Douglas County Library System

Coordinates: 43°12′45.8″N 123°20′26.1″W / 43.212722°N 123.340583°W / 43.212722; -123.340583
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Douglas County Library System
43°12′45.8″N 123°20′26.1″W / 43.212722°N 123.340583°W / 43.212722; -123.340583
LocationDouglas County, Oregon, United States
TypePublic library
Established1953 (1953)
DissolvedJune 2017 (2017-06)
Access and use
Population served107,000
Other information
DirectorHarold Hayes

The Douglas County Library System (DCLS) was a public library system in Douglas County, Oregon, United States. The library system was founded in 1953 and operated eleven branches across Douglas County at the time of its closure in 2017.


Douglas County's first library was established in 1912 to serve Myrtle Creek. The Myrtle Creek library was followed by other local systems in Roseburg, Reedsport, Glendale, Drain, Yoncalla, and Sutherlin in the 1920s and 1930s.[1]

The Douglas County Library System was established in 1953, based in Roseburg and operating eight branches across the county. Two new libraries were built for Winston and Riddle in the 1960s, and in 1994, a new main branch was opened in Roseburg.[1] The system was funded by the county government, which was heavily reliant on declining sales taxes on timber harvests on federal land, and began budget reductions in 1982.[1] The expiration of the federal Secure Rural Schools program in 2015 further constrained funding for Douglas County,[2] forcing the system to run on grants from the Ford Family Foundation until a public vote on funding could be held in 2016.[3]

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners voted in June 2016 to place a ballot measure asking to create a public library district and fund it using a property tax of 44 cents per $1,000 in assessed value.[4] During the November 2016 election, the library ballot measure was rejected by 55 percent of Douglas County voters.[5][6] After the failure of the ballot measure, the county government sought other funding solutions, opting to run through the end of June with funds from the county's general fund.[7]

The ten branch locations of the library system closed on April 1, 2017.[8][9] The Roseburg main branch closed on May 31, 2017, and library supporters held a wake during its final evening in service.[10]

The Douglas County system became the third county library system in Oregon to be closed, after Jackson and Josephine counties closed their systems in 2007. Both systems later re-opened under non-government management in limited capacity.[11][12]


At the time of its closure in 2017, the system operated eleven branches in the cities of Canyonville, Drain, Glendale, Myrtle Creek, Oakland, Reedsport, Riddle, Roseburg, Sutherlin, Winston, and Yoncalla.[8] By the following year, nine branches had reopened under the care of volunteers with grants from city governments as well as private donations and fundraisers.[13] The City of Roseburg reopened its library in January 2019, following a year of planning.[14]


  1. ^ a b c Hayes, Harold A. (October 2016). "Douglas County's 'Long and Winding Road'". OLA Quarterly. 22 (2). Oregon Library Association: 23–26. doi:10.7710/1093-7374.1856. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  2. ^ Cegavske, Carisa (September 27, 2016). "DeFazio pushes for Secure Rural Schools". The News-Review. Roseburg, Oregon. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  3. ^ "Douglas County libraries get temporary help till 2016 vote". The Umpqua Post. Reedsport, Oregon. November 28, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  4. ^ Cegavske, Carisa (June 8, 2016). "Library issue will be on ballot". The News-Review. Roseburg, Oregon. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  5. ^ Cegavske, Carisa (November 8, 2016). "Douglas County voters reject library district". The News-Review. Roseburg, Oregon. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  6. ^ "Official Final Results: November 8, 2016 Election" (PDF). Douglas County Clerk. November 2016. p. 7. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  7. ^ Ehrlich, April (January 10, 2017). "Douglas County libraries slated to close April 1". The News-Review. Roseburg, Oregon. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Friedman, Gordon R. (March 31, 2017). "Douglas County libraries to close after voters reject funding". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  9. ^ Darling, Dylan (April 1, 2017). "Closures come for libraries around Douglas County; public library in Roseburg closes May 31". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  10. ^ Cegavske, Carisa (June 1, 2017). "Supporters give Roseburg library a wake in its final hour". The News-Review. Roseburg, Oregon. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  11. ^ Swindler, Samantha (April 5, 2017). "When libraries close, timber counties face tough reality". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  12. ^ Peet, Lisa (February 22, 2017). "Douglas County Libraries Face Closure". Library Journal. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  13. ^ Dixon Kavanaugh, Shane (June 30, 2018). "An Oregon county closed all its public libraries. These rural, DIY book lovers revived them". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 22, 2022.
  14. ^ Carroll, Scott (September 28, 2021). "Roseburg Public Library details progress after reopening, COVID-19". The News-Review. Retrieved August 22, 2022.