ROSEBURG, OR. -- Once the Douglas County Library System closed in May of 2017, the City of Roseburg and the Douglas Education Service District have been working on an agreement to reopen the main branch in Roseburg.
In November 2016, the residents of Douglas County voted against a tax levy that would’ve kept the library system open.
After seeing the true affects of that decision, one resident is regretting voting against the levy.
“I do, because our kids need an education. And when the schools are closed, the kids have nowhere to go if they want to just sit down and read and get away from the everyday traffic and people walking the streets. There’s no place for them to go," said resident Mike Hocevar.
But, he won’t have to wait long to see change happen.
The partnership between the city and the Douglas Education Service District will put the ESD’s offices into the library building, and the city will help fund library services.
"We'll be looking to the strengths the ESD has to help us offset some of the library cost, and they'll be looking at us to do the things that we do best. We're going to manage the renovation project," said City Manager Lance Colley.
The city, and residents we talked to around Roseburg, agree that opening this library again will be a win for it’s citizens.
"And so a part of me really felt this building that was built as a library by this community, for this community, remain a library. So, I was anxious that it not become something else. So, it's wonderful that the ESD can get something they need, and the community can get its library back," said resident Ruth Kaser.
Colley said if the renovations and other logistical issues stay on track, the library should open by the end of summer.
The Douglas ESD won't be moving in until at least December.
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