Citizen¡¯s Library Advisory Ad Hoc Committee
April 23, 2008
City Council Chambers
Churchman, Vavra, Keil, Gibb, Batistella, Burkholder Seltzer (city staff liaison), Blossom (library staff liaison)
Mayor John Morrison, (council liaison)
I. Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm. Members introduced themselves.
II. Citizen Issues:
Referred to an email he sent to the list serve. He supports an Ashland/Talent library district and opposes a local library levy. He is also opposed to contracting with LSSI for library services.
III. Approval of minutes: Churchman/Keil all in favor.
IV. Recap of report presented to City Council on February 5.
Vavra summarized the report presented by the CLAC to the City Council on February 5, 2008. She explained the charge of the committee was to review current library services and to identify a long term funding solutions for the library. The CLAC has learned a lot over the past several months after hearing from stakeholders, professionals and working with the council library advisory committee. Specifically they learned that there was not enough time to coordinate with other jurisdictions to develop a county-wide solution before the two year
Keil commented that the CLAC was directed by the council to seek county wide solutions and that
V. Public Input re: CLAC Recommendation to extend the levy for four more years.
Honore told the committee how she became involved in the ¡°save the library¡± campaign and expressed hope that the City Council will do everything in its power to keep the libryar opens. (complete statement is attached)
Expressed admiration of the
Spoke of growing up in a small community of 1,600 residents in
Jensen spoke to the importance of libraries not only for information access but for equal access.
Magill is a former High School librarian and was the librarian for North Bend prior to coming to
Elkovish home schools her children and spoke how devastating it was when the library was closed to get access to books. Many home school children attend the alternative school
Churchman asked how many children in
Gordon is a volunteer at the library. He explained that we all need knowledge and information regardless of our socio economic status. Keeping the library open is not about one group or another but about all of us. He asks that candidates in the upcoming local election clearly state their position on libraries and funding.
Street is the High School librarian and spoke of his history attending the
Ayars asks that the library service not be interrupted again as it was last year. The focus of the entire community was directed to the library issue and there are many issues that need community focus. She supports a four-year levy. She understands and appreciates the work of the CLAC and deters to their judgment as to the levy amount.
Mortensen has been home schooled her entire life and will attend college in the fall. She spoke of how expensive it is to purchase books and how students rely heavily on the library to do homework and research. She regrets that she is not old enough to vote for the library in the fall election.
Bailey spoke on behalf of the Soroptomist. She explained that as a service club, they see many faces of the community. Despite what appears to be an affluent community,
Rauch is the artistic director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, His professional life was shaped by his local public library. As a child that was where he discovered his love of theatre and read all the plays. He brings his children to the
VI. Report of CLAC members on the library open house held earlier in the day.
Members commented they heard from many people during the day and all were passionate about the need for library services and most requested more hours of service. Churchman commented that they asked each person about the value of the service and library books. Each estimated that they would value the books at approximately $180 şu $200 if they had to purchase the books they borrow from the library. A homebound senior who could not attend the open house called and spoke to a committee member of the importance of the senior outreach program. Other hoped that the library service would not be interrupted again. Gibb was stuck by the number of people who do not have computers at home and need to library for computer access, he said computer users ranged in age from teenagers to the elderly. Many users commented that it is not just the access to books and information but they love the library because of the positive impact the library has had on their lives. Burkholder commented that everyone was galvanized by the closure of the library and hoped it would not happen again.
Vavra read aloud some of the emails and letters the committee received (attached).
Vavra then commented on other things the CLAC has learned:
She explained that by State Law special districts can only be funded through property tax where as counties and cities can implement other funding options e.g. local sales tax, fees, etc.
The CLAC learned from Representative Buckely that it is unlikely that libraries could be funded with state money. And that public libraries cannot charge fees to people who want to use the library.
The CLAC has worked closely with Jackson County Library Advisory Committee and spoke about the adult literacy campaign.
The committee will meet on Thursday, April 24 at 4:00 p.m. in the Ashland Library.
VII. Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.