Questions to the board from interested community members:
Q: Why do we need a local library? We have libraries within 7 miles of Aloha in three different directions.
A: This is true, but most of us believe that having a “neighborhood library” is better. Many of the local schools are cutting back their librarian services. We believe that having a local facility in which to connect with the WCCLS system (our goal) is better for Aloha residents than requiring residents to drive to Beaverton or Hillsboro to pick up or browse for their favorite book, magazine, CD or DVD. We also believe that a public facility that aids others in getting access to a free internet connected computer is needed in this community. A study done in 2008 showed that 20% of the participants of the WCCLS system live in the 97007 and 97006 zip code areas – which is our primary target audience.
A library is becoming more than a repository of books and other materials these days. For more information on the library of the future, see this article: http://www.wccls.org/_pdf/Library_Trends.pdf.
Q: When did the library open?
A: The Aloha Community Library opened with great fanfare on Saturday, September 22, 2012! You can read about this in numerous media links found on our website here.
Q: Is the Aloha Community Library part of the Washington County Cooperative Library System (WCCLS)?
A: No. To become part of the WCCLS system (as in our collection = WCCLS collection and vis-versa), there is a 3 step process than ensures any startup library is fully competent and staffed to provide full library services. We expect this to take 3-4 years to complete. We are in close cooperation with other library experts in the area, including paid staff associated with WCCLS and believe this is a realizable goal. However, the real challenge is that we must apply in May of 2014 to become part of WCCLS in order to obtain public levy support money that would start in July of 2016. One component of the application is to demonstrate a pretty high usage pattern of library service as demonstrated by number of items circulated. If we can demonstrate this level of service, it is likely we will be invited to join the cooperative.
Q: How much money do you need to raise?
A: Before we opened, we raised close to $40,000 from private donations to kick-start this grass roots activity. Our goal for FY2013 (ending this coming June) is to raise $100,000. To learn more about opportunities to help us grow financially, see the Donate page.
Q: What do you do with the money?
A: Since we are a volunteer driven organization, the expenses are mostly associated with the ongoing costs of facilities and purchasing new materials for our collection. We also pay a part time volunteer coordinator.
Q: Why can’t the local property taxes be used to fund this?
A: As far as “public funding”, this is not really an option at this time. The public funding of libraries in Washington County works according to rules established by Washington County Board of Commissioners and is currently funded by a local option levy approved in November of 2010. That levy covers the operating expenses of the existing libraries (not ours) through June, 2016. A renewal of the support for local libraries is likely to be put to the voters again in 2015. At that time, if we are as successful as we hope we are, we could become part of the WCCLS system and be supported substantially by the property tax levy as are the majority of the other 17 libraries in the WCCLS system today. For more information on the levy approved last year, see: http://www.wccls.org/levy.
As a non-profit library, we are funded by private individual donations, business donations and grants. Most of the labor is being performed by volunteers, guided by a paid volunteer coordinator. The funds obtained through donations is going towards the expenses associated with the storefront (signage, utilities, internet access, insurance, rent, etc), purchasing books and supplies and part time personnel.
Q: Do you need additional volunteers?
A: Volunteers are needed to run the library and to work in business areas behind the scenes. You can find out more about current volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer page.
Q: Are you hiring paid staff?
A: We will be hiring some specific staff positions when the money to do so becomes available. To become part of WCCLS, their Guidelines for Admission suggests that a Level 3 library is one that has several part time paid staff including a paid librarian.
Q: Do you need additional books or furniture?
A: At this time, we are taking donations of books and dvds. You can find out more about what we accept and don’t accept as well as what we will do with donations on our Donations Policy page.