Citizen’s Library Advisory Ad Hoc Committee
November 15, 2007
Guanajuato Room, Ashland Public Library
Ashworth, Brown, Churchman, Vavra, Battistella, Burkholder, Keil, Gibb, Morrison (Mayor), Blossom (library staff)
Peter Buckley, Jim Olney, (Library Foundation), Helga Motley, Grace Hamilton, Janet Anderson, Julie French (Daily Tidings), Mark Smith (LSSI)
The meeting was called to order at 4:00 pm and members approved the agenda as presented. As an administrative note, Gibb will work with Vavra to get the agenda ready for the city to post on the web site.
There was no public comment.
Minutes of the previous meeting were approved by the committee.
Peter Buckley shared his thoughts and knowledge about the role of the state in helping library funding. There is no push on the state level to get local funding for libraries. Keil asked about raising the cap on compression and Buckley felt there may be some bipartisan support for this. There is some hope that something can be worked out with the TOT or Transient Occupancy Tax, but it isn’t in the works now. 2009 the state budget will be concentrating on transportation. Buckley believes there will have to be new revenue to support libraries. The state wants to stay out of anything the county now supports. Keil wondered if there is another revenue source that can be used to fund a library district beyond property tax.
Buckley feels an effective strategy could be to present a package of services, for example include, the historic society, local transportation and libraries. Consider it county wide but have a back up plan which might be a Talent/Ashland district of these services, or to have a plan for the library to go out alone. Consider what works, but also what is best for the county. Do the political work to see what can be done. Maybe the campaigning could be done as a package but with individual measures.
A phone interview with Ruth Metz, library consultant, was held. This was an introductory meeting, via phone, prior to her attending the next meeting on Nov 29. Metz was given some background on the Ashland situation including the need for Ashland to have options since our funding for extra service runs out in 2 years. The county money runs out in 3 years. There are between 12 and 17 library districts in Oregon, some county, some special. There are no multiple county districts. Wasco County led a very successful district campaign in 2006. The Wasco County Commissioners strongly supported the library district formation and the tax rate was 66 cents. Metz was advised of 3 charges the committee is taking on: What kind of library does the community want, How to finance that, and how will it be governed.
Another charge is to evaluate library services during the next 2 years. Metz is going to flesh out what needs to be done and identify what she and Tom Sponsler, an attorney specializing in districts, can provide and at what cost. The state library has paid $20,000 as a retainer for these services and so far only this committee and a group from Malheur County have contacted Metz. Potential clients include Jackson, Josephine and Douglas counties. There was a suggestion that Anne Billeter, a former JCLS manager be included in further discussion as a local resource. Metz will bring a timeline she sees as necessary to form a district in 2008.
Churchman has summarized ideas from different sources with the intent of seeing what the library could look like and what services have been used. He will cite his sources. Olney will check to see if the Foundation’s full survey can be made available. Vavra will send an official request for this report.
Library Advisory Council – Burkholder, Vavra and Brown attended the LAC meeting and they are hoping to have some option for permanent funding to the public in 2010. It is not known yet what that will be. The Blue Ribbon panel presented their findings, which were not conclusive on what could be done for permanent funding. They have now disbanded. The LAC is very interested in determining the No votes from the county wide campaign. They will work with Oregon Solutions, Steve Greenberg at orsolutions.org.
Presidents Forum Report – Vavra and Churchman reported. Sue Lopez, the President of the Ashland Friends will be our liaison to this group.
Battistella will add committee member emails to the email list that Kathy Kudo sends out on library issues.
* Make a list of what needs to be done by Metz and what Metz should do.
* Go over and prioritize the Status Resource List
* Library Interview Questions – go over and respond to these within 4 days.
Future Dates of Meetings – Nov 29 – Gresham Room
Dec. 6 – Study Session – Guajauato Room
Dec 13 – Meeting – Guanajuato Room
Dec 20 –Study Session – Gresham Room
Dec 27 – Meeting – Guanajuato Room
Meeting Adjourned at 6:00 pm