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'This is a really sad thing': Reedsport among Douglas County libraries to close April 1

REEDSPORT, Ore. -- A special taxing district measure that would have funded 10 Douglas County libraries was voted down in November.

Now, libraries may be obsolete in Douglas County by the end of this year.

The Douglas County Board of Commissioners announced Monday that all county-funded library branches will close on April 1, including the coastal Reedsport branch.

"I've lived in Reedsport for 23 years and I've watched our community change with the mills closing, and losing services and things in our community,” Cheryl Wilmarth of Reedsport said, “so this is a really sad thing. I'm a grandma; I bring a grandchild … and it's just sad to watch the changes in our community."

Library employees in Reedsport say their branch is the second busiest in the county.

Related: Douglas County Library branches scheduled to close April 1, Roseburg branch on May 30

In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, more than 31,000 items were checked out.

There were more than 2,000 visitors and over 100 programs at the library, including a weekly children's book reading.

"This is one of the things that my kids look forward to every week,” said Jessica Corcoran of Reedsport. “It gets us out of the house. They like to do crafts, which we do (at the library). If they end up closing, I don't know what we'll be able to do."

"It means that we won't have much to do here, because this is really the only thing for anybody who has a child who's not in school -- for us to get together and get out and socialize, get the moms out of the house. So, it means a lot for us to have it open," said Reedsport resident Rayna Branson.

People from communities like Reedsport are looking for funding to keep the libraries open and saving money by cutting back hours and going after grants.

"If some of the libraries save that much money, some of the libraries might join together,” said Douglas County Library Foundation chairperson Joe Coyne. “We might have less than 11 … like 4 or 5; so that's the plan but we'll try it; we've got nothing to lose."

The board will meet on April 5 to discuss the future of the Douglas County Library System.

That meeting will be at the Douglas County Courthouse in Roseburg at 9 a.m.

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