The Myrtle Creek Library will reopen Monday with an all-volunteer staff, and kick off its summer reading program right away.
Like many of the smaller branches of the former Douglas County Library System, the Myrtle Creek Library has been closed since April 1. Sutherlin, Oakland, Riddle and Reedsport have since reopened their libraries.
The Myrtle Creek Library is unique in the county in that it is now managed not by the local city council, but by the nonprofit Friends of the Myrtle Creek Library.
“We’re very excited,” said Friends Treasurer Julienne DeMarsh about Monday’s opening.
DeMarsh said the group has about 80 people on a list of potential volunteers or donors, with a group of 21 that has passed background checks and plans to volunteer through the summer.
On Friday, DeMarsh said they were working on getting connected to the internet and hope to have that up and running in time for the opening.
She said it’s important to note that library patrons will need to re-register to get new library cards.
The 17,000 books and other items in the library’s collection will be available for checkout on day one. However, a computer catalog system isn’t yet available, so books will be checked out the old-fashioned way, with the patron’s name and the item being written down.
DeMarsh said volunteers’ enthusiasm wasn’t diminished by the holiday weekend opening.
“People are still willing to help us out, so I’m very encouraged by that,” she said.
The library building belongs to the city, but it’s the Friends group that signed an intergovernmental agreement with the county to take charge of and check out items from the collection.
One of the biggest challenges the Friends face is paying for liability insurance. The main concern, DeMarsh said, is whether the library can continue to raise enough funds to pay for that insurance and keep the library running into the future.
For now, the emphasis is on the summer reading program, which will be held Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Coordinator Serena Theiss said the activities will follow a math, science and engineering theme adapted to fit the local library.
Monday’s activity will be a Three Little Pigs theme with kids crafting three different types of houses, a teepee, a rainbow cottage made from popsicle sticks and an adobe house made from a pinch pot. Field trips will also be held to different local businesses, including a visit to a water testing lab at Umpqua Research Company.
The programs are conveniently timed to end just as the local swimming pool opens up the street, Theiss said.
The doors will open at 10 a.m. Monday. Regular hours will be from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays; 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays. The library will be closed Fridays and Sundays.