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Douglas County Votes Down Library Funding District

Rachael McDonald

A measure that supporters say would have saved Douglas County Libraries failed to pass in Tuesday’s election. Measure 10-145 would have created a special funding district to finance the library system.

The Board of Commissioners says it can’t afford to run Douglas County’s 10 libraries.
Gary Waugaman  is Chair of Save Our Libraries, which backed the measure. He says it asked voters to pay 44 cents per one thousand dollars in property taxes.
 “The single moms or the young parents starting out, it was alleged that they could not afford the 44 cents per thousand. And we kind of felt that that’s exactly the group that needs a free library because we don’t know where they’re going to get the books for their children other than buying them.”
Waugaman says opponents of the measure argued there are other options to keep libraries open besides the tax measure. But he says he hasn’t seen any evidence of an effort to do so. Douglas County will stop funding its library system in the new year.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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