Agendas and Minutes

Citizen Library Advisory Ad Hoc Committee (View All)

Citizen Library Advisory Committee Regular meeting

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Citizen’s Library Advisory Ad Hoc Committee

January 17, 2008

Guanajuato Room, Ashland Public Library

4:00-6:00 pm



Ashworth, Churchman, Vavra, Battistella, Keil, Burkholder, Seltzer (city staff liaison), Blossom (library staff)



Brown, Gibb



Kathleen Davis, Chair Jackson County Library Advisory Board, Mark Smith from LSSI Jim Olney, Jackson County Library Foundation, Pat Ashley


Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 4:05 pm.  Vavra added one item to the agenda: discussion of Public involvement meeting: M/S Churchman/Burkholder approval of agenda.


Citizen Issues:



Approval of Minutes:

Minutes of December 13 regular meeting were approved, notes from the January 3 and January 10 meetings were approved.


Vavra welcomed and introduced Kathleen Davis, Chair of the Jackson county Library Advisory Board.  Batistella and Vavra thanked Davis for her efforts on behalf of county libraries.


Davis explained they are aiming for a 2010 election to form a special library district.  She commented on “lessons learned” from the previous two library measures and believes that they “rushed” the issue to the ballot and did not spend enough time gathering information of about constituents.  She feels that there was too much haste given the eminent closure of the libraries. The Board intends to bring a recommendation forward to the County Commissioners about the 2010 election/special district.  They ask the Ashland library advisory committee to wait and not recommend forming a special district at the 2008 election but rather be a part of the 2010 efforts.  They want all the jurisdictions to move forward at the same pace.


The group has met with and hopes to partner with Oregon solutions to assist in designing a means of moving forward.  Enlist their help to determine the best vehicle to reach the various stakeholder and bring people together.  To determine how to engage voters who may be opposed to funding the library system.


They have discussed designing and launching a major campaign centered on the importance of literacy in Jackson County and how libraries contribute towards literacy.  If Medford voters do not support library services, Davis believes that we simply will not have a county library system.  The Board believes they must find a way to persuade Medford voters to support library services.  Despite the support of other Jackson county communities, the political reality is that we must get Medford. 


Partnering with Oregon solutions required project nomination by the Governor.  County Commissioners Smith and Gilmore are very interested in the project and have suggested including the value of economic development as a result of a literacy project.


Burkholder asked at what point Ashland would know if the 2010 ballot is the plan and the proposed levy amount.  Davis assured her that Ashland would be kept in the loop and encouraged committee members to work with the Board.  Keil asked if the Board has considered the federated model of providing library services.  Davis is not familiar with that model but expressed interest.


Davis spoke of the efforts of the Board to repair and develop a stronger relationship with the county including the elected officials as well as the County Administrator.  The Board agrees that the County must be comfortable with whatever project and model is proposed in order to gain their support.


Vavra asked about the Jackson county Library Advisory Board liaison with other regional committees.  Davis said the Board has limited membership and not enough people to serve as liaison with the numerous library support groups.  Davis attends the Library Friends Presidents meeting.


Vavra thanked Davis for her time and introduced Pat Ashley.


Ashley served on the Jackson County Library Advisory Board for eight years and as liaison to the Foundation.  She now serves on the Board of Education for RCC.  She supports the need to reach out to all the uninterested people and determine their objections to funding the county system. She believes that we must find out who these voters are and learn more about them and “enlighten their self-interest”.


She urges Ashland not to form its own district.  The county wide special district measure will fail without Ashland votes. 


Ashley was thanked for her time.


The group began discussion of a recommendation to the City Council and identified two issues:

1)      long term library funding

2)      Keeping the Ashland library open to whatever date a county decision is made


The Ashland levy expires in June of 2009.  This creates a year gap in funding between the levy expiration and the 2010 election.


The group identified three general choices:

1)      Do nothing

2)      Extend the existing levy for a period of time for until supplemental funding is in place (special countywide library district)

3)      Form a smaller Ashland district


Vavra reminded group that they are scheduled to update the council on February 5.  Should the group present the list of alternatives they are considering?


General consensus was reached that the committee will recommend extending the existing levy for a period of four years.  The group agrees that it is very important not to put “numbers on the table” until it is clear how much money is needed over the life of the levy. 


M/S Keil/Ashworth Move to recommend to the City Council to place on the November 2008 ballot a local option levy of an amount sufficient to operate the Ashland library at the level the Ashland community desires for a period of four years.


Roll Call: Keil (yes) Burkholder (yes) Vavra (yes), Ashworth (yes), Churchman (yes), Battistella (yes)


There was a brief discussion about a public involvement/input process.  The group agrees it must hold meetings specifically to engage the public.  Seltzer will look for available dates in Council Chambers for April.


Next meeting dates:

January 24 (study session)

January 31 (regular meeting)


Meeting adjourned 6:00 p.m.



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