Douglas County Library System (Oregon)

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Community Involvement Standards (Revised 2007)

From the Public Library Division of the Oregon Library Association

Libraries today should be proactive in meeting community needs and affecting the local quality of life. As libraries evolve and change, the need for visibility of libraries and library services increases. Involvement from the staff, volunteers, Friends, Foundation trustees and Library Board members are key to connecting each local community to the library’s resources, services and potential for contributing to the community.
All supporting groups share the same vision for the library (Library Board, Friends, and Library Foundation) and work together supporting each other and the future of each library.
Threshold Standards
In order to meet threshold standards, each Oregon public library shall:

  • Have an active Friends group assisting the library.
We have an active Friends group (and several of the branches have their own)
  • Encourage the Director’s involvement in local community through civic organization or cooperation with local schools and human service agencies.
Involvement is part of the job description. Further encouragement might be covering costs of participating in civic club (e.g. Rotary Club). This is not encouraged by the county.
  • Use volunteers, as opportunities arise, but not to displace paid staff.
We do this.


Adequate Standards
In order to meet adequate standards, Oregon public libraries shall meet threshold standards and in addition:

  • Have an active Library Foundation that relies on contributions of citizens to supplement tax revenue (e.g.: annual contributions, wills and bequests could be made to the library foundation).
We have an active Library Foundation.
  • Have a volunteer program coordinated by a staff member, among other responsibilities.
We have such a volunteer program coordinator.


Excellent Standards
In order to meet excellent standards, Oregon public libraries shall meet adequate standards and in addition:

  • The Library Foundation shall have an endowment policy, investment structure and a long-range fund raising strategy.
The Library Foundation has these things, with the exception of a long-range fund raising strategy.
  • Encourage all professional staff members’ involvement in one local civic organization or other agency.
Most staff members are involved in their communities.
  • Collaborate with local human service providers (non profits, city, county) to provide better visibility and outreach.
  • Have a designated position of "Volunteer Coordinator."
Our volunteer coordinator has many other duties, and may not be what is imagined for this "excellent" standard.