Roseburg Public Library will continue conversations with Douglas Education Service District about contracting for library services.

While the final decision and ratification of the contract would be up to the Roseburg City Council, the library commission had preliminary discussions during its Tuesday meeting.

“I like to start at yes and figure it out,” Roseburg Library Commission Chair Brian Prawitz said. “We’re talking about kids and books, which we all agree is key.”

The City of Roseburg, which runs the library, would provide a professional librarian to help with collection development, professional development and recommending library space configuration for interested school districts.

These services would most likely be offered by Youth Services Librarian Aurora Oberg. There are three school districts currently interested in professional library services.

“I think it’s totally manageable,” Oberg said. “It’s not like they’re asking me to come and teach multiple days. It’s more overseeing who they do have, making sure they are building their collection properly and doing what they can.”

Some smaller school districts in Douglas County do not have a professional librarian. Oberg said during initial conversations, it sounded like her help would be needed a few times a year at each district to oversee the staff already in place. During visits to the district she would use her expertise to provide the schools with a plan to develop collections or help train the on-site librarian and be a point person.

Oberg has been in contact with the education service district’s human resources department to see what qualifications she would need to work for them.

Additionally, the library commission discussed making a Roseburg Public Library card available to students in districts helped by Oberg’s expertise.

“In my conversations with (Douglas Education Service District Superintendent) Michael Lasher, basically the justification for a higher service fee would be access to the collection,” Roseburg City Manager Lance Colley said. “If you only wanted a couple of days a year of a person’s time, that service fee would likely be much lower.”

Roseburg Library Commissioner Laura Harvey said as long as the finances can be figured out “there is no reason not to provide these services.”

Students living within the boundaries of the Roseburg Public Schools district already have access to a free library card.

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Education Reporter

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

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