In 2019, the Oregon legislature passed HB 2243 which:
- Updated the legal definition of "public library" to:
“Public library” means a public agency that provides to all residents of a local government unit free and
equal access to library and information services that are suitable for persons of all ages.
- Required the State Library Board to establish minimum conditions that a public library must meet; these conditions must, at least:
- Include financial support from public funds and regularly scheduled open hours; and
- Provide reasonable exemptions to libraries with service populations of 2,000 or fewer
residents of the local government unit.
From July through August 2019, the State Librarian convened an Rulemaking Advisory Committee who guided the creation of additional minimum conditions. The creation of the minimum conditions were broadly based on the "minimum requirements" listed in the Public Library Standards (September 2018) developed by the Public Library Division of Oregon Library Association. Members of the committee were:
- Margaret Alexander (Eugene Public Library)
- Darci Hanning (State Library)
- Denise Holmes (Director, Banks Public Library)
- Karen Muller (Assistant Director, Hillsboro Public Library)
- Buzzy Nielsen (Director, Crook County Library)
- Jennifer Patterson (State Librarian)
- Jeremy Skinner (Director, Curry Public Library District)
- Kathy Street (Director, Oregon Trail Library District)
- Jerianne Thompson (Director, Tualatin Public Library)
- Erin Wells (Director, Milton-Freewater Public Library)
- Susan Westin (Program Manager, State Library)
Public comment on the proposed minimum conditions was open from September 3 - October 17, 2019. The final minimum conditions were approved by the State Library Board on October 18, 2019 and filed the following week. The minimum conditions became effective on January 1, 2020 as OAR 543-010-0036.
This LibGuide has been created to assist public library directors in their understanding of:
- the minimum conditions,
- how State Library staff will determine if a public library meets the conditions or not, and
- next steps when it is determined a public library does not meet all the conditions.