City of Grants Pass Agrees To Pay Increase In Library Membership

, Written by Kyle Aevermann, Posted: Fri, June 7 2013 at 6:17 PM, Updated: Fri, June 7 2013 at 10:32 PM

At the same time Jackson County Commissioners are considering closing local libraries, city officials in Grants Pass have approved an additional $15,000 for libraries in Josephine County.

Josephine Community Library officials say it would typically cost nearly a half a million dollars a year to keep thier libraries open and they are doing it on only a fraction of that. Something that residents in Jackson County may soon have to look into.

"There's a lot more to just the library than books anymore. They are trying to move into the 21st century just like everybody else," Grants Pass city councilor Dan DeYoung said.

In struggling Josephine County citizens united in 2007 to voluntarily run the counties 4 libraries after the county stopped funding.

"We run it completely on donations. 75% of our venue is just voluntarily donations to the library," explained Kate Laskey, the Executive Director for Josephine Community Libraries.

And like any non-profit, trying to come up with the remaining funds needed can be a bit of a struggle.

So cities like Grants Pass pay an annual membership fee.

"Their membership is providing library services to residents. That's a service they don't provide or can't provide at this time," said Laskey.

The idea of providing literacy and education for youth is an important one for the Grants Pass city council.

Their annual membership fee is typically $10,000.

Just this past week the council unanimously agreed to an additional $15,000 membership for the next fiscal year, bringing their annual fee to $25,000.

"Although this is a tough economy and we got some public safety issues here in Grants Pass. The $15,000 we look at as an investment in our youth," DeYoung said.

The money will be used to help run daily operations.

"It will go to buy books for kids, buy books for adults. To keep the lights on. to buy toilet paper. It's really the nuts and bolts of the library system," said DeYoung.

Knowing the community stands behinds them overwhelms those that help run the library.

The library says they are always looking for more volunteers and donations.

To find out how you can get involved you can visit josephinelibrary.org.

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About the Author

Kyle Aevermann

Kyle Aevermann reports weekdays and anchors NBC 5 News Weekends. He joined NBC 5 News in March 2012 as a morning producer and reporter. Prior to joining KOBI, Kyle interned at KISL-FM on Catalina Island, CA. He was also a regular contributor to CNN's citizen journalism program.

Originally from the Chicago-land area, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2009 to work in the social media industry. Kyle enjoys hiking, traveling, learning about cultures, and has a serious love for food.

Catch Kyle anchoring weekends on NBC 5 News at 6pm and 11pm.

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