This week we celebrate National Library Week, a time to recognize the positive effect libraries and library staff have on the people we serve. This year’s theme is “Libraries = Strong Communities” and Roseburg is a great example of how a community and a library support each other.

In three months of operation, more than 31,000 people have visited the library for their information and recreational needs. Thirty-one hundred patrons have checked out 25,000 items and logged 3100 computer sessions. Sixteen hundred people have attended 32 children’s programs; a Teen Advisory Council has launched; and we have partnered with a number of local organizations and individuals for programs for all ages.

Tuesday is National Library Workers Day, a special time for me to honor the people who make the library such as a great place to visit.

Adrienne Groves joined the staff in September as the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) AmeriCorps participant and she spent her first few months working behind the scenes to ensure we would have policies and programs when we opened. Adrienne managed storytimes for the first couple of months and now she is focused on adult programming, additional outreach opportunities and supporting youth services. She does it all with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.

Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Hendershott also came on board in September and she has recruited and trained about 75 volunteers. Thank goodness Liz has great organizational skills! Liz recently received her Master’s in Library and Information Science and that background as well as her positive attitude and good humor make all of us thrilled to have her on the team.

Youth Services Librarian Aurora Oberg has been with us for six weeks and she already has put her stamp on youth programming and collection development. Her creativity, collaborative nature and experience have made our staff complete.

I can’t thank Adrienne, Liz and Aurora enough for recognizing the unique opportunity we have and making the most of it.

We rely on volunteers’ time and talent and we simply would not be able to provide the level of service we do without them. They work the front desk, process materials, help with programs, shelve materials and much more. They have logged 1200 hours of service since we opened and they always have a smile.

Our other group of volunteers is the Friends of the Roseburg Public Library, a 501c3 organization whose members advocate for library services and raise funds for programs and materials. We couldn’t ask for more dedicated Friends and library volunteers.

It’s appropriate that National Library Week and National Volunteer Month are celebrated in April because volunteers and libraries make our community strong. And together we’re just getting started.

Stop in and see all that is happening at your Roseburg Public Library.

Kris Wiley is the director of the Roseburg Public Library. She can be reached at 541-492-7051 or

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It's great the library is open. Having been library patrons for decades, like most local people we live out of the "city limits" although we get billed from the city of Roseburg for our water bill we are considered outside the city limits. So the library says we will be assessed $60 a year to check anything out, if we choose to pay and join. Based on the figures in the article of 31,000 people using the library is 478 people a day based on a 5 day work week. Then 3,100 people checked out items, which is about 48 people a day. That's only 10% of the people that checked out materials on average every day for 3 months. That seems way low to what it used to be. This library will never have the use it once did as long as they continue to require $60 a year because so many in Douglas County are low income. We won't be participating due to this requirement. It doesn't fit in a lot of people's limited budgets. Maybe some day they will allow bake sales, book sales, and other fundraisers to get their money, so ALL residents of Douglas County can again use free checkout of materials at what used to be OUR County library. Very disappointing.

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