News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Friends of the Sisters Library to change status

As library services change and evolve in Central Oregon, the Deschutes Public Library Board has requested that the “Friends” groups that support the Library transition their support to the Deschutes Public Library Foundation.

This includes the active Friends of the Sisters Library (FOSL).

The mission of Friends of the Sisters Library as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit has been to provide funds to support the library through donations and book sales. FOSL has also supported many of the Deschutes Public Library programs and initiatives such as “Author! Author!”; early literacy; youth initiatives; “Novel Idea”; and summer reading programs.

Deschutes Public Library plans to update all of the libraries in the district and needs the space once occupied by the Friends Book Corner. Sisters Friends Book Corner, the primary fund-raising source for FOSL, closed in November.

Central Oregon’s libraries are permanently funded through the county tax base. The Deschutes Public Library Foundation was founded to provide dependable and sustainable funding that supports and enhances library programs and outreach services not funded through taxes. In an effort to consolidate fundraising and provide better services, the role of the Friends groups is falling under the foundation’s umbrella.

Over the next few months, Friends of the Sisters Library will begin the process to dissolve the 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

The Sisters Library was officially established as a branch of the Deschutes County Library in 1939.

The Friends of the Sisters Library was formed in 1985 to support the Sisters Library.

At that time the small two-room building that was the original Sisters Library on Cascade Avenue was moved to Spruce Street, and soon after a new library was built next to it, which is now the Sisters Area Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center.

The small building was restored by the Sisters Country Historical Society, with generous donations by many Sisters residents.

It also was renamed the Maida Bailey building in honor of Maida Bailey, who was a former librarian, member of the Oregon State Library Board, and member of the Sisters Library Board for a number of years.

As Sisters grew, it became clear we needed a larger and more modern library. Friends of the Sisters Library donated $55,000 to Deschutes Public Library to help with the construction of a new library built at its present location on Cedar Street. The new library was completed in December 2005.

Throughout these years, the Friends of the Sisters Library has continued to support Deschutes Public Library by raising funds and helping to create a stable future for the library district.

An art committee, supported by Friends of the Sisters Library, was formed to provide a rotating display of local artists’ work in the new library. The Sisters Library Annual Art Exhibit, held during January and February, has become a popular event for the citizens of Sisters and has given local artists a chance to display their artwork as well as provided a cultural beauty to the walls in the library.

The Friends of the Sisters Library Board stated that the art committee will continue to display art in the Sisters Library by working with the library staff. The Annual Art Exhibit will remain in place providing outstanding artwork from local artists. The art committee will be working directly with the library staff to coordinate this continuing and valued project in the Sisters Library.


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