“By honoring our rich heritage and looking to the future, we aspire to be a visible learning center of activity in Aloha. We will do this by creating opportunities to participate, connect and serve.”
We desire to create a library service in the community of Aloha-Reedville, which is an unincorporated region within Washington County, Oregon. Our vision is be serving a patron base of 10,000 and be a member of the WCCLS system within the next 5 years.
The trigger for the formation of the library was the granting of the Tiger II Federal Block grant awarded to Washington County Planners in the fall of 2010. This provided a much-needed boost to local residents who have been financially impacted by the economic recession that began in 2008. It also created community awareness of the underserved in this unincorporated geographical region. During 2011, the incorporation of the library association, a local business association, and several other grass-roots organizations were formed to help drive future decisions normally taken on by more organized city or county public entities. There is no focal point for Aloha at this time. A library is a natural focal point for many communities in the US today and has a broad appeal across a wide demographic spectrum.
Demographic Data Supporting Objective
This organization exists in an unincorporated region of Washington County in the State of Oregon. The population of the County as of the 2010 census was 529,710.
Our library intends on partnering with the currently existing Washington County Cooperative Library Services (WCCLS) organization. WCCLS is a partnership between the County, nine cities and two non-profit organizations to provide public library service to all county residents using an interconnected system of 17 library branches. During the period September 1, 2007 to April 30, 2008, a study of WCCLS patron checkouts was done. We also know that approximately 20% of total patrons or approximately 32,000 cardholders live in the target geographical area, which can be loosely defined as living in the 97006 and 97007 zip code regions. Those residents currently must drive up to 7 miles to the nearest library branch. The map of available libraries in the WCCLS is shown in Figure 2.The population targeted is an area containing approximately 100,000 people. Therefore, up to 32% of the local population represents existing WCCLS patrons. We believe that the community can support another library branch if it is placed in an appropriate geographical space central to those residents. Based on informal communication with residents during the past few months, there is a strong support of and for such an organization.
To create a library in an unincorporated area of Washington County today requires the formation of a non-profit 501(C)(3) corporation to manage and support the library financially. It needs to be fully independent and operational for several years before being allowed to be part of the WCCLS system. As a non-profit library, we will be funded by private individual donations, business donations and grants. Volunteers, guided by a paid volunteer coordinator, will perform most of the labor. The funds obtained through donations will go towards the expenses associated with the library (signage, utilities, internet access, insurance, rent, etc.), purchasing books and supplies and part time personnel.
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. The levy covers the operating expenses of the pre-existing libraries through June 2016. A renewal of the support for local libraries is expected to be put to the voters again in 2015. At that time we intend to become part of the WCCLS system and be supported by the property tax levy. For more information on the levy approved last year, see: http://www.wccls.org/levy.