Cheers to 100 Years! Jackson County Library Services Celebrates Centennial

Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) and the Jackson County Library Foundation will celebrate the Library’s 100th anniversary by hosting five regional wine and cheese receptions for adults ages 21+:

  • Saturday, September 28 from 5:00–7:00 p.m. – Ruch Library, 7919 Highway 238
  • Saturday, October 5 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. – Medford Library, 205 South Central Avenue
  • Saturday, October 12 from 5:00–7:00 p.m. – Shady Cove Library, 22477 Highway 62
  • Saturday, October 19 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. – Gold Hill Library, 202 Dardanelles Street
  • Thursday, October 24 from 5:30–7:30 p.m. – Ashland Library, 410 Siskiyou Boulevard

The first Jackson County library system was created in 1919 when the Medford Library Board contracted with the County to serve as the hub for eight other branch libraries (Rogue River, Jacksonville, Talent, Central Point, Butte Falls, Gold Hill, Eagle Point, and Sams Valley). By 1923 the library system maintained some 13,000 books and had over 5,700 persons reading nearly 98,000 books a year. Additional branches and smaller library stations were opened around the County, including Phoenix, Derby, Applegate, Shady Cove, Table Rock, White City, and Prospect.

Jackson County Library Services as it is known today was established in 1970 and marked the return of the Rogue River Branch, which had left the system in 1958, and the joining of the Ashland city library.

In 2006 library operating expenses, administered from the County general fund, were suspended after Congress did not approve continued federal subsidies through the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act established in 2000. A library levy measure was not approved, and on April 6, 2007, all fifteen branch libraries were closed. At the time, this was the largest library closure in the history of the United States. They remained closed until funds were made available and they reopened with reduced hours and services on October 24, 2007, and operated with uncertain funding sources for the next few years.

In 2014 voters approved the creation of the Jackson County Library District, providing a secure and dedicated tax base for library funding to ensure no further interruption of services, as well as expanded hours and services.

Today JCLS maintains more than 425,000 items and has almost 100,000 registered users accessing more than 2 million books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, and digital resources each year. The Library is focused on providing enhanced and relevant services for Jackson County residents that enable them to grow and thrive in the twenty-first century, from online digital services, personal Internet access, comprehensive databases, and programming and events that foster literacy and knowledge for all ages.

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