News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Temporary Sisters Library arrives

Back in 1980 the original Sisters Library—630 square feet and built in the 1930s—was lifted off its foundation, loaded on a trailer, and moved a few blocks to a new location. It was not long, however, before the community outgrew that building, as well as another 2,600-square-foot space built in 1989. In 2005, the current 8,300-square-foot Sisters Library began serving the public as part of the Deschutes Public Library System.

Almost 20 years later the Sisters Library is about to undergo a significant remodel, and in a moment of déjà vu, yet another library building was loaded on the back of a trailer and brought to the site of the current facility on the corner of Cedar and Main. This time, however, the mobile building is a temporary space intended to serve the public while crews work on improvements and upgrades to the Sisters Library.

The temporary building arrived in two parts, the first of which rolled into Sisters on December 28. Delivery of the second half was delayed three times due to snowy weather conditions over Oregon’s mountain passes. It arrived on January 3. Construction crews have been assembling the building and Deschutes Public Library’s IT staff will wire it for service. Once open, it will serve as a temporary library while construction takes place in the main building. The temporary space will give the public continued access to some services and resources, including pickup of customer holds, browsing of new and best-selling books, and use of public computers.

“Some library systems have to close down a library completely when they undergo a remodel or construction,” said Library Director Todd Dunkelberg. “Our staff worked hard establishing a temporary space that would allow our customers to still access some of our most popular resources, like best-selling books and picking up holds, while we work to make their library better than ever.”

Once the mobile unit is assembled, the Sisters Library will close for approximately one week to allow staff to move into the temporary location. After that, remodeling begins at full speed, with an expected completion date of late August 2023.

“The great news is that in just a few months we get to welcome the Sisters community back into their library — and it will be better than ever,” said Zoe Schumacher, library operations supervisor at the Sisters Library. She said updates include bright and open spaces that welcome customers with amenities such as flexible meeting and tutoring rooms, an enhanced children’s discovery space, a cozy fireplace and reading area, and a large community gathering space.

In November 2020, Deschutes County voters supported the Library’s bond measure to expand and improve libraries across the county. In addition to updating existing libraries in Downtown Bend, East Bend, La Pine, Sisters, and Sunriver, the bond is funding the design and construction of a new library to serve all Deschutes County residents. Bond funds are also being used to double the square footage of the Redmond Library; construction on that new library begins in late January. For more information visit

Author Bio

Jim Cornelius, Editor in Chief

Author photo

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


Reader Comments(0)

Rendered 07/22/2024 17:41