News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Guiding libraries into the future

Bunny Thompson of Sisters has been elected to the Zone 2 position on the Deschutes Public Library District’s (DPLD) board of directors. Thompson was previously appointed to the position after Linda Davis stepped down.

The board will set policy for the DPLD in a time of transition, as the district constructs a new central library at the north end of Bend and reimagines the role of libraries in a changing world.

“It’s a policy-driven board,” Thompson said. “The board sets the policy… it is up to (Library Director) Todd Dunkelberg to implement that. The board doesn’t run the library…”

Last November, voters approved approximately $195 million in bond funding to construct a new central library, to expand the Redmond Library and to repair and modify other libraries, including Sisters.

Libraries offer considerably more than books, Thompson notes. There is a lot of educational and entertainment and enrichment programing, and libraries are configuring to create space for that kind of activity.

“There’s a big need for spaces in a library,” Thompson said. “A space not only for people to gather, but a quiet space.”

Thompson stepped into the board of directors role from her position as president of Friends of the Sisters Library. DPLD disbanded the “Friends” groups last year. It was a pretty seamless transition, as she had already been attending meetings and understood how the board works.

Thompson said she is looking forward to getting construction of the central library underway, which will include some mechanization to make lending, especially between libraries, more efficient.

The library district is also planning pilot programs to increase accessibility for outlying areas, not just to books, but also to internet resources through mobile hot spots.

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Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

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Jim Cornelius is editor in chief of The Nugget and author of “Warriors of the Wildlands: True Tales of the Frontier Partisans.” A history buff, he explores frontier history across three centuries and several continents on his podcast, The Frontier Partisans. For more information visit


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