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County Libraries Serve Thousands

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TALENT, Ore. — Jackson County’s Talent Library sees hundreds of visitors at that branch each day. “We offer a lot of activities for patrons and of course we are accessible to anyone in the county,” said Laurel Prchel with the Talent location.

Right now it is accessible to anyone in the county, but several Jackson County libraries could close if a tax district doesn’t pass in the May election. Measure 12-122 would create funding dedicated to supporting libraries. The library system’s director says there are more than 130,000 registered cardholders in the county and some 60,000 people visit a library in the county.

The Talent location sees nearly 300 people per day checking out a total of 9,000 books per month.

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  1. jk says:

    Your quote, “Jackson County’s Talent Library sees hundreds of visitors at that branch each day.” I challenge your generality, “hundreds of visitors each day at that branch.” Perhaps a bit of investigative reporting would discover the actual number of unique visitors each day. Then you go on to say, “Every month, the Talent location sees nearly 300 people checking out a total of 9,000 books.” Did you do the math on that? That’s 30 books per person! per month! I consider myself a reader and I do read 2 or 3 books a month. Are those 300 unique and different people? Or is that the total number of “check outs” at the register by an unknown number of unique individuals? And your first sentence, “hundreds of visitors per day” doesn’t jive with “300 people” checking out books. Of course, many homeschooled students use the libraries much more than the average. But does that mean I should pay $100-$150 a year for them to them to use the library? You know, there are school libraries where the home schooled have every right to visit.
    Now let’s go on to the “130,000” registered cardholders. I lived in Union County for the past eight years…. but I’ll bet you find me among the 130,000 registered Jackson County cardholders. My dad has been dead for four years…. I’ll bet you find him among the 130,000 registered cardholders. My mom is 94 and hasn’t visited a county library probably in the past 20-25 years. I found both their library cards this past week in their apartment.
    Again, this is a chance for an investigative reporter to ask questions, do independent research (i.e. stand outside the Talent library for a week and count the number of visitors each day then divide by seven), obtain statistics, challenge the statistics (how often are registrant lists purged? by whom? of whom?) and not just quote generalities verbally given by a paid library staff person who loves libraries and wants to keep her branch open.
    I love brick and mortar too. But with current duplication or triplication (public schools, private schools, universities, county libraries) the internet and other less expensive ownership (kindle, etc) alternatives, I’m wondering what price tag we are willing to put on our brick and mortar stores?

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