July 20, 2015
UPDATE: The City of Cave Junction has just announced a challenge to meet their $10,000 contribution to First Chapters!
Last week we launched Oregon's Kitchen Table's first civic crowdfund on our new site to raise $40,000 for Josephine Community Libraries children's libraries in Grants Pass and Illinois Valley. And it's off to a great start with over $15,000 raised and over 100 Oregonians participating!
The story of Josephine County's libraries inspired us here at OKT: hundreds of community members have ensured that their libraries have continued to operate, despite no source of regular funding through taxes or county funding. The libraries in Josephine County closed on May 17, 2007. Four months later, committed community members formed Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. (JCLI), a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring long-term library services for every county resident. By December 2009, JCLI had reopened all four shuttered locations. In November 2014, citizens placed a measure on the ballot to permanently fund the libraries, which didn't pass. Today, the libraries continue to operate thanks to generous donations and the heroic contributions of more than 390 volunteers annually.
If the library district Measure 17-62 had passed last fall, the first thing JCLI would have done is update the children's libraries. But it didn't; so, once again the community is coming together to do right by Josephine County's kids and provide them with the resources they need to be successful. From JCLI: "We need new books—many of our materials are from the 1950s and 1960s. We need shelves the children can reach and furniture their size. And, we need more space—for storytimes, programs, and reading activities for the whole family. It’s time for us to come together and fund an update for the children’s libraries! "
Like many Oregonians, Josephine County families love their libraries. And you can join them in making sure their kids begin the First Chapters of their lives with a strong reading foundation. Join them today to participate in the crowdfunding campaign!