its geographic boundaries were given free cards.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203.

Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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Education Reporter

Sanne Godfrey is the education reporter for The News-Review.

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