I wanted to let you all know about a change we will be making here at the State Library. This is one of what I anticipate will number of changes as we reorganize the library.
We have decided that we will no longer staff the reference room here at OSL. There are several reasons why this decision has been made. We have been directed to reorganize the state library for the last couple of years and legislators are expressing increasing frustration with our failure to make substantive changes that will result in improved efficiencies and modernization of the state library services. The use of the reference room by our primary constituency, state agency staff, is very low. It is quite expensive to staff the reference room for 35 hours a week and to pay rent on that space. And finally and probably most importantly, the Government Information and Library Services staff are working to modernize and provide updated library services to state agency staff. Those efforts will take the time and expertise of staff that is currently staffing the reference room. This will allow our Government Information and Library Services Division to target those areas that will provide the most useful and up-to-date information and services to our patrons.
One significant impact this will have is that since we will not be staffing the reference room it will no longer be open to the public after October 1, 2015. This will affect our partners, Willamette Valley Genealogical Society, who have volunteers here during our open hours and who hold a program one Saturday a month. I have informed WGVS that since we will no longer be staffing the reference room their operations in the reference room, including once a month Saturday sessions, can no longer be held here.
In the next two months we will be discussing our communication strategy as well as how to meet our obligations as a member of the Federal Depository Library Program and to our state agency users who need on site assistance.
Thanks to all of you for your support and concern as we have moved through our reorganization/transformation/redesign. The State Library Board will dedicate their next meeting to strategic planning, we have engaged the Corragio Group from Portland to facilitate and consult. I will keep you updated as there is information to share. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns.
Oregon State Librarian