The Douglas County Library System (DCLS) formed in 1953 with the main library located in the courthouse in Roseburg, eight branches located in the several small communities, and a bookmobile. The benefits included the economy of scale, access to a wider collection, and shared functions with greater internal support. Today the DCLS includes the main library in Roseburg, completed in 1994, and 10 branches located throughout the county. Winston and Riddle got their libraries after the system was formed, in 1964 and 1966 respectively.

In a county that has historically relied on timber sale taxes, budget reductions began as early as 1982. This became a frequent if not an annual occurrence over the years since. Next year will be our capstone. Our budget direction given to the library system for the fiscal year 2016/17 was to cut $495,000 dollars from last year’s budget, a 42 percent reduction. This decades long and winding road has led us to a fork in the road with the future of the library up in the air. Rest assured, we have not been sitting around waiting and hoping!

Author Biography

Harold A. Hayes

How does a reluctant reader become a library director one might ask? Well, start with a mother who read to her children extensively—including that reluctant reader— as well as frequent trips to the public library. Add to the mix a teacher who made his students read and do book reports. Then down the line marry off that reluctant reader to a librarian and later still find the first career path eliminated by technology. To this add a return to school and the acquiring of an MLIS. Pile on 17 years of professional and management experience and an application and voila, you have a library director!

My professional career has taken me from the award of that MLIS at the University of Washington to Wyoming and back to Washington, where I worked for two different library districts, always working with small rural branches. I have had the privilege of working as the director of the Douglas County Library System since the beginning of 2013, which has also afforded me the opportunity to live in Oregon again since leaving to attend college back in 1979. Roseburg, with a population of 22,000, is the county seat and the location of our main library. It’s as big as it gets here. Our 10 branches are located in rural communities throughout the county.

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© 2016 OLA


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