For 100 years, the Deschutes Public Library has educated, entertained, and enriched residents of all ages in Deschutes County. Libraries strengthen communities and serve as trusted and neutral places where all people are welcome. They create in-person relationships where library staff help residents figure out the complexities of life, from navigating the health system to helping those with housing needs. This “go-to” role has influenced library programming and classes, with libraries providing connections to health, housing, law, literacy, technology, and other critical resources.
The Library has been a careful steward of taxpayer dollars and currently carries no debt. The Library owns all of its buildings except for the leased facility in East Bend. It made a promise to taxpayers in 1997 that it would not ask for additional taxes for at least 10 years. The Library more than doubled this promise and has not sought a new tax initiative for 23 years.
The Deschutes Public Library is seeking to pass a bond measure on Nov. 3, 2020, to address the need for additional space and infrastructure improvements to accommodate our growing population. The bond funds will incorporate infrastructure improvements including technology, space for an expanded collection of books and materials, exciting interactive children’s learning and development centers, meeting and program/performance spaces, and flexible spaces for creative endeavors at all of our existing libraries.
Bond funds will pay for the design and construction of a Central Library that will provide a discovery center for children to learn and play; substantial space for an expanded book and materials collection; flexible community and small-business spaces for learning, creativity, and collaboration; space for larger programs and events; and a high-efficiency book/material processing and distribution center to speed delivery of materials to all of the libraries in Deschutes County.
The Central Library’s location was carefully selected to provide convenient access for all Deschutes County residents. The Central Library will be located off Highway 20 across from a major shopping center and Costco and Fred Meyer retail stores that are slated to be built in the next few years. In addition, a planned public transportation hub on Ronal Road, as well as residential neighborhoods, and a public school are within walking distance of the Central Library site.
The bond also includes money for doubling the size of the existing Redmond Library to provide for children’s discovery and learning spaces; flexible meeting, tutoring, and creative spaces; and an expanded materials/book collection. Bond funds will also cover remodeling and upgrading the Downtown Bend, La Pine, Sisters, and Sunriver Libraries. Remodeling of these buildings will include interior expansion of public space, modernization for improved technology, and much needed infrastructure and maintenance updates. The East Bend Library, the newest and only leased building in the district, will remain open in the same location, benefitting from upgrades to technology, infrastructure, and resources.
These improvements and expansions will continue our libraries’ history of excellence and commitment to learning for all ages by providing quality services, buildings, and resources to serve and support all residents of Deschutes County. Together, we will build stronger, resilient communities throughout our region.
Let’s do something we can all feel good about this November. Let’s vote YES for the Library’s bond measure. Supporting the Library’s bond measure is the right decision for all of our communities and will make lasting impacts for the residents of Deschutes County for decades to come.
Paid for by the Yes For Libraries Political Action Committee
2074 NW Cabot Lake Court, Bend, OR 97703