The Douglas County Board of Commissioners is preparing to close its 11 branch libraries later this year. The board says it can no longer afford to fund the system.
County Commissioners say because of declining timber revenue, they have had to pare down services. The most recent casualty is libraries. In the November election a group tried to pass a special funding district to keep the libraries open, but it failed. Robert Heilman lives in Myrtle Creek and is on the advisory board of his branch library and the Douglas County Library Foundation. He says he’s not feeling very hopeful that the system can be revived.
Heilman: “Frankly, I would be very surprised if we had more than maybe 3 libraries left a year from now. And those will be running on very limited service levels.”
Heilman says a couple groups are trying to form a task force to come up with a plan for reopening libraries. The ten small branch libraries are scheduled to close April 1st. The library in Roseburg will be open through May.
[I’m Rachael McDonald reporting.]