Community Of Blue River Plans To Rebuild Library

Oct 6, 2020

The library was one of hundreds of buildings in Blue River destroyed by the Holiday Farm Fire last month. Community members are already thinking about how to rebuild it.


The library in Blue River was named for Frances O’Brien, a teacher who started checking out books from her front porch in 1928. The library evolved into a small building with no internet or running water. But as library volunteer Alice Bonasio said, it was a community hub.

“It is missed,” Bonasio said. “And we’ve seen already such a momentum building behind the idea of, we have to rebuild this, because I think that, the idea of having the community of Blue River without the library is almost unthinkable.”

A page from a book is one of the few things left after the library in Blue River burned down last month
Credit Tom Atkinson / R3digital

Bonasio said they’re fundraising for a mobile library and making plans for a future, more modern, library building in the long term.

Bonasio is also with the McKenzie Community Development Corporation which is helping the community with recovery efforts.

“Everything that we’re used to has basically been torn apart, blown away,” Bonasio said. “So, I think that to have something that is that familiar thing that brings us together as a community, there’s a role for that for the library.”

Bonasio said there has been an outpouring of offers to help with the library, but at this point, financial contributions are the most beneficial. Eventually, donations of books and other materials will be welcome. For now, checks can be mailed to: 

The Frances O’Brien Memorial Library,  PO Box 921, Blue River, OR 97413

Or contributions can be made through the McKenzie Community Development Corporation.

Copyright 2020 KLCC.